Quandamooka Festival 2015

Mon, 03 Aug 2015

By Tangalooma Island Resort

The 2015 Quandamooka Festival at Tangalooma Island Resort

An ancient aboriginal tradition has been brought to life at Tangalooma on Queensland's Moreton Island on the 26th of July 2015.

The local Quandamooka people who have lived in the area for at least 20,000 years said 'yura yalingbilla!' or 'welcome whales!' as the giants of the ocean cruised past on their annual migration north to warmer waters for winter.

The Quandamooka have a special bond with dolphins, as far back as 1799 explorer Matthew Flinders observed aboriginals cooperatively hunting with dolphins in Moreton Bay. Aboriginal men would call the dolphins by slapping the water with their spears, the dolphins would then herd fish into nets and the excess was fed back to the dolphins.

The weekend's warm welcome was part of the first ever Quandamooka festival, which celebrated the heritage of the local indigenous people and marked the anniversary of Quandamooka native title determination.

Dancers and elders from the Quandamooka people welcomed the whales to the waters off Moreton Island by singing, dancing and performing rituals, wishing the giants of the ocean safe travels as they headed north.

And it seemed as though the whales well and truly heard their warm welcome breaching and performing themselves.

The elders and performers then made their way to Tangalooma Beach where they welcomed the dolphins with a spectacular ceremony. Visitors to the island witnessed rituals rarely seen before, and were treated to dreamtime stories told by elders.

A special relationship between dolphin and man continues on the island to this day with nightly visits by dolphins for hand feeding. Being wild animals, the numbers of dolphins that come in to feed each night varies, but almost all of them are members of the same family. The feeding program is strictly controlled to ensure the health and safety of the animals.

Once a whaling station, today Tangalooma Island Resort celebrates whales with daily cruises during the annual migration from June to October, being the third largest sand island in the world, visitors can also sand toboggan, dive shipwrecks and swim among coral formations.

About the author

Tangalooma Island Resort

Take the world's 3rd largest sand island…add a splash of sunshine, balmy sea breezes, a dash of discovery and a handful of adventure, and you've got Tangalooma Island Resort. An island oasis, just a 75 minute cruise from Brisbane.

Book Now