The impact of whale swims in Tonga

A couple of days ago an eagerly-awaited piece of research was published about the behavioural effects of whale swims on Humpback Whales in Tonga. It revealed two key findings. FINDING #1Average diving time and the proportion of time spent diving in the presence of swimming activities increased significantly for mother-calf pairsWhat this means is cows and calves spend less tim...

Whale Watching on Melbourne's Prehistoric Coast

Twenty years ago the number of Humpback Whales off Australia's east coast was as little as a quarter of the estimated 33,000 that now make the journey from Antarctica each year. Some experts estimate the population may have almost recovered from the impact of whaling. So it's great news our generation can enjoy seeing whales off Victoria's coastline once again.Winter is also a great time to get to the coast. The wind is fresh and the air is clean, the ocean is lively and there are...

PEAK Whale Watching Weekends Coming up in Melbourne

It's that time of year again. Humpback Whales are passing our coastline and the next two weekends are the peak for seeing them as they head north from their Antarctic feeding grounds (now shrouded in darkness). Two Bays Whale ProjectThe Two Bays Whale Project is a citizen science program aiming to better understand whale movements within Port Phillip, Western Port and the nearby waters of Victoria. The project (

LIVE SeaEagle Cam - First Egg Laid

EagleCAM is a live remote feed that has been operating since 2009 out of the BirdLife Discovery Centre in the Armory at Sydney Olympic Park close to the Parramatta River. In March before the Eagles started their nest renovations a small dedicated team of EagleCAM volunteers worked for over two weeks  (over 450 man hours) upgrading the system. All cables were removed and relayed, new power cables added and obsolete cables removed. All computers upgraded, new remote control devices added a...

FAQs Raja Ampat

How do I get there?Raja Ampat is accessed via Sorong, a city situated on the far western tip of Indonesian West Papua. Sorong is a quite peaceful city although it's growing quite fast. The airport is quite small but on arrival we always make sure you're greeted by someone. Getting to Sorong is either via Makassar or Jakarta. How do I get around?There are 1,800 islands in Raja Ampat. It's safe to say, you c...

Whales and Dolphins of Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is the centre of our planet's blue heart. One thousand eight hundred reef-fringed islands lie in the path of the Pacific Ocean Throughflow current. The density of life here is like nothing you've seen before.There are many who would travel to a place like this and barely break the surface of what there is to understand and learn. There are many more who miss the regency's largest residents. Whales and dolphins are, to Raja Ampat, like grazing wildebee...

A Safari in Makutsi

Did you grow up like me? Watching Sir David Attenborough, wanting to see African animals up close and personal, and to narrate their lives in a clear, authoritative and enthusiastic way? Oh, and to wear a dapper safari outfit?Well this year, my girlfriend and I got that opportunity and, barring the narration, we got everything we dreamed of and so much more.As we were on final approach to Hoedspruit Airport, exhausted from all our travel, I was looking through the window of the...

New meets old in Perancak’s Emerald Ecosystem

By Chris SawyerHanggar meets us with a warm smile and we know we are in good hands. His English is very good and he communicates a passion for conservation as he explains the itinerary for the day and we set off. Being on first name terms with the local people, he’s treated like a family member. We can ask many questions and feel like we’re in the heart of a real community for conservation. Everywhere there are good news stories to be told by the local people who are happy...

Symphony Violinist Who Orchestrates Alien Night-Animal Images

Tan is a violinist with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and between concert seasons, leaves his prized antique Italian violin at home to explore the Pacific.  Tan will be speaking at this years Underwater Tour from 9 - 14 May, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide & Perth A world previously exclusive to scientific academia, if you've seen everything and dived everywhere, William’s images are guaranteed to pique your curiosity and have you wanting to se...

Inspiration, adventure and discovery with National Geographic legends Doubilet and Hayes

National Geographic Legends Doubilet & Hayes talk LIVE in AustraliaDoubilet and Hayes, National Geographic legends and undoubtedly the world’s most recognisable and inspirational ambassadors of the oceans, are on their way from upstate New York to Australia to keynote the Underwater Tour 2019.  Logging 26,000 and 11,000 hours beneath the surface respectively, it’s no wonder they have earned their place as revered underwater photographers and international treasures...

Raja Ampat - A Fantastic Voyage

To visit Raja Ampat is to dive inside a gigantic living organism; to navigate through its nervous system, ride the rush of currents passing down networks of ancient channels, highways for cells and plankton that feed the organs of its being: reefs and ocean fronts where miniature forces combine on a massive scale, giving and supporting life. In the 1996 Vernes-style cult classic The Fantastic Voyage adventurers were miniaturised and injected into the body of a scientist to...

Birds of God in the Heart of Paradise

"The people told us that those birds came from the terrestrial paradise, and they call them bolon diuata, that is to say, 'birds of God'"  Antonio Pigafetta (c. 1491 – c. 1531)In the absence of natural predators, Birds of Paradise have evolved elaborate plumage and displays that correlate with males’ sexual prowess and fertility. It’s the undercurrent of an evolutionarily stable strategy, that’s to say a way to ensure populations remain balanced perfectly at carrying ca...

From the Realms of the Dead: Killer Whales in Raja Ampat

Latin Orcinus (“of the realms of the dead”), from Orcus + -inusAfter breakfast we resume our hunt for whales and dolphins heading south west into the heart of the Dampier Strait. A slice of nutrient-poor Pacific Ocean water pushes into the narrows from the east to meet bountiful currents and upwellings from the other side. In this three-dimensional world, fish and squid concentrate in the layers between vast water masses. At their boundaries, currents extend,...

The Ghost Net Story

When Ghost Nets Australia began, the combination of science and art brought the Aboriginal communities of northern Australia together with fishing communities in remote eastern Indonesia. The project has been instrumental in cleaning up ghost gear in the Arafura Seas, supporting Indigenous rangers and saving endangered sea turtles.This is the story of a Ghost Net (for more, read https://www.ghostnets.com.au/) 

Arts of the Sea People

By Sue Ryan, image maker, storyteller and architect of the Ghost Net Art ProjectBack in 2014 the Ghost Net Art Project created Jidirah a four metre long Southern Right whale at Ceduna Arts with Ceduna artists and the help of some visiting Yalata women.  Jidirah travelled to Europe for the blockbuster exhibition Taba Naba — Australia, Oceania, Arts of the Sea People at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, after which went on to be exhibited in Pari...