Gordon River Cruises, Tasmania

World first for new Gordon River Cruises vessel

As the building of the new vessel for Gordon River Cruises on Tasmania’s west coast continues to progress, now is a great time to reveal an exciting world-first for the company.

The vessel will be fitted with both diesel engines and electric motors, meaning the operator can switch between one or the other or both, depending on the location of the vessel at the time and the prevailing weather conditions.

This will reduce fuel consumption and its impact on the environment.

In addition, and perhaps the most exciting, when the cruise enters the Gordon River, the diesel propulsion engines can be switched off, leaving only the electric drive.

This means guests on-board will enjoy a cruising experience like nothing that has ever been available in Tasmania’s world heritage area before – quiet cruising and completely in keeping with the values of this remarkable place.

Gordon River Cruises believe this is the first commercial passenger vessel of its kind in the world and is pleased to bring this experience to members, other Tasmanians and visitors to the island state.

The hybrid drive system has been developed by one of the world’s leaders in marine propulsion – MTU, based in Germany. Right now there is only one other vessel with this same drive package – a spectacular private yacht recently launched and cruising in the Caribbean.

The new Gordon River Cruises vessel is due to launch in April 2018.

For more details and to watch the video visit gordonrivercruises.com.au/2018.

humpback

Listen: Hear humpback whales sing at Hervey Bay!

Add a new dimension to your whale watching experience by visiting Hervey Bay in September – it’s the best time to hear humpback whales sing.

Pacific Whale Foundation senior research biologist Stephanie Stack said only mature whales sang and this month was when most started arriving in Hervey Bay for their migratory stopover.

She said songs would typically last for about 20 minutes but individual whales might sing incomplete songs or repeat songs several times. 

Humpback whales can sing for hours on end. Singers will surface every 10 to 20 minutes and keep singing with only short pauses to breathe,” Ms Stack said.

“Songs have a hierarchical organization with ‘units’ building into ‘phrases’ which, in turn, form ‘themes’ which, together, comprise the song.”

She said there was no consensus in the scientific community about the function of whale songs but communicating underwater was challenging.

“Light and smells don’t travel well but sound moves about four times faster in water than in air, which means marine mammals often use sounds to communicate,” Ms Stack explained.

“Most song occurs in breeding areas, but song has also been recorded along migration routes and even occasionally in feeding areas.”

Ms Stack said there were several theories about the purpose of humpback whale song including attracting females to individual singers or a group and communicating with other mature whales for dominance or cooperation.

“Female humpbacks rarely approach singing males, suggesting the song may represent a form of male-male acoustic display,” Ms Stack said.

She said noise pollution was a growing concern for researchers.

“Increasing noise in the ocean could cause a disruption of natural whale behaviour such as feeding, mating and communication.”

Pacific Whale Foundation researchers using underwater microphones, known as hydrophones, have recorded rare white humpback whale Migaloo singing in Hervey Bay.

“Some mature males may arrive early while others may remain longer, meaning song could potentially be heard in Hervey Bay at any point during the season.”

Father's Day

Top Tips for a Tip-Top Dad’s Day in Melbourne

 

 


From sporting types to culture kings and dads with a hipster edge, Melbourne has something to tickle the fancy of fathers from all walks of life. With all of the following and more to choose from, there is no excuse not to make this Father’s Day (3 September 2017) one to remember.


Sporty Dad

As Australia’s sporting capital, Melbourne boasts a plethora of sports for dads to get involved in, whether he’s an active dad or more the spectating type. Australia’s greatest sporting moments are immortalised at the National Sports Museum, and a trip here is sure to ignite Dad’s passion. While he reminisces about ‘that’ sporting moment, kids can put their skills to the test in the interactive gallery, Game On! The museum is housed below the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and with no matches scheduled for Father’s Day, families can take a tour of the iconic venue. Covering otherwise off-limits areas, from the player change rooms to the edge of the hallowed turf, the tour offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the stadium’s inner sanctum.Melbourne Bike Share invites cyclists to make the most of the city’s cycle paths –while practicing for Cadel Evans’ Great Ocean Road Race, set to return in January 2018. After dropping the bikes off near Melbourne Park, tennis-loving fathers can hire a court and have a hit on the very surface that Federer, Djokovic, Murray and the like play on during the Australian Open. Out of town: Phillip Island is the destination for sporty dads as it is full of family-friendly adventure activities. Here, Dad and the kids can surf, fish and zoom around the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit Go Kart Track.


Hipster Dad

Forget breakfast in bed, Hipster Dad would prefer to eat his organic free range eggs at one of Fitzroy or Collingwood’s uber cool cafes. Archie’s All Day Diner and Industry Beans are solid options. Both are near to the Rose Street Market where a gamut of hand-crafted gifts can be found for last-minute sons and daughters. 

Father’s Day is Family Day at Collingwood Children’s Farm where pony rides, tractor rides, guinea pig cuddles and the chance to help milk the cow are all on offer. Hipster dads will feel right at home, sipping a takeaway coffee from The Farm Cafe while the kids make the most of the activities.  

Older kids can join dad for an afternoon or evening performance of The Book of Mormon at the Princess Theatre (on until 4 November 2017). The first musical by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, this cheeky production has received rave reviews all over the globe. 

Out of town: A country drive to Kyneton makes for a memorable family outing. The main village on Piper Street is oozing with rustic charm and gourmet eateries. Those looking to make a weekend of it can find a house to stay at among the eight luxury Flop House properties dotted around the region.


Culture Kings

The Australian Centre of the Moving Image (ACMI) has Father’s Day sorted for dads with a bent for art and culture. Currently showing Wallace and Gromit & Friends: the Magic of Aardman (until 29 October 2017), the whole family can venture behind the scenes of one of the world’s most-loved animation studios. 

As part of its Family Sundays program, ACMI will host Smart Stories, where families can learn how to generate a choose-your-own adventure narrative, write and animate their own storybook, craft a comic book and take part in an interactive storytelling session. Award-winning children’s author and illustrator Shaun Tan will also give a brief talk on writing and illustrating at 11am.

A 20 minute drive from the city, Heide Museum of Modern Art will enthral culture kings with its contemporary art displayed across three gallery spaces. Dad can take in its current exhibition Call of the Avant-Garde: Constructivism and Australian Art (until 8 October 2017), while the kids take on the Heide Detective challenge. Heide is renowned for its expansive gardens dotted with sculptures, and a stroll through the grounds is a must.

Disney’s Aladdin – the hit musical – is captivating audiences of all ages at Her Majesty’s Theatre (on until 3 December 2017). Touted as ‘The must see show of the year’, cultural dads will dig an evening (or matinee) performance. 

Out of town: Castlemaine is renowned for its eclectic arts scene set amid a history rich in gold. Dad can check out local artists’ studios and see major Australian and international works at the Castlemaine Art Musem before stopping in at The Mill for a coffee or beer.