A bumper season on the “whale highway” is expected to entice domestic tourists back to the Port Stephens region after it copped a battering in the fierce April storms.
Port Stephens is one of the best places in the country to see the annual humpback whale migration and every year thousands of tourists flock to the coastal town to see the majestic creatures up close.
While the official season will kick off in Port Stephens on June 1, the region has already been seeing a number of whales breaching and tail-slapping, as well as dolphins and New Zealand fur seals.
Ramada Resort Shoal Bay Reservations Manager Michelle Hoy said whale watching was one of the town’s most popular attractions and would be particularly important to entice visitors this winter.
“The whole town has really suffered but we have bounced back and are ready to welcome visitors to this gorgeous part of the world,” Ms Hoy said. “The whale season is always important for tourism in the area, but never more so than this year as we recover from the storms.”
Tamboi Queen Cruises Marketing and Sales Assistant Meghan Richardson said the whale season would not only help local tourism but would also lift the spirit of local residents as the town continues the storm clean-up.
“After enduring such terrible weather in April where a lot of homes and businesses were out of power for up to eight days, the community has come together to get back on track and we are open and ready for business,” Ms Richardson said.
“The whale watching season for 2015 is off to a flying start with breaching whales spotted just outside the headlands and New Zealand fur seals making their winter home on Cabbage Tree Island. Winter is a great time to visit Port Stephens and get away from the desk to reconnect with nature.”
With the whale season ramping up, Ramada Resort Shoal Bay is teaming up with family-owned and operated Tamboi Queen Cruises to offer a special accommodation package.
For just $175 per night guests can enjoy a stay in a comfortable studio apartment and will also get two tickets to head out and see the whales on the Tamboi Queen. A minimum two-night stay applies and upgrades are available.
Ramada Shoal Bay will also donate $5 per booking made direct with the resort to the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife.