Wine, Whales & Sea Tales

12, 14 & 16 August 2019

Descend below the surface into the mysterious underwater world of whales.

Taking place over three nights during National Science Week, Wine, Whales & Sea Tales promises an exciting line-up of science presentations, Q&A sessions, underwater photographic exhibits, short films, live entertainment, vessel tours, giveaways and more!

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn from leading researchers and visual artists who are making ground-breaking discoveries in our very own blue backyard.

Tickets for this event are only $10 for adults and $5 for children (3-13 years) per night and include a complimentary beer, wine or soft drink, and a surprise gift.

Proceeds from this event will be donated to independent marine research projects. Limited tickets available so book early to avoid disappointment.

Secure your reservation now

What To Expect

Science Presentations

Decoding Sounds of Ocean Giants

Decoding Sounds of Ocean Giants

Dr Rebecca Dunlop - Senior Lecturer, The University of Queensland

Humpback whales are one of the most vocally diverse of the baleen whale species. They are famous for their complex songs, a male signal likely used to attract females during the breeding season. However, their other vocal communication signals are just as complex. This talk will explore how humpback whales acoustically communication with each other in a noisy environment as well as how they overcome this noise.

Rebecca Dunlop is originally from Northern Ireland where she completed her undergraduate degree in environmental biology and PhD in neuroethology, both at Queens University, Belfast. She then moved to Australia and began working with humpback whales. Her post-doc focussed on humpback whale communication at the University of Queensland. She is now a senior lecturer at the University of Queensland and co-directs the Cetacean Ecology and Acoustics Laboratory based on North Stradbroke Island. Her main research areas are humpback whale communication, physiology and the effects of anthropogenic noise.

Making Tracks on the Humpback Highway

Making Tracks on the Humpback Highway

Dr Olaf Meynecke - Research Fellow, Griffith University
Inside the Secret Lives of Dolphins

Inside the Secret Lives of Dolphins

Dr Elizabeth Hawkins - Founding Director, Dolphin Research Australia

Did you know that dolphin societies are as complex and similar to those of humans? Every individual dolphin has a role to play in the community, with certain individuals being integral to facilitating cultural learning and maintaining the stability of populations. Learn about how dolphins work together to survive in an ever changing environment.

Dr Liz Hawkins is the Founding Director of Dolphin Research Australia. She is a researcher and educator with a passion for raising environmental awareness and empowering communities to conserve marine life and their oceanic homes.

How to Save a Whale in 3 Days

How to Save a Whale in 3 Days

Tacha Mulligan - Animal Care Supervisor, Sea World Research & Rescue Foundation
Humpbacks: Sentinels of Sea-ice

Humpbacks: Sentinels of Sea-ice

Associate Professor Susan Bengtson Nash - Program Director, Griffith University

Humpback whales depend on the swarms of krill that form in the Southern Ocean annually, to fuel their long winter migrations along Australia’s coastlines. In turn, the krill life-cycle is intrinsically linked to Antarctic sea-ice. What happens to sea-ice, krill and whales in an Antarctic warming climate? Come and learn how we are using whales to study the chain-reactions of climate change around the Antarctic continent.

Associate Professor Susan Bengtson Nash leads the Southern Ocean Persistent Organic Pollutants Program (SOPOPP) at Griffith University’s Environmental Futures Research Institute. She serves on the International Whaling Commission steering committee for contaminants, the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research, and the Australian Research Council Panel of Experts.

Sex Under the Sea: Migration, Mating & Motherhood

Sex Under the Sea: Migration, Mating & Motherhood

Laura Torre-Williams - Visiting Scholar, Griffith University

Humpback whales have a fascinating life cycle which this talk will focus on. Why must whales migrate? What are the mating rituals of whales? What is a whale family unit? How do whales raise their young? How can we help whales survive? Join on Friday night for a fun and informative talk about our marine neighbours.

Laura is a marine educator and a conservation biologist with a focus on ocean megafauna (cetaceans). She enjoys communicating science in a simple manner so that all ages can grow an appreciation for the ocean realm. As a conservation advocate, she feels it is important for the community to take positive steps to protect our planet. Laura has worked with whales in Alaska, Hawaii, California, and New Zealand. Since 2013 she has been a Visiting Scholar at Griffith University. She is documenting the occurrence of newborn humpback whale calves in the Gold Coast Bay.


Photography Exhibit


Darren Jew - Canon Master

Five-time winner Canon/AIPP Australian Science, Environment and Nature Photographer of the Year Darren Jew has dedicated his craft to capturing and sharing the world’s great wildlife, landscape and marine destinations. Leviathan is the culmination of two decades of extensive underwater photography across Australia and the Pacific, in Africa, North and South America, the Arctic and Antarctica, and Darren’s timeless tribute to these elegant denizens of the deep.


Live Entertainment

Nick Cunningham

Fresh off the back from packed stages at Byron Bay Blues and Roots, Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival, singer-songwriter Nick Cunningham is bringing his tell-tale acoustic folk sound and beachy vibe to the Gold Coast for National Science Week. In residence for three nights, Cunningham’s sprawling low, gruff vocals and deft guitar work will have you conjuring images of restlessly shifting seas and wanderlust.




Each guest will receive a surprise gift on the night.

Vessel Tours

MV Spirit of Migaloo II

The recently launched Spirit of Migaloo II is Australia’s newest and most advanced whale watching vessel. Take a tour of the state-of-the-art vessel with our Master Skippers and learn about the features that make this one of the most environmentally-friendly whale watching platforms in the world.

Bar & Dining

Fully-licensed Bar

Held at the newly refurbished Sea World Cruises Terminal, the venue boasts a spacious, covered outdoor area complete with comfy lounges, heaters and unrestricted views of the Gold Coast Broadwater. Grab a craft beer from local brewers or a drink from our fully-licensed bar, and for those feeling peckish, our chefs will be serving up casual dining options featuring seasonal produce sourced from regional farmers and growers.

All Proceeds Donated

Modern technology has taken us to the Moon and beyond, but we are only just beginning to understand the extraordinary forms of intelligent life on own planet. All proceeds from this event will be donated to independent marine research projects that tackle issues endangering local marine life.

Getting Here

Sea World Cruises Terminal

Seaworld Drive, Main Beach
Gold Coast, Queensland 4217
Doors Open 6:30pm
Event Duration: 7 – 9:30pm
Wheelchair Accessible

Secure your reservation

Follow the link below to book or call us for any enquiries you may have.

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