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Cultural heritage (new / modern)

At the end of June each year, the Bluff celebrates its cultural heritage and connection to whales by hosting the ‘Welcoming of the Whales’ festival. The festival focuses on educating locals and tourists alike about cetaceans, marine life, eco-tourism, recycling and general protection of the ocean. The streets are closed for the festival and painted murals and sculptures are showcased, many of which are contributed by local artists.

Alongside the festival, there is an annual ceremony on the beach, which includes a ‘paddle out’ by local surfers while a poem is read. The poem was written by a member of the local community to Welcome the Whales and inform them (and us) that they are safe.

A three-metre-long humpback whale sculpture named ‘Destiny’ was unveiled at one of the festivals. Constructed by local people, the model was decorated with recycled plastic bottle tops on an aluminium frame, representing the environmental values of the community and highlighting the rising problem of ocean plastic pollution. The Sodurba Tourism Information Office also displays "Echo" – a whale art piece made from recycled bottle tops by local artists and students.