Eden, Australia: A charming town and a whaling dynasty.

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Eden, Australia: A Whaling Dynasty

 

A Day in Eden, Australia: Exploring Twofold Bay, Australasia Hotel, and learning about their fascinating whaling dynasty.

After a day of sailing in the Tasman Sea, we arrive in Eden, Australia about 8 am. Eden is a small, charming coastal town nestled in the heart of New South Wales’ Sapphire Coast overlooking Twofold Bay. With its breathtaking natural beauty, rich maritime history, and vibrant cultural attractions, Eden promises a day filled with adventure and discovery. Eden is an excellent stop along the Australian coast if you love small seaside towns with unique charm.  A day spent in this picturesque town, exploring its scenic landscapes, indulging in delectable cuisine, and uncovering fascinating insights at the renowned Killer Whale Museum provides an easy, stress-free day.

Exploring Twofold Bay:

Golden Eagle upon cliffs in Eden's coastlineOur day began with a leisurely sightseeing tour around Hawkes Bay on a large catamaran. Twofold Bay is a stunning coastal area known for its pristine beaches, rugged cliffs, and crystal-clear waters. Our tour lasted over 2 ½ hours as we worked our way up along the western coastline, admiring towering, jagged cliffs while looking for seals, fish, and birds native to Two Foldfay. With the captain’s and crew’s help, we were lucky to spot two giant Gold Eagles swooping around one of the cliff tops.  The boat continued along the side of the bay until we came to the Tasman Sea, at which point we traversed across the open water to the cliffs on the other side of the bay.  Unfortunately, it was not whale season, and we saw no dolphins in the waters.

After enjoying the sites on one shore, we traveled across the bay to Boyd’s Tower, a historic sandstone lighthouse perched atop a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Built-in the 19thBoyds Tower to Saltwater Creek walking track - Eden Australia Century by entrepreneur Benjamin Boyd, this iconic landmark offers sweeping coastline vistas and a glimpse into the region’s maritime heritage. We passed a large dock erected for the lumber company and the Australian military and finally returned to the pier where our Neptune was docked.

When we arrived back at the dock, it was late morning, so Bob and I jumped on the Viking shuttle bus, which took us up the long hill into the quaint town of Eden.

Lunch at the Australasia Hotel:

After walking past a few blocks of small shops, we reached the Astralasia Hotel, a beloved local establishment renowned for its warm hospitality and delicious cuisine. Situated in the heart of Eden’s town center, this charming hotel offers a cozy ambiance and a menu brimming with fresh seafood, hearty pub fare, and locally sourced ingredients.

Bob indulged in a mouthwatering feast of freshly shucked oysters, followed by a pizza, while I had a Caesar Salad with a gigantic prawn on top. Friends from the ship joined us, and we had fun eating our lunch and enjoying a glass of wine and beer. We enjoyed every bite and took a moment to soak in the laid-back atmosphere and friendly hospitality that defines the Great Southern Inn Hotel.

A Whaling Legacy:

A Visit to the Killer Whale Museum:

Whaling boat - Whaling History Museum - Eden, AustraliaAfter lunch, we walked a few blocks to the small but renowned Killer Whale Museum, dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of whaling in Eden. Housed in a historic whaling station overlooking Twofold Bay, this museum offers a fascinating journey through the town’s maritime past. Twofold Bay was a famous whaling area throughout the 1800s and early 1900s. The first whale hunters were the native Yuin tribe, who hunted whales in their small canoes in the 1700’s.

One of the shore excursions arrived at the whaling museum, and at the same time we did so, we joined their group tour.  Eden was a famous whaling town throughout the 1800’s and early 1900’s.  The first whale hunters were the native Yuin tribe, who hunted whales in their small canoes in the 1700’s. The guide walked us through the various exhibits and artifacts and told the story of Old Tom, a legendary killer whale who helped whalers hunt baleen whales in the waters of Twofold Bay. It seemed crazy that this legendary whale helped the whalers hunt down and kill the whales.  He was given the tongs and cheeks of the whales and learned quickly that his efforts would be rewarded.

We learned about the town’s whaling industry, its impact on the local ecosystem, and the ongoing efforts to protect marine life and promote conservation. Old Tom’s skeleton hangs in the museum, and the guides love to show how his jaw bone was worn down by the ropes when he pulled the whaler’s boats out to meet the approaching whales—whaling diminished through the 1900s until it was finally outlawed in 1978.  The crew aboard our catamaran were avid supporters of conservationism and the preservation of life.

As our day in Eden draws to a close, we bid farewell to this enchanting coastal town, taking memories of breathtaking landscapes, culinary delights, and captivating history with us. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a food lover, or a history buff, Eden offers a wealth of experiences that will leave a lasting impression.  Before boarding the ship, we stopped by the small but very nice gift shop area set up at the port.  We purchased a few gifts, of course, such as a magnet, and headed back to our ship.

Leaving Eden, we certainly understood why it was once a whaling dynasty.

Visiting Eden, Australia, for a day is a laid-back and fun experience that combines natural beauty, culinary delights, and rich cultural heritage. From exploring the scenic landscapes of Twofold Bay to indulging in a sumptuous lunch at the Australasia Hotel and delving into the maritime history of the Killer Whale Museum, Eden offers something for everyone to enjoy. Plan your visit to this charming coastal town and discover the magic of Eden for yourself. If time allows, several great hiking trails start near the port area and climb the road to the top of the high cliffs.  A few fellow passengers went hiking and said it was beautiful.

 

 

Excursions in Eden

Scenery of the Sapphire Coast Duration: 4.00 Hours

Explore Eden’s Stunning Coastline and Orca Heritage — Visit Eden and its surrounding villages along the scenic Sapphire Coast. Meet your guide and set out on a drive along some of Australia’s best coastal districts. These sheltered waters are home to the award-winning oysters of the Sapphire Coast. During a stroll through the streets of Eden, explore the town’s history and the discovery of gold found here during the 1880s. At the Eden Killer Whale Museum, learn more about the town’s heritage and how Eden is now leading the way to protect local marine life. Hear the story of Old Tom, Eden’s most famous orca, and how he established a unique arrangement with human whalers. To alert them of the presence of baleen whales in the bay, he would breach and slap his tail at the mouth of the Towamba River. Old Tom’s skeleton is now on display at the museum.

Kayak the Towamba River Duration: 4.00 Hours

Glide Along and Immerse Yourself in Nature — Meet your guide and embark on a scenic drive by motor coach to the kayak center. After a short safety briefing, don your life jacket and climb on board. Follow your expert guide as you glide through the crystal clear waters, keeping your eyes peeled for marine life and listening to the birdsong as you drift along at a leisurely pace. During your excursion, you will stop for refreshments—a cup of specialty tea, freshly brewed coffee, or delicious fruit juice accompanied by a snack. Once back on board your kayak, continue your river exploration and immersion in nature. Return to base, where your motor coach awaits for the journey back to your ship.

Cruise to a Local Oyster Farm 

Taste Freshly Shucked Oysters and Witness the Techniques of Oyster Farming — Meet Captain Brett “Sponge” Weingarth as you discover the world of Sydney rock oysters, farmed at Pambula Lake. Captain Sponge has a wealth of experience in farming and lives on the shores of the lake with his family. He is passionate about oysters and will share his secrets to successful oyster farming. Inspect the native angasi species grown on the farm and sample the delicious Sydney rock oysters straight from the lake. Enjoy a cruise downstream on the Pambula River and learn about the ancient Aboriginal middens that dot the landscape. Keep your eyes peeled as you glide; white-bellied sea eagles can frequently be spotted circling the river searching for prey. Captain Sponge will also explain his involvement in the local environmental protection project Love Our Lakes. After your informative culinary experience, return to your awaiting ship.

Twofold Bay by Catamaran Duration: 2.50 Hours

Leisurely Cruise to Scenic Vistas — stroll from the pier to your exclusive twin-hull motorized vessel, where your crew and skipper await to welcome you aboard. After a short safety briefing, sit back and relax as your catamaran skims the azure waters, taking in the magnificent vistas of Twofold Bay. As you cruise along the coast, admire the views of Ben Boyd National Park and the stunning shoreline, blanketed with forests and historic buildings. Your knowledgeable crew will be able to inform you about your surroundings and the harbor, one of the deepest natural harbors in the Southern Hemisphere. You will also learn about the bay’s whaling heritage, including the story of “Old Tom,” Eden’s most famous orca. After your cruise, return to the port and await your ship.