Whale migration season begins both in and out of the water

A whale mural has been painted by "Nitsua" on the construction site hoarding surrounding the old Byron Bay ambulance station Photo Megan Kinninment / Northern Star
A whale mural has been painted by "Nitsua" on the construction site hoarding surrounding the old Byron Bay ambulance station Photo Megan Kinninment / Northern Star Megan Kinninment

THE whale migration season has officially started in Byron Bay, both in and out of the water.

To celebrate the start of the whale season, street artist Austin Nitsua has left a signature mural on the wall of construction site hoarding surrounding the old ambulance station on Jonson Street.

His painted whale appears to be swimming in the same direction as the real whales migrating north along the coast as they make their way to the warmer waters of Harvey Bay to birth.

The mural went up on a Sunday afternoon with help from fellow street artist, Maktron of Melbourne, Mr Nitsua said.

"I would love to see more street art like this happen in Byron Bay- we have the potential to be a "little" Melbourne," he said.

The return of the whales will also be celebrated in the Byron Bay Whale Festival - Bowe Jingi Walla - June 6-8.

The event will begin with a presentation tonight at the Byron Service Club with guest talks from whale and dolphin researchers and conservationists.

This will be followed by an activity day tomorrow at the Cape Byron Lighthouse and all weekend there will be tours with GoSea Kayaks and Byron Bay dive guided by whale and dolphin researchers.

The Ocean Art Exhibition & Fundraiser will be held tomorrow from 6.30pm-10.30pm at the Cavanbah Room, Byron Bay Community Centre, celebrating marine life with artists featured including Chris Edwards (Wirrimbi Designs), Craig Parry, John D'Errey, Sean O'Shea and a signed board donated by Danny Wills.

All funds raised will go towards the marine conservation, research and education programs of locally based charity Dolphin Research Australia.

Festival co-ordinator and Founder of Dolphin Research Australia, Dr Elizabeth Hawkins said the weekend was an opportunity for the local community "to get out there learn about the whales, the oceans and how each of us can take small actions to create big changes."

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