World of Knowledge (Australia) - - Advertising Feature - Visit www.wild­aboutwhales.com.au to plan your whale-watch­ing ad­ven­ture

WITH ONE OF THE WORLD’S great whale mi­gra­tions tak­ing place along the NSW coast­line this win­ter, it’s time to head to a coastal na­tional park to see the ocean’s most ma­jes­tic crea­ture. Na­tional parks make up al­most 50 per cent of the NSW coast­line and pro­vide some of the best look­outs, head­lands and fore­shores to see whales on their an­nual mi­gra­tion.

The north coast – from Tweed Heads to Port Stephens – of­fers some of the best whale watch­ing in the coun­try. Pop­u­lar spots such as Cape By­ron State Con­ser­va­tion Area and To­ma­ree Na­tional Park (NP) are ideal for see­ing breach­ing hump­backs and south­ern right whales.

Syd­ney and its sur­rounds of­fer many places for whale watch­ing and it’s an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity to see them mi­grat­ing past Aus­tralia’s largest city. Top spots can be found in Syd­ney Har­bour, Ku-ring-gai Chase and Ka­may Botany Bay na­tional parks.

The south coast, from Shoal­haven to Bate­mans Bay and Eden, is home to sev­eral gen­er­ous stretches of coastal wilder­ness, with large num­bers of whales mak­ing an ap­pear­ance on their an­nual mi­gra­tion. Head to Jervis Bay and Meroo na­tional parks for fan­tas­tic van­tage points.

There’s also a range of ac­com­mo­da­tion in NSW na­tional parks that of­fers a unique hol­i­day ex­pe­ri­ence. Stay in a re­stored light­house cot­tage perched on a head­land. Choose from spec­tac­u­lar lo­ca­tions in­clud­ing Cape By­ron, the wildlife sanc­tu­ary of Mon­tague Is­land Na­ture Re­serve and Green Cape Light­sta­tion in Ben Boyd Na­tional Park.

For fam­ily-friendly coastal cab­ins and a fun whale-watch­ing get­away, en­joy a stay at Pretty Beach and De­pot Beach, in Mur­ra­ma­rang Na­tional Park on the south coast.

In the 1950s, three out of 10 peo­ple be­lieved that Queen Eliz­a­beth II de­scended from god. Con­duct the same sur­vey to­day and you’d be lucky to find three in a mil­lion who’d give the same re­sults, even though sup­port for the monar­chy is now back to 1950s lev­els. You’d prob­a­bly be sec­tioned for even pos­ing the ques­tion.

Our morals, val­ues and opin­ions can shift seis­mi­cally in a short space of time. Rewind 10 years. Could any­one have imag­ined a de­vout Catholic na­tion such as Ire­land vot­ing to le­galise gay mar­riage, as hap­pened in May 2015? Or an­ti­smok­ing feel­ing be­ing so strong now that the habit would be banned in pubs and clubs across Aus­tralia?

In the same vein, it’s dif­fi­cult to com­pre­hend that mem­bers of the Bri­tish royal fam­ily – that ec­cen­tric, cud­dly bunch who are met by grin­ning crowds of dis­ci­ples wher­ever they travel – could have once been sym­pa­thetic to­wards the Nazi Party, only a few years be­fore Bri­tain would fight against the regime. But, alas, there’s some pow­er­ful ev­i­dence to con­firm that this was the case.

Be­fore World War Two, fas­cism wasn’t the dirty word it is now, es­pe­cially among the English aris­toc­racy who be­lieved it was the best weapon for bat­tling the spread of Com­mu­nism. Even if that meant climb­ing in bed with the Führer.

What a re­lief, then, that our morals, val­ues and opin­ions do change. We’re gen­er­ally a wiser species for it. And not pray­ing to stat­ues of Lizzie ev­ery Sun­day morn­ing. Vince Jack­son, Ed­i­tor Fol­low me on Twit­ter: @vince_­jack­son1

Hump­back breach­ing off Ben Boyd Na­tional Park

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