Visit the National Whale Centre Hub

exterior 1The NWC Display and Development Hub is located in Building 1, London Quay on the Picton Foreshore above Dolphin Watch and opposite Le Café, only a 3-4 minute walk from the Ferry Terminal.

Winter opening hours : Wednesday-Sunday 12.00-17.00

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Of Whales, Massacres & Mountains – A Mariner’s Tale

National Whale Centre Trust (NWC) trustee and Wellington-based businessman, Peter Allport, promises to take his audience on a wild adventure in his forthcoming illustrated presentation “Whales, Massacres and Mountains – A Mariner’s Tale” on the evening of November 11 at the Picton Yacht Club Hotel, Picton.

Allport has historic whaling bloodlines and interests in conservation and tourism. He is Te Āti Awa and a descendant of James ‘Worser’ Heberley, a prominent whaler and trader in Te Awaiti in Marlborough in the late 1800s. The Heberley family continued to hunt whales in the Marlborough Sounds right up until the end of whaling in New Zealand in 1964.

Allport’s talk is a fundraiser for the NWC. While acknowledging the historical importance of whaling in the area, the NWC focuses on future conservation of whale populations globally. Allport says his presentation will be based around Worser Heberley’s journal, other collected family anecdotes and historical research about his life and times.

Worser Heberley’s life was one of high adventure, daring deeds, brushes with death and gruesome experiences of massacres and cannibal orgies in the 19th century as an early settler, whaler and master mariner in the Sounds.

“Forget Indiana Jones and the Pirates of the Caribbean, Worser Heberley’s story is the real thing. This intrepid man sailed from one adventure to another from the time he ran away from home in Dorset, England at the age of 11 years. He even successfully scaled Mount Egmont, becoming the first white man to stand on top of the mountain on Christmas Day, 1839,” comments NWC project director Luit Bieringa.


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New species of Pacific beaked whale confirmed

Researchers confirm that as yet unnamed whale sighted by Japanese fishermen was previously unknown to science.

beaked whale

An illustration of the new whale species provided by the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in San Diego. Photograph: Uko Gorter/AP

Scientists have confirmed that a mysterious, unnamed species of beaked whale roams the northern Pacific Ocean. Sightings of the creature, which has a bulbous head and a beak like a porpoise, had been reported by Japanese fishermen, who call them karasu or ravens, but it was previously unknown to science. It has yet to be given a formal scientific name.

For the full article go to:

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Keep an eye on our Whale Kids newsletters

December NewsletterIn the December issue of Whale Kids we talk about the Shepherd’s Beaked Whale. Click the pic to head to the PDF version. Also you can check out the back catalogue by clicking here.


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Japan to resume whaling in Antarctic despite court ruling


Japan has announced it will resume whaling in the Antarctic early next year after a break of more than a year.

The decision comes despite an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling that Japan cease all whaling.

The Japanese government says it has taken into account the court ruling and its “scientific” whaling programme will be much smaller.

But the announcement has been condemned by environmental groups and the Australian and UK governments.

“We do not accept in any way, shape or form the concept of killing whales for so-called ‘scientific research’,” said Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt.

“We are deeply disappointed with Japan’s decision to restart whaling in the Southern Ocean,” said the UK environment ministry, Defra. “This undermines the global ban on commercial whaling which the UK strongly supports.”

[Original article came from the BBC: ]

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Purchase an NWC t-shirt

The perfect gift that supports this worthy cause as well as being eco-friendly to boot! Available for kids, men and women in black and white. See the shop for more details.


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We made a big splash!

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On the 15th of November the National Whale Centre opened its Display and Development Hub at Building no. 1, London Quay, Picton, on the foreshore.

The creation of the National Whale Centre is the result of many years of research into the creation of a Picton Foreshore attraction which addresses the unique position of New Zealand as an ocean nation with a 172 plus years history of whaling and subsequent shift to more sustainable aquamarine industries and associated ecotourism ventures.

At the same time 2014 is the 50th anniversary of the cessation of commercial whaling in New Zealand waters with the closure of whaling activities in Cook Strait.

The launch of a National Whale Centre as a virtual museum some two years ago was the first step in establishing an internationally connected institution that links the general public, interactive travellers, cetacean experts, museums and environmental organisations through an information sharing portal.

The NWC has now reached stage 2 of its long term programme, courtesy of a Lottery Grants Board contribution.


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