South Australian Whale Centre, Victor Harbor, South Australia

The South Australian Whale Centre is located at Victor Harbor in a 150 year old heritage listed building. The building was originally a railway goods shed built in the late 1800s. You can still black soot marks from the steam engines that used to unload their goods in the building, the old railway tracks can still be seen at the eastern end of the building. Inside the Centre, there is a large crane where freight was unloaded from the trains on to platforms.

The building was used more recently to house the horse drawn trams that run along the causeway to Granite Island, but there is a new tram shed near Warland Reserve. The building was renovated and the South Australian Whale Centre (SA Whale Centre) opened in 1994.

The South Australian Whale Centre is themed around the “Marine Environment” with exhibits on whales as well as other marine life including sharks, dolphins and local endangered species. Exhibits include several Cetacean skeletons and parts of skeletons from the local area or on loan from the South Australian museum. You can touch, feel and compare vertebrae from different whale species, and see the complete skull and mandible of a Southern Right Whale.

The Centre features artworks including several murals created by local artists. The huge “Under the Sea” mural by local artist James Stewart, depicts whales, fish and other local marine life. In the basement is the “Cetacean Nation” mural – a large 3D fiberglass mural showing twenty five species of cetaceans.

In November 2008, the “Rodney Fox Shark Exhibit” relocated to the Whale Centre. The exhibit features a replica of a 3.6m Great White Shark, shark jaws and teeth, and you can enter a shark diving cage. Rodney Fox was attacked and mauled by a Great White Shark n December ‘63 suffering horrific injuries. He went on to become a world authority on Great White Sharks building the first underwater shark observation cage, and has led hundreds of expeditions to study and film the Great White Shark. The exhibit also has interpretative displays explaining the biology, habits and diet of sharks.

A small movie theatre screens locally shot videos of marine life. Historical exhibits describe the region’s whaling industry from by-gone days. The centre has information about the seasonal whale migrations to the area and will provide information on species, their habits and when you can see them in the region.

The South Australian Whale Centre is located at 2 Railway Terrace, Victor Harbor. The Centre is open every day (except Christmas Day) from 9.30am to 5.00pm.

Related posts:

  1. Urimbirra Wildlife Park, Victor Harbor, South Australia
  2. Granite Island Recreation & Nature Park, Victor Harbor, SA
  3. Southern Right Whale Watching at Head of Bight
  4. Adelaide Zoo, South Australia
  5. Kangaroo Island Penguin Centre, Kingscote Wharf

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