Upwelling Festival

Upwelling Festival



Welcome to the Portland Upwelling Festival

A celebration of the natural wonders brought to the town of Portland by the Bonney Upwelling.

The Bonney Upwelling is the epic natural ocean occurrence that powers a 7 month ( November – May ) feeding frenzy of marine animals, supporting an incredibly rich ecological food web. The Upwelling is at its greatest  off the coast of Portland and is the corner stone of our lucrative fishing and tourism industries.

Presented by the Upwelling Festival Committee Inc. The Upwelling Festival is a free one day event that brings the community and visitors together to celebrate  what is unique about our beautiful coastal environment in Portland Victoria.

Held on the first Saturday in November each year there is music, market stalls, whale boat racing, street parade,blessing of the cross, just to name some of the days activities. This event is free for all to attend and starts at 7-30 am with Lions & Rotary holding breakfast at Henty Beach

6-30 am 3-Bays Running Festival ULTRA Marathon Starts

7-30 am Free  breakfast at the trawler wharf by the Rotary & Lions clubs of Portland Bay

8-30 am  Blessing of the Cross   Trawler Wharf

The tradition of “blessing the fleet” dates back many centuries, to the Mediterranean. Proudly                        supported by the Mission to Seafarers. The blessing ceremony is at 8-30 followed by the                              competitive swimming for the cross.

9 am Signal Fire on Foreshore

This years festival will include a signal fire on the foreshore. Representative of the “signal fires” used by the Gunditjamara to signal the presence of a whale washed up on the shore, the various clans would gather and feast on the whale. today the signal fire is interpreted as an invitation to attend the festival in a celebration of the continuing connection  of the community to this Gunditjamara tradition and the Upwelling.

9 am – 5 pm Market Stalls – Bentinick Street lawns and Henty Beach

This year there will be over 100 market stalls selling a huge array of  interesting products

9 am – 5 pm Museum Victoria Marine Display  Located on the foreshore lawns

Museums Victoria will offer a unique opportunity to investigate the museum specimens                                first  hand. The hands on stall will allow you to see real marine fossils,extraordinary shells,                          taxidermy animal specimens and view unique Museum Victoria photos and video footage                              of the basking shark caught of the Portland coast in June 2015.

10 am   Street Parade   Bentinick Street

This not to be missed event is a highlight of the Festival, which sees Bentinick Street filled                            with floats from various community groups, schools and more. The road will be closed                                  from   8-30 am till noon. The parade features the Call of the Sea at Henty Beach after the                              parade. Everyone is invited to participate

10 am and  2 pm  Sand- sphere sculpting workshop

People of all ages are invited to participate in free sand-sphere sculpting workshops which will                    be conducted by Portland sculptor Andrew Walsh. Located on the foreshore the workshops will                    be held at 10 am & 2 pm. They are free to participate in but there will be a materials charge if                      you wish to keep your sculpture.

10-30 Call to the Sea.

The Upwelling of voices symbolising the natural upwelling which occurs of Portland’s Southern coastline.

11-15 am   Teleah Evans  Lawn Stage

Teleah is a local singer/ guitarist performing acoustic covers from a broad range of era and genre

11-15 am   Ishor Gurung    Beach Stage

Ish is a progressive finger style guitarist and composer

12 pm    Portland Yacht Club free short sail for members of the public

Portland Yacht Club Commodore Micheal invites members of the public to join his members in                    a short sail around Portland Harbour. Sail times will be 12 pm and 2 pm Look for the yachts moored at the boat ramp jetties  adjacent to the Portland Yacht Club

12 – 4 pm  Whale Boat Races

Whale boat racing is a reminder of Portland’s rich maritime heritage. It is also time to reflect                         on  the devastating impact whaling had on the southern right whale population and the                              gradual return of the species to Portland today.

Rowing  skillfully as a team those tough men of yesteryear would row many exhaustive miles,                    in all weather and seas to capture a whale and tow it back to shore.

Today whaleboat rowing is still a test of team skill and the competitive spirit is still as strong                       but the emphasis is on fun.

12 – 4 pm  Port of Portland  tours departing at  12 pm  1 pm, 2 pm and 3 pm.

Experience on of the few opportunities to view the Port of Portland activities up close and                             personal while you enjoy an entertaining commentary from Jonesy on the Port of Portland                           tours. Jones’s Coachlines will once again be offering free tours on the hour at 12, 1, 2 & 3 pm                       You must get a ticket from the Upwelling Festival Committee information tent at the festival to                   secure your seat.

12-15 pm  Lawn stage   address from Glenelg Shire Council mayor Cr Anita Rank

12-30  Pyper Templeton   Lawn stage

Pyper is a year 11 student who has so far performed in 3 musicals including Hairspray.

12-30 pm  Snakes Don’t Need Keys  Beach stage

Snakes Don”t Need Keys is a young up and coming 4 piece band blasting a fun and diverse blend of lyrically profound Indie Rock

1-30 pm  Jason Bull    Lawn stage

Jason performs covers and originals as a solo performer

1-30 pm Matilda Hassall   Beach stage

Matilda sings a blend of  folk and soul

2 pm   Portland Yacht Club free sail for members of the public

2 pm – 3 pm  Portland Yacht Club radio controlled lasers

Portland Yacht Club members are presenting the spectacle of racing radio controlled yachts                         around a short course located adjacent to the  boat ramp jetties. The races can be viewed from                   the jetties or the lawn in front of the yacht club.

2 pm  Sand-sphere sculpting workshop

People of all ages are invited to participate in free sand-sculpting workshops which will be                             conducted by Portland sculptor Andrew Walsh. Located on the Portland foreshore they are free                     to participate in but there will be a materials charge if you wish to keep your sculpture.

2-30 pm  Flynn Gurrt lawn stage

On stage Flynn delivers a performance that grabs at your attention

2-30 pm  Wade Northcott   beach stage

Wade can play, stamp and splatter his way through almost any gig.

3-30 pm Tongue Tied  lawn stage 

Tongue Tied c don’t just make music they create pieces of art

3-30 pm  4 Wide  beach stage

4 Wide play a range of rock, punk, hardcore, ska, dance. grunge and funk


6 pm – 8 pm  Marine environment talks at the Angling Club

6 pm Andrew Christie   Andrew is a lecturer in the fields of aquaculture, aquatic environmental management and marine biology

6-30 pm Mike Burgess executive officer of VRFish promoting how fantastic fishing is and improving the fishing experience for all.

7 pm Kirsten Abernethy   Dr Abenethy will be presenting  her most recent research  on the fishing industry of South West Victoria.

7-30 Craig Fox  Craig will be talking on how the Abalone industry has worked towards the recovery of the industry


All Day  Bonney the Inflatable Whale




Rate and write a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

First weekend in November