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


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 – 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 – 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.

11-15 am   Jacob West   Lawn Stage

Jacob draws musical influence from neo-soul R&B and funk styles

11-15 am   David Croser    Beach Stage

David a singer, songwriter ,& guitarist plays country and bush ballad music

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. 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  Cooper Lower   Lawn stage

Cooper is an Australian singer / songwriter and acoustic guitarist playing pop/soul

12-30 pm  Dean Outtram & Damon Yuill  Beach stage

Dean and Damon are an acoustic guitar duo. playing cover music from across the ages.

1-30 pm  Triple Srandards    Lawn stage

A local jazz trio playing popular jazz from the 1930’s and 1940’s

1-30 pm  Soulsleuth   Beach stage

Melissa & Aaron perform a wide variety of musical genres from throaty blues, jazz melodies,                        soul/pop and rock anthems

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

Portland Yacht Commodore Micheal invites members of the public to join his members in a                         short sail around the Portland Harbour. Look for the yachts moored at the boat ramp jetties                           adjacent to the Portland Yacht Club

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  Kimberly Gill  lawn stage

Described as having a “voice like an angel” Kimberley is a 17 year old from Casterton

2-30 pm  Darren Ely   beach stage

Darren performs intimate solo acoustic shows, playing a mixture of personal favorites

3 pm – 5 pm  Marine environment talks at the Angling Club

Ash Burns;  Ah has been trained in large whale disentanglement’s. He will provide an overview of                 his role, including as a crew member of the “Point Boats” during the recent successful operation                 of rescuing a southern right whale nick-named “Tangles” which was entangled of the coast of                     Portland.

Jo Austin ; Jo will talk about his journey over the past 2 decades operating Seals By The Sea Tours              at Cape Bridgewater. In this time the fur seal colony has grown considerably and changed from a                non-breeding to an established breeding colony.

Dr Lauren Veale;  Aquqtic Ecologist with the Glenelg Nature Trust Lauren applies her knowledge to               assisting in the wetland restoration and monitoring activities in the South East of South Australia                 and Western Victoria, as well as working with community groups to restore populations of                           threatened native fauna.

3-30 pm   Worm  Lawn stage

Four piece alt-rock/indie punk band perform music with energy that’ll turn you into a pro air                        drummer

3-30 pm  Jess Skye  Beach stage

Jess ‘s style is very unique described as indi,folk,pop with a touch of blues

All Day  Bonney the Inflatable Whale




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First weekend in November