Gaze out to see and back in history when boats were made of wood and men were made of steel.
From this lookout, whalers would wait and keenly watch for the telltale spout as a whale surfaced to breathe. The hunt would often be underway before a whale was seen by human eyes. Killer Whales (Orcas) would harass the whale towards the shallower waters of Twofold Bay. The Killers would then alert the human whalers to the presence of the whales with tail flops and leaps that could be seen and heard over long distances.
In this rare example of wild animals co-operating with humans for mutual benefit, the killers were rewarded with a feast of the whale’s tongue before the whalers towed the animal to shore. This was known as the “Law of the Tongue”.
At the site you’ll find two lookouts facing south and north. Both are perfect vantage points for watching whales from Sept-Nov.
Next stop on the Killer Whale Trail – Davidson Whaling Station (approx 15 minutes)
The largest ever whale harpooned.
The largest whale ever harpooned by hand was captured within the waters you see around you. In 1910, Archer Davidson standing in a rowboat less than 30 ft long harpooned a Blue Whale 97 feet long and as large as 27 elephants.
What happened to the Killers of Eden?
“Old Tom” died in 1929 and by 1930, whaling ceased. Theories abound as to why, the Killers left Twofold Bay, but a combination of a dwindling food sources, the death of pod leaders and a cessation of whaling activity may all have been factors. Killers were spotted returning to the bay about 15 years after the death of Old Tom, and they can be seen entering Twofold Bay again. Fittingly, killers were spotted in Twofold Bay within sight of Boyd’s tower on the 80th anniversary of Old Tom’s death.
Who were the whaler’s companions?
The Whalers could identify the Killers by their distinctive dorsal fins and named them Old Tom, Big Ben, Little Ben, Typee and many others – such as Charlie Adgery were named after the local aboriginal whalers who had passed on. See images and know more about the Orcas here
Whalers and killers.
Not all the whalers knew the killer whales were helping them. The indigenous whalers of course had maintained a relationship with the whales, and were puzzled as to why the early European whalers would strike out at the whales with their oars in fear.