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“Definitely worth seeing” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Discovery Bay Tourism Experience

Discovery Bay Tourism Experience
81 Whaling Station Road | Frenchman Bay, Albany, Western Australia 6330, Australia
+61 8 9844 4021
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Ranked #9 of 54 things to do in Albany
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Discovery Bay near Albany is a truly unique attraction. It is home to Australia's last operating Whaling Station, a stunning Botanic Garden of Australian plants and a display offering visitors a close up experience with friendly Australian Wildlife. You can choose to explore either our whaling history, or the gardens and wildlife, or the entire site to make a real day of it! Pack a picnic or BBQ lunch and spend a day discovering lots you didn't know about the Great Southern region. Situated at the tip of the Flinders Peninsula, the heritage-listed "Whale World" site has undergone dramatic change since 2004. Now maximising its location, Discovery Bay is a showcase of amazing regional bio-diversity, yet still remains true to the original whaling display. Historic Whaling Station guided tours are included with admission, while informative displays are provided to enjoy the gardens and wildlife at your own pace.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Definitely worth seeing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

I was hesitant to go here but my husband convinced me and i'm glad he did. The guide was brilliant and it was very interesting to see. It's a bit graphic in parts but it's part of our history so the educational aspect for kids (and us adults) is really good. My 2.5yr old loved the little playground and playing on the ship. The cafe had nice coffee too.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WhaleWorld, Public Relations Manager at Discovery Bay Tourism Experience, responded to this review, January 25, 2013
Hello
We can't tell you how many times we have seen men work to convince their partners to go in and have a look, to later hear from the ladies how interesting they found the experience! Thank you for your honest review, it is a confronting history but one we feel needs to be preserved all the same. We are pleased that your young child also found some enjoyment with us!
Kind Regards,
Whale World
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English first
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
“a little knowledge goes a long way”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

the idea of hunting whales or anything to do with it puts most people off but do check this place out. and learn some truths behind the whaling industry.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WhaleWorld, Public Relations Manager at Discovery Bay Tourism Experience, responded to this review, January 25, 2013
Hi Peter
Thank you for your review, as the saying goes "there is two sides to every story" and while this is not a pleasant history, it is a major part of Albany across the years. Pleased that you left feeling you had picked up extra knowledge and understanding, that's what we aim for with all of our valued customers.
Kind Regards,
Whale World
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Melbourne
Level Contributor
152 reviews
93 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“An educational experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

This facility is a great reminder of some practices and attitudes that have changed in society over the past 50 years. It's not an experience you'd necessarily call "pleasant", but it's certainly an important part of Albany's history going back before European settlement.

The facility charts the development and eventual cessation of whaling in the Great Southern Ocean, primarily since World War II to the late 1970s. I found it quite educational, in that it charts the social history surrounding the facility and its workers as well as the processes involved in extracting whale products. Some highlights for me were the whale skeletons (absolutely enormous) and walking through the Cheynes IV whaling ship. While I found the demonstrations interesting, some of the industrial processes may distress some visitors. The videos were good, but I think could do with some updating if/when additional funds became available, if not in part to bring the whale conservation debate up to speed.

In two and a half hours, I couldn't see the entire facility -- probably needed at least another hour to do it justice. Tip: They do offer the option of allowing you to put your name down at the visitors desk to return for free the following day if you want to see more. At $29, the adult admission charge is high, but you can appreciate that conserving this facility for the future would be a costly exercise.

If you like your industrial and social history, as I do, this experience will be insightful.

Visited January 2013
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WhaleWorld, Public Relations Manager at Discovery Bay Tourism Experience, responded to this review, January 25, 2013
Hello
Thank you so much for your thoughtful review, it sums up perfectly what we strive to achieve here: a representation of a period in Australian history that is now closed. Many hours of work go into each and every exhibit and we are so pleased that you found it all worthwhile. We are hoping to upgrade the film display screens this year, but yes, this is an expensive process and we chip away at things little by little! Fantastic to receive such a positive review during our busiest period of the year, we really do appreciate your feedback, thank you.
Kind Regards,
Whale World
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Bunbury, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“AMAZING HISTORICAL PLACE”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

This is a MUST, the staff that greet you are great and very informative....the guide is definately a great bloke and very friendly...worth doing the guided tour then wander off yourself so you can hear all the history of the flensing decks etc.....was thoroughly amazed that it took us 3hrs and we didn't even realise it was that long........could have spent more time it was fabulous...something for the kids too with playgrounds and animals......

Visited January 2013
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WhaleWorld, Public Relations Manager at Discovery Bay Tourism Experience, responded to this review, January 25, 2013
Hi Nicole
Thank you for your great review, quite often in our visitor centre we talk to departing visitors that are amazed where the time has got to! We think this is a positive sign, if you can take in all the information without feeling bored then we must be doing our jobs well. So pleased that you left feeling that your entry was worthwhile, and hope to see you back on your next trip south.
Kind Regards,
Whale World
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Warrimoo, New South Wales, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Not what you think!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013 via mobile

My family and I went into this thinking that this attraction was a whale aquarium, oh how we were wrong. The brochure had a quote from the Davies family which read: "The best family outing we had in a long time!". Either they don't go on family outings or they are serial killers. The problem with whale world is firstly: really expensive secondly it is glorifying whaling. Granted this was educational but it is also VERY traumatising. We went on a tour and the guide sounded like it was a bad thing that whaling is banned in Australia. On the tour we first went to the flensing deck which he described as a giant chopping board similar to one in a kitchen. Then we went to the chopping up deck where they chop the bits of whale and throw it into the boilers below. There was heaps more traumatising moments but the worst part was the pictures with blood everywhere and a whale's head being chopped up! The only good part about this experience was the 5 minute video at the end which had nothing to do with killing!

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WhaleWorld, Public Relations Manager at Discovery Bay Tourism Experience, responded to this review, January 25, 2013
Hello Samuel
Thank you for taking the time to post a review. We are sorry that you didn't enjoy your time at our museum but are also very concerned that none of our marketing material (including our brochure which you mention) highlighted to you or your family that we are on the site of a former whaling factory telling the history of Australian whaling. It is actual facts and figures that we present, and we try our upmost to present them in an unbiased way. At no time do we try to glorify whaling, or shock our visitors with blood and gore. On more than one occassion we have welcomed Sea Shepherd crews to Whale World, and last year hosted Captain Paul Watson as he launched the anti-whaling season. He also agrees that this is a story that must be told, but told in a balanced manner so that visitors can draw their own conclusions from their experience. It is clear we haven't met your expectations which we feel is a shame, but we will never be a whale aquarium and on the whole we receive great feedback from families that join our tours. We hope you enjoyed the rest of your holiday in Albany and Australia's beautiful south west region.
Regards,
Whale World
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