Whyalla’s CuttleFest has received a State Government tick of approval and congratulations after last weekend’s inaugural Opening Ceremony.

The Honourable David Ridgway - South Australian Ministers for Trade, Tourism and Investment - was in Whyalla on Saturday to help Mayor Clare McLaughlin officially open CuttleFest 2019 at the foreshore ceremony and celebrations.


PRAISE FOR WHYALLA: Minister David Ridgway speaks at the opening of CuttleFest 2019 in Whyalla.


Nearly 500 people turned up during the day for the opening ceremony that celebrated with cuttlefish kites, activities of the kids, marine displays, information on cuttlefish snorkelling and the popular virtual reality goggles. CuttleFest is a three-month celebration of snorkel adventures, activities, information sessions and displays in Whyalla to mark the annual aggregation of the giant cuttlefish in the waters off Whyalla.

Mr Ridgway was suitable impressed with the CuttleFest opening ceremony and program, declaring it was the sort of regional initiative the State Government would like to see more of.

“This is a wonderful celebration of something that is so rare and something that is putting Whyalla on the global map … I’d like to see more of it,” Mr Ridgway said.

“It puts money in the pockets of the people who runs coffee shops, bakeries, hotels and motels … everyone benefits from events like this.

“In the recent State Government budget we announced continuation of $10m in extra funding for the tourism commission and we are halfway through a winter marketing campaign which the Government has invested an additional $3 million into.

“It’s all about driving people into the regions.

“Regional tourism is on the rise but we need to keep investing in it and marketing it because when you have something that’s the best in the world, like Whyalla’s cuttlefish experience, you need to tell the world about it.”


CUTTLEFEST CAKE: Minister David Ridgway and Mayor McLaughlin cut the opening ceremony cake.


Mr Ridgway reserved special praise for the organisers of CuttleFest and the Whyalla community.

“It is great to see the Whyalla community supporting this wonderful natural event with CuttleFest sure to grow into bigger and better things,” Mr Ridgway said.

“I love it that the Whyalla community has said, ‘we’ve got something unique, let’s make something happen from it’.

“This is a great example of an event where a regional community has demonstrated initiative in identifying and growing an event opportunity without any Government assistance.

“It’s fantastic to see a local community doing this and I applaud it.”

While conditions on Saturday made it unsuitable for Mr Ridgway to go for a snorkel to see the cuttlefish, he has pledged to come back in the next few months. The Minister spent the morning with Mayor McLaughlin and Council CEO Chris Cowley discussing opportunities for Whyalla before opening CuttleFest.


ON SITE: Mayor McLaughlin, Minister Ridgway and Council CEO Chris Cowley during a visit to the Stony Point cuttlefish site after the opening ceremony.


 “The fact we had the Minister for Tourism, Trade and Investment in Whyalla for the CuttleFest Opening Ceremony shows the State Government is taking notice of our transformation as a diverse regional city and we thank them for their continued support,” Mayor McLaughlin said.

“CuttleFest has grown enormously to become a major event on the South Australian calendar.

“A big thanks must go to the Council staff who have worked with our partners Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries, local dive operators, Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula, Department for Environment and Water Marine Parks and the South Australia Tourism Commission to create a big program of events, activities and experiences for the next three months.

“Whyalla can be proud of this festival as an event that focuses widespread attention on this unique event in our waters.

“Not only is the world looking at Whyalla because of these unique creatures, it is looking at Whyalla as a city that can put on a good event while protecting a precious environmental wonder.”

Bookings are still being taken for the Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries’ snorkel adventures while the full CuttleFest 2019 program can be found at Enquiries can made to the Whyalla Visitor and Information Centre on 1800 088 589.

Find out more about this year's Cuttlefest in the tiles below, event program released soon:

Visitors will be awed by the dramatic events and vivid colours and textures that shape Whyalla. Feel the heat and witness the spectacle of red hot coals emerging from the massive coke ovens at the Whyalla steelworks when learning about the transformation of ore into steel; wonder at the antics of the local resident dolphins and feel the sand between your toes when searching for a delicious meal of fresh crab off the Whyalla Foreshore beach.

Dive or snorkel and witness the camouflage and colourful mating rituals of Whyalla’s distinctive Giant Cuttlefish. Relax within the ocean and wonders of the unique Northern Coastline and beaches on the tranquil Spencer Gulf which are back dropped by the ancient Southern Flinders Ranges. Spectacular sunsets and shimmering horizons, unrivalled natural events and industry that strengthens the nation await the adventurous ready to unearth our earth’s raw essence up close.

Are you coming to visit…..soon? If not watch this and then book your trip.



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