We talk to the GM of Whalesong Cruises, Rebecca Greenshields, who shows us what makes the company tick and why they’re the best at what they do.
Your Name and Business/Employment Details
Rebecca Greenshields, Owner/GM – Whalesong Cruises
What is the purpose of your business?
To tick off bucket list experiences by providing authentic, memorable and enjoyable boat touring products, with unique wildlife and nature encounters, year round on the Fraser Coast.
How long have you been operating?
Business has been running for approx. 30 years. We bought the business in February 2018, so a little over 2 years now. We’ve been involved in tourism for many years now, having previously built and run our own eco-lodge in Ecuador for 10 years.
If someone wants to experience your business, how can they do it?
Check out the cruise and charter information on our website. If you want to chat with one of our friendly Whalesong team, please call or send an email. We’ll assist you in choosing the Whalesong Cruises cruise that best suits you.
What aspects of your business do you love the most?
We love people, animals and the outdoors. Being able to combine all of these was what drew us to begin a life in marine-based tourism. We get to meet people from all walks of life. We get to see the looks on their faces, and their gasps of joy, when they see a humpback whale for the first time, or try kayaking for the first time, or catch their first fish. There are many ‘firsts’, memorable moments and bucket-list ticks on our cruises. As our entire team is passionate about the authentic experiences we offer, the gratitude we receive from our guests makes work life even sweeter!
What are some of the best bits about operating your business?
Tourism is about giving our guests some of the best experiences they could ask for whilst in the region. Often, we’re the only tour they go on whilst in Hervey Bay, so we need to make it count for them. There’s a lot of work that goes on to make a cruise happen (and to get people on the cruise). Seeing every aspect come to fruition, from initial contact with the guest, to dropping them back off at their Hervey Bay accommodation in our courtesy bus with great smiles on their faces, is very satisfying. As the General Manager, I oversee most aspects of the business. Doug, my husband, is the lead skipper so he takes care of boat maintenance/presentation and the crew. I take care of almost everything else (admin, accounts, HR, business development and some sales/reservations). Oh, did I mention we have two young kids too!?
As I’m predominantly in the office and behind the scenes, when I go out on the boat, I get to enjoy it as a guest and see the experience from a guest’s point of view. This means we’re constantly evolving and tweaking our offering to stay the best in our field and give our guests what they want.
No two days are alike and Whalesong is a place where you can be yourself and enjoy your work…there aren’t many jobs/careers/businesses that can claim the same! Also, I can go out on the boat whenever I like. 🙂
When you are not busy working, what do you like to do within the Hervey Bay Region?
Well, where do I start? We chose to live in Hervey Bay because of the year=round beautiful weather. A close second reason, was the number of nature-based activities we could participate in. We’re so fortunate to have this stunning backyard to work and play in – we love to show it off to our guests, and they’ll soon see why!
- hanging out at the beach,
- walking/biking along the Esplanade,
- eating in one of the many fabulous cafes and restaurants in town and,
- taking our little boat for a family trip to the West Coast of K’gari (Fraser Island), Pelican Bank or down the Sandy Straits for a spot of catch and release fishing (although we experience these places on a daily basis, we love to spend time there even in our time off!).
What are your TOP 5 ‘Must Do’s’ for a visitor to the Fraser Coast?
Take a tour and tick off some of your bucket list – whether it be:
- Whale watching (in season) – it’s the best place in Australia for Humpback whale watching
- A trip to the West Coast of K’gari – few people have visited and it’s such a beautiful and clean part of the world…so special!
- A full day trip of K’gari – there are many different operators to suit your needs
- A day on Lady Elliot Island – yes, you can enjoy the Southern Great Barrier Reef from Hervey Bay
Walk along (some of) the 15km Esplanade and enjoy the long stretches of uncluttered beaches and calm waters (perfect for families with young kids).
Visit one of the many cafes/restaurants close to the beachfront, where you can order takeaway and enjoy it down at the beach or in one of the many parks and playgrounds that Hervey Bay has to offer.
Head to the Discovery Sphere, where you’ll learn all about the Humpback Whales and K’gari, through some interactive exhibits. While you’re there, check out the Regional Art Gallery whilst there too…some amazing art on display!
Drive inland slightly and discover Maryborough with it’s history and military heritage. It also has the largest number of historic Queenslander homes per capita, than any other place in Australia. There’s also Howard (another historic town). When you head towards the sleepy fishing village of Burrum Heads, you’ll find there’s a lot to discover around the region!