Look deep into Bondi’s rock pools at the Ocean Lovers Festival this weekend

Look deep into Bondi’s rock pools at the Ocean Lovers Festival this weekend
Image: Photo: Unsplash.


Visitors to North Bondi will be able to peer into the underwater life of the creatures that live in Bondi’s rock pools, as new technology is being featured at the Volvo Ocean Lovers Festival on March 18 and 19.

The underwater robots, or Remotely Operated Underwater Technology (ROV), will be used for education and entertainment as visitors can use state of the art cameras to view the underwater world of Sydney’s beaches.

The Maritime Museum’s Head of Education Mathew Sloane said that “the Museum’s ROV, or underwater drone technology, brings the underwater world to the surface”.

The ROV vehicle will be operated by a team from the Australian National Maritime Museum, whose main goal is to give festival visitors a hands-on approach to ocean life and encourage positive change within the community.

“When visitors can see what’s happening below the surface, that becomes part of their experience and knowledge.”

Visitors will be able to see an array of underwater creatures, minerals and plants, depending on what shows up at the rock pools each day.

“This is a powerful way to promote understanding of these fragile marine ecosystems. The aim is for that understanding to support a shared sense of responsibility, for the future of our oceans,” Sloane said.

Packed festival program 

Bondi Beach. Photo: Alec Smart

With a program full of ideas, art, music and actions that seeks to promote ocean health, it will hold free informative talks, workshops, a pop-up exhibition, a music program and more.

“The VOLF program definitely has something for everyone,” Sloane said.

The festival workshops take place on the weekend, on the Festival Hub Bondi Pavilion, are free of charge and entail the use of underwater drones, allow the meeting of two species of Sea Dragons – Leady and Weedy – and permit interaction with USYD Seagrass tanks.

On Saturday, the festival panel of experts will give free, informative and inspirational talks on topics such as “Seafood – How Sustainable is Sustainable?”, “A Titanic Question – Our Ocean Heritage” and “Soft Plastics – Everyone Needs to Act!”.

Throughout Sunday, other topics will be addressed, such as “Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science”, “Sharks – Good, Bad or Ugly” and “Treating Corals Like Patients”.

“We see this heritage, and the knowledge, technologies and tools of the present day, as shaping the path to the future – not only for the health of our oceans but for our world,” Sloane said.

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