It’s the stuff children’s summer dreams are made of: playing with friendly dolphins in crystal clear waters. The experience is made all the more special when it’s shared in the dolphins’ natural habitat – the Australian coastline.
Monkey Mia in Western Australia is probably the most famous ‘dolphin destination’ in the country. Here at Shark Bay, 870 kilometres north of Perth, you’re virtually guaranteed to spot the wild bottlenose dolphins that visit almost every day of the year. On the NSW North Coast, try Go Sea Kayak at Byron Bay: it’s run by local lifesavers, so you’ll be in safe hands if you fall out of your kayak with excitement. Queensland is home to Tangalooma Island Resort on Moreton Island, where you can take part in feeding the local dolphins that flock to shore each night.
Further south, Temptation Sailing offers wild ocean swims and dolphin watching cruises just off the coast of Glenelg in South Australia; as does Polperro Dolphin Swims at Port Phillip Bay on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.
Wherever you go, your family will come away with long-lasting memories and that special thrill of connecting so closely with these intelligent, friendly mammals.
Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort, WA – A range of accommodation from beachside villas to camping, right on the doorstep of the local dolphins’ favoured landing place. Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort, Monkey Mia. 08 9948 1320.
Go Sea Kayak Byron Bay, NSW – Three-hour tours including free photos, morning tea, and indigenous stories told by local Aboriginal staff. Opposite 56 Lawson Street, Byron Bay. 0416 222 344.
Temptation Sailing, SA – Swim with the dolphins or watch them frolicking in the water from the comfort of the boat. Marina Pier, Holdfast Shores Marina, Glenelg. 0412 811 838.
Polperro Dolphin Swims, Vic – You’ll probably run into some local seals as well as the dolphins here in Port Phillip Bay. Sorrento Pier, Esplanade, Sorrento. 03 5988 8437.
Tangalooma Island Resort, Qld There are plenty of other activities on offer at this resort, but feeding the dolphins that arrive each evening is a highlight. Moreton Island. 07 3637 2139.