Australia's magnificent oceans offer one of the world's ultimate wildlife encounters: watching adorable dolphins.
By Sheriden Rhodes
These five guided tours, from Australia's west coast to the serene waters of Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay, allow you to watch curious dolphins in their natural environment.
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MAKE YOUR CHILDHOOD DREAM COME TRUE: WATCH ADORABLE DOLPHINS
Regarded as Australia's dolphin capital, Port Stephens (a 2 1/2 hour drive north of Sydney) is home to a remarkable dolphin encounter. Most of the experiences involve floating and waiting in one position, until the dolphins approach you. The best part about choosing Dolphin Swim Australia is that they take the tourists on their boat and get closer to the adorable dolphins and even help good swimmers to get an experience of swimming with these creatures. The swimmers are attached to a harness linked to a catamaran (a type of a boat). As the dolphins play in the water, tourists can take pictures and capture unforgettable memories of the dolphins.
FUN, FOOD AND FROLIC IN MELBOURNE'S BAY
Melbourne has a large harbor known as Port Phillip Bay. About 80 playful bottlenose dolphins live here, and two local tour operators, Polperro Dolphin Swim and Moonraker Dolphin Swims, offer a wonderful snorkelling experience just a 1 1/2 hour drive from Melbourne's city centre. You can enjoy the beautiful view of the dolphins swimming with the backdrop of the gorgeous bay. Those tourists who are good swimmers who will be guided to swim with the seals and dolphins. It’s exciting to watch the swimmers jump and play with the seals. After you’ve enjoyed your dolphin experience, you can relish homemade scones, a classic Australian treat that is perfect with tea.
EXPERIENCE THE BEAUTIFUL DOLPHINS’ PARADISE NEAR ADELAIDE
This wild dolphin encounter operates near Adelaide's favourite beachside town, Glenelg, just 20 minutes from the city centre. Hop on board Temptation and put on the wetsuit, snorkel and mask supplied by the tour operator, and hang on to a flotation line, and wait for the dolphins. Enjoy your time on the boat as the dolphins gather around to play around the boat. Thousands of dolphins call the Gulf St Vincent home, so dolphin sightings are virtually guaranteed.
DOLPHINS AND WINE
Two hours south of Perth, in the waters near Western Australia's premium wine region, Margaret River, you can watch the wild dolphins and learn exciting trivia from the marine biologist and volunteers from the Dolphin Discovery Centre. You’ll be taken to the open waters of Koombana Bay for sightings of the curious bottlenose dolphins.
MAKE FRIENDS WITH DOLPHINS NEAR PERTH
Watch the dolphins on this remarkable tour of the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, less than an hour’s drive south of Perth. The crew from Rockingham Wild Encounters is extremely knowledgeable and has made friends with hundreds of local dolphins that live there. You might get lucky to see dolphin mothers nursing their calves, and watch how dolphins use stingrays to catch their dinner or simply watch the male dolphins flirt with the female dolphins.
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The Best Sydney Whale Watching Spots
Sydney and its surrounding national parks offer a host of options for whale watching throughout the season (May to November). Some of the city’s locations in whale season get you close enough to see the ripple of barnacles on a whale’s back. There are ocean lookouts in national parks, cruises from Circular Quay and you can even go whale-spotting in a sea plane. Whale watching season is also a great time to explore the Sydney coastline, which is full of dramatic cliffs, sea views, flora and fauna.Add to my sales tool kit
Port Stephens is a large natural harbour in the Hunter Region of New South Wales around two and a half hours north of Sydney. With 26 golden sandy beaches, a bay that is more than twice the size of Sydney Harbour, and a mountainous, rainforest-fringed peninsula, Port Stephens is the perfect holiday destination. The Port Stephens region has three main areas: the Tomaree Peninsula, Tilligerry Peninsula and the Golden Bight, all surrounding the spectacular Port Stephens Bay. Here you can go four-wheel driving in the sand dunes, swim with dolphins, surf and snorkel, or explore nature in world-class national parks.Add to my sales tool kit
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