WHERE TO ENCOUNTER WILD DOLPHINS IN AUSTR ALIA
These three beach spots have carefully regulated dolphin encounters that ensure the animals’ welfare. Head to one to see wild dolphins up close.
The Dolphin Discovery Centre is 150km south of Perth. Here visitors can experience dolphins up close in a shallow water interactive zone. The location is frequented by a number of dolphins that typically stay anywhere between five minutes and one hour. Dolphins here are fed a variety of local fish by staff, with each adult animal receiving no more than 350g, which is less than 10 per cent of what is estimated by researchers to be their average daily requirements. Entry is $10 for adults and $5 for kids/concessions.
More info: Call 08 9791 3088 or visit dolphindiscovery.com.au
MONKEY MIA, WA
Monkey Mia Reserve is on Peron Peninsula’s eastern shore, 23km north-east of Denham and 700km north of Perth. Five adult dolphins can be fed by a lucky few human visitors from the beach here under national park ranger supervision. Dolphin experiences and interpretive talks begin 7.45am. Feedings may continue until noon. Another 20 dolphins also visit and may be seen from the shore. Park permits needed. More info: Call 08 9948 1366 or visit parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park/ monkey-mia Find the RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort at parksand resorts.rac.com.au/monkey-mia
Tangalooma Island Resort is on the protected sand island of Moreton Island, 40km north-east of Brisbane. Guests are able to wade into the shallows at sunset for a chance to feed a member of the wild bottlenose dolphin family that visits each evening. The program operates under strict environmental guidelines, ensuring that the dolphins remain independent and continue to naturally hunt and feed. You must book a day trip or stay overnight at the resort (on certain packages) to participate in the feeding program. More info: Call 07 3637 2000 or visit tangalooma.com