The best spots to see dolphins in the wild


Seeing dolphins can be a holiday highlight, and the best place to see them is in the wild – where they belong.

Spot the Australian humpback dolphin in the Hervey Bay and Fraser Island areas

There are certain spots around Australia where dolphins gather in groups or return to year on year. We’ve shared our top four:

1. Port Stephens, NSW

Touted as Australia’s dolphin capital, Port Stephens (near Newcastle) is home to over 140 bottlenose dolphins. Explore the area’s pristine beaches and sheltered bays and you’re likely to spot families of these beautiful mammals. As well as boat tours, there are also swim experiences that give you an underwater look at their habitat.

2. Rockingham, WA

Just an hour south of Perth, Rockingham has befriended hundreds of local bottlenose dolphins that frequent its shallow waters. The area has a strict ‘no touch policy’ and is best visited from April to June and September to March. Visitors have frequently spotted the dolphins showing off by doing loops and spins!

3. Hervey Bay, QLD

For something a bit different to bottlenose dolphins, spot the Australian humpback dolphin in the Hervey Bay and Fraser Island areas. They’re a little smaller and are recognized by a hump and elongated fin on their backs. Hervey Bay is also famous for its whale watching tours, so there’s plenty to see here.

4. Port Phillip Bay, VIC

Not only can you spot bottlenose dolphins at Port Phillip Bay, you might even see fur seals too. Just under two hours from Melbourne, you can book a boat tour and even snorkel with these dolphins (wetsuit is a must!) from October to April.

No matter how well they are looked after in captivity, a dolphin’s needs can only be met in their wild environment. When observing dolphins in the wild, remember to keep a safe distance and avoid approaching them.

(Header Image Credit: Rachel Ceretto)