Two wild bottlenose dolphins swim freely in the ocean

The four best spots to see wild dolphins in Australia


Seeing dolphins can be a holiday highlight, and the best place to see them is in the wild – where they belong. We’ve shared our top four best spots to see wild dolphins.

There are certain spots around Australia where dolphins gather in groups or return to year on year. 

1. Hervey Bay, QLD

Hervey Bay is home to Australian humpback dolphins who are a little smaller than the usual bottlenose dolphins. You can easily recognise these intelligent animals by the hump and elongated fin on their backs. This site is also famous for its ethical whale watching tours, so there’s plenty to see here. 

2. 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.

3. The Whitsundays, QLD

Nestled within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, the Whitsundays are home to four species of dolphins and six species of whales. You can see bottlenose dolphins all year round and may even spot some spinner dolphins, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins and snubfin dolphins here at this aquatic playground for marine animals.

4. Adelaide, SA

The Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary is about 20 min­utes from the Ade­laide CBD and home to around 30 res­i­dent bot­tlenose dol­phins, with many other tran­sient dol­phins visiting throughout the year. The popular bird watching sanctuary is also home to a 10,000 year-old man­grove for­est, as well as sea­grass, salt­marsh, tidal flats and tidal creeks, making it the perfect home for dolphins. 

When observing dolphins in the wild, remember to keep a safe distance and avoid approaching them.

(Header Image Credit: Rachel Ceretto)

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

Dolphin in captivity at Sea World

Pledge to defend captive dolphins

Promise to not visit attractions that use wild animals for entertainment and only see dolphins in the wild where they belong.

Dolphin at Seaworld

End dolphin suffering

Call on the Queensland government to ban captive dolphin breeding and stop captive dolphins shows and direct interactions.

Dolphins in the wild

Dolphin facts

Did you know that some dolphins can swim up to speeds of 50kph and regularly dive to depths of up to 55 metres?

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