This is where you not only get to spot dolphins, but you get to swim right alongside them.
The Dolphin Discovery Centre in Bunbury is the only place in Australia offering shore and boat interaction with dolphins in their natural environment. The centre has been operating since 1989 and is non-profit, with volunteers being an important part of keeping things rolling.
The dolphins visit on their own accord and are quite unpredictable when it comes to timing. They come when they feel like it and leave under the same rules. Regulars are recognised by their dorsal fins, and once they become known, they are given a name.
Most times they arrive at Koombana Bay in the early morning, much to the enjoyment of visitors with cameras waiting on the sand.
Swim tours run twice a day and last for around two hours. They operate from December to April with a maximum of 10 people. No-one can enter the water if the animals are mating, feeding or if they have their young with them. Minimal impact is of crucial importance.
The on-board guide is a marine biologist who gives detailed information about the dolphins. The Discovery Centre supplies masks, fins, snorkels and wetsuits and a safety briefing is included in the outing.
Boat tours run twice daily. Naturaliste Charters have three boats a 50 person catamaran and two other craft which can carry 34 people or 12 people.
The boat captain is a guide and commentator and you are out amongst the dolphins for 1½ hours in a 2½ kilometre radius of the beach. The number can vary from five up to maybe 40, depending on the weather, amongst other variables.
The beach interaction zone allows people to snorkel and float with the dolphins, but not to actively swim with them.
You can spend time in the Discovery Room, browse the Dolphin Shop or enjoy lunch at Bottlenose Cafe overlooking the bay.
Two hours south of Perth in Western Australia.
Dolphin Discovery Centre entry costs $2 for adults and $1 for children. It is open year round. A two-hour Wild Side Tour costs $99 per person.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.
Dolphin Discovery Centre
Koombana Drive, BUNBURY 6230
Ph: (08) 9791 3088, Fax: (08) 9791 firstname.lastname@example.org