School holidays combined with the extended Christmas break resulted in a busy time at the Dolphin Centre lately.
Patch is wanting to be noticed by bringing in his gifts (sponges, rocks, bottles).
Looks like he is taking over from the missing Mystique. I don’t think any dolphin could replicate Mystique’s feats though, especially the sunglasses saga.
Remember if you are a resident of the area you are welcome to the Centre and have free admission, only paying for feeding if you wish to participate. Please indicate to the gate person that you are local and can produce some form of identification.
We open at 7am and have viewing of the Dolphins until around 7.45am. Of course this depends on how many dolphins we have and how many visitors are lining up to be admitted. On really busy days we start feeding around 7.30.
See you there.
Dolphin Volunteer Coordinator
With the influx of visitors from outside the region at the moment, here is some more information about our beautiful local dolphins:
Our dolphin visitors
Snapper Creek – Tin Can Bay is home to the Australian Humpback Dolphin.
We have a resident pod of nine humpbacks led by the alpha male, Mystique – the rest of his pod consists of Patch, Ella, Squirt, Harmony, Aussie, Valentine, Chompy, and White Fin.
The Humpback is a river and estuarine dolphin requiring 18-20 metres of water to fish, and shallow tidal creek areas where you see them basking in the sun. Their diet consists of squid, fish, and crustaceans.
Caring for the dolphins
There are some rules and regulations we ask our visitors to abide by to ensure our dolphins stay healthy and remain wild:
- Only fish purchased at the site can be fed to the dolphins (a maximum quota of 3kg of fish per dolphin is fed each day)
- Please ensure the flash on your camera is switched off to avoid potential injury to the dolphins eyes
- Swimming with, or touching the dolphins is prohibited by law with penalties of up to $8,000 applying.
- Do not enter the water unless accompanied by a volunteer
- Dogs are not permitted
- If using a mobile phone for photos please switch it to silent mode.
The dolphin feeding is regulated and closely monitored by the Queensland Government with a group of volunteers on site to ensure it is an enjoyable experience for both humans and dolphins.
What to expect
The Dolphin Centre opens at 7.00am with viewing time until approximately 7:45am.On busy days feeding may start at around 7:30am. There is only one feeding session per day.
On arrival visitors are welcome to join the volunteers in the water and get to know these beautiful mammals with a small group of people in the water at any one time.
Fish for the feeding is available on site. We have a feeding fee of $10 per person to cover the cost of each fish purchased and our other costs. Dolphin feeding does mean getting wet, at least up to your knees…so come prepared!
Once the dolphins are fed they generally return straight to the wild to get on with their day so be sure to be there early enough to give yourself the best chance of enjoying this wonderful experience.
Of course, these animals are wild so we cannot guarantee their arrival time or even that there will be dolphins on a given day. However, patience is often rewarded when they are late so order some refreshments from the cafe, sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery. It is rare for no dolphins to visit but as with all wildlife experiences it can happen.
Most of all enjoy yourselves and don’t forget to tell your friends and family about our beautiful dolphins and the spectacular Cooloola region.