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Visit the Tin Can Bay Dolphins to Create Awesome Childhood Memories!

Feeding and playing with the Tin Can Bay dolphins is the stuff that childhood dreams are made of. Have you considered a visit with your family?

Visiting the Tin Can Bay dolphins – the facts!

Snapper Creek at the world-famous Tin Can Bay is home to a family of dolphins who have long frequented the area. They are Australian Humpback Dolphins led by their alpha, Mystique! This breed of river dolphins eat crustaceans, squid and fish.

What measures are in place to protect the Tin Can Bay dolphins?

There are VERY strict rules about interacting with the dolphin family. The rules are closely monitored by both the staff at Barnacles Dolphin Centre and by the QLD Government. The penalties for doing the wrong thing are STEEP (starting about $8000 per offense!) and as you can see below the guidelines are laid out in black and white.

  • You must feed the dolphins using ONLY food purchased at Barnacles. Each dolphin is closely observed to ensure they get no more than 3kg from humans per day.
  • No flash photography is permitted and if photos are being taken on mobile phones they must be switched to silent.
  • There is no swimming with and no touching the dolphins under any circumstances.
  • No dogs are permitted regardless of how well trained they may be.
  • Viewing is between 7 and 8am and feeding takes place at 8am. There is only one session per day. (Remember the dolphins don’t have watches so they don’t run EXACTLY to time)
  • Entry to the area is $5 and there is a further $5 fee for any food charged. You will have to actually enter the water so ensure you’re appropriately dressed.
  • These dolphins are WILD and often quite SHY. While this is a great experience for the whole family, it is recommended that children who go into the water to feed dolphins are old enough to be able to contain their excitement and abide by the rules. Sudden movements and loud noises will frighten the dolphins away.
Tin can bay dolphins

When should we visit the Tin Can Bay dolphins?

The dolphins are here all year round. Holidays are obviously peak times for tourists so consider crowds when making your plans. Things can get pretty packed because everyone is just as excited as each other – our tip is to stay cool and calm to make the most of the experience.

You can’t make bookings but if you want to call ahead to ask questions the phone number for Barnacles is 07 5486 4899.

What else is around the Tin Can Bay dolphins for families?

Barnacles also has a cafe that’s open every day from 730am. The area is also home to a gorgeous national park which provides another attractive option for visiting families. If activities like this really appeal we’ve also put together some tips for whale watching further down the coast!

Anything else?

A visit to the Tin Can Bay dolphins is an unforgettable experience. The beauty and majesty of these peaceful creatures will leave you speechless. We definitely recommend you visit soon!

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

2 thoughts on “Visit the Tin Can Bay Dolphins to Create Awesome Childhood Memories!”

  1. Hi
    The 52 days of holidays in your Feb/March 2019 magazine…do you have any of these holiday packages we can book.

    Thanks heaps


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