Meeting Time: 5.00am
Return Time: 10.00am
Where to Meet: Please meet at the entrance to Dock C, d’Albora Marina, Teramby Road, Nelson Bay. The entrance to Dock C is at the eastern end of the Marina (at the right end of the Marina if you’re facing the water) and is next to a large billboard advertising activities that can be booked through Bay Booking Office. Please wait near this billboard and a staff member will come to get you.
What Happens Next: You will be taken to the vessel where you will have your name marked off and swim guests will be fitted with a wetsuit (please be wearing your swimsuit under your clothes on arrival). Once this is done, we will leave the dock and head offshore to the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park. During this time, swim guests will receive training for the activity, including a short snorkel briefing, and will also be divided into groups of 6 (there is a limit of 24 swimmers on each tour).
Once the dolphins have been located and our staff have assessed that the conditions are good for a swim, the first group will enter a net at the front of the vessel where they will be attached to a line strung between the bows of the catamaran. The vessel will then stop and the swimmers will enter the water. Once eveyone is ready, the vessel will move forward slowly and the swimmers will be able to see the dolphins crossing back and forth in front of them, often just beyond arm’s reach! The in-water experience is incredibly exciting, with swimmers being able to witness true dolphin behaviour and socialisation – it’s just like being a part of the pod!
We are in the wild and cannot guarantee the dolphins’ location or willingness to interact with us. Over the years, however, we have developed our methods to the point where our staff work like a well-oiled machine and our success statistics are high (90-95% success at getting your in-water interaction on the day of your tour). Our intention is to give you the best possible opportunity to achieve this amazing experience. If it doesn’t work out on the day, we provide a guarantee that you can return for free until you successfully swim with wild dolphins! If you have any questions at all, please contact us on 1300 721 358, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Season Dates: October to April (inclusive). Specific dates are available online.
Responsibility: We are there to assist you at all times. It is your responsibility to act in an appropriate manner, to communicate your needs and to go with your condition/ability. Do take care of yourself and others! Once on the vessel, you are participating at your own risk (this includes on board the vessel, as well as in the water). Please ensure you read the ‘Waiver’ which is found on our website at the bottom of the page under “Resources”.
Breakfast: A light, ‘continental’ breakfast is included for everyone on the tour, whether swimming or watching. It consists of bread, butter and toppings (eg jam, honey, peanut butter, Vegemite), as well as cereals and corn thins (for those who are gluten free). Water, instant tea and coffee are also available and a fresh fruit platter is provided on the return journey.
Planning Your Trip: We strongly recommend that you plan to spend at least a couple of days in Port Stephens, if possible, when coming for your wild dolphin swim. There are many other activities to enjoy while in the area, as well as 26 beautiful beaches (either beaches with surf on the coastline, or lovely calm and protected beaches within the Bay). For an abundance of information regarding the area – including accommodation, activities, restaurants, etc – please refer to www.portstephens.org.au, or give the Port Stephens Visitor Information Centre a call on 1800808900.
Parking: Please view the map for the closest car parks to Dolphin Swim Australia. There is four hour metered parking at the marina itself, adjacent to the meeting location. If using this car park, you may pay for the parking with a credit card and then display the ticket inside your car on the dashboard. Please note: the meter will only start charging you from 8.30am – you therefore only need to pay for 2 hours (as we will be returning to the dock at 10.00am). The car parks marked in yellow are free car parks.
Equipment: A 3mm ‘steamer’ wetsuit is provided by Dolphin Swim Australia once you arrive at the vessel. You are also provided with a mask, snorkel and safety harness. All equipment is included in the cost of your swim.
Seasickness: This is an open water experience with wind and waves playing a part in vessel movement. Operators cannot be held accountable for seasickness! ‘Travacalm’ is supplied on the vessel. If you normally suffer from motion sickness – or have not previously experienced travelling offshore – please consider taking medication before bed for a couple of days prior to your swim as well as when you get on board the vessel. This can often produce a better result (please note: seasickness medication may cause drowsiness – please consult a pharmacist for more information). We also recommend that you get plenty of sleep the night before, try not to drink too much alcohol the night before and limit your sugar and milk intake during the morning of your tour. It is also better to keep your food intake as bland as possible.
Clothing: Even on the hottest of days, it can be quite cool out on the water! Please bring a weatherproof jacket (if possible) and a towel. Please also wear your swimsuit under your clothes so you are ready to change into your wetsuit.