In Australia there is lots of places to meet dolphins. There are free dolphins, and sad to say also lot of dolphins in captivity. I visited three different places. Port Stephan (2 hours drive north of Sydney), Tangalooma on Moreton Island (situated just outside Brisbane) and Tin Can Bay (3 hours drive north of Brisbane). I only visited free wild dolphins. My visit was in November 2000, which was with a lot of rain, and little visibility in the water, if I go another time I will choose July or August with more sun and more clear water.

"Imagine", the boat we were sailing with.

From Port Stephen is Olivia De Bergerac (founder of The Dolphin Society) sailing out with the catamaran "Imagine". The boat takes around 20 people, and Olivia makes over the weekend what she calls "Dolphin Within" program. I can recommend you to read Olivias book "The Dolphin Within", where she writes everything about the program.
Your brainwaves are measure before and after the trip with a Neurodata 2000 EEG system. Our brainwave are divided into Beta > 14 Hertz, produced by thinking, stress and anxiety. Alpha 9 – 13 Hertz, relaxed, passive and pleasant state. Theta 4 – 8 Hertz, light sleep, "twilight state", state from where the creative ideas are born, and Delta <4 Hertz normally deep sleep. The pattern shows a clear tendency: After "dolphintrip" the Beta is going down, the Alpha and Theta is going up. You are more relaxed, more centre and your whole body has better "working condition".

Sad to say, in practice the measurement was going so quickly, so I don’t have a clear picture of what was happening with my own brainwaves.
Olivia does not have personal contact with a group of dolphins, so dolphinswim is more a "writing way", than it is a practical reality. You will nearly always see dolphins from the boat, but it is not the same experience as meeting dolphins in the water.
The food on the boat was of a good quality and tasted fine.
During the night you were either sleeping "packed like sardines" under deck, or you were enjoying the stars, the dark, the cold and the fresh air on top of the deck.
I can say, if you have both enough time and money it is fine to take that trip.
Looking after dolphins.
The beach at Tangalooma, from where the dolphins are fed.

The red buoy in the sea mark the "feeding area" for the dolphins.

Wild Dolphin Resort

From Brisbane you take "Tangalooma Flyer" to get to the Moreton Island, it takes 70 minutes. You need to make reservation for the boat, as well as for the popular "Dolphin Feeding Program", which goes on every evening at Tangalooma. For further information look at:
The tourist with ticket for the feeding program is linen on long rows, two and two on the small beach where the dolphins are coming. Each person gets three fish and feed the dolphins with one fish at a time. The roles for the persons are:
No sharp hand jewellery.
No sun creme on.
No blitzphoto.
No cold or flu.
No touch of the dolphin.
The hands are disinfected just before you get fish in your hands

If all the dolphins are coming, which are seven to ten, then around 100 people can feed them in one evening. The dolphins get 10% of their daily food quantity. If they got more, they would be too lazy to catch their own food. The dolphin-provisioning program started in conjunction with the University of Queensland in 1992.
It was an exciting experience to stay there on the beach waiting for the dolphins to come. When the dolphins started to come, it was like an energy change on the whole place.
Trevor Hassard was telling about the place and the dolphins, and also that they got many letters form people telling them that they had been healed from the dolphins. I remember he told about a Japanese lady with cancer in abdomen. She came to the dolphins as her "death-wish". She was in a wheelchair. She was left rather long time in the water with the dolphins, one dolphin, named Echo had his beak right in her sex, while she was sitting in the water. Nobody knows what happened, but the lady did not die. .
If you are near Brisbane, I can recommend taking the morning boat to Tangalooma, and stay until the evening boat, which sails back to Brisbane when the dolphins leave the place.
An assistant from Tangalooma and two tourist are feeding the dolphins.
People at Tin Can Bay are feeding the dolphins.


Tin Can Bay is situated 3 hours drive north of Brisbane. The seldom dolphin called Indopacific humpbacked dolphin-Sousa chinensis is living there in the shallow water. The colour can vary from grey over white to pink. The population in Tin Can Bay is only about 20. Normally they are shy, and we don’t have much knowledge about them.
Many years ago, around 1990, a shark attacked one of those dolphins. Severely wounded the dolphin follow the fishing boats to get some food. This dolphin was called Scarry, it is a female. About April 1992 Scarry gave birth to a male calf, called Mystique. Scarry was bringing Mystique into the harbour, also to get easy food. Soon it was known all over that two dolphins were coming to be hand feed. Hundreds of tourists were coming to look on, touch and swim with the dolphins.
There were no permit and no satisfactory management of the Tin Can Bay dolphin-provisioning program. There were poor control of fish quality and the condition of fish containers, large number of people in the water, people increasing their risk of injury by moving into deeper water (shark attack), no control of food quantity, feeding the calf and trying to ride him by holding onto his dorsal fin. The result is that today Mystique has a curved dorsal fin.

In May 1998 Pauline Norris came to Tin Can Bay with the wish to protect the dolphins. Now the dolphins became more a political question, and soon lots of fights were going on. The dolphins were "good money" for some people, and they still wanted the dolphin. The government did not want to use time and money on the dolphins, and at the same time they had to do something.
Over the last two years following rules has been introduced:
No swimming.
No touching.
Only move into the water to your knee
The dolphins only get around 3 kg fish each, and only once a day, it is between 8 – 11 am.
I had a lovely meeting with both Scarry and Mystique. They are beautiful to look at, so if you are in the near go and visit them. (but make sure they are still there, call the Tourism Association (07) 5486 4855)
Scarry get a fish.

To travel out and swim with dolphins is rather demanding, but also very rich. The dolphins first of all teach me

My wish is, that dolphinpeople all over the world support each other and in this way more and more people will learn to love dolphins and live in the "dolphinway", which for me is "living from the heart", and in that way treat both animal, human and nature with honesty, acceptance, responsibility, respect and love.