Bunbury Dolphins are one of the rarest species of marine life. These exceptional creatures made habitat from the portion of the Indian ocean around the city of Bunbury in Southwest Australia and seeing them all year round is a common attraction for that destination.
Do you want to see them? Well pack your camping bag and head to the ocean to enjoy some dolphin spotting. Oh! Let us first help you with everything you need to know to enjoy your experience spotting Bunbury Dolphins. Scroll down if you wish to make an unforgettable story out of it!
Where is Bunbury?
Bunbury is a small town in the extreme southwestern part of WA just 100km south of Perth (roughly an hour and a half's drive) and is well known for its dolphin spotting activities. Tourist never rarely stop, often passing through to Busselton.
Accommodation facilities in Bunbury are well maintained to welcome tourists and info points are found everywhere in this city to help you find your way to the dolphin spotting locations and to assist you with accommodation or even transportation.
Dolphin Discovery Centre
The main attraction of Bunbury is the Dolphin Discovery Centre, which is considered as a monument by locals and people who know the value of Bunbury and its relationship with Dolphins.
The Dolphin Discovery Centre was founded in 1994 following the establishment of the interaction zone in Koombana bay. The sole purpose of the centre was to create an interactive location that will provide tourists with an enjoyable experience and a close interaction with dolphins and at the same time, save the natural habitat of these dolphins and make sure their natural environment is taken care of.
Until this moment, the Dolphin Discovery Centre has a non-profit mission, meaning that all the profit made from purchases and advertisement is immediately directed into helping the eco-tourism in that area and improving the marine life specifically for Dolphins.
This centre offers a variety of options to its visitors, ranging from eco cruises around the Koombana bay to surface diving and both give a thrilling sensation once you spot a pod of dolphins passing by and that is not uncommon.
Finding the dolphins on your own
If you are more into looking for dolphins on your own and taking that describable photograph of a pod of dolphins then you will need to keep a few things in mind.
Spotting dolphins in the inlet of Koombana bay is not that hard, you just have to make sure the temperature outside the water is above 15°C to guarantee that dolphins are going to show up and make a lovely show above the water. Whether spotting them on a jetty or on the beach, the scene will be mesmerizing and in addition to a sunset, it will just add a top-notch shot in your DSLR.
Another alternative is spotting Bunbury Dolphins on boat. Dolphin Discovery Centre organises daily cruises in the bay and even around the town to get a very close interaction with the dolphins (you can even feed or take a picture with them). However, if you are an owner and you are going on boat to enjoy Dolphin spotting in Bunbury, you need to refer to our next point.
Need a boat
Cruises around Bunbury are regulated in a way to respect other sailors and guarantee a comfortable experience for everyone. If you have a boat, you will need to contact the ports around Bunbury prior to going there in order to ensure a spot for your boat in one of the jetties and a smooth sailing around the area.
You also need to be aware of the ship traffic in that region to schedule a good time of the day where you can enjoy spotting dolphins without the inconvenience of other boats crowding the area and blocking the field of view.
what you will need on boat & expect to see
Basically, it is just another usual cruise where you try to enjoy your time as much as possible. For this to be granted, you should consider other activities while sailing around Bunbury such as having a BBQ on board.
You also would like to enhance the spotting experience and for that you will need an electrically stabilized camera that can counteract all the vibration and get you the perfect shot.
You can expect to see large pods of dolphins in the Koombana bay and around The Cut. It is just a few minutes cruise from the jetties of Bunbury. The best-known jetties are Eaton and Grand canal Jetties, these will give you a quick access to your accommodation in no time.
Setting boat off jetty
All the jetties in Bunbury are equipped with sophisticated docking equipment, don’t forget to ask help from locals to dock your boat as they will be pleased to offer you some help.
You can just tie the bow line and the stern end of the boat to the jetty tie points and your boat will be intact the next morning.
When you set your boat off the jetty, don’t forget to take some snacks, your camera and dolphin food with you in your dolphin spotting. This will be more than enough to give you a lovely adventure.
It is impossible to talk about Bunbury without mentioning The Cut located at the tip of Leschenault Peninsula. This cut is the inlet of marine life to the waters of the Leschenault Peninsula and seeing Dolphins passing through it is worth the effort of getting there.
The Cut is located between Point Douro and the Indian Ocean and it is accessible by foot off Buffalo Road or by boat. Scenery on the shores of this small spot will be incomparable and spotting the dolphins while having a camping in there is just astonishing.
Seeing the dolphins, what not to do and fines associated with mistreatment and bad behaviour
There are some instructions to keep in mind in order to enjoy the experience of spotting Bunbury Dolphins in comfort and respect.
• You should take some portable equipment like a gas stove to help with cooking during your camp.
• If you are willing to book a hotel or a hosting service, you should prepare everything beforehand and enjoy the adorable nature Bunbury would offer.
• Pets are not permitted within the area.
• Lighting campfires is not allowed outside of designated areas.
• Taking your boat will implicate some further complications so you may give the local authorities a call beforehand to have an idea about the atmosphere and the ship traffic.
People who went through this experience state that spotting Bunbury Dolphins is nothing like other areas in the world. With the help of Dolphin Discovery Centre team, visitors get the chance to spot large pods of dolphins. You can start planning for this adventure by taking a look at what we have to offer on our ReefMask web shop where we have all the equipment you need for your next dolphin spotting cruise.
John - Manager at Reef Mask
Passionate about the ocean & its beauty, John has been a passionate Snorkeler for over 10 years. Educating people on snorkelling techniques and equipment.