Just under a 2 hour drive south down from Perth in Bunbury is the Dolphin Discovery Centre, a great place for a day trip or weekend escape. Also a perfect place to take the kids over Easter before the weather changes!
If you haven't experienced an up close encounter with some of Australia's friendliest aquatic mammals then you are in for a treat! There are multiple options available for this experience ranging from a cheap $10 for adults and $5 for children interactive zone event where you can stand on the beach and watch some of the local dolphins come right up close, perfect for some photos!
Interactive Zone encounters
There is also the medium priced option ($49 adults and $40 children) of to go on an Eco-cruise which lasts just over the hour and guarantees to give you a great experience. Even if you don't see many dolphins you can still have a great boat ride as the guide is full of interesting and quirky facts. Our tour guide on the day was really friendly, answered all questions and was determined to give us the best experience we could, which we did!
However, as we realised, it is a little harder than we thought to get a good picture of the dolphins, so be persistent as out of about 30 pictures I got about 4 good ones. But it is more about the experience than the photos! This was the best I could do...
For those who want the complete experience you can go on a boat trip and swim with the dolphins for $149 which includes the equipment and morning/afternoon tea. This is a great opportunity but after experiencing both the interactive zone and the Eco-Cruise I felt I didn't need to go on this, especially being a student when the budget is a little tighter.
Outdoor park and picnic area
There is also a park for the kids, plenty of space to have a picnic and if you don't fancy bringing one there is a cafe on site, which isn't too expensive and very friendly staff. Within the centre there is also a small indoor aquarium which has octopuses, starfish and small shark species. The centre is also equipped with beach safe wheelchairs so everyone can enjoy the day.
Aunt enjoying the view and the dolphin
The centre provides a great experience for all ages and budgets, the bonus of which is you get two free visits within the next year with your admission so you can do it all over again! Top tip is to get down there as early as possible as most the dolphins visit the interactive zone in the morning.