Dolphin Feeding in Tin Can Bay
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During a recent weekend in Rainbow Beach
, I made it my mission to visit Barnacles Dolphin Centre
. Seeing as I have never been at a reasonably close distance to a dolphin in my life, I definitely wasn't going to miss the opportunity to feed a wild one.
Barnacles, which overlooks the Snapper Creek inlet in Tin Can Bay
, is run by a team of volunteers. A team that is clearly very dedicated to caring for the dolphins, as they are on site every single morning of the year. We had been advised by a friend to arrive before 7.30am and luckily so, as there was already a queue by the time we arrived. The centre is adjacent to Barnacle's Cafe so most of the adults in the queue were already clutching coffees, while children bubbled with excitement.
A smiling volunteer gave us some background information on the centre and told us how it had all begun with one injured dolphin taking shelter in the cove. The locals had nursed him back to health and the dolphin obviously never forgot it, as he returned again and again. Ever since then, the number of dolphin visitors to the cove has grown, as has the number of human visitors.
She then explained that there would be a $5 charge for the fish and after quickly sterilising our hands, we would be taken into the water one by one, to feed the dolphins. Peering behind her, I could see two huge Indio-Pacific Humpback dolphins waiting patiently in the shallow water. When my turn came and I reached down into the water with my little fish, the dolphin took it gently and politely from my hand.
Even though I was only near the dolphin for a very short time, I was left grinning happily for the rest of the day. The dolphins are wild and they're certainly not being forced to visit, they come because they want to. I think that's the really special thing about Barnacles Dolphin Centre and I hope it continues to be supported for a long time.
You don't need to book in advance to take part, but you may want to call the centre to confirm feeding arrangements. You can phone them on 07 5486 4899
199457 - 2023-06-16 04:50:19