Imagine, you have just boarded Tamboi Queen's MV Spirit catamaran and are enjoying a quiet cruise on the serene waters of Port Stephens, when suddenly, a crazy woman starts running up and down screaming 'OMG OMG OMG DOLPHINS!'
I apologise to fellow cruisers, but when it comes to dolphins, I can't help myself. I have swum with dolphins, I have been kissed by them, patted them and still I can't get enough. I will take every opportunity to see them and be close to them.
Watch out, crazy woman (on the left) coming to snap pics of dolphins.
Shortly after we departed, the captain of the boat received a tip from a crew member on one of their other ships giving him the exact location of a pod of dolphins. So we headed straight over. And sure enough, a number of dolphins swam playfully near us. I was beside myself, snapping lots of pictures and shooting videos.
Everyone excitedly snapping pictures of nearby dolphins
The crew on the cruise was exceptional – friendly, helpful and very funny. The captain even allowed a few of us to steer for a while on our way back to the port. If he hadn't been paying attention, I would have headed back out to find more dolphins.
Coffee, tea and biscuits were available free of charge for all on board and a bar with drinks and snacks was also open.
Overall a fantastic day for everyone on board. Not only did we get to see the dolphins up close, but the children enjoyed the slide and boom net. And the rest of us got to have a lot of laughs with the staff and see beautiful scenery on a gorgeous sunny day.
Tamboi Queen cruises offer a number of fun experiences.
1.5 hour Dolphin Watching Cruise with boom net rides aboard MV Surprise and MV Tamboi Queen
Cost: Adults $23, Children: $10
2 hour Dolphin Watch Cruisewith boom net, water slide and spa aboard MV Spirit and MV Spirit of Port Stephens
Cost: Adults $26, Children $13.50
Paid parking is available near the marina or you can park at one of the side streets.
The water of Port Stephens are very calm and the vessel stable, so you don't need to worry about sea sickness, unless you are particularly susceptible, in which case you may want to speak to a pharmacist before you head on your cruise.
When packing for a day out on the water, don't forget to bring sunscreen, your swimsuit, a towel and something warm in case it gets windy or the weather turns. And most importantly, don't forget the camera and binoculars.
If you are visiting Port Stephens One Mile Beach Holiday Park is ideal family accommodation as it offers beachside apartments, villas, cabins and caravan park sites as well as a swimming pool, kids club, recreational room, volleyball and tennis courts, BBQ facilities and putt putt course.