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Swim with Dolphins in Port Phillip Bay

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by Julia Hebaiter (aka Julia Svoice) (subscribe)
Owns 'FoodLit'. Highly qualified, established food & lifestyle writer, former restaurateur, founder professional writing business, Articul8. Long, diverse writing history, passion for food culture, the land & inspired food
Published January 30th 2011
Swimming with dolphins is, without doubt, the experience of a lifetime - one not to think about doing some day, but one to make happen as soon as possible. It is sublime.
Fun & Frolics in the Bay

Viewing and interacting with wild, yet playful, dolphins (and slippery seals) while cruising the crystal-clear waters of Port Phillip Bay - whether heading out from Sorrento Pier with Polperro Dolphin Swims or from Queenscliff with Sea All Dolphin Swims - is magical.

Mine was a four-hour cruise, which in itself - even before donning wetsuit and snorkelling to view the majestic mammals - was sheer joy. I don't often sit still for longer than 5 minutes, so to sit back, enjoy the views and sea breeze, and be educated and informed about our beautiful bay and its extraordinary wildlife, was a real treat.
Take me away ....

You can, when booking, elect to either just watch all the action from the comfort and relative dryness of the boat ($55 or $70 for adults), or dip into the bay for a close encounter of a very special kind ($125 or $130 for adults).

By the way, given the dolphins are wild animals, interactions cannot be guaranteed on every trip. The chances, however, are very good.)

This video is a really good little teaser to get you inspired to give it a go.

If you're worried that interacting with dolphins is harmful to them, you can be assured that tour operators work within very strict guidelines, with Polperro Dolphin Swims an official Hall of Fame Environmental Tourism tour operation. Crew members have an obvious love for the dolphins and their environment and get to know particular dolphins quite well. You can read about one of their favourite bottlenose babies, Chippie, here.

Worried about cold weather? Don't. The dolphin-viewing season runs from October to April/May (though it can still get cold on the bay). It's best to read some FAQs and find out more about your tour before you're smack-bang in the middle of the beautiful bay.
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Why? For dolphin play on either side of the bay.
When: Morning & afternoon tours daily throughout the season.
Where: Departing Sorrento or Queenscliff
Cost: Varies depending on operator
Where I swim, people go out kayaking on the bay and often see dolphins on their way. The trips from Sorrento are supposed to be great and there is the Dolphin Research Institute at Hastings.
By Jody Kimber - senior reviewer
Monday, 28th of February @ 11:57 pm
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