Things to do in
Nelson Bay

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Our most recommended things to do in Nelson Bay

Port Stephens: Snorkel With Wild Dolphins

1. Port Stephens: Snorkel With Wild Dolphins

Your dolphin adventure begins at d'Albora Marina, Nelson Bay at 6:15 AM. Once you've checked in and been fitted with your wetsuit, mask and snorkel, the vessel leaves the dock and travels out through the heads of Nelson Bay. Whilst traveling out to the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park, you'll be trained in the swim protocols and given a snorkel briefing (if swimmer option selected). Once the dolphins have been located and their behavior monitored and found to be favorable for a swim, the the first group of swimmers enters a net at the bow of the vessel, all the while attached with a safety lanyard to the catamaran. The vessel will stop while your group (and your divemaster) enter the water - it will then begin to move slowly forward. The dolphins will swim back and forth between the bows of the vessel, quite often within a meter of the swimmers and seemingly fascinated by the strange creatures being towed in the water behind them! You'll be so close to the dolphins, it will be just like being a part of the pod! You can of course also just observe the dolphins from the boat without entering the water.

Port Stephens: Interactive Aquarium plus Little Ray Cuddle

2. Port Stephens: Interactive Aquarium plus Little Ray Cuddle

The Little Ray Cuddle is a unique and gentle activity perfect for all ages and great for families looking for an extra special animal encounter. Your ticket includes both the shallow water encounter where you can feed and pet sharks and rays, and a 20 minute intimate encounter with the rays and stingrays in Fingill Lagoon. When you arrive at Irukandji you will be greeted by a friendly team who will equip you with wetsuits and wear and keep souvenir socks to wear into the water. They will run through some specific instructions about interacting with the animals before guiding you into the lagoon. Together you will sit quietly and wait as the keeper summons the rays to glide over your laps for a very special cuddle. You can pet them as they hover around you and enjoy getting to know their individual personalities. After your encounter is done you are free to wander the aquarium and interact with the animals from the shallow waters of the lagoons. You can head over to the tropical lagoon to meet a variety of shark species that live there and listen to the educational talks from the keepers as they share their wealth of knowledge with you. Your whole encounter will leave you with a newfound appreciation for these gentle, elusive creatures and with a deep sense of stewardship for the ocean. Afterward, rinse off under a warm shower before checking out the rest of the aquarium. Don't forget to check out the souvenir shop for a large range of sustainable gifts, cute fluffy toys, snacks, cold drinks, and hot coffee.

Frequently asked questions about Nelson Bay

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What people are saying about Nelson Bay

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 14 reviews

Highly recommended!! Swimming with Dolphins in the wild and in their natural environment!! Once in a lifetime experience - a must on the Bucket List! Fantastic/Amazing/Energetic crew who are attentive, knowledgeable, engaging, welcoming and caring. Great experience for couples, family or even singles and can't say enough what a phenomenal day it was! Thank you to Adam, Ellie, Shannon, Sooty and the Team!

I would highly recommend this adventure. There were lots of dolphins and we were surprised how close they came. The team are motivating and energetic making us feel welcome and confident. Having little to no snorkelling experience we were encouraged to participate and felt like we were safe and in great hands. The boat was great and the team friendly and professional with a genuine love for the dolphins.

We were not sure what to expect but it was an incredibly educational and exciting experience. Patting stingrays and sharks is quite a unique adventure and we highly recommend it

Knowledgeable and friendly staff - great for kids. Thought we would stay there only 14-30mins and we didn’t leave for 3 hours

Amazing experience and the crew/dive team were fantastic. Such a wonderful experience, highly recommended.