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“It's "wild" dolphins you're feeding”

Barnacles Dolphin Centre
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 10 June 2014

Based on some great stories of friends traveling to Tin Can Bay years ago we went there to feed the dolphins in the early morning. Only to find out there's some smart restaurant that turned this in an overpaid tourist thing. Sure, you see dolphins and they swim around freely... But that's about it. Get ready to stand in line and wait for your 5 seconds of regulated "feeding the dolphins" after already paying 5 dollars to just see them. Why do you need to pay if they're wild dolphins? It's only because they're so wild, they come to the same people of the restaurant every day on that one place where you just have to enter the restaurants' space to be able to see them.

Avoid if you're really thinking to have a casual encounter with wild dolphins and throw them a fish or 2.

1  Thank Vincent N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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339 - 343 of 450 reviews

Reviewed 9 June 2014

I have no idea how you can complain about $10 to feed a wild dolphin. Who cares if the cafe's making profit on it or not? Good on them if they are - I got to feed a wild dolphin, and it only cost me $10! Sure, it used to be free. But now it's more popular, and I can only imagine the poor animals if tens or hundreds of people rocked up every day trying to get in the water and touch them and play with them, completely unregulated. Spend $10. Feed a wild dolphin. You'll always have the memory. Show up at about 7am though just in case there's only one dolphin - they can only sell 50 tickets per dolphin.

3  Thank StephanieAngelHughes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014

This is an absolute must if you are travelling to tin can bay. We stayed there for one night and this was the highlight. It is an early start but it is worth it. We arrived at 7:30 and there was already at least 20 people there and the feeding does not start until 8. You are given some information about the pod and it's history and then you get your fish and the feeding begins! Don't miss this! oh you also get discounted breakfasts at the cafe next door which is a bonus.

Thank laurajsxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014

What I believe used to be a casual encounter with dolphins to feed them fish, which has been occurring since the 1950's, has now turned into an over-regulated and over-protective procedural rigmarole which severely detracts from the experience. Sure, you get to see dolphins up close, and you get to stand in the water close to a stationary dolphin, and you get to slip it a fish. But you musn't touch under penalty of death. The volunteers completely over-do the protective role and hence the interaction and connection you have with the dolphins is practically zero, apart form the 5 seconds it takes to slip one fish into its mouth.
But it's cheap at $10 (used to be free) and is still worth seeing as you get a closer inspection than at, say SeaWorld (unless you pay $100;s for an "encounter" there).
To get a close encounter with a dolphin, go to the aquarium at Coffs Harbour, where you are allowed to not only touch them, but play ball with them (see our review of that)

2  Thank aussiewanderers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2014

It was great to be able to feed the dolphins in the wild. The staff were very friendly. If you are not feeding the dolphins you shouldn't have to pay, also get there early, it gets very busy.

Thank TippElle13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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