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“I really enjoyed it”

Barnacles Dolphin Centre
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed March 6, 2014

I went in the days when it was gold coin donation. Now its $10.

But to your out of town visitor who has no experience of the days when interacting with the Tin Can Bay dolphins was free then I don't think they'll be worried that it used to be free. You get to feed a fish to a wild dolphin for pete's sake! There are a lot worse ways of spending $10 in Oz!

Given the publicity that Monkey Mia gets I was surprised that this is so relatively unknown. Monkey Mia is a long way from everywhere, but this is close to major attractions such as Fraser Island and Noosa/Sunshine Coast. Also at Monkey Mia you are not at all guaranteed to be picked to feed a dolphin. Here you know you can. Admittedly my photos in the clear shallow Monkey Mia waters are better, but you get a good enough view here!

So maybe there are rules and procedures. But try acting up at Monkey Mia or Tangalooma and see how far you get.

It isn't the "flipper" style bottlenose dolphins, its Indo-Pacific dolphins, in case that bothers you.

I thought it a 5/5 experience really, but I do understand some of the concerns around what the cafe uses the money for (given that the dolphins have turned up for decades). Its a little odd for a cafe to run something like this really. So 4/5.

3  Thank Waddler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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367 - 371 of 471 reviews

Reviewed February 22, 2014 via mobile

I can't understand that some people complain about the price or unfriendly staff because none of it is true. It costs you only $10 to feed a wild dolphin and get as much information about them as you want! If you want you can come early and stand in the water waiting for the dolphins to come or just observing them as they already hang out in the bay. You get one fish to feed a dolphin and you're allowed to take a photographer with you. The staff looks really well after their little treasures, just for the animal's best! It was a very nice experience although I have to say that you don't have to be there as early as possible because feeding will start at 8 am anyway :) come earlier if you want to have some chill time with the dolphins but not because you're afraid of missing the whole fun!

1  Thank Nadja W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2014

Well Tin Can Bay is a little tired, the cafe a little jaded, the staff/volunteers old and bossy and it can get very crowded but I for one can't stay away.

The opportunity to interact, no matter how briefly, with these glorious creatures is just too special to walk away from. Its far from"the best dolphin experience" available in Australia or even QLD but compared to the outrageous prices at Tangalooma, $10 for a few precious minutes is money well spent IMO.

Go outside of,the school holiday periods and long weekends and you'll find the experience less stressful and far more enjoyable.

1  Thank kaz600
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2014 via mobile

A perfect day for everyone to enjoy - Volunteers working with tourists and the dolphins are warm and friendly and happy to share their knowledge and experiences. Get there at Barnacles Cafe around 7 ( we arrived at 7.30am and that was gr8) and spend time standing in the water with the dolphins waiting patiently for 8am feed time - listening to and asking questions of their helpers. Actual fees time is well organized - personally feeding only one fish each but plenty of time for a happy snap or video. Well controlled and beneficial to the well being of the dolphins and us too. Watch as the helpers feed any remaining of the feed quota as they talk about each dolphin ... And then the wild dolphins disappear until the next morning when they will patiently line up again. Then it was feed time for us - WOW - bacon eggs tomato hash brown toast coffee ( and it was a yummy latte). Where else can you do and have ALL that for $20 (dolphin view and feeding is only $10). Fabulous day ... Thank you to the staff at Barnacles Cafe at Tin Can Bay and to the marvelous volunteer dolphin helpers and of course a big thank you to the dolphins who take the time to interact with us humans every day! .....And what an opportunity to go on and explore Rainbow Beach and Inskip Point.

2  Thank Jaqz-RealizeUrDreamz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2014

The charge you $5 to look at the WILD dolphins on the side of the water and another $5 if you want to give it a fish... Back in the day you could look at them for free before someone came up with this money making scheme. Don't go just out of principle and it was actually boring anyway.

4  Thank the-k88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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