Dolphin Feeding FAQ

Wild Dolphin Feeding Frequently Asked Questions

The Dolphin Care Program operates to strict guidelines, therefore restrictions on feeding apply. The number of guests able to feed the dolphins will depend on weather, tidal conditions and dolphin attendance.

Please follow all directions given by Dolphin Care Staff. We hope that you find the program enjoyable, however our priority is to ensure the health and safety of the dolphins, as well as all who come to interact with them. Please listen carefully to all instructions and advice offered by any member of the Dolphin Care Team.

Who can feed the dolphins?

Guests on selected accommodation and day cruise packages can feed dolphins once per person per stay (not every night of stay). Please check the package details when booking to see if dolphin feeding is included.

Timeshare, Casual Visitors (such as people camping on Moreton Island) and guests staying in private accommodation are not permitted to partake in feeding the dolphins. Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Feeding is only permitted for guests staying in accommodation that is managed by Tangalooma Island Resort. From time to time Tangalooma Island Resort will sell rate/rooms that do not include dolphin feeding, to ensure that we can not oversubscribe our dolphin feeding allocation - so check at the time of booking to see if your rate is inclusive of dolphin feeding. The 'Run of House' room category does not include participation dolphin feeding.

Beware of imitators - guests that book with third-party accommodation providers or Online Travel Agents (eg Stayz, AirBNB, VRBO, or Real Estate/Property Manager sites) are generally not able to participate in dolphin feeding; and whilst they may talk about the dolphins visiting the Resort, they do cannot and do not promise participation in the program. 

Is flash photography permitted?

Flash photography from the beach while dolphin feeding is not permitted, but is allowed from the jetty. Close-up camera flashes may cause the dolphins stress, and may be harmful to their sensitive eyes. The Tangalooma Photo Shop has a team of professional photographers who are trained to not aim the flash in the dolphins eyes (this is why they stand behind the dolphins). You can purchase your photos from the Tangalooma Photo Shop or online after.

Do I need sunscreen when feeding the dolphins?

Please do not wear insect repellents, perfumes, deodorants or sunscreens into the water. The dolphins' skin may be very sensitive to some common man-made chemicals.

I have a flu/cold, can I still feed the dolphins?

If you have a cold, flu or respiratory illness you are not permitted to feed the dolphins. Dolphins can catch all sorts of illnesses - even human ones!

Can I feed the dolphins if I am pregnant?

If you are pregnant please advise our Dolphin Care Team prior to feeding. Pregnant women are not to enter the water beyond their knees. Please be aware that the weather conditions may affect the water levels.

When can I enter the dolphin feeding area?

Do not enter the feed area unless directed to by a staff member of the Dolphin Care Team. Minimising our use of the dolphins' area allows them to feel confident they will not be disturbed there. When directed by staff, walk into the water. Keep your fish well clear of the water and do not feed the dolphins until staff tell you.

What do I wear, and what about jewellery?

Wear something you do not mind getting wet and remove any sharp or large hand jewellery. Jewellery such as rings, watches and bracelets can scratch the dolphins skin or even eyes. This also ensures you do not accidentally lose or drop your jewellery.

If you do not want to get wet, waterproof waders can be hired from Tangatours - $15.00. Waders are a waterproof boot extending from the foot to the chest (similar to overalls).

Do I need to wash my hands?

Disinfect your hands in the bucket provided before handling the fish. It is important that we do not pass any bacteria onto the dolphins when handling the fish we feed them.

Where do I hold the fish?

Hold the fish firmly by the tail. Dolphins prefer to eat fish heads first. This helps them avoid problems with any spines that the fish may have.

How do I feed the dolphins?

Hold the fish steady under the water until a dolphin takes it. Pulling the fish away from the dolphin encourages it to snatch the fish.

Can I swim with the dolphins?

No, the dolphins are a family of wild animals and are not captive.

Can I touch or pat the dolphins?

Under no circumstances can you touch or pat the wild dolphins. Dolphins have sensitive skin and some do not like being touched by humans at all. We have hundreds of people who feed the dolphins every day. If patting was allowed this would be very stressful for the dolphins. This is also a requirement of the Queensland Government and anyone that breaks this rule will be asked leave the water immediately. Please respect this rule.

By following these few simple steps, your dolphin feeding experience will be much more enjoyable and the dolphins will thank you too!

Wild Dolphin Viewing & Wild Dolphin Feeding Access

Please note that casual visitors to Moreton Island are not allowed access to the resort premises for the nightly dolphin viewing / feeding experience. All guests that are authorised to stay overnight at properties within the grounds of the resort have general admission access to the dolphin viewing areas each evening. Only guests who have booked official day trips and select overnight stays with Tangalooma Island Resort will be able to participate in the nightly dolphin feeding program, but only if it was included in your original package. Consult your confirmation paperwork to confirm your access.

Wild Dolphin Feeding / Viewing is dependent on dolphin attendance, weather conditions & tides, therefore arrival cannot always be guaranteed; however over the last 3 decades of the program, we have experienced a 99% attendance rate. See Dolphin Feeding FAQs for further information about the program.

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