5 great spots to see dolphins in South Australia

5 great spots to see dolphins in South Australia

You don’t need to be a pet detec­tive like Ace Ven­tu­ra to find dol­phins in SA. Here’s where to go dolphin-watching.

South Australia’s marine parks are not only amaz­ing places to see whales, sea lions and giant Aus­tralian cut­tle­fish, but also play­ful and flip­tac­u­lar dolphins. 

SA’s waters are home to three dol­phin species includ­ing the indo-Pacif­ic bot­tlenose dol­phin, com­mon bot­tlenose dol­phin and short-beaked com­mon dolphin.

So pick a spot to vis­it, get your cam­era ready, start dol­phin-watch­ing, and fill your social media feed with these live­ly and very pho­to­genic creatures.

Here’s five great spots where you can see them in SA:

1.Freeman’s knob –FleurieuPenin­su­la

Just over an hour’s dri­ve from Ade­laide city is Port Elliot’s Free­man Knob, which is pop­u­lar with a pod of local dolphins.

Vis­it the look­outs over Horse­shoe Bay and Encounter Bay to take some great pictures.

2. Hog Bay – Kan­ga­roo Island

Even though it’s a bit of a trek to vis­it Penneshaw’s Hog Bay from South Australia’s main­land, you’ll be reward­ed with loads of dol­phin activ­i­ty. So be sure to pop it on your buck­et list when you next vis­it Kan­ga­roo Island.

There’s a pod of dol­phins that cruise through Hog Bay every day. The per­fect spot for dol­phin-watch­ing is from the rocks at the east­ern end of the beach, near Frenchman’s Rock.

3.Ade­laide Dol­phin Sanc­tu­ary – met­ro­pol­i­tan north-west

The Ade­laide Dol­phin Sanc­tu­ary is locat­ed only 20 min­utes from Adelaide’s CBD and is sta­tioned along the Port Riv­er with about 40 res­i­dent dol­phins, plus about 300 vis­it­ing dolphins.

There are lots of dif­fer­ent ways to explore the riv­er. Try the self-guid­ed Port Riv­er Dol­phin Trail or hop on a kayak or boat tour.

4.Pon­dalowie Bay –Yorke Penin­su­la

Pon­dalowie Bay is locat­ed in Dhil­ba Guu­ran­da-Innes Nation­al Park, about a three-and-a-half hour dri­ve from Ade­laide city. 

The bay has a res­i­dent pod of about 30 dol­phins. Ven­ture to the board walk and view­ing plat­form to watch dol­phins rid­ing the waves. They can reach swim­ming speeds of more than 30 kilo­me­tres an hour.

5. Cof­fin Bay – Eyre Peninsula

The pris­tine beach­es of the Eyre Penin­su­la draw in not only tourists, but res­i­dent dol­phins. A recent Flinders Uni­ver­si­ty study found that Cof­fin Bay has the high­est den­si­ty of local dol­phins in the world.

You can watch the dol­phins glid­ing around Cof­fin Bay in Thorny Pas­sage Marine Park.

Keep our dol­phins safe

Fol­low these on-water laws and rules to keep your­self and dol­phins safe:

  • Swim­mers, surfers and boo­gie board­ers must not move with­in 30 metres of a dolphin.
  • Pre­scribed ves­sels like high-pow­ered vehi­cles such as jet-skis must not move with­in 300m of a dolphin.
  • Oth­er ves­sels like motorised ves­sels, sail boats, kayaks and wind-surfers must nev­er move with­in 50m of a dol­phin or with­in 150m of a dol­phin calf.
  • If a dol­phin approach­es your boat and you are mov­ing, main­tain your cur­rent speed and direc­tion. Dol­phins often enjoy rid­ing at the bow or in the wake of vessels.

There’s oth­er ways you can be kind to our ani­mal friends too, including:

Did you know that Adelaide’s Dol­phin Sanc­tu­ary is home to more than just dol­phins? Read our blog onwhat else you can dis­cov­er.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living