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Touring around the beach paradise of Port Stephens would not be complete without this activity that has attracted thousands of tourists every year: dolphin watching onboard a cruise ship.
With a little over 200 kilometres northeast of Sydney, Port Stephens is a sanctuary of endangered and protected marine species including the bottlenose dolphins. Take a 2-hour drive from the NSW capital to the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park where its blue waters host over 140 dolphins living in the community.
It has been a tradition that the Aboriginal Worimi people communicated with the Guppar, a local name for the dolphin. The tribal elders talked to the dolphins, and even today, the tradition is still being kept and practised. The spiritual bonds between the Worimi people and the dolphins of Port Stephens remained strong.
Today, dolphin watching is among the top tourism highlights in Nelson Bay which is part of the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park. Moonshadow TQC-Cruises, one of the licensed cruise operators, offers dolphin-watching on a cruise with informative and live commentary onboard.
The bottlenose dolphins have made the waters of Port Stephens their home. Sleek and with a dorsal fin that’s broad and triangular, a bottlenose dolphin has an average weight of 200 kg but can grow up to 650 kg.
Swimming up to 35 kilometres per hour most bottlenose dolphins reside in and made the waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans their playground.
Dolphins are ocean mammals known to be friendly to humans. And like any other mammals they sleep, breathe, and drink water. They surface to breathe by using their blowholes. A breathing cycle is completed within less than a second, and they hold their breath for up to 20 minutes. They get their water from the food they eat; they need to consume at least 10-23 kg of fish every day. When they sleep, they move slowly in the water. They have incredible eyesight, too. They can see with less amount of light underwater.
In the Port Stephens, three types of dolphins reside in its waters. They the Indo-Pacific bottlenose, common bottlenose, and common dolphins. These dolphins are a popular attraction in Nelson Bay.
Autopia Tours designed a tour package to Port Stephens which is included in the 2-day trip to Port Stephens, the Hunter Valley, and the Blue Mountains. The highlights of this tour are the following: exploring the blue waters and the rich marine life of Port Stephens, scenic wine and dine in the cellar doors of Hunter Valley, and the impressive natural scenery of the Blue Mountains.
As part of our advocacy of promoting responsible eco-tourism, we encourage folks to take care of the dolphins, the whales, and other marine species by refraining from throwing plastics to the ocean and keeping our waterways clean. We protect the natural habitat for the future, and it is our duty to be responsible stewards of mother earth.
Should you wish to know more about Autopia’s involvement in environmental preservation, feel free to contact us. And should you like to travel with us to experience a unique ocean adventure in Port Stephens, booking a tour would be more fun!

Nelson Bay | Autopia Tours