MARINE RESEARCH &
DOLPHIN WATCHING TOUR.
From $95.00 (Nov to May)
Duration: up to 3 Hours (approx.)
Location: Hollywell, QLD
THE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE BOAT TOUR
Join us for an intimate coastal encounter tour in small groups with only 6 participants on our semi inflatable research vessel Blue Manta. Departing ex Runaway Bay Marina, we will cruise through the Gold Coast Broadwater which is home to resident bottle nose dolphins, dugongs, rays and many shore birds. As we are heading offshore, you will get unique photography opportunities of the magnificent Gold Coast skyline. Our offshore waters are home to a large population of common dolphins which follow a feeding path along the near shore reef lines on a daily basis, making encounters realistic and likely. The chance to encounter dolphins and other marine life during our cruise is approximately 60% so whilst you may miss out, there is still heaps to love and enjoy about this 3-hour tour.
- Up to 3 hour return trip ex Runaway Bay
- Small groups of only 6-8 participants
- Chance to encounter wild dolphins and other marine life*
- Broadwater cruise as part of the tour
- Oceanside skyline views
- Great tour for photographers
- See the shark nets and drum line up close and learn more about the program
- Knowledgable staff with educational commentary
- Waterproof jackets provided
- South Stradbroke Island visit as bad weather alternative*
As part of this tour, you will see the shark nets and drum lines up close and learn more about the Gold Coast Shark Control Program, allowing you to form and educated view on the controversial government program. Our aim is to enable individuals to inform themselves first hand to encourage supporting the movement towards modern technology such as smart drum-lines, drones and education of the public.
This dolphin cruise departs on selected days only. Check our website calendar for latest dates and times. Private charters are available for groups up to 8 people.
Our whale watching vessel is small and we still have to reduce numbers due to social distancing requirements hence you will need to pay a little premium to make this experience possible.
- Base Price – $95pp (all ages)
- Private Charter – $680 (8 people max)
- A small booking fee is charged on check-out by the booking system provider.
- This tour is conducted on a smaller vessel. Boarding and disembarking as well as holding on whilst underway requires a moderate level of fitness and mobility.
- Any person with a serious medical conditions including pregnancy or physical disability should chose a larger vessel instead. If unsure please email us beforehand or consult your treating doctor.
- Whilst we try our best to plan tours around sea conditions, participants must be prepared to maybe get partially wet due to sea spray. We do provide spray jackets and these events are rare. We usually cancel and reschedule tours for comfort reasons if wind forecasts exceed 15 knots however sometimes forecasts aren’t 100% accurate.
- Minimum age is 10 years for boating safety reasons e.g. life jacket sizes etc. Families with smaller children should chose a large whale watching vessel.
BASIC ITINERARY (9:30 AM Cruise*)
- 9:15am – Meet us at the marina, use the toilets and get ready.
- 9:30am – Safety brief, put on spray jackets
- 9:40am – Depart marina and cruise through the Broadwater.
- 9:50am – Enter the open ocean to find and watch dolphins.
- 11:30am – Commence return cruise to the Marina via the shark nets
- 12:30pm – Arrive back at Runaway Bay Marina.
*Sunrise cruises or afternoon cruises follow the same itinerary but with a different departure time as advertised.
Our primary dolphin watching vessel is Blue Manta, a 6m long, semi-inflatable, rigid hull adventure boat with a capacity of 8 guests. Whilst spectators are more exposed to the elements, the vessel provides an incredible intimate feel of closeness to the water. Due to its small size and quiet engine, whales love to check out Blue Manta up close. Our second vessel (back-up), Blue Manta 2 is a 9m aluminium hull boat. It can carry up to 12 guests and offers more sheltered seating however, Blue Manta 2 is still very small and GoPro sticks can still reach the water. Blue Manta 2 is only used on occasions if wind strength and wave height are borderline for our smaller vessel.
BOOKINGS & PAYMENT
- Select cruise date and time
- Hit the book now button
- Enter your personal details
- Enter promo code or voucher code if you have one
- Check-out and receive our booking confirmation via email
- A small booking fee is charged by the system provider on check-out
- All of our tours must reach a minimum of 4 participants to depart
BACKUP TOUR – SOUTH STRADBROKE ISLAND
In the event that ocean conditions do not allow us to go offshore, we will stay within the Broadwater and cruise through Moreton Bay Marine Park over to South Stradbroke Island where you have the chance to encounter wild wallabies along the foreshore and cruise through pristine untouched waterways including the Bedrooms and McKenzie’s.
WHAT TO BRING
- SunSmart clothes (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen etc.)
- Warm clothes as it can get cold
- Drinking water (no glass)
- Waterproof bag for phones etc.
- Camera (splash-proof cameras recommended)
- Seasickness medication if needed (take well before departure)
- Meet us at Runaway Bay Marina, non front of the Marina Office (not inside).
- Your confirmation email and reminder emails will include a map and a hyperlink for directions.
- Please be on time as we have to depart on time.
*DOLPHIN SIGHTING GUARANTEE
You are participating in a wildlife tour on natures terms. There are no guarantees for dolphin sightings. Our experience from our whale watching tours shows that we encounter dolphins on almost every tour hence there is a realistic chance.