Orca (Killer Whale)– In western Australia, Orca are becoming increasingly abundant with an increasing number of humpback whales migrating up the coast. The largest species of oceanic dolphin, the orca feed on weak and young whales typically eating only their tongues. The Bremer Canyon is one of the best locations to encounter orca during the summer.
Rough Toothed Dolphin – Abundant on the west and east coasts of Australia, the rough toothed dolphin is a small species, with a small head and a long beak. Grey in colouration, they often swim with other species, feeding on squid and small fish species with their unique set of teeth.
Australian Humpback Dolphin– One of the most unique dolphin species on the planet, humpback dolphins are often seen in estuaries and mangroves eating mullet fish and smaller fish species. Only seen in the northern coasts of Australia such as Shark Bay and Moreton Bay, the humpback dolphin hardly ever stray 20km from the coast.
Bottlenose Dolphin – These incredibly intelligent dolphins are seen all around the coasts of Australia. Reaching sizes of over 10 feet and congregating in pods of over 100 these dolphins are a unique site for ocean enthusiasts. The bottlenose is known to be one of the more intelligent species on the globe, used for aquariums and Navy exercises.
Hourglass Dolphin– A sub-Antarctic and Antarctic dolphin, the hourglass dolphin is one of the most stunning marine creatures. A rare species, their white and black colouration stripes make them affectionately known as the zebras of the sea. Reaching just over 1 metre, the small species are estimated to only be numbered at 100,000. Only seen on the south and eastern coasts of Australia, a sighting of an hourglass is not quickly forgotten.
Rissos Dolphin – One of the larger dolphin species, the Rissos dolphin are unique in the sense that they don’t have a beak, and instead have a melon-shaped head. Growing to over 14 feet, these white dolphins are born grey and over years scar easily due to their highly familial behaviour. Mating, fighting and socialising all contribute to their scaring, which due to their weak skin pigmentation, never heals. Rissos have been seen off all states except Northern Territories and Tasmania.
Pan-tropical Spotted Dolphin – Considered one of the most curious and enigmatic of all marine species, they are commonly seen on the north coast of Australia down to Augusta, Queensland and NSW. Ordained with stunning black spots the spotted dolphins approach very close to boats, usually riding the wake for long periods of time. Like many of the species on this list, the spotted dolphins are migratory spending only months at a time in Australian waters.
Long Snouted Spinner Dolphin – Super pods of spinner dolphins are often seen throughout the Great Barrier Reef. As their name suggests this species spin as they leap from the water, perhaps for communication, parasite removal or simply joy.
Striped Dolphin – A shy species, the striped dolphin, with their single black stripe on their sides are one of the fastest species of dolphin. They are incredibly hard to swim with due to this, yet are spectacular to watch from the boat as they leap in unison through the waves. Spotted on the Eastern and Western coasts from Canberra to Darwin on the east and Perth to Darwin on the west.
Snubfin Dolphin – Smaller than the average human, the Snubnose dolphin is found off the northern coasts of Australia. One of the closest relatives to the Orca, the Snubnose dolphin is a grey creature with a small dorsal fin and melon shaped head. Inhabiting estuaries and rivers as well as the ocean, the dolphin is most commonly seen off the Kimberley’s.