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swimmer up close with dolphin

Discover the Wonders of Swimming with Dolphins in Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay

Experience Swimming with Dolphins in Sorrento, Queenscliff, Mornington Peninsula, and Victoria

Polperro’s crew are somewhat accustomed to words like ‘life-changing’ and ‘revelatory.’ Swimming with dolphins really is an experience like no other. Our team is expert in providing intimate interactions that are entirely on the dolphins’ terms, making these close and personal encounters all the more special. With a combined century of experience, Polperro’s crew are able to offer guests a wealth of knowledge about the bay and its resident dolphins. But just how special are these dolphins?

Our dolphins

Sometime after Port Phillip Bay was formed, the dolphins moved in and they have called it home ever since. They are as much part of the place as the sponge gardens, vast sandy plains and rocky reefs that give the Bay its’ unique identity. Like the other 80-90% of species that are endemic to our southern waters, if these populations are lost, they are gone forever as they are not replicated elsewhere. Port Phillip Bay’s dolphins have been elevated to icon status and are regarded as a litmus test for the health of the waters in which they live.

swimming with dolphins

A new species

Whilst new species tend to be uncovered these days in the depths of the ocean or in remote wilderness, our dolphins were discovered on the doorstep of a thriving metropolis that 5 million people call home.

The Burrunan dolphin (Tursiops australis) was formally recognised as a new and separate species in 2011 by the Victorian government based on multiple lines of genetic and morphological evidence from research conducted by Dr Kate Charlton-Robb. Numerous following studies have validated this. Kate’s current research has further revealed that our dolphins are the most ancestral node for all Bottlenose dolphins worldwide, with the split dated at 1.03 million years. In other words, the Burrunan are the original Bottlenose dolphins!

Prior to this discovery, the Bay’s dolphins were considered common bottlenose, which are found all over the world. It came as no surprise to Polperro’s crew who, having worked with the dolphins for over 2 decades, have always known they were extra special.

Discover Dolphins on the Mornington Peninsula, Sorrento, Queenscliff in Victoria

Port Phillip Bay is home to a population of 80 – 100 Burrunan dolphins, making them a critically endangered species.

When people think of coming to Australia to swim with dolphins, Melbourne probably wouldn’t be at the top of their list. But our Bay provides a natural experience that is quite like no other. The majority of the Bay’s species, including the dolphins, cannot be found anywhere else. So take the plunge, go beneath the surface, and open your eyes to Melbourne’s beating blue heart.”

“The great difficulty in writing about Polperro dolphin swims for a mass audience is in overcoming an instinct not to write a single word. So sublime is this experience that it’s almost too good to share. But of course sharing is what the Polperro is all about. ”

Paul Pottinger from The Australian on Polperro Dolphin Swims.

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