Swimming with Dolphins Cruises are conducted October thru June out of Forster NSW on the East Coast of Australia.
Dive Forster at Fisherman's Wharf has provided truly wonderful experiences for thousands of customers in our local open ocean and lake environment, offering a fantastic opportunity for in-water Dolphin interaction.
Our Swimming with Dolphins cruises are conducted in the open ocean, north of the Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park boundary; it is out here in the current line that sweeps into the relatively sheltered bay formed by Cape Hawke, that we often encounter the pods of playful Common Dolphins.
In 1994 the Commercial Vessel's Manager of NSW Maritime (then Waterways), Mr John Howard came to Forster to assess our Swimming with Dolphins cruises, in particular the safety aspect of our operation. Mr Howard undertook a cruise with us and following this said: "We cannot deny the public the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful activity. You have obviously thought thoroughly about how to conduct these in water activities safely. We will be issuing you with a permit as part of your Certificate of Survey to put people over the age of fifteen years into the water on a trailing rope whilst you motor along slowly, and as demonstrated to me this morning"
Our fantastic purpose & custom-built TSMV Avanti is a fast, stable and extremely safe 10.6 metre twin hull vessel licenced to carry 20 passengers.
..recognised as one of the best day charter boats on the entire East Coast of Australia.
We encounter four types of Dolphins on the cruises:
- The local resident Bottlenose Dolphins which are normally found very close inshore along the beaches and ocean headlands.
- We also regularly encounter big pods of Common Dolphins which commonly roam up & down our coastline at a variable distance from shore.
- Oceanic Bottlenose Dolphins which also usually roam the coastline offshore. Sometimes, we encounter these dolphins inter-mixing with the Common Dolphins.
- Pan Tropical Spotted Dolphins are very occasionally also visitors to our offshore waters.
October through to mid - November cruises are conducted two or three times weekly, generally departing at 8 am for 2 to 2.5 hours duration.
November thru late - May more cruises are scheduled, and during the summer school holidays cruises depart daily, normally at 7:00 am
We always conduct the cruises in the morning as this is when the seas are usually calmest and the Dolphins at their playful best.
Weekends are often booked out months in advance by Scuba diving groups as our vessel is multi purpose.
Costs are AUD$75 for adult "swimmers", AUD$45 for adult non-swimmers, AUD$25 for children under 15 years.
Minimum age for persons to get into the water is 15 years (adult rate).
We provide swimmers wetsuits, masks and snorkels for the period of the cruise.
We have an 85% to 90% success rate of putting people into the water to Swim with the Wild Dolphins!
There is only one person at a time allowed in the water with the Dolphins. This person keeps close contact with the boat by holding onto a rope alongside whilst the Dolphins swim under, beside and around them.
Swimming with the Dolphins is suitable for everyone (15 years of age or older), but it does help if you are comfortable being in the ocean with your face in the water.
There are a number of medical and health problems that may make Swimming with the Dolphins unsuitable for someone. These could include epilepsy, heart or stress problems, history of dizziness, history of fainting spells, insulin dependant diabetes and aquaphobia; if you are unsure or suffer from any of these or any similar conditions you should consult your doctor before undertaking this adventure.
If you have snorkelling experience this is a great help in making it work for you.
People considering Swimming with the Dolphins are advised to practice snorkelling prior to undertaking this adventure.
It is possible to practice your snorkelling skills right off our own Wharf here in Wallis Lake. The day before your cruise and on the high tide is the best for this. We will lend you the necessary equipment to practice and can assist you with a few helpful tips. There is no charge for this service.
Swimming with the Dolphins Cruises are very weather and seas dependant.
Whilst we are normally able to assess whether conditions will be favourable one or two days in advance, we reserve the right to cancel cruises if the seas are not calm enough to undertake the cruise.
Even in the calmest of oceans, boats will rock and passengers will experience movement. If you are prone to motion sickness, preventative medications can greatly assist in ensuring your enjoyment of the cruise. "Travacalm", available only from chemists, is in our experience the most effective product for this available.
We do also encounter Humpback Whales during late June thru July on their northward migration, and also October thru November when they are heading south with their new calves.
Swimming with Humpback Whales; life's greatest ocean experience..
In August thru September every year we escort tour groups to Vava'u in Tonga to Swim with the Humpback Whales and their calves there.
Visit Whaledive.net for info on Swimming with Humpback Whales and some of the most amazing photos you will ever see.
Our Dolphin & Whale swim adventures are the best things you will ever experience in our oceans!
We also have accommodation available for visitors to Forster.
Bookings are essential for Swimming with the Dolphins Cruises.
'Phoning 02 6554 7478 (after hours mobile 0409 466 958) the day before your cruise is essential to ensure that the weather and sea conditions will be suitable for us to undertake the cruise (Credit Card number ok to confirm).
Looking forward to having you join us in Forster, Swimming with the Dolphins and in Tonga, Swimming with the Humpback Whales!