Few travel experiences compare to the thrill of sighting wildlife and being able to witness them in their natural habitat. Most times, except in sanctuaries, these meet-cute moments are random and unexpected. But what if you could plan your interaction with the aid of local expert guides and go further and more immersive than ever?
Signature experiences across the Mornington Peninsula are nothing short of spectacular. And for those adventures enjoyed underwater, they most definitely hold this status. Our bay shines with its marine wildlife. And there is always something new to discover each time you visit. So if you have yet to experience a Mornington Peninsula marine adventure, now is the time to do so!
Grab your adventure partner; we are about to explore how the Mornington Peninsula is licensed to thrill.
The Stars of the Show
The Mornington Peninsula skirts 190km of Victoria's most beautiful coastal areas. With a network of pristine bays, you will find an abundance of marine wildlife to explore.
The stars of the bay would most definitely be the bottle-nose dolphin. As a species, they are known as the Burrunan (pronounced bur-runan), an Aboriginal name meaning Large Fish of the Sea. They are free-spirited, playful and curious, which is why moments of interaction with them are truly memorable.
The pod here are unique and are one of only two known pods in Victoria. Aside from this, what makes these guys unique is that they are a matriarchal pod - which means they will never move house and leave the bay. Swimming alongside the resident dolphins is a bucket-list-worthy moment; you will remember and still talk about it years after the moment has passed.
The people's choice award would go to our resident seal population. Amusing and playful these guys float, sleep and race through the bay waters providing a comic performance at each encounter. And finally, the best dressed for their colour and grace is the Weedy Sea Dragon. Found near piers and in places where you can snorkel and dive. The tiny horses of the sea also call parts of the region's amazing bay home.
Local Travel Experts with a passion for our waterways
With the advantages of hometown knowledge, Polperro Dolphin Swims, Moonraker Dolphin Swims and WaterMaarq are your Port Phillip local guide experts. With a combined tally of experience etching over 70 years, these guys are the only licensed operators able to take you swimming and snorkelling with the dolphins when visiting the Mornington Peninsula.
Their insider knowledge and passion for sharing the bay with our locals and regular and occasional visitors have seen them all decorated in awards across tourism, business and sustainability. Their common goal? To provide moments for the adventurous to experience these majestic mammals in their underwater world in an eco-friendly way, ensuring the bay and its characters are here for future generations to enjoy. But which one is best suited for you?
Like many of our local businesses, Polperro Dolphin Swims is a family-run business spanning three generations. With Captain Troy Muir now at the helm, Polperro limits the size of their groups to guarantee a superior experience. All crew members are dolphin experts; the place they love to be is on the bay.
Previous visitors highly recommend Polperro calling out their knowledge sharing from the history of the bay to the dolphins. And, just a side note, the freshly baked scones served on board each journey are also highly rated and not to be missed.
Polperro runs two departures daily at 8.00 am and 12.00 pm from Sorrento.
Moonraker Dolphin Swims is also a family business. They love to share the aquatic backyard they get to call home. Captain Torie McKinnon loves to operate tours she would love to travel upon and pass on her appreciation and care for our environment.
Whilst a larger luxury boat where group size is limited, they have a variety of tours, the most popular being the 3-hour dolphin swims which include a visit to the seal colony at Chinaman's Hut and a chance to snorkel with the Weedy Sea Dragons.
Moonraker tours leave from Sorrento Pier at 8.30 am and 1.00 pm daily.
Watermaarq's boat is a vastly different experience from the other licensed operators. You know you are up for an adventure when you board the fun and fast RIB. Group sizes are limited to 10, and all your gear is provided.
Marlon Quinn's local team offer a fast 2-hour boat tour leaving, yes, you guessed it, Sorrento Pier at 9.30 am and 12.00 pm daily. The bonus with the rib boats is that you will spend less time getting to your location.
Finding the right experience for you is easy when touring with a licensed operator. If you are not keen to make a splash? Sightsee from a distance aboard the boat and soak in all the fun from above. Otherwise, jump in and experience the magic of swimming alongside the locals who call Port Phillip home. It's a memorable and thrilling experience, to say the least!
Come Back Again!
Already ticked a Mornington Peninsula dolphin swim off the bucket list? Come back and experience it again! These tours represent some of the most thrilling adventures to discover. And the best part? Thanks to the ongoing sustainable efforts by each of these businesses, they will remain accessible for many years to come.
A whole world awaits beyond the beaches of the Mornington Peninsula. So don't leave it to chance! Instead, tour with the experts who are licenced to thrill and see why our marine scene is undeniably memorable.
Click here to explore Polperro Dolphin Swims, Moonraker Dolphin Swims and WaterMaarq.
Wanting to know about more of the best things to do on the Mornington Peninsula? You’re in the right place!
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