Barnacles Dolphin Centre
Tin Can Bay

Blackie the cormorant

Barnacles Dolphin Centre offers its visitors a rare opportunity to interact with wild Australian Humpback dolphins.

Our dolphin visitors

Snapper Creek - Tin Can Bay is home to the Australian Humpback Dolphin. We have a resident pod of 9 Humbacks led by the Alpha Male, Mystique - the rest of his pod consists of Patch, Ella, Squirt, Harmony, Aussie, Valentine, Chompy and White Fin.

The Humpback is a river & esturine dolphin requiring 18-20 mtrs of water to fish and shallow tidal creek areas where you see them basking in the sun. Their diet consists of squid, fish & crustaceans.

Mystique, Patch and Harmony together

Caring for the dolphins

There are some rules and regulations we ask our visitors to abide by to ensure our dolphins stay healthy and remain wild:

  • Only fish purchased at the site can be fed to the dolphins (a maximum quota of 3kg of fish per dolphin is fed each day)
  • Please ensure the flash on your camera is switched off to avoid potential injury to the dolphins eyes
  • Swimming with, or touching the dolphins is prohibited by law with penalties of up to $8,000 applying.
  • Do not enter the water unless accompanied by a volunteer
  • Dogs are not permitted
  • If using a mobile phone for photos please switch it to silent mode.

The dolphin feeding is regulated and closely monitored by the Queensland Government with a group of volunteers on site to ensure it is an enjoyable experience for both humans and dolphins.

What to expect

The Dolphin Centre opens at 7.00am with viewing time between 7.00 - 8.00am. There is only one feeding session per day commencing at 8.00am. On arrival visitors are welcome to join the volunteers in the water and get to know these beautiful mammals with a small group of people in the water at any one time.

Fish for the feeding is available on site. We have a feeding fee of $10 per person to cover the cost of each fish purchased and our other costs. Dolphin feeding does mean getting wet, at least up to your come prepared!

Once the dolphins are fed they generally return straight to the wild to get on with their day so be sure to be there before 8.00am to give yourself the best chance of enjoying this wonderful experience.

Of course, these animals are wild so we cannot guarantee their arrival time or even that there will be dolphins on a given day. However, patience is often rewarded when they are late so order some refreshments from the cafe, sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery. It is rare for no dolphins to visit but as with all wildlife experiences it can happen.

Most of all enjoy yourselves and don’t forget to tell your friends and family about our beautiful dolphins and the spectacular Cooloola region.

Early morning dolphin

Watching the dolphins in Tin Can Bay. Read more about the dolphins here.

Barnacles Cafe

Situated at Norman Point overlooking Snapper Creek, Barnacles Cafe provides a delightful setting for you to enjoy cafe style meals and refreshments while you are here to visit the dolphins or just taking in the beautiful scenery.

Barnacles Cafe is open from 7am to 3pm every day.


There is a "Special Car Parking Area for Dolphin Feeding" at the rear of the swimming pool, and then it is just a short walk over to the Dolphin Feeding Centre. The PARKING AREA that is situated at the front of the Dolphin Centre is reserved for 'BOAT TRAILER PARKING ONLY' and a fine may be incurred if you park in this area

News Update

The cost to feed the dolphins is $10.00 per person.

Barnacles in Top 10

Barnacles Dolphin feeding ranks as no 2 in top 10 Brisbane activities. Read the review at