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Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not listed here, please contact us and one of our friendly staff will be in touch with you shortly.

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General

Can I take my own photos?

Yes, photos and videos can be taken of any public activity at the park.  We ask in some areas that we allow plenty of space for our animals to feel comfortable and have designated standoff areas for the public to use.  If you are wanting images or footage for commercial use, you  must first seek approval from management, e-mail manager@dolphinmarinemagic.com.au


do i need to print off my receipt when I buy tickets or vouchers?

No you do not need to physically have a printed receipt, just show us the image from your smart phone or quote the receipt number and the name who bought the tickets/voucher.  


Do you have eating facilities?

Yes we do, the Creekside Cafe overlooks Coffs Creek and is open from 7:30 am for breakfast, and then lunch. Creekside Cafe Through select school holiday dates we also offer a cheaper alternative with a Sausage Sizzle in the park at a very reasonable price.  


Do you have group rates?

Yes we do.  We have discounted prices for groups 10 -25 people and over 26, if you arrive in a coach the driver is free of charge.  Please give us a ring at 02 6659 1910 for group bookings so that we can reserve seating.


How much time should I allow to experience everything at the park?

Allow 2 - 3 hours either morning or afternoon.  Make sure you arrive early (twenty minutes to half an hour) before the Marine Magic presentations for seal and dolphin kisses while during the busy school holiday periods, we recommend guests being at least arriving at thirty to forty minutes before presentation times (9:30am, 12:30pm (and 3:30pm in summer holidays)) 


What days are you open?

We are open everyday of the year, including all public holidays as all our animals need love, care and attention every single day. 


What do we do at Dolphin Marine Magic?

At Dolphin Marine Magic we inspire realistic, attainable and sustainable behavior changes to conserve the marine environment through the empathy guests feel for our marine life after our unique, hands on animal interactions and educational Marine Magic presentation.  

As a part of this work, Dolphin Marine Magic cares for the amazing animals that call our park home on daily basis and we also rescue and rehabilitate sick or injured marine animals and release them back to their natural homes. http://www.dolphinmarinemagic.com.au/rehabilitation

Aside from presenting our animals to the general public, we also take our role as educaters further by inspiring the next generation to change their behavior through unquine, hands on education programs at the park where school children interact with our animals in a lessons they will remember forever. http://www.dolphinmarinemagic.com.au/school-education

Dolphin Marine Magic also leads the way within the local business and industry community through our partnership with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage in their Sustainability Advantage Program. Through these sorts of programs, Dolphin Marine Magic is demonstrating realistic and attainable ways for businesses to go 'green' and the park was recently honored with a bronze partner award and achieved 'Zero carbon footprint for waste to landfill'. http://www.dolphinmarinemagic.com.au/conservation

For more information on what we do at Dolphin Marine Magic, please read on through our website.


what time are you open?

The park opens every day at 9:00 am, but if you are looking for breakfast or a cup of coffee before that the cafe opens at 7:30 am.


What time are your Marine Discovery Presentations?

We have two Marine Discovery Presentations, 10 am and 1 pm every day of the year PLUS on selected days in the NSW summer school holidays we have a third show at 4 pm.  
Make sure you arrive 30 minutes before your chosen show to receive your 'FREE' seal and dolphin KISSES!!


When is Steve McEwan's Reptile World at the park?

Steve brings in animals to the park every NSW school holidays.  His shows start at 11:15 and 2:15. Reptile World


where are you located?

We are located at 65 Orlando Street, Coffs Harbour, NSW which is on the beautiful Mid North Coast 6 hours by car from Sydney or only 4.5 hours from Brisbane.


Which days are the busiest?

Our busiest days are generally through the week, as most people think we get busy on the weekend.




Animals

are you licenced to rehabilitate marine animals?

Dolphin Marine Magic is the only facility in NSW which is licenced by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service to rehabilitate cetaceans (whales and dolphins) onsite and Dolphin Marine Magic has successfully rescued, rehabilitated and released several dolphins in last few years. Dolphin Marine Magic is also one of only two facilities in NSW with a licence to rehabilitate pinnipeds (seals) and in addition Dolphin Marine Magic is also licenced to rehabilitate seabirds and marine reptiles such as sea snakes and marine turtles. You can find a copy of our rehabilitation licence in the 'download' section at the bottom of each webpage. .

To help expanded on the rescue and rehabilitation services that Dolphin Marine Magic provides, Dolphin Marine Magic recently partnered with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and other animal care organisations to found CHART - the Coffs Harbour Animal Rescue Trust.  CHART was established with the goal of supporting research into wildlife disease and improving the care services for injured local wildlife through the development of a state-of-the-art, specialised triage hospital for both native wildlife and marine animals. Find out more about CHART at: https://www.facebook.com/CoffsHarbourAnimalRescueTrust?fref=ts


Are your dolphins captured from the wild?

No, absolutely not! Aside from the fact that it is against the law in Australia  to bring healthy marine mammals into captivity for public exhibition, Dolphin Marine Magic does not support at either a company or operational level the live capture or trade of any species of wild marine mammal for display.

All our dolphins and seals have either been born under human care or have been rescued and rehabilitated but then deemed unsuitable for release by an independent body (usually National Parks and Wildlife Services) and so must remain under our care in order to survive. 

We deplore the annual drive catches at Taiji and strongly believe that all animals belong in the wild wherever possible, doing our upmost to return all rescue and rehabilitation cases to the ocean if we are able. For more information about the personal histories of our animals and the reasons they have been rescued, please go to http://www.dolphinmarinemagic.com.au/our-animals


Do you breed any animals at Dolphin Marine Magic?

We have had many animals that have been born at the park including penguin chicks, sea lion pups and dolphin calves. Breeding plans for all these species are carefully developed in collaboration with organisations such as the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) and with other zoological facilities within the region. These plans are designed to ensure a healthy gene pool and to make sure each and every animal that born or hatched in Australia will have a home. All the breeding at the park is carefully monitored in accordance with these plans and unwanted breeding is prevented through the use contraceptives.


Does Dolphin Marine Magic rehabilitate marine animals?

Over the years Dolphin Marine Magic has rescued, rehabilitated and released thousands of sick or injured marine animals and Dolphin Marine Magic is now the only facility in NSW which is licenced to rehabilitate dolphins and whales onsite. In 2013 alone Dolphin Marine Magic was involved in the rescue of over 60 marine animals including dolphins, seals, whales and marine turtles. None of the rescued animals where kept at the park and Dolphin Marine Magic now has one of the highest release success rates for New Zealand Fur Seals and marine turtles in Australia.

Dolphin Marine Magic is always improving its animal rehabilitation facilities and in 2013 the park developed several new facilities that provide Dolphin Marine Magic with specialised facilities to rehabilitate small cetaceans (dolphins and whales) and pinnipeds (seals). These enclosures have already been put to use in the successful rehabilitation and release of “Hope”, an Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin, and several New Zealand Fur Seals in the last two years.

To help expanded on the rescue and rehabilitation services that Dolphin Marine Magic provides, Dolphin Marine Magic recently partnered with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and other animal care organisations to found CHART - the Coffs Harbour Animal Rescue Trust. CHART was established with the goal of supporting research into wildlife disease and improving the care services for injured local wildlife through the development of a state-of-the-art, specialised triage hospital for both native wildlife and marine animals. Find out more about CHART at the CHART Facebook page


how large are your animal enclosures?

All our animal enclosures are of varying sizes although our largest pool, Dolphin Lagoon, contains a volume of 1.7 million liters of water.

Each animal enclosure at Dolphin Marine Magic either meets or exceeds the standards for exhibition of animals as laid out by the NSW Department of Primary Industries, with the NSW marine mammal standards being some of the most modern and stringent in the whole world.   

These standards have been developed through consultation between ourselves and our peers within the marine mammal care industry, various government departments and other non-government organisations and groups and these standards are now being used as the basis for developing new animal standards for other states within Australia. 


How much time do the animals spend interacting with people at Dolphin Marine Magic?

The recently gazed 'Standards for Exhibiting Seals in NSW', which are among the most modern and stringent marine mammal standards in the world, allow seals to interact with people for up to two hours each day. Presently the NSW dolphin standards do not place any limits of the amount of time dolphins are allowed to interact however Dolphin Marine Magic has taken it upon its self to develop in-house standards that are based on the NSW seal standards and limit the interaction time to a maximum of two and half hours a day. This limit includes any time when the animals participate in shows, educational lessons, swims and other water based programs, feeding interactions or any other time when the animals are asked to interact with members of the public.

It is important to note that these are maximum limits and the reality is that most days the animals spend much less time than this interacting with public. Just like the staff, the animals have rostered days and shows off and they all take it in turns to do the various jobs at the park. For example Bella might have a morning off and then do a show in the afternoon, have the following day completely off and then do two swims on the day after that.


Is there any danger of disease transfer between animals and people at the park?

Dolphin Marine Magic is committed to following industry best practise in terms of hygiene; for example anyone participating in animal feeding interactions is required to sanitise their hands prior to handling the animals food and all guests are encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water after interacting with the animals at the park.


In terms of possible disease transfer, there has never been a recorded case of disease transfer between a cetacean (dolphins and whale) and a human in Australia. In nearly forty five years of operation, offering millions of memorable interactions between guests and animals in that time, Dolphin Marine Magic has never had a single instance of disease transfer.      


We heard that Bucky has had cancer. Can we still see him performing in dolphin shows?

In early 2008 an ulcer was noticed in the back of Bucky's mouth.
When the ulcer didn't respond to treatment, biopsies were collected and DMM team were devastated when the lesion was diagnosed as cancerous. Bucky then underwent treatment for the lesion which was very successful and thankfully the cancer has now gone into remission with no evidence that it has spread outside his mouth.
In 2013 Bucky's carers noticed the appearance of new suspicious growths inside Bucky's mouth and as seen on the TV show "Bondi Vet", these growths were examined by Dr Chris Brown. The results of this examination concluded that these were just irregular growths and not cancerous. Today Bucky is fit and healthy, he essentially only has a mouth ulcer which is monitored closely by veterinarian staff and his carers. The ulcer does not cause him any pain and doesn't affect him in any way.
An independent vet examined Bucky in 2015 and reported that he is in "good condition behaviourally and physically, and mentally benefits from the stimulation that his daily routine provides". Whilst Bucky still participates in the Marine Discovery Presentations and education programs, he is not the "star" dolphin and nor does he jump through hoops or carry people on his back for "rides". Generally he only participates in one presentation a day whilst on other days, he has the entire day "off".
Dolphin Marine Magic is proud of the high standard of care that we provide to all of our animals which is evidenced by the fact that Bucky has lived such a long and healthy life.


What is your stance on the dolphin captures at Taiji?

Dolphin Marine Magic deplores the drive catches and senseless slaughter of dolphins in the 'Cove' at Taiji and fully supports the efforts of the brave volunteers in Taiji who attempting to record the the horrific slaughter, bringing attention to the world through peaceful and law abiding means.

Because of our strict stance on the capture of wild dolphins, Dolphin Marine Magic has never and will never purchase or obtain a dolphin or the offspring of a dolphin that has been captured through driving catches that occur in Japan or any other location around the world nor do we associate with or support any facility that does.

There are many people who claim that simply by having dolphins in our care, we are supporting the capture of the dolphins from the wild, regardless of the fact that all our dolphins have been rescued with injuries or born at the park. We believe that this is an extremely unfair generalisation and akin to claiming anyone who works in a clothing store or buys clothes is supporting child sweat shops in China, regards of where the clothes actually come from.

We believe that through our strict stance on wild dolphin capture, along with similar stances from other like minded facilities around Australia and the world, we are leading the way in the marine mammal care industry and we hope that we can one day change the views and stances of these facilities that do still support the needless capture of dolphins from the wild.


What should you do if you find a sick or injured marine animal?

Contact Dolphin Marine Magic or National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) immediately.

Dolphin Marine Magic can be reached on (02) 6659 1900 during office hours.

NPWS can be contacted on during office hours or after hours on 6652 0900.

It is important to remember that seals regularly haul to rest on beaches and rocks.  This is not a sign that they need help, but if you are worried about them please contact either Dolphin Marine Magic or National Parks and Wildlife Services on the numbers provided above.  Please do not approach these animals and make sure you keep your domestic animals at bay. Wild animals may have an illness that might be transferable to you or your pet.


What sort of experience and qualifications do your staff have?

Our staff come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Roughly half of the marine team come from an marine science background and have studied at university before beginning their career in the care for animals. Other members of the team have previous experience at other parks and have formal zoo keeping and animal management qualifications which is the bench mark qualification for anyone working in a zoological facility in Australia. In all, the small team of animal keepers at the park have over 100 years of combined experience in the care of marine animals.

No matter their background, the one thing that all our staff have in common is a passion for marine conservation and a love for the animals in their care. Not only do the marine team frequently volunteer their own time, day or night, to rescue, rehabilitate and release injured marine life at the park but many members of the team also volunteer their time to help other animal recues groups or voluntarily assist organisations such as the New South Wales National Parks And Wildlife Services in scientific research.


why can't your animals be released into the wild?

The animals at Dolphin Marine Magic are unable to be released into the wild due to either injuries that they have previously sustained in the wild (which were the reason that they were rescued) or because they have been born under human care and don't possess the necessary skills and abilities they need to survive in the open ocean. 

Past attempts that have been made to retrain animals that have lived under human care for release into the wild have not only been notoriously expensive but it also has a very slim track record of success. Even Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepard, noted  in his article "The cult of Animal Celebrity" (Animal People: June 1995) that money spent attempting to release high profile animals back into the wild is wasted money that could have been better spent highlighting other major environmental issues.    

Many famous release attempts have ended tragically for the animals released including Keiko, the Orca made famous in Free Willy, who died suddenly after tens of millions of dollars was spent attempting to training him for release back into the wild or the dolphins from the Atlantis Marine Park in Western Australia who either vanished upon release and are assumed to have died or had to be returned to human after been found in extremely poor health. 

Although our animals cannot be released, we firmly believe that we provide our animals the best possible care at Dolphin Marine Magic and through the hands on experience our friendly animals offer our guests, we believe our animals inspire guests to make more of an effort to conserve and protect the wild animals that could our oceans home.  




Swims

Can my children get in the water with the dolphins and seals?

Yes they can, they do have to meet certain age requirements, and advanced bookings are recommended.  For more information click on this link dolphin + seal experiences


do i need to print off my receipt when I buy tickets or vouchers?

No you do not need to physically have a printed receipt, just show us the image from your smart phone or quote the receipt number and the name who bought the tickets/voucher.  


If i am pregnant can i get in the water with the dolphins and seals?

Unfortunately the answer is no. While we would love to allow you to experience the magic of being in the water with our animals whilst pregnant, we do not wish to endanger you or your baby.

Although our animals are all well trained and very friendly, some of our animals weigh more than 150 kilos and if they could still cause you harm or injury by mistake if they were to bump against you by accident during your program.       

Come and see us after your baby is born and both you and your baby can enjoy an experience with both seals and dolphins in our 'Meet The Stars' http://www.dolphinmarinemagic.com.au/meet-stars program or when your little one is a little older, join us for a 'Private Shallow Dolphin Experience' http://www.dolphinmarinemagic.com.au/shallow-dolphin-experience which is the ideal program for families with young children. 


If I have a disability can I get in the water with the dolphins and seals?

Yes, we allow disabled people in the water with our animals, although we need to ensure your safety. To address this issue, we will ask you some questions. We will need to know if you are mobile and can follow direction from our trainers, if not we will ask that you have your personal carer in the water to assist you, free of charge. We offer 'Special' experiences all year round, but if you want to do it in the peak holiday periods, it can be more than triple what it would cost on the shoulder and off peak periods.  Therefore, to guarantee you a 'one on one' with our animals, we ask that you try to book your 'Special' experience in our shoulder and off peak seasons, which are outside all school holidays and not from about mid December to the end of January. 


Why do you allow people in the water with your animals?

The human interactions in which some of our animals participate are a part of our animal's daily enrichment program.  This program is designed to keep the animals stimulated and healthy, with meaningful activities for them to do each day. Our animals also have regular rostered days off from interactions and presentations each week, just like we do!

Our animals are only asked to interact with guests for a maximum of two hours on each rostered working day, although they are free to interact with guests of their own accord outside of presentations and interactions for whatever period of time the animals wish. See here for more information about the care and enrichment we provide to our animals.    


Share your experience & win

Write a short story, upload a photo and you could WIN free entry to the park for you and your family.

Tami

I seen Bucky on sash on TV just now. What an amazing spirit. I feel blessed to be kissed by a trooper. Xoxo thank you Greg for sharing an amazing dolphin. I work with Fuji and I am glad we have a photo booth for people to keep the memories. Sometimes it is all you have. I love my kiss picture with Bucky. Thank you for your photo. Paige Sinclair CEO..

Katherine Thompson

This was my last visit to The pet Porpoise pool 35 years ago I was 7. we used to go every year when I was little and my grandmother getting kissed by a seal was the highlight of the day. I loved feeding the fairy penguins and my dream is to one day swim with the dolphins. I would love to win passes to marine magic to experience it again with my family. What great memories Katherine, we hope to w..

Bianca

My mum and I just spend the whole weekend at Pet Porpoise Pool, we travel from Tweed to Coffs just to see Buck and Zip, we love them and can't get enough. Already driven down 3 times this year, and every time it's amazing. And we loved seeing all 5 dolphins in the pool, Bella's a sneaky little thing! We got drenched by her plenty of times hahaha. Great to hear you enjoyed yourselves - Paige S..

Ana Anastasova

I have never been to the dolphin magic but I have heard so many good things and that is an amazing place to visit. I'm trying to see if I can organise one night stay for me my partner and his two little girls at Coffs Harbour so I can take them to the dolphin magic and experience all the wonders and for myself to finally go and visit dolphin magic...

Lily

I absolutely love this place I went there for my b day I got to get a kiss from a dolphin and give it a checkup,swim with a dolphin,feed a dolphin,play with a seal,trail bells the dolphin and much much more I am a local and have been going here for years and never get tired of this amazing place and boy the animals are treated like royalty 🐬😄..

Lily bellamy

I absolutely love this place I came here for my 12 birthday and it was soooo amazing and special to me I got to swim with dolphins,kiss a seal and a dolphins,be a trainer for a day,the dolphins even sang happy birthday to me and it was so cute and I also got to feed the penguins 🐧 and give the dolphin a dental checkup I would definitely love to come back her another time even though I am a local ..

Angela and Mauri

We hosted our daughters 9th birthday party at Dolphin Marine Magic and cannot thank the staff enough for making it such a special day for all of us! Our lovely hostess Maddy looked after the 12 girls every needs, keeping them busy and answering all their questions about the animals and park and the food and pretty cup cakes were a nice suprise. During the Marine Presentation our daughter Jasmin go..

Bianca

Hi my name is Bianca. Dolphin Marine Magic is the most awesome place to go. If you want to feed the Peguins, Seals, Dolphins. When i save some money I'm going to have a very exciting experience with a water integration with a dolphin and a seal. I got to be apart of a fabulous show where I got to be on stage to feed a dolphin. It is the most awesome place to go. I love Dolphin Marine Magic and I w..

Jared

Never been to your place. Heard much about it and your swims for disabled people. Been to a dolphin feed but wasn't even allowed to touch the dolphin( tin can bay Qld ) as these were wild tame ones. Looked at your encounter prices and my heart sank. I can afford admission but not the encounter"swim" My parents have just moved to Nambucca heads from Harvey bay And will be heading over sometime next..

Rebecca Holloway

I come to Coffs every two years and have been for over 20 years. I have so many great memories of visiting dolphin marine magic with my parents and now I get to share that with my husband and two sons. It's such great value, great education and great family fun. This year we'll visit on my sons birthday in September!! Thank you so much - don't forget your son will get in free! Paige Sinclair CEO..

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