Marine Matters – by Phil Coulthard – Operations Manager & Marine Biologist, Dolphin Discovery Centre
As featured in the South Western Times
Inspiring the kids to enjoy the great outdoors and care for our environment can be a tough proposition for most parents these days, particularly since the amount of outdoor activity time has dramatically decreased in favour of cinema, shopping malls and I-pad apps. Not only are the opportunities to participate in outdoor activities decreasing at school, but the amount of time parents have available during the afternoon or on the weekend has also continued to tighten. This is a real shame, particularly down here in Bunbury where our coastal environment is not only one of the most spectacular, but also one of the most accessible.
Knowing that more outdoor opportunities are needed, the Dolphin Discovery Centre will again be open from 8am until 4pm throughout the school holidays and offer both kids and parents a chance to interact with, and learn more about our local marine life. Located right on the foreshore of Koombana Bay, record numbers of wild dolphins visiting the Interaction Zone beach in front of the Centre at present will surely be a highlight, particularly during those calm mornings when you are able to stand in the water and watch the dolphins swim close by. For the more adventurous, sightseeing eco-tours will continue to run daily and offer one last chance to see the majority of dolphins before the end of the breeding season in early May. As an added bonus there are up to 4 new dolphin babies still in the bay, along with a number of male alliance groups trying desperately to impress the girls before both they, and the water turns too cold.
Knowing that the dolphins may not visit the Interaction Zone on occasions, the Centre also offers a range of marine animal interactive experiences such as turtle and shark feeding, starfish tickling and the now world famous Octopus display! Australia’s only surround sound digital dolphinarium also continues to amaze those who want to swim with the dolphins without getting wet, while the feature film and 3D cinema experience presents the true story of bottlenose dolphins that live within Koombana Bay. Best of all, entry into the DDC is very reasonably priced and includes 2 additional visits at no extra charge. This is an excellent policy promoting the wild nature of dolphins and ensures everyone receives the best possible chance of fully experiencing all that the DDC has to offer.
For those who want their kids to experience even more, why not sign them up for one of six activities offered within the school holiday activity program. There is the option of a half day or full day program starting at 10am and includes a range of indoor and outdoor activities that will definitely keep them entertained as well as educated. Programs not only focus on dolphins but also include turtle rehabilitation activities, foreshore trash and treasures, a muddy mangrove investigation and daily art and craft. The programs have proven to be very popular so bookings are essential. If you wish to be kept updated on the next school holiday program please email your information to email@example.com