Tangalooma Resort Dolphin Feeding with the Children

Off the coast of the Port of Brisbane is Moreton Island, home to Tangalooma Resort. The island is the traditional home of the Ngugi tribe. Evidence shows Aboriginals lived on the island for 2000 years. The island is 58 kilometres from Brisbane, roughly a 75 minutes ferry trip.  

I left the island disappointed. Here is a place of amazing beauty and a wonderful array of animals and scenery. The island is made of sand and at its widest point is over 13km wide. There are endless white beaches and secluded private bays. There are 4 small charming communities.

The colour of the water has to be seen to be believed. In exotic locations and islands of the Philippines I would expect this, or perhaps one of the Pacific Islands, but here we are within Moreton Bay. Isn’t Moreton Bay renowned for brown water? A lot of brown water? Quiet clearly it is not.

The sunset. On my stars. My photos are unedited and if you go for only one thing, the sunset! I have seen some amazing skies but this was perfection. Perfection of rich pinks and reds and contoured clouds. It was obviously mesmerising as at one stage there was a line of about 20 people taking happy snaps.

There are over 200 species of fish – the Great Barrier Reef only has 150! There are sand hills that are reportedly the highest coastal dune in the world. 13 sunken wrecks to explore. Last, of all, there are dugongs, loggerhead turtles, and dolphins. In the wild. Thriving.

One of only two places in the world where you can regularly feed wild dolphins, this is an experience not everyone gets in their life. You need to stay at the resort to be able to participate. I have to say it was worth the lengthy wait in the cold (or heat depending upon what time of year you visit) to experience being so close to these graceful animals. My eldest chatted to the English couple next to us and laughed at the Malaysian and Indonesian tourists who had full trout fishing pants on. You know the gumboots and pants in one with braces on the shoulders. I stood on the beach fascinated that so many of them had the foresight to pack these in their suitcase. How could they fit them? (Incidentally, the next morning, I discovered the resort had them for hire) The dolphin we fed had her calf frolicking nearby. She has had 5 calves which pleased me greatly to have proof of how happy these animals. They are so gentle and elegant, yet at the same time, playful and able to bring delight to those nearby. I don’t think I could find the words to describe these creatures or the experience. An image of a rainbow and a dolphin jumping from the water with a unicorn is summoned as I think of what the experience made me feel. They are the living example of what fairy tales are made of.

We sat at the jetty during the Aboriginal dances and smoking ceremony while 4-5 Wobbegong sharks swam through the shallows. The resident shark has been named Warren. These magnificent creatures have distinctive sand colourings like that of their home below the jetty. If you get close enough they don’t look dissimilar to aboriginal artwork. The patterns are intricate and so perfectly symmetrical that you think that they may have been stencilled on.

As the Aboriginal dances started with their distinctive shrills and calls, in fly’s a beautiful creature from under the jetty to the shallows. The dolphin rolls around and flips back and forth, with the tail splashing the water in competition for attention from the events on the beach. In comes another and another behind the first one. Then comes a mother and baby. There are soon ten dolphins frolicking in the water.

Did you know dolphins don’t like wobbegongs? When the dolphin swims too close, the Wobbegong (a bottom dweller) sends out a warning and the dolphins have been seen retreating or baulking at their presence. This may not be a widely known fact but these are some of the observations the centre makes monitoring the behaviour of these animals. Can I confirm our interaction is not changing their environment. I’m sure the interaction does have some effect but I can only hope it is nothing but positive.

So how could I be disappointed? I just want to share this with everyone. I’m disappointed that this amazing place is not close to everyone’s heart. I want everyone to experience the magic of Tangalooma. It may only be a 3 and a half star resort but what it lacks in services  it certainly makes up for in access to the world’s animals and scenery. It’s delightful. The rooms are comfortable and very clean. the amount of activities on offer is exhausting. You will find something to do always. I can’t wait to return and see what changes have been made. they were building a new Food & Beverage area on our visit and I not only think this is money spent in an area that needed an investment but am excited to experience the additional changes.

I haven’t even mentioned the dugongs, loggerhead turtles and the whale watching. I saved that for next time!

Photo courtesy of Tangalooma Resort
Photo courtesy of Tangalooma Resort


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