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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.

View the answer by clicking on the question


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@dolphinmcp.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?

 Please check the daily schedule link on our website before you arrive to check the most up to date & current times. 




Is your Marine Discovery Presentation on every day?

Our main Marine Discovery Presentation is on every day. 

Please head to our daily schedule for the most up to date times. 








What days are you open?

Dolphin Marine Conservation Park is open from 9am until 2pm everyday of the year as all our animals need love, care and attention every single day. 

Creekside Cafe is open from 7.30am - 2pm every day of the year for eat in or take away. 

We are CLOSED Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Australia Day.




What do we do at Dolphin Marine Conservation Park?

At Dolphin Marine Conservation Park we inspire realistic, attainable and sustainable behaviour 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 presentation.  

As a part of this work, Dolphin Marine Conservation Park cares for the amazing animals that call our park home. We also rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured marine animals and release them back to their natural homes.

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

Dolphin Marine Conservation Park 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 programs, Dolphin Marine Conservation Park demonstrates realistic and attainable ways for businesses to go 'green'. Our park was recently honoured with a Bronze Partner Award and achieved 'Zero carbon footprint for waste to landfill'. http://www.dolphinmarineconservation.com.au/conservation

For more information on what we do at Dolphin Marine Conservation Park, please continue reading our website.

What time are you open?

The park opens every day at 9 am but if you are looking for breakfast or a cup of coffee our Creekside cafe opens at 7:30 am. 

Both the park and cafe are CLOSED Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Australia Day.





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.


Do you breed dolphins?


As of the 14th March 2018 we no longer intend to breed our dolphins in line with the future direction of the organisation.


The dolphins we have in our park have either been rescued or born here, and they all participate in a full range of behaviours; from play to mock foraging for their food. While reproduction will be no longer be part of their lives, we are confident that the dolphins will continue to experience dynamic and enriching social interactions.

There is strong scientific evidence that supports the link between breeding and the positive welfare of animals under human care that cannot be released back to the wild, so we will be working with the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) to ensure that our animals’ welfare remains positive in the absence of our females rearing young.


For more information please see the full media release in our news section. 


Are you licensed to rehabilitate marine animals?

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

To help expand on the rescue and rehabilitation services that Dolphin Marine Conservation Park provides, we partnered with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and other animal care organisations to found the charitable organisation, Dolphin Marine Rescue & Animal Rehabilitation Trust (formerly called CHART - the Coffs Harbour Animal Rescue Trust.   The charity was established to support research into wildlife disease and improve 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 here: 


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 Conservation Park 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.dolphinmarineconservation.com.au/our-animals

Do you breed any animals at Dolphin Marine Conservation Park?

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 Conservation Park meet the standards for keeping dolphins?

Every year we must apply for and be granted a licence from the NSW Department of Primary Industries, click here for a copy our 2017-18 licence.
On the 21st February 2017 the Minister for Primary Industries, the Honourable Niall Blair, confirmed in NSW Questions to parliament “The Department is satisfied that the primary and secondary dolphin pools at Dolphin Marine Conservation Park meet applicable standards and licensing conditions”?

Does Dolphin Marine Conservation Park rehabilitate marine animals?

Over the years Dolphin Marine Conservation Park has rescued, rehabilitated and released thousands of sick or injured marine animals and is the only facility in NSW which is licenced to rehabilitate dolphins and whales onsite and in 2019 alone Dolphin Marine Conservation Park was involved in the rescue of over 60 marine animals including dolphins, seals, whales and marine turtles.

To help expanded on the rescue and rehabilitation services that Dolphin Marine Conservation Park has created a charitable trust. This was formerly known as the Coffs Harbour Animal Rescue Trust (CHART) however now you may know it as Dolphin Marine Rescue Animal Rehab Trust (DMRART).


DMRART works closely with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and is currently raising funds to build a specialised triage hospital for both native wildlife and marine animals.

Find out more about us at www.dolphinmarinerescue.org OR follow Dolphin Marine Rescue on FB & Instagram 


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

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 Conservation Park 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 Conservation Park 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 Conservation Park has never had a single instance of disease transfer.      

What is your stance on the dolphin captures at Taiji?

Dolphin Marine Conservation Park 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 Conservation Park 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 Conservation Park or National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) immediately.

Dolphin Marine Conservation Park 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 Conservation Park 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 Conservation Park 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 Conservation Park 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.  


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.dolphinmarineconservation.com.au/meet-stars program or when your little one is a little older, join us for a 'Private Shallow Dolphin Experience' http://www.dolphinmarineconservation.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. 

Share your experience & win

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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..


Every time I come to Coffs Harbour I visit marine magic! My family and I can’t get enough of these beautiful animals. Can’t wait to bring my partner this year so he can experience why I love it so much. Thank you Georgia, we look forward to welcoming you back to the park!..

Karen Purchase

I went up there nearly 2 yrs now after I turned 50. I had received money for my birthday and decided I wanted to do the “trainer for the day” experience. Was the best thing I have ever done in my life, seeing the behind the scene as well getting up and close to all the animals, my favourite parts were taking Elle for her walk around park twice, involved in show, and of course my experiences wi..

Bianca W

Thank you for our tour of your park. We have attended 3 times within the last 11years and have found this way was an amazing way to get up close with the animals and learn more about them. Our guide had lots of information to share and was very good at engaging with the children in the group. Highly recommend. We attended on the 14/7/20 Thank you for taking the time to share your lat..


My son had a brilliant dolphin swim with Trainer Stacey yesterday morning. Stacey was fun, informative and professional and zippy the dolphin was the perfect student loved loved our morning with these beautiful animals Thank you for your lovely feedback Jo, we will let Stacy & Zippy know!..

Diane Binks

Had a great visit to DMCP on Tuesday 30/6/2020, we had an escorted tour of the park with a very informative guide showing us around the park. This visit was very different to our normal visits but my granddaughter and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit! Thank you to all the wonderful people at the DMCP, you are all amazing! Hi Diane, Thank you for your lovely feedback, this is new to all..

Sharon Page

I took my two youngest grandchildren there in July 2018, they both loved it and still talk about it to this day, so we are planning to return with my oldest grandchild as well. They don't like the drive from Sydney, but they do love it there so it makes it worth the trip. Great place, educational and fun. Thank you Sharon, we look forward to seeing you again..

Sharon Fisher

My husband, daughter and my two grandchildren are driving up from Forster on the 26/06/20 to spend the weekend in Coffs Harbour for a getaway weekend.. My daughter , a single mum has just passed her paramedic course and is now in placement in Tea-gardens. She has been so flat out working 12hr shifts. So the reason to get them away for some quality time . I would love to surprise my grandbabies..

Jason lowe

The park is amazing I want to take my daughter their on November for her birthday she would love it so much Thank you Jason..

Rachel Knight

Best birthday ever! I spent two days at Coffs Harbour on January 6 and January 7. I travelled down on the 5th and left on the 8th, my sole reason for traveling 7 hours by train each way being to spend my birthday at your park which is on January 6. I loved it so much and everyone was so friendly that I have already booked my next holiday for 2021 so I can see you all again. My first day I book..

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