I’ve debated writing this post for almost a year now, not wanting to give away the secret of my favourite vacation spot, Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort. I’ve decided that it’s finally time to share, partially because not that many people read my blog, and partially because I’m currently coming off of a wild dolphin high.
Tangalooma holds a special place in my heart for many reasons. It was the first place I traveled to in Australia and it has also become Matt and I’s Christmas tradition. As we won’t be in Australia for Christmas this year, we decided to do our tradition a little early and spent the weekend here.
Here are a few highlights from my weekend getaway to Tangalooma:
This beach is my happy place. It’s not crowded or commercialised. The water is crystal clear and the sand is white. There are tropical birds and fish everywhere and dolphins visit the beach many times throughout the day. There are also hundreds of starfish everywhere.
The name of the hotel sounds like it’s a resort but it’s really not. We love the old beachy feel of the rooms and it’s very laid back with no elevators or maid service. They dont even give you an extra towel and the staff could care less about you.
Coincidentally, our room was right beside the room we had last year. Both rooms were big and spacious and had balconies overlooking the water so that we could watch the dolphins and have picnics while watching the sunset. Tangalooma is one of the only places in Australia where the sun sets over the water. This year our room was minus a man; last year we had a surprise when they double booked our room and we walked in on a man in our room.
A fun fact about this hotel is that it is the haunted hotel used in the Scooby Doo movie.
Feeding Wild Dolphins
A big perk of staying at this resort is that you get to feed wild dolphins. There are 12 dolphins that visit nightly and the resort is really great because they only feed them a small percentage of their daily diet so that the dolphins still hunt and stay wild. This year there were a lot of babies and one of the babies was only a few weeks old, and the size of a small dog. You only get to feed the dolphins once on your trip, so on the second night I went out at sunset and made sure I happened to be swimming when they arrived.
Snorkeling The Wrecks
The island has a bunch of man-made reefs that are made out of sunken ships. Last year the weather was a little bit cloudy and rainy, so no one was swimming around them, as the closet point is 60 meters out. I didnt want to snorkel out there alone, and followed an old man who noticed me following him and took pitty on me. We swam around the reefs together but the current was really strong and I got cut on the reef and had to swim with my bloody hand above the water so that I didn’t attract sharks. The next day I felt confident enough to go out alone. I got trapped in the current and it took me an hour to swim back to shore, and Matt thought a shark ate me!
This year Matt and I rented a two person kayak. It was a nice sunny day but a little windy so it took a lot of muscle to get out to the reefs. When we got there Matt threw fish food around me as I snorkeled. I ended up joining a snorkelling tour (that I didn’t pay for) and the staff were laughing with Matt about how I beat the system. The tropical fish were beautiful and we saw a giant turtle on our kayak ride back.
There are a lot of free activities that you can do at the resort, which require a deposit. We did archery and crochet last year and tennis and badminton this year. The championship games are a big deal on our vacation and winning feels even better when you’re beachside.
Last year we found the food to be overpriced and not very good quality. This year, the food was still expensive but the quality was much better. They even had some smaller portion sizes available. We decided to go to the fancy Fire and Stone restaurant which was our worst meal and a big disappointment. You don’t come here for the food
Marine Discovery Tour
On our last day we treated ourselves to the Marine Discovery Tour. We were hoping to see a Dugong but he was afraid of the rain. We did get to see a few giant green turtles and an octopus. We were also really lucky because a bunch of Dolphin pods surrounded our boat, which the tour guide said has never happened before! I seriously spent 10 minutes spinning around, trying to see all the dolphins popping up around our boat.
Living in the Gold Coast can often feel like a perminant vacation, home to some of the nicest beaches in the world. But when you need a vacation from your vacation, Morton Bay, home to Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort, is really the best place to go. Although the actual hotel and staff are mediocar at best, it’s really all about the wildlife and the scenery. If you have the opportunity to go to Tangalooma to experience the wild dolphins do it… or don’t (and help me keep this place a secret).
Thanks for reading my blog! Please feel free not to share this post or tell anyone about the magical dolphin island one hour from Brisbane. 😉
If you follow my blog you might be interested to know that this is the start of 12 trips that I am taking in 2 months. Here is my itinary:
Gold Coast, Australia > Tangalooma, Australia > LA, USA > Toronto, Canada > Ottawa Canada > Florida, USA > Toronto, Canada > Ottawa, Canada > Gold Coast, Australia > Tasmania, Australia > Gold Coast, Australia > Melbourne, Australia > Gold Coast, Australia.
That’s a lot of flying! To stay updated on my travels follow my blog or Instagram account!