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Tour in Newcastle with Dolphins


There are many reasons we enjoy operating tours along the stunning Hunter Coastline – from Lake Macquarie to Newcastle’s iconic working harbour. Although, it’s not only locals and visitors that enjoy these waters, dolphins do too!

Tour in Newcastle with Dolphins

In Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins are two of the most regularly sighted cetaceans on our tours. Cetacean (the infraorder of Cetacea) is the classification of marine mammal entrusted to whales, dolphins and porpoises. Fortunately, guests aboard our tours are likely to see dolphins on almost every trip.

Common Dolphins

Visually one of the best-looking dolphins we get to often see on our tours. Short-beaked common dolphins are unique in their colouring, behaviour and environment. These inquisitive dolphins will sometimes travel great distances to join up with our boats while we are offshore. They are primarily dark in colour, with lighter or yellowish colouring on their underside. These dolphins are super playful and will often travel in large pods in coastal and offshore areas along the New South Wales coast. While out on tours we often spot these dolphins quite some distance from the shoreline — making them rarely seen from the Newcastle’s beaches and cliffs and making for some of the best dolphin watching opportunities.

Dolphin watching Newcastle

Bottlenose Dolphins

Have you ever been at the beach in Newcastle, looked out and seen dolphins riding the waves? Well, these dolphins are likely bottlenose dolphins or indo-pacific bottlenose dolphins, which are resident and often congregate around the beaches, and even inside Newcastle Harbour. These dolphins are super recognisable with their all grey colouring with light grey undersides. When dolphin watching on our tours, we often sight these dolphins playing and feeding close into shore, as well as in shallower waters. Usually, these dolphins are spotted in much smaller pods. Also, it is not unusual to see bottlenose dolphins swimming around the port of Newcastle.

Dolphin watching lake macquarie

Regularly, both bottlenose and common dolphins ride the bow wave of our custom-built boats, Atmos and Hydro. This is because it is fun for the dolphins, and is effectively like ‘assisted swimming’. The reason being is the bow or front of a boat exerts high pressure, pushing the dolphins away, requiring less exertion from the dolphin themselves.

This often happens at the head of a whale as well, whereby dolphins and whales are more than happy to interact, and the dolphin gets a benefit at the same time. Many of CoastXP’s tours get the opportunity to watch dolphins during the tour, and we are always out spotting dolphins at every chance we get. If you would like the opportunity to see dolphins for yourself along the Hunter Coastline, join us on our next tour!

Dolphins racing

Dolphin Research Australia is dedicated to the support of dolphin populations through research, education and conservation. For more information visit —