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Dolphin shows off its lunch

Dolphin Sanctuary Kayak Tour: an environmentally delicate way to explore

Port Adelaide, the largest port in South Australia, offers a rich educational dolphin kayak tour experience complete with marine life, shipwrecks and notable landmarks all explored at a leisurely pace so you can capture those memorable serene moments.

The secret lies in the Garden

Garden Island, one of Adelaide’s special secret spots with its fascinating Ship Graveyards and is also home to the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary. Indulge your excitement, interest and wonder as you paddle amongst playful dolphins and move peacefully through creeks lined with ancient mangrove forests, while learning of the abundant bird life and Aboriginal and European history. Definitely in the top four must do activities in Adelaide.

Dolphin Sanctuary Kayaking -ship graveyard, Adelaide
Ship graveyard – Dolphin Sanctuary Kayak Tours

EcoStar Accredited Dolphin Sanctuary Kayak Tours’ lead guide has a marine biology background and years of experience and knowledge. Along with admiring bottlenose dolphins (famously known as the Port River Dolphin) as they play, feed and interact in their own backyard environment, there are frequent sightings of long-nosed fur seals, sting rays and the rare Australian sea lion – all will make for an unforgettable biological experience. For the adventurous and more experienced kayakers, self-guided tours are also an option – set out with a map, dolphin info and a bird identification card.

A world class ‘wild’ experience

The ‘wild’ Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary, created in 2005, was established to protect the Port River Dolphin and now hosts over 30 residents. This is the first known permanent metropolitan population of dolphins in the world. This marine sanctuary also provides a breeding ground for fish species and just north lies the   Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary, a significant feeding and roosting site for our feathered friends, resident and migratory birds, like the Curlew sandpiper, Ruddy turnstone, Red knot and Eastern Curlew.

Dolphin Sanctuary Kayaking
Dolphin Sanctuary Kayak Tours

The mangrove ecosystem which you will encounter on your tour mostly comprises the Grey mangrove. It forms the most extensive forests in Australia and reflects the amazing relationship this salt adapted species has with its surrounding marine wildlife. Traditionally mangroves haven’t received much attention but their amazing ability to breathe and survive in extreme salt conditions using peg-like roots is worthy of a mention as is the protection they provide to numerous marine and bird species hence mangroves have much to offer, particularly for the avid bird watcher and marine nature lover.

Bring your sense of adventure

You may ask, what to bring on your 3-hour guided tour? Snacks and water are always essential sustenance, hat, shoes that don’t mind getting wet and a water protected device to capture those amazing moments.

And what else can you expect from a Dolphin Sanctuary Kayak Tour? They are the only company to operate from exclusive facilities at Garden Island, with their own club house, private toilets, beach and ramps plus secure and ample parking. The guided tour is recommended for anyone 7 years and over, during you will sit comfortably in a 1,2 or 3-person kayak safely wrapped in a life jacket. Don’t fear, no prior kayaking experience is required. Your kayak guide will take you through the winding interconnected creeks while you listen to Aboriginal and nature stories and the sounds of the mangrove system in anticipation of discovering something sheltered amongst its leafy canopies.

Dolphin Sanctuary Kayak Tours -  mangroves
Kayak amid the Mangroves – Dolphin Sanctuary Kayak Tours

Ellen Krahnert
Living in the Adelaide Hills, Ellen thrives being surrounded by nature – it is her happy place, along with sourcing vintage treasures – something old becomes new again. Ellen works and volunteers in the environmental field, and in her spare time can be found exploring local and remote places with her little family of three. Ellen firmly believes that if you look after nature, it will look after you.