Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Rockingham (Australia)

rockingham wild encouters

Actual dolphins taken in the water under us on that day (Credit: Rockingham Wild Encounters @ Flickr)

I panicked the moment I went into the water and that made me miss my first glimpse of the wild dolphins around me. The cold water, high waves and not to mention, deep cloudy waters threw me off that my first reaction was to panic. My team leader kept shouting for me to put my head in the water but my brains just froze and I was left gasping for air as the waves kept crashing into my face. Disappointed in myself, I let my leader pull me back to the safety of the boat. And I felt like I had failed the test. Not a very good start to swimming with these wild dolphins, I thought.

What was I even doing swimming in the open waters when I have a phobia of deep waters? Well, If you can remember, I was very disappointed on my last trip to Sydney because I didn’t manage to see any wild dolphins even though I had made a special trip to Jervis Bay to do so. Discovering this opportunity at not just seeing them but swimming with them through Rockingham Wild Encounters, I felt that it was a new adventure to be attempted, even though I was filled with trepidation at the thought of being in the waters.

The day started off with calm waters and gorgeous weather but also left us cruising along for more than an hour in search of dolphins. Waiting is such an awkward time for a solo traveller like me so I imagine I’ve talked my ear off to everyone around me while waiting.

Suddenly, we hear a call and we finally see some fins in the water. Dolphins have been spotted! The big moment has arrived!

rockingham wild encounters

I’m the 2nd person on the right team here, behind the team leader. We held on to each other’s belt and the wetsuit allowed us to float in the water. I was afraid to look up but don’t worry, there were more dolphins underwater. ๐Ÿ™‚

BUT…yes, that moment was shortlived. I panicked and my team leader pulled my group back onto the boat.

That disappointment was such a bitter pill to swallow but I can say that I did manage to see these dolphins in the wild. My team leader was very nice though, she comforted me and told me the day was still young but I had enough disappointment and contented myself with that glimpse in the water that I had.

AND THEN…

It was just a surprising and magical moment.

More dolphins came up by the side of the boat and we scrambled to get our gears on and out into the water. I held on so tightly to my team leader’s belt that I felt bad for her. But I finally managed to actually see the dolphins! Under the water!!

They were all around us and under us and it was totally an awesome feeling to think that these are all WILD dolphins. I couldn’t see far underwater but they were a blur of movements since they swam so fast through the water.

rockingham wild encounters

Waiting for my team’s turn to go into the water, it was fun to sit and hang your feet out but notice that I was still hanging on tight at the side! Spot the yellow flotation device- this propelled us around the waters, we just needed to hang on tight and follow the lead!

And the most amazing thing that happened after that?

These dolphins just kept coming and coming and coming. We were constantly taking turns with the other teams to be in the water, it was crazy to think of the number of dolphins that kept coming up to the boat.

With the last of the dolphins swimming away, we finally settled down to finally make our way back. Just when I thought all ย the excitement and surprises of the day had ended, though, the day threw up one last surprise to end off the whole amazing experience.

As our boat sped back to shore, dolphins suddenly started to jump out of the water to ride the waves at the back of the boat. It would seem like a never-ending game to them but to me, it was just mesmerizing watching them having fun with the waves and racing against one another in the water like children. My smile never left my face the whole time I was watching them play. It was a totally unexpected moment that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Rockingham Wild Encounters

Dolphins coming out to play with the waves (Credit: Rockingham Wild Encounters @ Flickr)

Spot the dolphins! Yes, there's more than one! :)

Spot the dolphins! Yes, there’s more than one! ๐Ÿ™‚

My search for wild dolphins ended here but this experience only made me want to search them out again, even just to see them play in the waters again.

Before we left the boat for shore, the crew told us that in all the days that they had gone out to swim with these wild dolphins, they had never seen as many of them as that day. Looks like I got very lucky this time with these wild dolphins. I left happy.

For Information:

I had booked a tour with Rockingham Wild Encountersย for this experience. The original price was ย A$205 but I managed to find a groupon coupon for A$99. It cost A$75 to just watch from the boat. The swim includes lunch and I opted to be picked up from Central Perth and brought directly to Rockingham (about 45mins away). Just bring your swimsuit (or bathers as the Australians call it) and a wetsuit will be provided.

Pick-up for Central Perth was from Wellington St Tourist Coach Stand. This bus stop is beside bus stand #12898 (after Perth Railway Station) and directly in front of the bus station. Globe Backpackers Hostel is across from this stand.

How about you? Have you ever encountered such an amazing experience with the wild? Please do share! ๐Ÿ™‚

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42 thoughts on “Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Rockingham (Australia)

    • It was an awesome feeling especially as these are all wild dolphins. It’s only because the tour company has been doing it for some time that the animals have gotten used to their crew being there. So it was definitely an experience that I wish I can repeat again and again, only minus the cold waters and the whole panicking thing. Hehe…:)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wow, that is exactly the same thing I feel! I didn’t even think it was a proper phobia, I’ve been telling everyone around me that it was just an irrational fear of deep waters.
      I love the waters and I love to swim. I’m fine in the pool as long as the water is clear and I swim with my head above the water to avoid seeing the depth but I hate to swim in open waters especially when I cannot see the bottom. If the water is clear, I hesitate to swim over any shadows that I can see from the surface of the water so snorkelling is not always fun for me.
      How ever did you end up as a professional swimmer if you are afraid of deep waters? ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • You should give it a try next time, it was a totally surreal and amazing experience. They were very fast though! If I catch a glimpse of them beneath me, they were gone in the next second! Haha..:)

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  1. Yay, what a cool experience! Dolphins are such cool creatures. The only time I’ve swam with them in the wild was purely by accident. I was snorkeling in Maui and all the sudden I was surrounded by what seemed like 100 dolphins. The water was so clear I could see them far below me and some of the more playful ones were swimming within inches of my friend and I. It was probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced. I’m glad you got to spot them in the wild because it’s truly magical!!

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    • I’ve been obsessed with dolphins since young. That is such a cool and awesome experience!! The waters that I was in was not really clear all the way but I did see them in the water because they came really close under us but yours is totally mindblowing to think of…haha…:)

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  2. Wow! I absolute love dolphins [and sea turtles]!! It must have been to such an awesome experience to swim with them in the wild. What a lucky girl! And to see that many in one day – wow!

    And don’t worry about panicking – I know how you feel because I feel the same with heights.

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  3. Wow – what a fantastic experience. We’ve never done this before plus it might be because we are not very good swimmers at all. But if you enjoyed this, you should go to the Galapagos, swimming with sea lions and sea turtles. And if not swimming, you can still get up close and personal with the wild ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Oh, I’m not a good swimmer either but the wetsuit lets us float so it was ok after you get used to it. I’ve heard of the Galapagos and it certainly looks beautiful, hopefully I will be able to make it there one day…๐Ÿ˜„

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    • Haha, the water was cold to me, it was still between winter and spring then but the wetsuit was quite thick and after going in and out of the water a few times, I got used to it, especially with all the excitement of the dolphins around us. And yes, no fins cos we were basically just floating in the water using the wetsuit. Our leader has a machine that propels us through the water so we just had to hang on to each other. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜„

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  4. Hello Sha!

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience of the Swim with Wild Dolphin Cruise on your blog! I am so glad that you’ve conquered your fear and was able to see the dolphins interact under the water!

    Kindest regards,
    Lexie (Rockingham Wild Encounters)

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  5. Awnnnnn I am so happy that you overcame your fear of deep water and went snorkeling with the dolphins. You were soooo lucky… there were so many of them especially for you ๐Ÿ˜€
    I went to dive with dolphins in Egypt last year but none of them appeared, total disappointment ๐Ÿ˜ฆ next time โค I have seen one!

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  6. Looks an amazing experience and great that you were able to overcome your fear of the water. I live in Perth and could never do this I’m scared of large waves and a very poor swimmer! Great photos you’ve taken too ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • It was definitely an experience to remember…i think i wanted to see them so bad that i just made do with my fear but my heart was thumping away like crazy from being in the water…haha…and thanks for thinking so! ๐Ÿ˜„

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    • Aww, then you should definitely check this one out. It was an awesome feeling to see them under you..well, ok, I was trying not get water into my snorkel goggles but it was still a great experience!! I totally feel excited each time I think back to it..haha…:)

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