Coffs Coast Wildlife Sanctuary

Coffs Coast Wildlife Sanctuary

Coffs Coast Wildlife Sanctuary
4.5
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
About
Experience dolphins, sea lions and penguins up close. Book a private land-based marine animal experience or swim with a dolphin and make incredible memories that will last forever. Be inspired to act and save marine animals and oceans. Coffs Coast Wildlife Sanctuary is Coffs Harbour's best family experience. The Sanctuary (formerly known as Dolphin Marine Conservation Park) was established in 1970 as a rescue and rehabilitation centre for sick and injured marine animals and we continue this vital service today. Coffs Coast Wildlife Sanctuary is the only place in Australia where you can experience marine mammals up so close including bottle-nosed dolphins, endangered Australian Sea Lions, Little Blue Penguins, Freshwater Turtles and local Reef Fish. Plus you can see our marine animal and rehabilitation hospital at work. We rescue, rehabilitate and release hundreds of sea turtles every year. Open 10-2 daily. Peckish Penguin Cafe open 8-2 daily. Open longer in school holidays.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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See what travellers are saying
  • Angela G
    1 contribution
    Amazing up close experience
    What a awesome day, although the park is not very big it was a full day of very close up experience. We got to pet a dolphins after the show and we payed to do the meet a seal for the kids witch they loved and we got some amazing photos. A experience they will always remember
    Visited November 2022
    Travelled with family
    Written 15 December 2022
  • Mumdadnlil
    Sydney, Australia38 contributions
    Really fabulous
    We had an incredible time. I went with my two kids aged 8 and 11 and my nieces aged 16 and 19. We paid for a private experience feeding the penguins and watched all the shows. It was informative and wonderful to see how the centre is contributing to conservation. The cafe was also nicer than a normal basic kiosk with lots of outdoor seating.
    Visited January 2023
    Written 27 January 2023
  • kmart60
    68 contributions
    Amazing experience
    I wanted a special experience to celebrate our family reuniting after 3 years' of covid separation,so I booked out both the dolphin experiences for the day we planned to visit. The staff were super helpful at orgainising the best combination to suit the ages and swimming experience of our participants. The experience was so relaxed, thrilling and memorable for my grandchildren, and they were fascinated by the educational information that was presented - future marine biologists in our family coming up! Our last session was after the park closed, but there was no rush to get us done and out of there, staff stayed and chatted and answered questions for quite a while after our time was up. There was also plenty of time to expore the rest of the park in between our sessions, and to catch most of the talks. You can see the genuine love and care that staff have for the animals. It was gratifying to know that we could have an ethical animal interaction and that they money paid was going to a worthy cause.
    Visited December 2022
    Written 6 February 2023
  • penny2503
    Sheffield, United Kingdom91 contributions
    Great dolphin experience
    We paid for the shared shallow water dolphin experience but there was only the two of us so ended up being private! The trainer who we were with was brilliant and gave us lots of opportunities with Belle the dolphin. The park was great, although quite small they had regular informative talks about the park and the animals and it was obvious they were well looked after and the park was doing all the right things. This is something ticked off our bucket list!
    Thank you, penny2503, we're delighted that a visit to Dolphin Marine Conservation Park was on your bucket list and that your experience was so brilliant! Belle is truly beautiful and a great ambassador for marine animal conservation. Thanks for your support! Every visit supports our marine education programs as well as our marine wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre. Thank you!
    Written 14 March 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 22 February 2023
  • Troy W
    4 contributions
    Coffee shop experience
    Looking after regulars I would of thought was the norm however in this instance we have been overlooked. I’m speaking on behalf of 10 pensioners who meet regularly to drink coffee and discuss life etc....our beef is the cost of a coffee which has gone from $5.50 to $6.00. A lot for a brew in our minds.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 9 July 2023
  • Ann-Marie S
    3 contributions
    Magical time with dolphins
    It was very special personal experience with the dolphins. It was a relaxing small seating area so we were close to the dolphins and could view them really well. The trainers had great relationships with the dolphins and gave interesting informative commentaries.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 28 October 2023
  • Susan T
    1 contribution
    Great visit
    We almost didn’t go as we had read the previous bad reviews, but are so glad we did go! We arrived in time for the turtle hospital, and saw the dolphin and seal show. We were happily surprised that we got to touch the dolphins and were impressed by the staff, their care of the animals and their knowledge in answering our many questions. The children around us were enjoying their experience. We thought it was worth the entrance fee.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 18 November 2023
  • nickfF1997
    1 contribution
    Ultimate Dolphin Experience (once in a lifetime opportunity)
    I booked the Ultimate Dolphin Experience via the website. When I arrived at the marine park everybody was very friendly and I felt very welcome to the marine park. The dolphin experience started at 10am. I was lucky enough that I was the only person that booked the Ultimate Dolphin experience that day. I met up with Matt (the photographer) and he gave a little introduction. After the introduction I met Jemma (the trainer) and she introduced me to Bella (the dolphin). Jemma started with some rules I needed to follow. After that she asked Bella to come and swim next to me so that I could cuddle and pet her. Jemma told me almost everything she could about Bella. After the cuddling and petting we started with some exercises. Bella made a lot of different noises because of all different hand signals that Jemma was doing. Jemma showed me a hand signal to let Bella make a sort a barrel role in the air. The first time I did the hand signal wrong but the second time Bella understood immediately and performed the trick. What a sight to see! Next up I was given a body board and was told to lay down on it and put my feet straight behind me. Bella then came up and pushed me across the poule with amazing speed. She also pushed me back the whole way. Last up was a diving exercise. I got handed a ring and goggles and was told to throw the ring in the water for bella to retrieve. In the meantime I could swim next to bella and witness her amazing beauty underwater. Sadly this was the end of the session and Bella waved me goodbye. A really big thanks to Bella, Jemma and Matt for this amazing, once in a lifetime, opportunity!
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 23 November 2023
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4.5
1,497 reviews
Excellent
1,013
Very good
327
Average
87
Poor
35
Terrible
35

nickfF1997
1 contribution
Oct. 2023 • Solo
I booked the Ultimate Dolphin Experience via the website. When I arrived at the marine park everybody was very friendly and I felt very welcome to the marine park. The dolphin experience started at 10am. I was lucky enough that I was the only person that booked the Ultimate Dolphin experience that day. I met up with Matt (the photographer) and he gave a little introduction. After the introduction I met Jemma (the trainer) and she introduced me to Bella (the dolphin). Jemma started with some rules I needed to follow. After that she asked Bella to come and swim next to me so that I could cuddle and pet her. Jemma told me almost everything she could about Bella.

After the cuddling and petting we started with some exercises. Bella made a lot of different noises because of all different hand signals that Jemma was doing. Jemma showed me a hand signal to let Bella make a sort a barrel role in the air. The first time I did the hand signal wrong but the second time Bella understood immediately and performed the trick. What a sight to see!

Next up I was given a body board and was told to lay down on it and put my feet straight behind me. Bella then came up and pushed me across the poule with amazing speed. She also pushed me back the whole way.

Last up was a diving exercise. I got handed a ring and goggles and was told to throw the ring in the water for bella to retrieve. In the meantime I could swim next to bella and witness her amazing beauty underwater.

Sadly this was the end of the session and Bella waved me goodbye.

A really big thanks to Bella, Jemma and Matt for this amazing, once in a lifetime, opportunity!
Written 23 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Susan T
1 contribution
Nov. 2023 • Couples
We almost didn’t go as we had read the previous bad reviews, but are so glad we did go! We arrived in time for the turtle hospital, and saw the dolphin and seal show. We were happily surprised that we got to touch the dolphins and were impressed by the staff, their care of the animals and their knowledge in answering our many questions. The children around us were enjoying their experience. We thought it was worth the entrance fee.
Written 18 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sherilea T
3 contributions
Nov. 2023 • Friends
On the website it’s advertised opening hours are 9.00am. It doesn’t open until 10.00am. We are from Queensland and arrived at 9.30. We had young child and had to wait around until 10.00.
We found the park to be very disappointing and overpriced. If you are willing to pay at least an extra $120 for a photo or more for an up close experience then this is the place for you. We will not be in a hurry to return and would not recommend visiting. We visited other attractions in Coffs Harbour and found them fantastic. The butterfly house the staff are fantastic.
Written 12 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jojo H
2 contributions
Nov. 2023 • Family
Very very very very disappointed. Had previously visited 9 years ago and was disappointed to learn the attraction had stopped offering various experiences (unless you paid hundreds of dollars $$$$)
The staff were dismissive and uninterested in providing and promoting an experience worth remembering. The excuse Covid was repeatedly used when asking questions, also that the Park is allegedly under new management.
There was no offer of a ticket or even a receipt on arrival after checking in, the staff member said she would remember us. There were no souvenirs, other then over priced plush toys.
The animal enclosures where difficult to view due to height restrictions, glare, and scratches on the viewing windows.
The park has become more about the environment and less about the animals. We watched the penguin talk and considering the age of the audience, was bored by the depth of information yet didn’t see the penguins being fed.
We were looking forward to having our photo taken with the various animals but upon departure was told this had stopped due to Covid. (The decision seems more motivated by financial gain). The website states the park is open 0900-1500, but this is certainly not the case. After arriving at 0930 we were very rudely told the Park doesn’t open to 1000, we then proceeded to stand around like browns cows waiting.
We were in and out in an hour as seeing the animals was at an additional cost, the entry fee for $44 was definitely not worth the experience we had today.
Would not recommend
Written 10 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vickie P
1 contribution
Oct. 2023 • Friends
We had an awesome doing Dolphin Shallow Water and Seal Experience and all the other exhibits. Definately will be back.
Written 31 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ann-Marie S
Yamba, Australia3 contributions
Oct. 2023 • Couples
It was very special personal experience with the dolphins. It was a relaxing small seating area so we were close to the dolphins and could view them really well. The trainers had great relationships with the dolphins and gave interesting informative commentaries.
Written 28 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Angela B
3 contributions
Oct. 2023 • Family
If it's a family budget choice between Dolfin park and Butterfly house, this marine conservation experience is definitely the winner!!! A great afternoon, highlights are feeding the fish and touching dolfins tummy. Passionate staff who know their stuff😊
Written 5 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rebecca G
1 contribution
Sep. 2023 • Family
This facility is amazing!!! The staff were excellent and so passionate. We did the shallow water experience and it was simply amazing and a once in a lifetime opportunity. The kids and I loved it. Highly recommend visiting.
Written 28 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kylie R
2 contributions
Sep. 2023 • Couples
This is a brilliant place! Interactive, up close & personal. Touch & play with dolphins. Hand feed a wide variety of fish. See rescued turtles, & learn how they're being nurtured back to health & release. See fossils. Playful seal show. It's fun, learning while playing, for adults and kids. Thoroughly worthwhile the visit.
Written 28 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steve C
1 contribution
Jun. 2023 • Family
Our son had the ultimate Dolphin experience, it was absolutely amazing, the smile is still there, a must do bucket list item. The trainers & staff are the ultimate. Please help Save this Marine centre
Written 29 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Coffs Coast Wildlife Sanctuary: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Coffs Coast Wildlife Sanctuary

Coffs Coast Wildlife Sanctuary is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 3:00 pm