A visit to the Pet Porpoise Pool in Coffs Harbour NSW is more than just a day out, it is an experience never to be forgotten. Educational and invigorating it provides an up close and personal interaction with Dolphins and Seals that will touch your heart and bring close to home the therapy they provide.
A magical place of memories
A magical place of memories
To enter the gate is to enter a marine park that, although not large in size, provides a day of entertainment for the whole family. Hands on experiences enable connection with marine animals which include fairy penguins, turtles and fish. Every visitor is given the opportunity to be kissed by a seal or dolphin and get a dolphin fin shake. Professional photographers are on hand, with the opportunity to purchase the photo to keep as a record of their experience.
Twice a day ( three during NSW summer holidays ) visitors can experience a Marine Magic presentation which showcases the natural abilities of both the dolphins and seals. They are educated on the habitats and importance on the continued existence of these amazing animals. An undercover grandstand and wheelchair access is provided. After the show guests are encouraged to pat and play ball with the dolphins, whilst being supervised by a trainer.
For an extra cost the Pet Porpoise Pool also offers an up close and personal meet the dolphins experience. During our visit we were lucky enough to experience one of these sessions, which left us with a deep respect of the dolphin and seal species, an understanding and respect that will stay with us for a lifetime. This experience gave us the opportunity to enter the water with a dolphin and a trainer. We fed the dolphin, had a pat, played ball, threw a hoop, had a tickle and shook hands. The anatomy of the dolphin was explained, along with the care of the species and their habitat. A photo was taken as a momento, with one for each guest included in the price. Once out of the pool we were introduced to a seal, had a cuddle and a wave to finish the session.
For the younger child why not engage in a meet the babies experience. My young three year old was captivated during this 30 minute session where she was given the opportunity to touch a baby dolphin whilst she stood outside of the water. We threw a ball and hoop and shook hands. The general anatomy was explained, at the correct child ability. After playing with the dolphin we met up with a baby seal who played fetch and painted us a lovely picture which we were able to keep. Again photo's of the moment are provided. Truly a magical experience for the young.
Whilst enjoying your day you will need to eat. One of the good things about the Pet Porpoise Pool is the provision of a large grass area allowing you to bring your own barbeque lunch, relaxing whilst the children enjoy the playground. If the finances allow and dining out is more your style then why not relax in the comfort of the fully licensed Creekside Cafe, but take care as a cheeky peacock may decide your lunch is to his liking.
Our experience at the Porpoise Pool was breathtakingly amazing. We walked away talking about it for days. We learnt facts about marine life that we would never would have had the opportunity to learn. As a family we spent quality time engaging in an activity that was enlightening, fulfilling and environmentally educational. My little one cried as we left not wanting to leave her new found marine friends. We found service to be of high quality with all staff being friendly, courteous and eager to educate.
Before visiting the Pet Porpoise Pool I was concerned about the welfare of the animals that the park contained due to my beliefs in animals in captivity. My fears were soon put to rest. The Pet Porpoise Pool was originally founded in December 1969 by Mr Hec Goodall as a marine rescue and rehabilitation centre, and continues to provide a home for rescued marine animals that are not suitable for return to the wild. The environment of all animals is kept to that of as close to their natural habitat as possible. All enclosures are of high cleanliness standard, with the animals welfare of high priority. Contact sessions with the animals are supervised and controlled. A high respect for these animals is evident. A link to WDCS ( Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society ) can be sourced from the site of the Pet Porpoise Pool.
Learn more about the Pet Porpoise Pool and their Marine Magic Experiences online at www.dolphinmarinemagic.com.au Definitely worth a visit when you are in the area!
article: Jennifer Deaves
photographs: Sam Lo Photography