The Dolphin Research Australia Inc. Cetacea Tour Guide & Operator training course is back again in 2017! The 2 day course will be held 26-27th April in

Humpback whale tail fluke (photo: E. Hawkins)

Humpback whale tail fluke (photo: E. Hawkins)

Nambucca Heads, NSW. It is an extensive course that covers everything from the biology & ecology of whales and dolphins to best practice guiding. CLICK HERE for more information. Places are very limited so make sure you ENROL NOW so you don’t miss out!

Posted By: liz on March 7, 2017 in Education, Events - Comments: Comments Off on Whale & Dolphin Tour Guide Training 2017

Our Moreton Bay Dolphin Research Expedition Dates for 2017 have just been announced!!! mb-2017-expedition-posterWant to join the team & become an invaluable sponsor of the Moreton Bay Dolphin Research Project? Checkout our Dolphin Research Eco-volunteer Expedition Page for more information about our eco-volunteer program & download an information booklet!


Posted By: liz on November 25, 2016 in Events, Research - Comments: Comments Off on Moreton Bay Dolphin Expeditions 2017

Our Dive In Marine Education Holiday Program is back this NSW Spring Break! Come and join us 20160421_124540 this Spring Break for a fun morning on Thursday 6th October 9.30am-12.00pm at the Ballina Surf Club! It’s a great morning of story telling, crafting and beach cleaning. Click HERE for more information and to book.

Posted By: liz on September 22, 2016 in Education, Events - Comments: Comments Off on Our School Holiday Program is Back!
Humpback Whale Fluke

Humpback Whale Fluke by E. Hawkins (c) 2010

ENROL NOW! Our 2-day Whale & Dolphin Tour Guide Training Course will be held in 3-4th May 2016 in Byron Bay, Australia! Our tour guide course provides an introduction to the biology, ecology, behaviour interpretation of cetaceans and regulations in Australia.  The course provides expert instruction for best practice approaches for the operation of cetacean tour businesses and guiding whilst taking into consideration the needs of clients, their expectations, and satisfaction.  The training is delivered by cetacean tourism experts and is available for those currently working or would like to work in the cetacean watching and swim-with industry. FIND OUT MORE HERE!

Posted By: liz on April 13, 2016 in Education, Events - Comments: Comments Off on Whale & Dolphin Tour Guide Course


Join Our Moreton Bay Dolphin Research Project as an Eco-volunteer in 2016! Dates have now been announced!

Our 2016 Moreton Bay Dolphin Research Project Eco-Volunteer dates have now been announced! From May to July 2016, you can join our Dolphin Research Australia team in the field! As an Eco-volunteer you not only become a financial supporter of the research project, but also have the unique opportunity and be part of the team in the field as part of this unique opportunity. Enjoy a week learning, contributing and contributing to this important research and conservation project. For more information check out our Dolphin Research Expedition page and how you can join the team and become an Eco-Volunteer!

Posted By: liz on April 4, 2016 in Events, Research - Comments: Comments Off on Join Our 2016 Moreton Bay Expeditions

earth childrenWelcoming in the New Year of 2015 we have new and exciting opportunities for our members to get involved and volunteer!  Are you a professional in your field?? Have you always wanted to help a great cause and raise awareness of marine conservation and help Save Our Oceans?? We might just have what you are looking for!  Check out our ‘Get Involved’ page (click on the Support Us tab and follow the link) and see what we have available.

Posted By: liz on January 6, 2015 in Events - Comments: Comments Off on Get Involved & Volunteer!

Byron Whale Fest 2014 – Bowe Jingi Walla

7-8th June  2014

We are proud to present the Byron Bay Whale festival, to celebrate the return of the whales, the oceans and the Earth! The weekend will be full of activities and opportunities to enjoy learning, watching and helping whales, dolphins and our precious Oceans. Look out for 7th June 6.30-10.30pm and come along to our Oceans Art Exhibition & Fundraiser at the Cavvanbah Room, Byron Bay Community Centre.  The Exhibition will feature pieces from Chris Edwards, Wirrimbi Designs, Craig Parry, Amanda Reichelt-Brushett and many more!! We also have a very special surfboard  up for sale ridden and signed by Danny Wills – his last board from his pro-surfing expeditions in Tahiti!  If you would like to contribute art to our exhibition, just download an entry form by 23rd May 2014!

Posted By: liz on May 8, 2014 in Events - Comments: Comments Off on Byron Whale Fest 2014

Dolphin Research Australia’s online shop is now OPEN

Purchase a special gift for yourself or a loved one at our NEW online shop!! Find a great clothing and exclusive Dolphin Research Australia merchandise only available through our online store.  Each makes a great birthday, Christmas or gift for a special occasion and helps support the marine conservation work of Dolphin Research Australia.  You can find our store by clicking here or following this link Have fun shopping!!!

Posted By: liz on November 11, 2013 in Events - Comments: Comments Off on Our Online Shop is Now OPEN!!

hoey moey logoCongratulations to the Hoey Moey Backpackers, Coffs Harbour for becoming a Bronze Sponsor of Dolphin Research Australia!!! The Hoey Moey took care of our research team recently by sponsoring our accommodation during our fieldwork recently undertaken at Coffs Harbour.  Thanks very much Hoey Moey’s friendly staff for your amazing support!! We truly could not have done the fieldwork without you!! Find out more about our fantastic sponsor a their website

Posted By: liz on in Events - Comments: Comments Off on Welcome to Our New Sponsor!!

Our members are invited to our Dolphin Research Australia Annual General Meeting on 13th July 2013 from 1pm-3pm.  We’ll highlight the achievements of the first year of DRA’s operation, nominate and elect officer bearers and outline the treasurer’s report.  The AGM will be held at a property in the Northern Rivers.  If you would like to attend, please RSVP info(at)  You can now download the DRA Annual Report from our publications page

Posted By: liz on June 25, 2013 in Events - Comments: Comments Off on Dolphin Research Australia AGM
The Whale Film Fundraiser

The Whale Film Fundraiser

In celebration of the return of the whales on their annual migration and in conjunction with National Whale Day on 1st June 2013, Dolphin Research Australia will be holding a series of film showings in northern New South Wales.  We will be showing the award winning film ‘The Whale’, a story of Luna, a beautiful orca that became separated from his pod and sort the company of people.  The story is an important one, that will make you think, question and ponder the relationships between people, whales and dolphins.  We will be showing the film at Nambucca Heads, Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay and Murwillumbah.  Each showing will hav

e a special Q&A session with our own Dr. Liz Hawkins and other special guests.  Stay tuned for more information on dates, venues and where you can get your tickets!

Posted By: liz on May 20, 2013 in Events - Comments: Comments Off on ‘The Whale’ Special Film Fundraisers
sussex inlet dolphin

Sussex Inlet dolphin rescued May 2013

In September 2012 a young female bottlenose dolphin became trapped in Sussex Inlet on the south coast of New South Wales. Unable to return to the open ocean to rejoin her pod she became very tame and began interacting with people. The dolphin became so tame that  she was ultimately at great risk of injury or at some point injuring someone else. A decision was made to capture and return her to the open ocean and Dolphin Research Australia was there to help. Watch the video about this is the story and the journey to set the young dolphin free.

Posted By: liz on in Campaigns & Rescues, Education, Events, Research - Comments: Comments Off on Sussex Inlet dolphin set free!

Nambucca Heads Whale Day Festival- Guuruja Ngayan- 1st June 2013

festival hands

Festival Hands

Gumma Indigenous Protected Area (IPA), Dolphin Research Australia (DRA) both not-for-profit associations, in conjunction with The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)  are holding the  Annual National Whale Day – Guuruja Ngayan Nambucca Festival on National Whale day, 1st June 2013, at the Captain Cook look-out, Nambucca Heads. The day will start at 6am with a beach ceremony to welcome the migrating whales back to Gumbaynggirr Country. At the Captain Cook lookout between 8am – 12pm.  Marine Mammal Expert and Dolphin Research Australia founder, Dr. Liz Hawkins, will be giving free whale watching guided information talks on the different whale species you might see, tips for spotting them and what to note when whale watching such as body type, length and swimming characteristics. They will also explain how to identify different whale and dolphin behaviours and what they mean such as breaching, spy hopping and tail and pectoral slapping. We will also have market stalls, plenty of kids and adult marine themed craft activities and dreamtime story telling by the Baga Baga people of Gumbaynggirr Country. The Nambucca Youthie healthy food truck will also be there to provide refreshments. 

In the evening Dolphin Research Australia will be launching their mid-north coast travelling film tour of the film ‘The Whale’ from 6pm – 8.30pm.

Come along to the festival and learn more about local Gumbaynggirr culture, whale and dolphin ecology and how you can participate in helping to gather important information about these wonderful creatures.

Whale Festival 2013 Program

6.00am Sunrise Ceremony to welcome the return of the whales

8.00am Market & Food stalls open

8.45am Guided whale watching talk

10.00am Guided whale watching talk

10.30am Journey with Dolphin Children’s Activity I

11.30am Guided whale watching talk

11.45am Journey with Dolphin Children’s Activity II

12.30pm Guided whale watching talk

6.00pm-8.30pm Special film showing of the internationally acclaimed ‘The Whale’ (G)

All day activities – color your own t-shirt,  recycled bottle whales, sand art, whale toys, education, painting and add to the whale sculpture

Posted By: liz on in Education, Events - Comments: Comments Off on National Whale Day Celebrations
sussex inlet dolphin

Sussex Inlet dolphin rescued May 2013

Thanks to all the amazing rescue team who relocated the isolated solitary dolphin from Sussex Inlet back to the ocean in May 2013! – The Dolphin Research Australia team joined NPWS, ORRCA, Seaworld, Dolphin Magic, RSPCA volunteers and staff to help a female juvenile dolphin that had become entrapped in the Sussex Inlet, Southern New South Wales.  The rescue rescue went without a hitch! The dolphin was last seen feeding with 5-6 other dolphins 2 hours after release. An incredible sight that none of us could quite believe!

Posted By: liz on May 14, 2013 in Campaigns & Rescues, Events - Comments: Comments Off on Dolphin Rescue Sussex Inlet

Australia Paddles for Dolphins

Bottlenose Dolphins & Kayaks, Byron Bay

Bottlenose Dolphins & Kayaks, Byron Bay

On Australia Day (26th January 2013), we’ll be having a Dolphin Research Australia Fundraiser ‘Australia Paddles for Dolphins’ in conjunction with our sponsors GoSea Kayaks.  The fundraiser will help us to continue our research in Byron Bay for another season and raise funds for some much needed equipment.  For every participant who books on a tour with GoSea Kayaks on the 26th January, $5 will be donated directly to Dolphin Research Australia.  You’ll have opportunities to learn about our dolphins directly from the researchers on the day with our special guest guides joining the tour.  Tickets for tours are limited so book with GoSea kayaks NOW!! Tickets $69 per person or $59 for a child. or phone 0416 222 344.

Why not top off your kayaking experience by adopting one of our resident dolphins too. For only $60 per year you can become a guardian of Byron Bay’s dolphin community. Check out our adoption profiles and choose your dolphin, then why not go and visit your special dolphin on a GoSea Kayak Tour!

We’ll also be running raffles throughout January and February alongside our research season with great prizes including a one-off photograph from Dolphin Research Australia, designer bikinis from Lisa Blue, Dolphin Research Australia merchandise and much more.  To buy your tickets, simply come and see us at GoSea Kayaks on Australia Day or up at the Cape Byron Lighthouse between 19th January and 19th February 2013.  You can also get them from any of wondering team members based in Byron Bay.

For more information about our research in Byron Bay and around Australia, check out our research projects pages.

Come and join us for a great day to celebrate and help protect Australia’s marine life!!

Posted By: liz on January 15, 2013 in Events - Comments: Comments Off on Australia Paddles for Dolphins

Dolphin Painting

Our Dolphin Research Australia summer education program is now in full swing!  For the month of January our dolphin education team are providing children (and their parents) a unique learning experience.  Children can learn all about dolphins, marine life and their conservation while enjoying fun activities! The program is taking place each Wednesday (10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm), Thursday (1pm-3pm) and Friday (1-3pm) with each day offering different activities and learning experiences. The program is running each Wednesday (10am-12pm), Thursday (1pm-3pm) and Friday (1pm-3pm) during the school holidays at the Suffolk Park Community Hall with different sessions each day.    Cost $15/child/session; $25 for 2 children/session; $30 for 3 children/session which covers the costs of materials.  Children must be accompanied by an adult and can also join in the fun.  For more information go to our holiday education page or contact us at to book your place

Posted By: liz on January 3, 2013 in Education, Events - Comments: Comments Off on Summer Education Program

Liz presenting John D’Errey’s donated photograph to the prize winner

Dolphin Research Australia Launch & Fundraiser

Dolphin Research Australia was officially launched on Friday 23rd November at the Byron Bay Brewery.  The event was opened by a special Welcome to Country from the Arakwal, the Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson gave a powerful keynote speech and we were entertained by MC Bruce McKenize, Elizabeth Lord & Leigh James playing a folk music set and the Percolators who topped the event off with some great blues.  It was great to have everyone there to celebrate with the team!! This is only the start of great things for Dolphin Research Australia!! Join us and help to conserve our beautiful Planet Earth!

Thanks to all our amazing sponsors for the event who gave us incredible support: Byron Bay Brewery, Crystal Castle, Lisa Blue, John D’Errey, Craig Parry, Danny Wills, Style Surfing, GoSea Kayaks, Adrift Printing, MC Surf Designs & Rusty Miller

Posted By: liz on November 26, 2012 in Events - Comments: Comments Off on Dolphin Research Australia Launched!!

We are proud to announce the official launch of Dolphin Research Australia in a spectacular fundraising event and celebration being held 23rd November 2012!! The event will be held at the Byron Bay Brewery, 12.30-3pm and all proceeds will go towards our ongoing work on marine wildlife conservation.  So come and celebrate this special occassion with us and enjoy music from Liz & Liegh Lord and the Perculators, have the chance to win a surfboard signed by pro-surfer Danny Wills and a beautiful photograph by John D’Errey from Byron Images.  Tickets include lunch and complementary drinks and are only $39.50 each.  Book early NOW!! Simply RSVP to us at  Tickets can be purchased by simply clicking here!  We hope to see you there!!

Posted By: liz on October 30, 2012 in Events - Comments: Comments Off on DRA Launch & Fundraising Event
leaping dolphins

leaping dolphins (c) Dolphin Research Australia Inc.

Come and join us for our next Dolphin Workshop being held this Thursday 1st November 2012 between 4.30pm and 6.30pm at Sathya Sai Primary School, Murwillumbah NSW.  Join the Dolphin Research Australia team and learn all about dolphins of our world.  Bookings are essential!  For more information go to our dolphin Training Workshops web page (under the Report a Sighting tab) or send us a message at  Next workshop 8th November is in Byron Bay!!

Posted By: liz on October 29, 2012 in Events - Comments: Comments Off on Murwillumbah Dolphin Workshop
Nambucca Heads Clean Up Team

Nambucca Heads Clean Up Team

The first of the Dolphin Sighting Network workshops, held on 22nd September 2012 at Nambucca Heads (Gumbaynggirr), NSW, was a great success!  We had a great turnout from the local Gumbaynggirr community who learnt all about the ecology of dolphins and how they can contribute to the little knowledge of dolphins in their community.  The workshop was followed by the Nambucca River Clean Up in association with the Gumma Indigenous Protect

Area, the Solitary Island Underwater Research Group and many community volunteers.  The team removed many items of marine debris from the river including a childs scooter, car tyres, plastic and fishing line.  Thanks to everyone who came along for to take part and help clean up our rivers and learn of the animals that live within them!
Posted By: liz on October 28, 2012 in Education, Events - Comments: Comments Off on Dolphin Workshop Nambucca Success!