Dusky Dolphins – Rare visitors to Tasmania

Swimming with Dusky Dolphins in Tasmania
Rare visitors to Tasmanian waters – Dusky Dolphins

Welcomed to the season by dusky dolphins

What a great start into the season it has been this week! On our second day of operation we came across a pod of about 100 Dusky Dolphins off Waterfall Bluff. These beautiful animals are known for their acrobatics and they have certainly put on a show for us!

Dusky Dolphins are a curious species. We experienced a very inquisitive behaviour. Once the dolphins became aware of our boat, it was obvious that they enjoyed our company and loved to hang around for a play.

Watch this video for some impressions of the Dusky Dolphins underwater:


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Habitat of Dusky Dolphins

Dusky Dolphins are found throughout the Southern Hemisphere preferring cold, coastal waters. The best known locations include New Zealand, south-western Africa and also South America and southern Australia. Within Australian waters, dusky dolphins have been recorded in colder waters off Kangaroo Island, eastern Tasmania, and Bass Strait. However, the numbers of confirmed sightings in Australia seem to be low.


Dusky dolphins are beautiful looking creatures with an amazing pattern. They are blue-black in color on their upper sides and have a dark band running diagonally across their flanks from their dorsal fins to their tails. They also have 2 white streaks that run diagonally from their tails to the base of their dorsal fins. Their under sides are light grey to white in color. These dolphins are relatively small, growing up to 2 meters in length. A very distinctive feature is the evenly sloping head from the blowhole to the tip of the snout, which lacks a beak.

Report sightings

If you have sighted unusual marine mammals or any species of whales in Tasmanian waters, please report the sighting to the whale hotline of the Parks & Wildlife Service Tasmania  (0427-WHALES) or to us at Wild Ocean Tasmania (0473-770416) to assist in marine research.