Last day dolphins ending with a big banana

Trip Start Sep 21, 2012
Trip End Oct 27, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Friday, October 26, 2012

Coffs Harbour Day 36

We woke bright & early at 4am to pack up the van & head off to Tin Can Bay to hopefully feed the wild dolphins. They may or may not turn up between 7-10am. Hoping to be lucky we had finished packing up & hit the road at 5.15am.
We arrived at Tin Can Bay at 6.30am & were greeted with the most fantastic sight. Four Indo Pacific Humpback Dolphins were already there to greet us. One male had scratches all over him from fights with other dolphins. He was 25 years old. A female who had a huge bull shark bite to her back protecting a 7 month old baby dolphin from the month before. She is 21 years old. A mother who was 35 & her 7 month old son. There were also many hungry birds waiting for a free feed. They loved to bite apparently.

Only a handful of people were here at this time so we could stand in the water with the dolphins after washing our hands in bacterial wash. We weren't allowed to touch or splash the dolphins, (it's a $300 fine if you do) but we could put our hand in the water palm up & wait to see if the dolphins would come to you. They would come close blow water on us which was apparently their way of giving us kisses. They would occasionally swim off for a while & come back. The older male & female would come in very close. The male was having power sleeps. Dolphins don't sleep for long a couple of seconds at a time. They sleep with one eye opened & one eye closed. Hence the saying. The mum & baby stayed out the back & didn't come in too close to us all.
After an hour in the water with them, I lined up at the fish bay ready to pay my $5 for the fish to feed them. I was 1st in line & had to wait 30min before they started handing out the fish. We each got 2 fish as there wasn't many of people here today (to me there seemed to be a huge crowd). The dolphins were only allowed to have 3kg of fish each a day hand fed so they still hunt. Only a small portion of their daily fish intake.

I got to choose which dolphin to feed as I was the 1st I ended up just picking the closest one which was the male. He took the fish out of my hand very gently. Braiden had his turn next. Bella didn't feed the dolphins as her eczema was sore, so she didn't want to inflame it more in the salt water & was happy just watching them & taking photos. Wow what an awesome experience. Only 3 places in Australia you can get to do this.

We had some breakfast at the Cafe, then headed towards Byron Bay leaving here at 9am. We arrived at Byron Bay at 2pm. It looks like a over commercialized Surfers Paradise. We tried to get a site for the night only to be told by the snobby receptionist, that they were fully booked out & maybe if we're lucky we could get into one of the other caravan parks out of town. How rude was she the way she spoke down to me. We then decided to head to the lighthouse anyway & take some photos. Unfortunately you can't take caravans up here so we thought oh well its only 2.2km there & another 2.2km home that's not far. Boy were we wrong it was up a hill, down a hill & a steeper hill down another steeper hill then we looked up & saw the Lighthouse on top of a very high looking hill. We thought bugger that we were exhausted after driving for 7hrs & being up so early we headed back to the car & van disillusioned by Byron Bay. We spotted a very cute lizard on the way back & there were heaps of scrub turkeys everywhere. I took a photo of Australia's most Easterly point.

We then decided to head as far as home as we could get before we were too exhausted to go on & that took us here to Coffs Harbour. We're at a "caravan park" with only 2 powered sites luckily I rang on the way here & booked a site as they had already closed at 7pm when we arrived.

Early to bed tonight ready for another long day travel home tomorrow. I'm now looking forward to seeing my other 2 kids & home.
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