Tin Can Bay – Cooloola Coast Qld

Tin Can Bay is well known for the Wild Dolphin feeding each day of the year. Spread out over an elongated area towards Norman Point, Tin Can Bay provides residents and holiday makers alike with a laid back relaxed atmosphere.

Gorgeous Sunrises

Accommodation is plentiful and even if the Bay is full of visitors, it’s hard to notice, as there’s plenty of space for all. Dolphin Waters Motel is directly across the road from the channel running between Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach. Stroll across in the morning to watch the sunrise, or walk along the promenade pathway which heads in both directions.

As the tide rolls out you can easily wander across the sand, most of which is a harder surface than it looks. We watched one person wading into the sea for what seemed like forever, never going past waist height, while casting their fishing line.

Start your day with a stroll to the wild dolphin feeding at Barnacles Cafe, located at end of Norman Point. From around 7am, dolphins usually arrive to entertain the onlookers and receive some fish in return.

Volunteers give you a very informative run down on the dolphins and their habitat. Well worth listening to. Around 7:30, those who have paid their entry and fish feeding fee, a mere $10 in total per person, now have the pleasure of personally feeding a fish to one of the dolphins.

When you’re happy and you know it….

There’s some awesome dolphin personalities on hand, just depending on who decides to come in that day. Remember these guys are wild, not tame and even though they know free fish are on hand, some might have better things happening on any particular day and not visit Barnacles. Be sure to follow volunteers instructions, we don’t want to have this opportunity ruined at all.

Junior has a little attitude and will try to steal the Dolphins fish

Tin Can Bay has a taxi, but there are a couple of courtesy buses, for instance the Country Club and the Bowls Club. Ring through, make a booking and they will give you a time and stop by to pick you up. Plenty of opportunity to use a courtesy bus to go home too. Great way for everyone to relax.

There’s something for everyone here, a fantastic fresh seafood co-op. The incredibly popular Snack Shop, down on the Marina you have the Marina Bar & Grill plus a short walk to the Sleepy Lagoon Hotel, Temptations, Mudcrab, just to name a few! So many fabulous food & venue choices. Enjoy!

One of Silky Oaks residents

There’s a few stops on the road in and out of Tin Can Bay, but, we highly suggest stopping at Silky Oak Tearooms. We think this the best Aussie authentic pub ever! With Daryl & Helen at the helm it’s quite iconic. If you think yours is better, challenge accepted!

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Tin Can Bay

Taking a break this week from the NZ blogs to write about Tin Can Bay. After we returned from NZ, we undertook the short 2 1/2 hour drive from Brisbane to spend a few days relaxing at Tin Can Bay. Our choice for accommodation here was at Dolphin Waters Motel, on the Esplanade. Very friendly motel managers, big roomy apartments including kitchen and laundry facilities. All in all good value for the price.

Upstairs, we had a wonderful peaceful view across the Esplanade. The generous balcony was plenty roomy enough for us, also making a fantastic temporary outdoor office for keeping up with work commitments. Sunrise was definitely worth being up and about for. Filtered golden hues of sun rays dancing across the water, providing a wonderfully colourful backdrop from the motel balcony.

The pool area is inviting with a natural rock look, your eyes are drawn across the mirrored pool to the esplanade beyond. Here, we were lucky to meet an amazing group travelling through who were also out to relax and enjoy.

Exploring our area, we stopped in for lunch at the Marina, where we discovered the laid back restaurant Marina Bar & Grill, with lovely, well presented food and an entertaining owner who fed the fish in the marina for us to show how many there were. Enjoying our view across the Marina, the stresses of life started to slip away. Usually all the water is clear, however recent rains had left a muddied look through the sea water. We still had a clear view of the many fish swimming happily around the marina area.

700 metres approximately from the Dolphin Waters Motel, Barnacles Cafe & Dolphin Centre, not only a cafe which provides fulfilling meals but also the opportunity each morning to feed the wild dolphins. For a $5 entry fee you can learn about the dolphins plus receive a discount on your breakfast. Nice, hearty meals, certainly worth sitting here with a cuppa whilst watching the dolphin, listening to the volunteer talks and, participating in the feeding. On two days we made the trip down to hand feed the dolphins. What a wonderful soul cleansing experience. There is no other way to describe this without experiencing for yourself.

We found the locals to be friendly, relaxed and out of all the places we have visited, this little gem close to home really tugged the heart strings. We loved it. All the meals we had were fantastic, accommodation was great value and the dolphins, well that was on another level again.

After being invited by the lovely group we met at the pool, we joined them for dinner at the local bowls club, making use of the bowls club courtesy bus.

True honest meals at a very affordable price, with raffles and a couple of pokie machines, the evening was a lot of fun.

Close by are Rainbow Beach and Inskip point, where we took a drive one day for a look around. Beautiful vistas everywhere we stopped. Well worth a drive around.

We have yet to visit Fraser Island, but for anyone doing so, take particular care to read and understand all the warnings and advice given, particularly for 4WD vehicles heading over.

We fell in love with Tin Can Bay, mainly due to its fabulous relaxed feel. Most definitely heading back. Ill leave you with this chap, a pelican with attitude who frequents Barnacles Cafe. Happy to have his photo taken by his adoring fans, however everyone was warned not to get to close, he has been know to show his disapproval with a little more than a peck!