Volunteer With Dolphins Abroad Assignment

VOLUNTEERING WITH THE BDRI - To all marine mammal enthusiasts!

We invite you to join our ongoing study of the behaviour, communication, habitat use and social lives of the amazing bottlenose dolphins. This project offers an insight in the work that our centre is carrying out, about cetaceans research in general, it gives you hands-on experience in both laboratory and field work, you have the opportunity to work with interested people from all over the world, but most important of all – you will contribute to the marine mammals conservation. This will be done alongside one of the leading scientists and at one of the most important centres for bottlenose dolphin research.


An opportunity is open for everyone over the age of 18 years to:

- gain an insight in the lives of  bottlenose dolphins, 
- the work that our centre is carrying out and about dolphin research in general, 
- get some hands-on experience in both laboratory and field work, 
- meet and work with interested people from all over the world, 
- and most important of all –contribute to the bottlenose dolphin conservation.


The BDRI’s main work is to contribute to bottlenose dolphin conservation through research. Our research is published in scientific journals which is the basis for all the information that we have about bottlenose dolphins today. Hence, knowledge is directly connected to protection and conservation. How can we help something we do not understand? In order to spread this information, the BDRI has understood the importance of public awareness.

This is where you will play a big part.


The most important requirements for any participant are enthusiasm, the ability and willingness to learn and work under often difficult (but rewarding) field conditions and the open-mindedness to work, live and communicate with other people of mixed nationality and background. You will be one of the important people who will leave this centre with a real perspective of bottlenose dolphins and the ability to spread the knowledge about these very often misunderstood animals.


To volunteer at the BDRI from January to November requires a minimum of 5 days commitment. The BDRI is not a professional tourist organisation but a well-organised team of research scientists. Therefore, as part of a working team, you will be expected to participate in all activities of the day, including your share of basic domestic duties such as cooking, cleaning and maintenance.


It is a great satisfaction to have truly interested people help and learn with us, that with the time here understands the real meaning of our work. The BDRI Volunteering program is focusing on public awareness regarding bottlenose dolphin’s research and conservation. Besides gaining hands-on experience and helping in our work – we believe that the true help of a volunteer is to gain understanding.


For more information download the complete information package and application form bellow:



Send the application form by email to: info@thebdri.com


For more information about BDRI's research and conservation work, please visit our Facebook page.



See you on site!

Program Summary

Volunteer and get up close and personal with Dolphins on a paradise Beach in Western Australia!

Your project is based at a non-profit Centre in Bunbury committed to dolphin research, education, conservation and tourism. Facing Koombana Bay to the North, the Centre enables people to interact with Bottlenose dolphins in a variety of ways. There are up to 100 dolphins living in the Bay and groups of them regularly visit the shallow waters in front of the Centre.

As well as time in the water with the dolphins your role involves interaction with the public. You're there to learn and then educate. 80% of your day will involve talking to people who come to see the dolphins, educating them about their characteristics and making them aware of how crucial it is to conserve these wonderful animals.

Other tasks may include:
- Talking to visitors on the beach - explaining what the Dolphin Centre does.
- Assisting to coordinate the Interaction Zone when dolphins visit.
- Managing the front entrance and Dolphin Room area.
- Participating in 'Coastcare" activities and assist with current research projects.
- Assisting with the research program, recording observations in the bay and monitoring dolphin visits to the zone.
- Inputting the research data into databases for analysis
- General maintenance and cleaning.
- Tour guiding through the Interpretive Centre for the general public, tour groups and school students.

You'll work 5 days a week, around 8 hours per day.

Program Highlights

If you'd like more information about this or any of our projects, please email or call us!

If you'd like to apply for this project, please go to our website and complete the application form. As soon as we receive it, we'll liaise with you and then start making your travel adventure happen. (Remember to check your spam folder for our email!)

-> A training course into Dolphin research.
-> An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into Australia and you'll learn about the Aborigine culture that makes this country so fascinating!
-> The enormous satisfaction of helping dolphins and knowing that you made a contribution to their ongoing conservation.
-> New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.
-> An entry on your CV or resume that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market
-> And best of all.. an unforgettable experience!

This placement is definitely for animal loving enthusiasts who are willing to work hard and aren't afraid of getting their hands dirty - the rewards are well worth it! Whilst volunteering is rewarding in itself, time spent at a project such as this is an excellent springboard for traveling around Australia. Meeting other volunteers from around the world, and listening to their stories and recommendations can give you the confidence to travel and experience more.

About The Centre:
* The Centre is the only site to offer shore-based and boat-based swim tour interaction with wild dolphins as well as dolphin watching tours and a fascinating and educational Interpretive Centre. It is not clear why wild dolphins choose to visit the Zone. There are many dolphins that visit the Zone regularly that do not receive any fish and many of them stay for extended periods of time for interaction with the human visitors. Sick and injured dolphins also treat the beach as a haven, with some repeatedly visiting during periods of illness or injury.

* The Koombana Bay dolphins are Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). They have beaks that are short, usually only 7-8 cm long, wide and rounded, with a lower jaw which protrudes conspicuously beyond the upper. The line of the mouth is soft and curves upwards at the back to give this species its familiar, faintly amused facial expression.

* This programme is located in Bunbury, the third largest city in Western Australia about 2½ hrs south of Perth. Bunbury markets itself as 'the real Australia'. It is located on a peninsular surrounded by spectacular blue waters. Bunbury has a Mediterranean climate with warm to hot summers and cool winters.

In the town there is a colourful street of sidewalk cafes called the "Cappuccino Strip". With a variety of award winning waterside restaurants, atmospheric historic pubs and plenty of Entertainment Centres, Art Galleries and cinemas - the town buzzes all day.

You'll live in a backpackers in the heart of Bunbury with great facilities. You'll have the beach, the City Centre and lots of other attractions all within two minutes walk and you'll be able to explore the nearby forests, national parks, beautiful waterways, historic towns, hundreds of vineyards and the incredibly beautiful coast-line on your days off.

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