There’s nothing like the thrill of seeing dolphins frolicking in their natural environment. Intelligent and inquisitive, these magnificent mammals occupy a special place in the hearts of nature-lovers and, along Western Australia’s dramatic coastline, opportunities to witness them abound – from Broome to Monkey Mia, Bunbury and Bremer Bay.

But if you’re short on time, this daytrip of around 100 kilometres from Perth will leave you with unforgettable memories of dolphins splashing in the surf. Plan your visit between September and March to coincide with tour season.

From Perth, hit the freeway to the coastal playground of Rockingham. In the sheltered waters there, around 200 bottlenose dolphins play– they’re totally wild, so every experience is unique. Arrive early to jump on a morning guided tour from the jetty. Zip up your wetsuit, strap on a snorkel and slide into the crystalline Indian Ocean to float among these social creatures as they dance, dart and weave around you. Eco-friendly adventures last from three to six hours – plenty of time to get acquainted with your new mates.

Dolphin dates aside, Rockingham is a pumping seaside hub. Snorkel, kite surf or jet ski, or grab a coffee and enjoy the sun on your skin in the parklands and beaches. Whether you’re chasing adrenaline or serenity, you’ll find it there.

From Rockingham it’s a short drive to Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, a magical reef wonderland where diving and snorkelling gets you up close and personal with shipwrecks and marine life. Here you can marvel at the Australian sea lion - the world's rarest, on a guided tour.