The Dolphin Discovery Centre is undoubtedly the cornerstone of Bunbury’s tourism scene.
But just like anything successful, behind the renowned dolphin and marine attraction is a team of passionate and hard-working experts.
Jan Tierney has perhaps become the unofficial face – aside from the adorable dolphins of course – of the Dolphin Discovery Centre and it is clear why.
Jan’s infectious laugh and energetic attitude encapsulates you and would turn even a dolphin’s frown upside down.
When the conservation manager and marine scientist rounds out an admission that "I love my work" with a modest chuckle, you know she is being authentic and honest.
I guess I describe myself as an animal lover and also a people-person so this place really combines the two of those things perfectly for me.
Jan describes Bunbury as a water playground in which people can enjoy watching the popular resident bottlenose dolphins as they frolic in the City’s waterways.
"Bunbury and the Dolphin Discovery Centre here in Bunbury, they play such an important role in being able to nurture a sense of marine stewardship," Jan says.
She said Bunbury’s ideal location among an abundance of waterways – the bays, estuaries, rivers, inlets, and ocean – allows for a lifestyle balanced by nature like no other.
I really feel that nature is important to the whole community – it allows you to breath, it allows you to appreciate what you’re looking at in that natural state.
That’s so important for people’s wellbeing and peace of mind and bringing the whole community together.
Since 1989, local dolphins that frequent Koombana Bay have been observed and studied.
Bunbury’s popular Interaction Zone on the shoreline of the Bay was established in 1990 and four years later the Dolphin Discovery Centre was conceived.
Its recent multi-million-dollar redevelopment has seen the centre reach its full potential and become even more of a tourism drawcard for Bunbury.
But tourism is not the centre’s only priority, as it continues to lead the way in the care and conservation of the Bay’s dolphins and other marine life.