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Very little is known about the acoustic repertoire of the Pacific humpback dolphin Sousa chinensis. This study, off eastern Australia, used concurrent observations of surface behaviour and acoustic recordings to gain an insight into the behavioural significance of humpback dolphin vocalizations. Humpback dolphins exhibit five different vocalization categories: broad band clicks; barks; quacks; grunts; and whistles. Broad band clicks were high in frequency (8 kHz to > 22 kHz), were directly related to foraging behaviour and may play a role in social behaviour. Barks and quacks were burst pulse sounds (frequency: 0.6 kHz to > 22 kHz, duration: 0.1–8 s) and were associated with both foraging and social behaviour. The grunt vocalization is a low frequency narrow band sound (frequency 0.5–2.6 kHz, duration 0.06–2 s) and was only heard during socializing. There were 17 different types of whistles, ranging widely in frequency (0.9–22 kHz) and vocal structure (n=329). The predominant whistle types used by the groups were type 1 (46%) and type 2 (17%). Most whistles were heard during both socializing and foraging. The number of whistles recorded in a group increased significantly as the number of mother–calf pairs increased, suggesting that whistles may be used as contact calls. Few vocalizations were heard during either travelling or milling behaviours. Broad band clicks, barks and whistle type 1 were the only vocalizations recorded during either travelling or milling.