The Sea Lions of Jurien Bay

We wouldn’t be the first people to compare sea lions to a puppy. These adorable animals have been compared to cute little dogs by many people for good reason. They are playful, inquisitive and have bundles of energy. If you’re looking for a marine interaction that is just good fun then look no further.

We first interacted with sea lions in Argentina, just off the Valdes Peninusla. This one tour was probably the catalyst for our love of marine interactions. To be in the water alongside these animals is a priveldge, but for them to be so interested in you and what you’re doing is something very special.

So when we heard you could visit the Australian sea-lions up in Jurien Bay (Western Australia), and potentially interact with them, it was not a difficult decision to make. It went straight on the Bucket List and last month we were fortunate enough to complete this experience.

Australian sea lions

The Australia Sea-lion is rarest sea-lion in the world. In 2008 the Australian sea-lion was listed as an endangered species due to the fact that its already small global population continues to decline.

While the hunting practices which reduced their numbers in the past have all but stopped, they are still threatened by unsustainable fishing practices which compete directly with the sea lions for food.

Australian Sea-lions are found in and around the southern and south-western waters of Australia and tend to live in ocean & sandy beaches in isolated bays and sheltered areas.

How to do it

So what’s the best way to see these awesome animals?

What you’ll need is a comfortable boat and an experienced guide to take you to the right spot at the right time. That’s where Turquoise Safaris come in.

We made the trip out to see the sea lions with Kane, owner of Turquoise Safaris. His Sea Lion Snorkel Safari departs from Jurien Bay Boat Harbour and is the perfect way to interact with the local Australian sea lions. Trips last 2-3 hours and depart at different times throughout the day, depending on demand. If you have your own snorkel, mask and fins then bring them along but Kane also provides them if needed.

We chose an early morning trip. Meeting at the harbour at 8am we met the two other customers who would be coming out with us that day and once on board we headed straight out to the favourite sea lion spot. On the way we even spotted a little gloomy octopus. Make sure you ask Kane to be on the lookout for one if you’re keen to get a close look. Once at the sea lion site you simply kit up and jump in. The sea lions are so inquisitive and friendly that they will usually come straight over for a good look at you. If you’re lucky they will stick around and have a play.

Check out this video for a little taste of what to expect on your Sea lion interaction…

One of the biggest benefits of choosing Turqouise Safaris for you sea lion interaction is the added trip to the Underwater Pinnacles. Turquoise Safaris are the only operator we found that add this trip into their tours and it is such a highlight.

Just down the road from Jurien Bay is Namburg National Park. Namburg is home to the geological phenomenon known as The Pinnacles. You can read more about the pinnacles here, but if you love adventures of an underwater kind then a snorkel trip to the underwater pinnacles is not to be missed. Before we go any further it is important to say that the pinnacles and underwater pinnacles aren’t quite a continuation of the same thing. While many scientists still debate how and when the pinnacles were formed (some theories include them being the remains of a petrified forest), the underwater pinnacles are a limestone rock formation. However, given the eerily similar size and shape of the formations and their close proximity to Namburg it is easy to see why they have been given this name. This spot is not to be missed and keen snorekllers will love exploring the surrounding reef.

Kane was a brilliant guide, with so much knowledge on the local animals. He is relaxed, friendly and an excellent guide and captain. You can see why he has such brilliant reviews on TripAdvisor. We highly recommend booking this trip with him!

Where to Stay

Our recommendation, Jurien Bay Tourist Park. The park is located right on the beach in the heart of Jurien Bay. It is part of the Summerstar Tourist Park Group and makes the perfect base for your sea lion adventure. Located close to all the local shops and cafes and only a short drive from the boat harbour, we opted for the 1-bedroom chalet and were delighted with the room. Each chalet comes with a lounge, kitchenette and separate bedroom with en-suite. The park also has an excellent choice of camping and caravan spots (for those who prefer to take their accommodation with them). We couldn’t recommend this place more highly.

 

So if interacting with sea lions is on your bucket list then take a trip to Jurien Bay. Combine it with a road trip up the West Coast for an epic adventure of a lifetime.

As always if you have any questions about this trip please leave us a comment below and if you’ve found this information useful then please share it with your social networks using the sharing buttons below. It would mean the world to us.

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