If you get the chance to swim with sea lions in South Australia, do it! Australia’s south coast is packed to the brim when it comes to exciting wildlife, so should you find yourself in this neck of the woods during your travels, don’t miss out on the awesome wildlife encounters on offer. As the Great Southern Ocean laps the shores of South Australia, its waters bubble with the playful native Aussie sea lions. These pups of the sea can be found in the waters off the south coast, so no tour to South Australia is complete without swimming with sea lions.
A bit more friendly than their seal cousins, sea lions tend to hang out in bigger groups and are generally a little less timid. Ever wondered what the difference is between seals and sea lions? Well, sea lions have visible little ear flaps and can walk on their fins, whilst seals have no visible ears and have to belly-crawl on land which is totally not graceful and really funny to watch. In South Australia you’ll find Australian fur seals, New Zealand fur seals and of course, Australian sea lions.
If you want to get a closer look at the Australian sea lions whilst on your travels then swimming with sea lions is a really memorable experience. Setting off from Port Lincoln you’ll make your way out to either Hopkins or Langton Island. Here, you’ll get kitted out in your wetsuit and snorkelling gear before being taken closer to shore to meet the sea lions. Once in the water these pups of the sea will swirl around you doing somersaults as they whoosh past you in the water.
It’s important to find an eco friendly tour company to take you to swim with sea lions, as this way you’ll ensure that you aren’t disturbing the sea lions and eco friendly tour companies will often restrict how often they visit specific areas on their tours so as not to disrupt the natural way of life for the sea lions. Most tour companies will give you around an hour’s swimming time so you can really observe these playful creatures in their natural habitat… just remember to stay calm and not to approach the sea lions as after all, they are wild animals and you are in their ‘hood’!