Witnessing the rare and endangered Australian Sea Lions in their natural habitat is one of the most life-enhancing, wildlife experiences on offer. The inquisitive, gentle nature of these stunning sea creatures is unparalleled in the underwater world.
Your day, swimming with the Sea Lions
Set out on a half-day tour to the crystal clear waters of Seal Cove. Here, the gorgeous puppies of the sea welcome your arrival by bounding toward the boat with their unmistakable glee. Performing somersaults and graceful swirls, they invite you to join in and we doubt you’ll be able to refuse!
The gentlest of underwater mammals, Sea Lions love to play, and that is exactly what they do! After watching their leaps and twists out of the water, and show-off back-flips, you will notice the pure joy they get out of your attention.
So, if you’re keen to experience the Australian Sea Lion’s underwater playground, by all means, visit our bookings page to check out our next availability!
Also, we provide different type of sea lion tour packages, please click here for more information.
Adult Swimmer $215
Adult Observer* $185
Child Swimmer (5-15) $155
Child Observer* (5-15) $125
Under 5 years free.
Family Price (2 Adults & 2 Children 5-15yrs) – $650
* Observer prices are not inclusive of swimming equipment or water interaction. Observers are welcome to join our Sea Lion Count Program to help us understand a bit more about these sea puppies.
Return Transfers (to and from boarding location):
$10 per person return from all other stops. Pick up time is 7:30am.
Port Lincoln Hotel
Port Lincoln Cabin Park
Port Lincoln Tourist Park
Departure office is walking distance from Shark Apartments and Marina Hotel.
Departure Point: Adventure Bay Charters’ Office at 2 South Quay Boulevard, Port Lincoln Marina.
Departure Time: 8:00am.
**Please be at the office 30 minutes before your scheduled tour**
Return Time: 12:30pm
Duration: Half-day tour
Minimum Passengers: 6 Maximum Passengers: 20 Inclusions: mask, snorkel, wetsuit fins, morning tea, light lunch, drinking water & free photos.
Facilities: Toilet on board, change room and hot water shower. Alcohol and soft drink available for purchase on board.
What To Bring
Warm jacket (it can get cold out on the water or after a swim)
Your camera & GoPro
Sunglasses and sunscreen – we encourage you to be sun smart!
Tours will be cancelled if the weather is unsuitable. Adventure Bay Charters reserves the right to offer an alternate date if the trip is cancelled by us or will offer a full refund on a case-by-case basis. Bookings are not confirmed until the payment is received from the customer (customer – participant on the tour) Cancellation policy applies to all clients (client – the person who books and confirms the booking with Adventure Bay Charters)
No refund will be provided for cancellations made less than 48 hours in advance, or in case of no-show.
A cancellation fee of 20% applies for cancellations or changes made less than 14 days in advance.
A cancellation fee of 10% applies for cancellations or changes made more than 14 days in advance.
The tour is interactive and informative and trained guides will give you detailed information about the Australian Sea Lions as well as the other local flora and fauna. Staff are regularly trained to ensure that the information content on tour is true and correct.
What is Adventure Bay Charters commitment toward ecological sustainability?
We aim to undertake continual improvements toward ecological sustainability through the adoption of best practice techniques. We do this by taking feedback from customers, staff as well as general observations and incorporating these into our policies and procedures. We have a strong relationship with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources and ensure that we abide by all current guidelines. We also ensure that at all times we adhere to National Parks and Wildlife Regulations, Marine Parks Regulations and license conditions under the National Parks and Wildlife Act.
Adventure Bay Charters has an environmental management system written specifically for each of its tours. All environmental aspects and impacts are taken into account and this management plan is revised on an annual basis.
Adventure Bay Charters is licensed and operates under the Great White Shark Cage Diving Code of Conduct to promote shark cage diving in South Australia in a professional and responsible manner.
What does it mean to be Accredited and Certified?
Tourism accreditation or the tick, ticksa, TQUAL. These are industry accreditation programs and audits that assess a business that displays them, that they have met the minimum standard in best practice, customer service, business planning and sustainability. Brands such as these are designed to be easily recognisable and give consumers confidence that there is a higher body out there assessing these areas as a minimum.
The ECO Certification logo is a globally recognised brand which assists travellers to choose and experience a genuine and authentic tour or attraction that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.
The ECO Certification program assures travellers that certified products are backed by a strong, well managed commitment to sustainable practices and provides high quality nature-based tourism experiences.
Advanced Ecotourism is the highest level of ECO Certification in Australia. It identifies Australia’s leading and most innovative ecotourism products, providing an opportunity to learn about the environment with an operator who is committed to achieving best practice when using resources wisely, contributing to the conservation of the environment and helping local communities.
ROC accreditation, is reserved for businesses that have embraced Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customs and culture. Businesses that are endorsed and have permission to share indigenous culture places and stories, employ indigenous people and respect our first nations people and places.
Is there any damage to the marine environment?
The marine environment is sensitive and largely undiscovered. Our policy is to leave things better than when we found it. We have a strict policy of leave with everything you brought and leave nothing behind, taking only photos, videos and memories.
The marine area needs to be protected. Guests are given instruction not to remove or touch any marine grasses, rocks etc. We access the area by boat and therefore do not cause any damage to the seafloor.
Our vessel undergoes an annual survey and we have a strict preventative maintenance schedule that ensures that there is no risk of oil leaks, spills etc. Guests are instructed to swim with the Sea Lions and only interact if the Sea Lions approach them.
Is interaction guaranteed?
Interaction on our sea lion tour is guaranteed.
How do I buy a gift voucher?
There are a few ways to buy a gift voucher for someone you love (or hate depending how you look at giving someone a gift to dive with sharks!).
Gift vouchers can be purchased on the website by clicking Gift Vouchers link at the top of the page.
If you would like a voucher with a personal message emailed to you please contact us 08 8682 2979 or firstname.lastname@example.org
How close can I get to the Australian Sea Lions on tour?
There are some very strict licence conditions and policies on interaction with marine mammals that guide these sorts of activities in South Australia. Through close work with the Department of Environment and Water (DEW), Adventure Bay Charters have been granted exemptions and permissions to get you closer than you can on your own. We are allowed to approach 50 meters by boat and 30 meters in the water. If the Sea Lions then choose to come closer to us then that is entirely on their own desire and whim. We value the natural environment, where we swim with the Sea Lions is classed as a Natural Reserve and therefore we do not allow guests to access the Australian Sea Lions breeding area or hall out beach.
However, you will find that as soon as we anchor at ‘Seal Cove’, the Sea Lions will bound out to greet you and spend the whole hour and a half swimming and entertaining you! Quite often cheekily getting tantalisingly close and on rare but special occasions giving out kisses. Be sure to listen to staff when in the water as they know these puppies better than any one and will show you how to get the closest interactions.
The Sea Lions are wild animals, we do not in any way condone touching these playful creatures but they often come within centimetres of you to say hello.
Does Adventure Bay Charters have a code of conduct for interaction with these marine mammals?
Adventure Bay Charters has a code of conduct that has been designed for your safety as well as for the safety and protection of these magnificent creatures and their environment. It is agreed by the major operators in South Australia that there are practices within this code that are important to all activities relating to swimming with Sea Lions. There are also site specific codes relating to Hopkins Island, Blyth Island and Adventure Bay Charters.
Adventure Bay Charters does not visit a specific site more than 3 times a week to minimise the time that people interact with these wild animals. We do not want to alter their behaviour in anyway.
Do I need to be a strong swimmer?
The Sea Lion tour is run off of the back of a sheltered island, and the conditions are generally very calm. The Summer months are when we enjoy our best weather and lowest swell for the year, so this will help if you are not confident in the water. Because the Sea Lion tour is at a beach, the water depths vary from a maximum of about 3 metres where the boat is moored, and goes right up to the shallow beach waters. The Island itself is a nature reserve so we aren’t allowed on land, but you are more than welcome to stand, kneel or sit in the shallows, as long as you aren’t towering above a sea lion. We quite regularly get younger passengers, or passengers who aren’t confident swimmers on this tour. We do provide floats, life jackets and other flotation devices to assist you if you require them.
You are also able to book on only as observers (stay on the boat) and upgrade to swimmers if your confidence increases on the day.
Aren’t Sea Lions food for sharks and are we in any danger?
Yes Sea Lions are a known prey for Sharks, however, the location of the site we visit is not a breeding island. Instead it is a haul out island, meaning mostly older Sea Lions linger there which are less vulnerable than pups. The water is shallow and you are tucked away in a small bay zone where access by sharks is decreased. The shallow water makes it less attractive to larger predators and more difficult to enter.
That perception of danger and the emotion that coming face to face with the puppies of the sea can give you, is why you would want to do this in the ocean and not in a zoo.
Are there photos from the tour available?
We have a camera on board that the crew use to take photos throughout the day. On the Swim with Sea Lions tour one of the crew will use the underwater camera to take photos of you and our playful, sealy friends. On the Swim with Great Whites tour you get to be the photographer! Just ask the crew for the underwater camera to take in the cage with you and take as many pictures as you like of the sharks, your buddies and of course a selfie of you in the cage!
When we get back from the tour the camera is downloaded at ABC headquarters and you will receive an email 2 days after you tour with a link to download the photos. If you do not have an email please let us know.
You are very welcome to bring your own underwater camera/GoPro if you have one. Remember to upload any cool photos or videos you get onto our Facebook page so the other guests who were on the trip with you can share it!