Fun fact: Australian sea lions are unique to South Australia & Western Australia. Sad fact: They are endangered, with a total population of about 12,000. Seal Bay on Kangaroo Island is the third largest colony & a place you can see them without any enclosures in their natural habitat. It’s also the only place in the world where you can see them at close range & walk on the beach where they eat, rest & play. It is part of a National Park – entry is free but tour fees apply. Make sure you follow all signage & guide instructions to keep the sea lions safe & keep the environment pristine.
Stunning views of the dunes & coastlines greet you, before you’ve even had a chance to see any sea lions – it’s worth stopping by for the vista alone! But of course the main attraction is the sea lions & by taking a stroll on the 900m return boardwalk (pram friendly, yay!), you will see plenty of sea lions lounging around, feeding or playing. Their behaviour largely depends on the season & you will be able to find out all about it the Visitor Centre, along with educational info on the evolution of sea lions, marine pollution & more. Toilets are available at the Visitor Centre, but not food – if you are stopping for lunch, you’ll need to bring your own.
Along with the Boardwalk, which includes interpretive signage with information, there are a couple of tours to choose from (fees apply) – the Seal Bay Guided Tour which allows you to go onto the beach with a guide & find out all about the sea lion behaviour, or the Research Tour which is a fantastic behind the scenes insight into the colony & the research happening at the time. This one is recommended for people over 16 years, so if you have a science loving teen, definitely give this one a go!
At Bales Beach picnic area, a very short drive from Seal Bay, you’ll find picnic shelters, free gas barbecues, public toilets and a beautiful beach to explore. A great way to finish your Seal Bay experience!