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Swim with the Sea Lions

One of the most interactive wildlife tours you can do!  Come on board our Advanced Eco Certified tour and see why the Australian Sea lions are nick named the ‘puppies of the sea’

A half-day tour to either Hopkins, Blythe, Grindal or Langton Island meet the endangered Australian Sealions.  We are very privileged to have the opportunity to swim with these gorgeous animals in their natural environment.

Pricing

Adult – $190

Child (16 & under) – $130

Family (2 adults & 2 children) – $540

  • If you book a Shark Cage Dive and a Swim with the Sea lions tour you receive a 25% discount off the Sea lion swim! Contact us to receive your discount.

Seniors Discount of 10% is available upon presentation of a current Seniors Card. Bookings must me made direct with the office to apply. Only one promotional discount will apply for each product. For example with the multiple tour and the seniors discount, only the higher value will apply.  The Seniors Discount is not available on charters that operate on Saturday's, Public Holiday's or during the months of December and January.

Duration

  • Half day tour  – approximately 5 hours. 
  • The journey to and from the island is around 1.5 hours.
  • Operates from October through to May

Passengers

  • Maximum of 25 passengers. 
  • Minimum of 4 passengers required for this trip to operate.

What’s included

  • 7.45am boarding includes breakfast, tea/coffee and light refreshments.
  • 11.00am boarding includes lunch, tea/coffee and light refreshments.
  • Mask, snorkel, wetsuit & fins.
  • Those who choose not to swim are able to join the Captain in the tender boat to get closer to the sealions.

Boat facilities:

  • 60 foot MV Calypso Star
  • Fully Air-conditioned saloon/bridge, coffee machine, toilets and hot water showers on board.
  • Huge main deck and swim platform, dual ladders for access to the water. 
  • Boat tender to assist you into the water

Optional extras:

  • Soft drinks, bottled water and alcohol available for purchase. 
  • Souvenirs available on board
  • GoPro hire available on board

Depart from the behind the Marina Hotel, Cape Baron Place, Port Lincoln.

Please arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time.  Pre booked transfers from accommodation places are available for $10 per person return.

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How to book?

Click here to book on line is the easiest way! Calypso Star Charters has the latest secure technology, however, if you would prefer to download and print this form, you can complete it then send it via email or fax to +61 (8) 8682 6877 

GoPro Hire $50

  • Hire of the GoPro and the purchase of an 8GB micro SD card with adapter 
  • If you want to capture loads of footage and don’t think that one card is enough, you can upgrade on board to a 16GB card

Can’t decide what date you want to come? Looking to surprise a loved one or maybe a work or personal farewell gift? Why not purchase a gift voucher.

Gift vouchers are valid for a period of twelve months from the date of purchase and can be purchased either by contacting our friendly office staff or directly through our online booking system.

Gift voucher terms and conditions

  • Vouchers are valid for a period of 12 months from the date of purchase. Extensions may be granted by contacting our office prior to the voucher expiry for an additional fee.
  • Vouchers may be transferred in to another person’s name. For the transfer to be completed written permission must be received by Calypso Star Charters from the voucher recipient.
  • Vouchers can be cancelled inline with our booking cancellation policy. Once a voucher has been purchased a refund can be issued within the 12 months that the voucher is valid with the payment of a 20% cancellation fee. The refund of the voucher minus any fee forfeited will be provided to the recipient of the voucher. Refunds will be processed via the same method as the payment was received
  • Voucher must be surrendered on the date of travel.
Shark Cage Diving

The Sea Lion tour itinerary

Upon arrival at the island, wetsuits, masks and snorkels are provided and we are ready for the most playful swim ever. Our crew lower our tender vessel into the water, which will transport you in closer to shore.  One of our crew will be in the water with you at all times.  Once in the water, the Sea Lions entice you to come and play. With summersaults and swirls they glide effortlessly past.

Simply float in the water with an out stretched hand, stay nice and calm and let them approach. The more twists and turns you do the more they will play, and enjoy being one on one with the Australian Sea Lion!

Sea Lions are endangered and our permit is strict.  We are not permitted to be too close to the beach and at all times we need to remember that they are endangered and must not approach or intimidate them.  After approximately an hour of swimming it is time to climb back onto the boat, a hot shower awaits and the coffee machine is ready!

Tours are not operated every day, we limit visiting any specific site to a maximum of 4 times per week. We are committed to minimizing the impact to the Sea Lion colonies we visit. Please check our calendar for availability or contact our office.

Sea Lions Frequently Asked Questions

Are there sharks there?

In all the years we have operated we have never sighted a shark on our Sea Lion tour. Your safety is our upmost priority and we have safety procedures in place to minimise the risk. The islands where we conduct the Sea lion tours are haul out sites for a couple of hundred sea lions. The Islands where shark cage diving takes place has a seal colony of over 45,000 seals.

The Sea Lion tour takes place at offshore islands within Spencer Gulf. We operate to the sheltered side of the island however depending on the weather conditions some moderate wave motion and a current may be experienced. Swimmers wear a wetsuit for buoyancy and warmth and some snorkelling experience is preferred. The ability to tread water for 5 minutes and be able to swim the length of a pool is essential. A crew member/s accompanies guests into the water and our tender vessel is on hand to swiftly assist in an emergency. December though to April increases the chances of really nice weather and light winds.

License conditions restrict the amount of time we can be present at the island. Swimmers can expect between 45 minutes to an hour for swimming.

The water depth at the swimming location varies between 1.2m and 2.5m over a mostly sandy bottom. You will be provided with a wetsuit and pool noodles are available if additional buoyancy is required.

Our Sea Lion tours operate over Spring, Summer and Autumn. Water temperature in early Spring (September) is about 15C and peaks in late summer (February/March) at around 22C/23C. We provide wetsuits to all swimmers and hot showers and hot drinks are available when you jump out of the water. Our vessel is air-conditioned/heated for your comfort while travelling.

Interaction cannot be guaranteed, however sightings of the Sealions can be. Unfortunately sometimes they may not enter the water or remain in the water for long periods of time and we cannot force them or coax them to do so.

The Sea Lions are wild animals and some days they are more playful than others. In the water they often come within centimetres of you to say hello. The crew will provide you with an information sheet and briefing once on board and advise you of how best to interact with them in the water. One of our crew members will be in the water with you at all times to help you get the most from the experience and of course to ensure your safety at all times.

We suggest that you speak to your doctor regarding whether or not you can join us on board.  As each pregnancy is different we cannot say yes or no.  If your doctor is happy for you to come on board so are we! Please also speak to your doctor about seasickness medication.  There are some remedies available for pregnant women to use. 

We carry a large range of wetsuits and sufficient quantities to generally ensure everyone gets their own wetsuit. Sizes range from Extra Small to XXXL in 7mm and kids sizes and XXXL Super Stretch in 3mm. Dress/shirt sizes are a comparative guide for wetsuits. A 3XL 7mm wetsuit will general fit a person of up 130kg, the Super Stretch 3mm suits are incredibly stretchy, however, the water temperature from November to May is generally such that the dive can be done in shorts and a shirt. You are welcome to BYO wetsuit if you would prefer.

Yes you can.  Upon presentation of a current Seniors Card you will receive a 10% discount of the recommended retail price.  Bookings need to be made direct with the office.

Our charters operate during the months of October through to May.  We choose not operate every day.  We are the only one day operator who does not visit a specific site more than 4 times per week. We are committed to minimizing the impact to the Sea Lion colonies we visit. Please check our calendar for availability or contact our office.

The tour activity is controlled by the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) and strict guidelines are placed on operators. Calypso Star Charters has a long history spanning more than 20 years of Swimming with Sea Lions at Hopkins Island. Over this time we have developed our own code of conduct for these tours. We consulted heavily with the DEWNR during the process, which lead to Marine Mammal Interaction Permitting in South Australia. 

Our staff are skilled and have a great understanding of the Sea Lions and the area we visit. All of our Skippers are Eco Guides, Certified by Eco Tourism Australia. The tour is completely interactive and our staff will provide you detailed information about the Sea Lions, the areas we visit and the local Fishing Industry. 

Hopkins Islands is a protected area as part of the Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area. Guests are given a detailed safety briefing before entering the water, this covers the conduct whilst in the water with the Australian Sea Lions. We access the area by boat and approach the islands at slow speed to not cause any damage to the seafloor. Our vessel has just undergone a complete repower and refurbishment, careful consideration was given to the engine selection to ensure emissions are minimal.

We have a range of masks on board with negative corrective lenses available for loan on a replace if lost/broken basis. Please ask the crew on board.

Do you have a question we have not answered on our website?

Can you please email us the question so firstly we can answer it and secondly maybe add it to the FAQ's for other people who could be wondering the same? Thanks!

What to bring

To ensure the comfort of your trip you will need to bring:

  • Bathers and a towel.
  • Your Camera, if you have one. If not we do hire our GoPros on board.
  • Charging cables. USB points are available on our vessels.
  • Comfortable clothing: Remember to pack some warm clothes as it can get cool on the water (even in summer). A warm jacket is a must in winter. Our Vessels have reverse cycle air-conditioning for your comfort. 
  • Boat appropriate soft-soled shoes - not thongs
  • Space is limited, small bags are appreciated.

Exclusive Hire options

Shark Cage Diving & Sea Lion Tours

Our vessels are available for exclusive hire for Shark Cage Diving and Swim With the Sea Lions. 

Exclusive hire options give flexibility to departure and arrival times, crewing, catering and offer complete privacy to guests throughout the booking process and whilst on board.

We offer peak and off peak prices for exclusive hire, please contact our team for more information.

Other Exclusive Hire options

Our well-equipped vessels and adaptable crew are available for exclusive hire for activities outside of our tour options for an hour, a day a week or longer. Please contact our General Manager to discuss

  • Transfer of personnel, equipment and fuel to offshore islands and vessels.
  • Deployment and retrieval of research equipment.
  • Underwater surveys and dive support. 
  • Commercial divers available.
  • Film crews with a licensed drone pilot available.
  • Vessel relocation/delivery and manning up to Master Class 4 and Marine Engine Driver 1.

Contact us

Contact our Office on:

Telephone +61 (8) 8682 3939

Email info@sharkcagediving.com.au

Fax +61 (8) 8682 6877

Office Location 3/10 South Quay Boulevard, Port Lincoln SA 5606

Postal PO Box 2058, Port Lincoln, South Australia, 5606

Dive Locations - see a Google map of our Dive Locations

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:30pm

Saturdays & Public holidays 9:00am - 3:00pm

Sundays CLOSED*

PLEASE NOTE OUR PHONE IS AVAILABLE 24 HOURS

+61 (8) 8682 3939

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Shark Cage Dives