19 October 2023
Weekend Escape to Swim with Sea Lions and Discover Green Head
By guest blogger Lisa Ikin.
Seeking some Coral Coast vibes this weekend? Three hours north of Perth on the iconic Indian Ocean Drive is some wild and exciting coastline waiting to be explored. Did you know you can swim with Australian sea lions, relax on pristine beaches, snorkel over reefs and explore coastal walking trails overlooking some of the most picturesque bays in the world, all in a weekend?
Green Head on the Coral Coast is home to Dynamite Bay, which ranks in the top 20 beaches worldwide and is the perfect destination for a family minibreak or romantic interlude. We will also head to Jurien Bay to swim with Australia’s endangered sea lions! But before we get wet, let's look at what Green Head has to offer.
The drive to Green Head is one of WA’s best coastal road trips! Forget the city and take in ocean views and rolling native scrubland. Jurien Bay to Green Head, rich hunting grounds for the Noongar and Yamatji People, is where the most midden deposits in Southwestern Australia have been discovered.
Green Head is a quiet fishing and holiday town overlooking the Indian Ocean. At its heart, Dynamite Bay is usually sheltered and the perfect place to bask, swim and snorkel, and not the only gorgeous, turquoise-coloured bay you can visit in this part of the world.
The stunning Three Bays Walkway (an easy 2.8 km trail) takes you to three bays: Dynamite, South and Anchorage Bay. Ramble across undulating dunes bursting with flowering natives and soft grasses, venture onto small beaches where rock pools sparkle tantalisingly and peek into mini ecosystems of crabs, starfish and brightly coloured seagrasses.
Lookouts are aplenty for when you want to pause and gaze out to sea. Ensure you take your camera and binoculars, as sea lions can be seen frolicking in the waves and sea eagles are commonly spotted. The reef, treacherous to early explorers, gives the water its glorious colours. We know you’ll be tempted to explore.
If fishing is your passion, there are many places to throw in a line, from the beaches to the recreational jetty at Anchorage Bay, which has fish cleaning facilities and a boat ramp at South Bay.
Green Head Caravan Park is a stone’s throw from the beach and caters for tents, trailers and caravans. They also have onsite vans and cabins available to book.
Centre Break Beach Stay overlooks beautiful Dynamite Bay. Super friendly staff and comfortable rooms with various accommodation options from self-contained apartments and shared rooms. The licenced restaurant/café serves up delicious home-cooked meals. The sunset from the balcony is incredible!
It’s time to head down the coast to Jurien Bay to join Jurien Bay Oceanic Experience and get closer to the curious Australian sea lion. The Australian sea lion is found in South Australia as well as Western Australia and is listed as endangered.
Jurien Bay Oceanic Experience is an eco-tourism operator that provides immersive nature tours from their comfortable and well-equipped boat. The best part? You don’t need to have all the gear.
When you board the boat, the crew fit you with a full-length wetsuit, quality mask, snorkel, and fins. Before you know it, you are zipped up and out past the marina onto the clear turquoise ocean with views for days. Dolphins often frolic alongside the boat and keep an eye out for sea lions fishing away from their colony.
The crew are extremely knowledgeable. Oceanic Experience’s Marine scientist highlights interesting features and wildlife on the 30-minute trip to the islands. There are rules around interacting with sea lions and how close you can get when they choose to join you in the water, which is explained very clearly.
Sea lions populate several of the small islands in the bay and are made up of mostly females and one dominant male. They sleep up to 19 hours a day, so it is possible they may not all decide to swim out to play.
The boat anchors a short distance from one of the islands so you can slide into the water for 45 minutes of interaction. Sea lions are naturally curious and will swim over to check out the group.
Crew members remain in the water to point out the location of sea lions. Underwater camera footage, to be shared later, forms part of the experience. Then it's back to the boat for hot showers, biscuits and hot chocolate.
Getting away to Green Head and splashing with sea lions is right on your doorstep, and surely every great adventure should end with hot chocolate!