Jurien Bay is renowned for its beautiful beaches, breezy coastline, and "takin' it easy" atmosphere. Of course, Jurien Bay is also known for its adorable residents - Australian sea lions! Famous for their puppy-like nature and unreserved curiosity, these guys are the whiskery locals that visitors can't get enough of.
The Australian sea lion is one of the most endangered pinnipeds across the globe; it's believed there are less than 12,000 remaining along Australia's southern coastline. Hundreds of sea lions live on the isolated Buller and North Fisherman islands, as well as Essex Rocks only a few kilometres off the Jurien Bay coast - and the best way to get to see these guys is by hopping on board a sea lion tour!
Sea puppy play date! 🌊🐶 These guys are curing our Monday blues - cheers to 📸 @danielthomasbrowne for this super snap 💙 It’s not uncommon to spot these cute creatures lazing in the sun on the beaches of the Jurien Bay Marine Park. But for a close encounter, take a boat tour from Jurien Bay or Green Head and watch them frolic in the wild. 🛥🌊 #australiascoralcoast #westernaustralia #australia #amazingcoralcoast #justanotherdayinWA
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Turquoise Safaris are one of a handful of operators offering thrilling and intimate sea lion tours giving you the chance to swim in the pristine waters alongside these wonderful sea creatures. And - exciting news - Turquoise Safaris have recently begun touring with a brand new state-of-the-art boat which is universally accessible, meaning that everyone has the chance to get to see the endangered sea lions up close in their natural habitat. The boat, named Sound Waves, can carry up to twelve passengers, and allows you to explore the Jurien Bay coastline in absolute comfort (just when we thought these sea lion experiences couldn't get any better!)
Sea lion encounters in the area are particularly special, as they happen on the terms of the sea lion - there's no chasing them in boats, and no access to the main island (Essex Rocks) where they hang out. The boat will anchor off the shore of the Essex Rocks, in an area of ocean which is bordered by reef, meaning the waters are safe and usually more tranquil. After suiting up in your snorkel, fins and wetsuit (supplied on board), you'll take to the water, where the playful and curious sea lions will come and meet you.
The sea lions are super inquisitive, and certainly aren't shy - they love to pose for cameras and happen to be ridiculously photogenic. They're often fascinated by Go-Pro cameras and other underwater cameras, making it easy to capture some adorable footage.
Sea lion tours operate year-round and depart daily - subject to the weather of course! Certain other animal tours along the Coral Coast operate seasonally due to animal migrations - but these sea lions stick around all year, meaning you can visit them any time.
J-Bay (named by the locals) offers fantastic fishing, snorkelling and 4WD conditions. Additionally, only a stone’s throw from Jurien Bay is Nambung National Park, home to the iconic Pinnacles Desert – a favourite pit-stop for road trippers. Jurien Bay has firmly established itself as a family-favourite destination, and continues to be a short break destination of choice – especially among Perthites. An easy 2.5 hour drive north of Perth, Jurien Bay boasts affordable accommodation options embracing a nostalgic seaside getaway where minimal effort is required.
Keen for your own sea lion adventure? Jump on board a tour with Turquoise Safaris!