Swimming with sea lions in Australia – Telicia’s goosebump moment
Telicia: “I come from Australia. My goosebump moment is from a few years ago when I was up north of my home city in a place called Green Head in western Australia. Just off the coast of Green Head there is an incredible reef, which is close enough that you can just swim out and snorkel on it. So, my friends and I were out there snorkeling one day, and I got a little separated from them, and then I saw a shadow out of the corner of my eye. This is quite freaky up there because there are a lot of sharks. But when I investigated, I discovered that what I’d seen was actually a seal pup. And what I really clearly remember is just looking into that seal’s eyes. They were so big and captivating. I have no idea how long we swam together for because I was just so enthralled in watching this beautiful, graceful creature swim through the water. I did stick my head up to call out to a friend and when I put my head back down it was gone. That is my goosebump moment.”
Green Head is a small, friendly coastal town located three hours north of Perth, Australia. Its pristine beaches and relaxed lifestyle provide a unique natural environment.
However, one of the things that is life-affirming, uplifting and provides memories to treasure is being able to see interesting creatures up close such as sea lions, which are considered very intelligent and social animals. In fact, in this area you can see huge colonies gathered on the rocks at the seashore. It is certainly an experience that will give more than one person goosebumps.
A sea lion breeding colony in Australia
Situated on a headland, the bays of Green Head offer white sandy beaches where you can swim and snorkel, while the offshore islands and reefs are perfect for fishing and diving. Green Head is best known for hosting Dynamite Bay.
Fisherman’s Island, south of Green Head, is a breeding colony for Australian sea lions. Sea lion tours are available from Jurien Bay and Green Head with government-registered guides. During the month of August, they tend to mate and therefore tours are not usually available.
The small, secluded bays offer peaceful retreats for those wishing to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Dynamite Bay forms almost a perfect circle and offers safe and sheltered swimming.
South Bay is a long stretch of white sandy beach, ideal for swimming and fishing or just strolling along a pristine, uncrowded beach.
Australian sea lions
This species is found on the west and south coasts of Australia. Males are dark brown with a yellow mane around their heads, females are silver and have no mane. Males are large, often being up to three times larger than females.
They are very social creatures, and you can often find them communicating with each other, while forming very large colonies on land, they also have subgroups in these colonies, where they are more intimate. They average 10 to 15 individuals per subgroup and may move from one to another as their needs change over the course of their lives.
They differ from true seals in that they can turn when on land, partially supporting the body and aiding in locomotion.
Males are polygamous and establish territories around females, which they defend through vocalizations, body postures and confrontations with rivals. In these fights, the accidental death of calfs by crushing is common.
The calf is rigorously cared for by its mother during the first 10 days of life and suckles for 15 to 18 months. In some cases, the female takes care of it for up to three years, especially if she has had no other offspring.
More about sea lions:
- The Australian Sea Lion along the South Australian coastline
- Life on the edge – Australian sea lions
- Meet Taronga’s new Australian sea lion pup