Seal Bay Conservation Park
Seal Bay is the only place in the world where you can get up close to Australian sea lions on the beach. Follow boardwalks to beachfront viewing platforms on a self-guided tour, during which you’ll likely see sea lions bathing and fishing in the shallow waters, and interacting with their pups.
Seal Bay is one of the most-visited attractions on Kangaroo Island and is included on the majority of island tours. Visit with a guide to learn more about the seals and the park’s ongoing conservation efforts; tours take you right down onto the beach for an even closer look at the seals, although interaction with the seals is prohibited.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Seal Bay Visitor Centre is free to visit and has informative displays, restrooms, and a gift shop.
There’s no café or restaurant at Seal Bay, but cold drinks are available to purchase. The nearby Bales Bay Picnic Area has plenty of picnic benches and barbecues.
Wear comfortable walking shoes and suitable outdoor clothing, and bring sunscreen, a hat, and water.
The Seal Bay boardwalk is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
Seal Bay Conservation Park is located along the south coast of Kangaroo Island. It’s a 45-minute drive from Kingscote or a 1-hour drive from Penneshaw via the South Coast Road. There’s no public transport to the sanctuary, so it’s best to join a tour unless you have your own transport. Planes fly from Adelaide to Kingscote airport in 30 minutes or you can ride the 45-minute ferry to Penneshaw from Cape Jervis on the mainland.
When to Get There
The park is open daily from morning until early evening; last entry is one hour before closing. Tours run frequently, with at least one tour per hour, however tour numbers are limited and it can get busy during the summer months—plan to arrive before 11am or after 1pm to avoid the biggest crowds. The summer months of December, January, and February are the best time to see new-born seal pups.
Wildlife Spotting on Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island is renowned for its wildlife-watching opportunities. Head to the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary to watch wild koalas, kangaroos, and wallabies in their natural habitats, or visit the Penneshaw Penguin Centre to see Little Penguins. In the Flinders Chase National Park, look out for dolphins, whales, and New Zealand fur seals as you visit the natural wonders of Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks, or set sail on a whale-watching cruise around Hanson Bay (May-September). There’s also the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, home to kangaroos, wombats, and koalas.