Stokes Bay on Kangaroo Island

Sea Dreamer

It’s 06:00am in Port Lincoln, South Australia and I am wide awake. I lie in bed eyes wide shut, staring at the ceiling above. I let my mind wander, and walk through the day. In one hour I’ll be making my way to the port, boarding an Adventure Bay Charter, and heading out to the open ocean. This is it, the day I’ve been waiting for. Today I swim with a colony of Australian Sea Lions. I let this thought sink in and smile quietly to myself. It is an incredible thing joining a perfectly evolved species in its home environment. This is it, a day to remember and a life goal about to be realized, I lie in bed eyes wide shut, with only one present thought, almost like a passing dream, a dream of swimming with South Australian Sea Lions. A sea dreamer.

Fast forward 12 hours. I am back on the main land with a permanent smile of absolute joy. Today was something to be relished, a wildlife encounter like no other I have ever experienced. It is truly a special thing when you are immersed in an environment which is it not your own and treated like a welcomed guest. Most people get this wonderful greeting through international travel. Today I got it from a colony of Australian Sea Lions!

About an hour boat ride outside of Port Lincoln there is an area know as Seal Cove at Hopkins Island, and it is a gem of an environment. The cove is sheltered from the open ocean by the Eyre Peninsula and plays home to juvenile Aussie Sea Lions looking to separate from the colony and learn from their mothers the intricate ways of the underwater world. The sea lions spend 18 hours of their day underwater, and the majority of that is playing and mucking about with their mates! Sounds like a pretty nice life to me! Seal Cove is a pristine beach with a population of about 50, now add other nearby island populations, and the area makes up a colony of around 300 strong.

Australian Sea Lions are an incredibly unique species found only in Southern and Western Australia, with a known population of about 15,000 in total. They are a protected species under the National Parks and Wildlife Act and flourish in and around Kangaroo Island and the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.

Port Lincoln (Eyre Peninsula) is the stepping stone to visiting these wonderful creatures and a beautiful place to start your oceanic adventure. It is a scenic and quaint with incredibly friendly people, good food, and good wine. Sounds like a pretty good spot to rest your head for a night or two eh. From Port Lincoln you can easily set up the excursion with Adventure Bay Charters who leave almost daily for most of the year. Be sure to check out their website in advance to see what the conditions are like and to get updated info on the colony. These guys are a world class operator with a ton of knowledge about the Sea Lions behavior, life cycle, habitat, and most importantly future.

Swimming with the Australian Sea Lions has been the highlight of my trip so far. It is incredibly hard for me to express how awesome today was. I hope the video can give you a better idea. This is truly one of those things you have to experience for yourself. The freedom, curiosity, friendliness, interest, confusion, and overall emotion of the Sea Lions is absolutely palpable underwater. It is such an incredible experience. What is your most memorable wildlife experience?  Did it happen in Australia? Have you ever been swimming with Sea Lions? If so, what was it like, can you agree with me?

I look forward to reading your comments and sharing more of my experiences in South Australia as my travels continue! There is so much more here do see and to do, but I have to be honest, this was such an incredible experience, I am on a high, and hopefully it is not the last time I’ll be saying hello to these energetic guys.

Safe travels,



23 thoughts on “Sea Dreamer

  • This is very well-written. You have made some highly perceptive observations of the sea lion. Glad that you are enjoying your time in Australia! All the best for the remainder of the competition!

    • Wow, Anna, thank you. I actually smashed this out in about one hour. I normally put a couple days into each post, but as this was a one day time constraint contest I really had to push it out. I am over the moon on your reaction and comment!! 🙂 What did you think of the video?

      p.s. Keep following the finals… as Tourism Australia is set to announce the winner this Friday, June 21st!! Exciting stuff!!

      • Yes, the video is awesome! It must have been amazing swimming with the sea lions. They look like such friendly and beautiful animals! Though I think the best part of the video was when you came up for air – seeing your absolute delight was cool to watch!! I have been following your campaign, and love your blogs and passion for life! I look forward to your upcoming adventures. Good luck with the outcome! By the way, I am aware that the finals are this week – my sister is an intern at TA.

        • Ahh, right on! Okay, cool stuff, I am glad you are following the campaign and understand the meaning of how this opportunity has the potential to turn my life upside down!! This is a chance for us to share the beauty of South Australia with the world and I want to be that advocate! Game on!!

    • This is very well-written Greg Snell ,the video is amazing!! Sea lions are sooo cute!!!
      Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing babe <3

  • Looks like an amazing experience mate, I work with their cousins everyday so I know how special it is to be close to these animals. I can imagine it’s in a different league to swim with the in the wild! Keep up the good work, we all want to see Greg Snell as the Wildlife Caretaker.

    • Hey Mat, it is an honour to know you are following the competition and feel as I do, that I am the best candidate for this position. Thank you for the ongoing continued support mate. This Friday, the announcement will be made. Exiting stuff!!

  • Hey greg,
    What a super cool vid you shot. I dont know who was having more fun you or the sea lions. I’m well jealous. A well written piece too gives me the chance to feel as if I’m there too.
    Keep up the good work and I look forward to the next chapter of your on going adventure!

    • Jamie mate, cheers for the comment!! Glad you enjoyed the vid and the post. I am half way through the challenges to determine the next Wildlife Caretaker and must say, so far the adventure has been incredible. This is just the beginning!

  • Hey Greg,
    That was an awesome shot video. It looks like the sea lions really interacted with you. It made me want to visit Kangaroo Island.Exciting days ahead for you. Best of luck again..


    • Hi Seema, you should visit KI and the Eyre peninsular one day!! Maybe with some luck, while I’m here!! 🙂 Finals end this Friday the 21st!! Exciting stuff!!

  • Reblogged this on Wonen in Australie is anders and commented:
    Leuk logje van een van de kandidaten voor de “Best Job in the World” (de campagne van Tourism Australia) – met een super filmpje van zijn zwem ervaring met de zeeleeuwen. Het laat zo goed zien hoe leuk het is. Ik wil nog een keer!

    • Thanks Mads. I put that vid together very fast (it was one of our challenges to make a post that same day). I can’t wait to get the chance to go and do that again spending more time on a bit more ‘produced’ look.

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