If you’re a marine wildlife enthusiast, here are some of the best spots you should visit when you go to Australia.
See Spectacular Underwater Scenery at Governors Island Marine Reserve, Tasmania
As one of the best diving locations in Australia, Governor Island Marine Reserve has over 35 recognized dive sites, such as the Hairy Wall, Golden Bommies, and the Castle.
Before you take a dive, keep in mind that the waters here are deep and the currents and swells are strong, so you might consider hiring a guide. Once you go underwater, you’ll be welcomed by a wide assortment of breathtaking sights.
Beneath the Waves at Bicheno, Tasmania, 6 km from Governor Island Marine Reserve
For instance, from the banded morwong and the blue-throated wrasse to the longsnout boarfish and the purple wrasse, there are a lot of different fish species in this area. What is more, you can also encounter dolphins. Urchins, sponges, jewel anemone, octopuses, and rock lobsters all contribute to the variety of underwater marine wildlife.
Spot Leafy Sea Dragons at Encounter Marine Park, South Australia
Did you know that South Australia has 19 marine parks? If you are a true marine wildlife lover, you’re probably going to make it your mission to visit every single one.
However, you have to start somewhere, so why not pick the Encounter Marine Park, which is located just a short drive from Adelaide. This park will provide you with spectacular locations for diving and snorkeling as well as whale watching and fishing. While there, you could see dolphins, southern right whales, and Australian sea lions, and potentially even the elusive leafy sea dragons.
Remember to keep in mind that there are eleven sanctuary zones in the parks where various activities aren’t allowed, so make sure to follow park guidelines carefully.
Check Out the Marine Life in Sydney, New South Wales
When touring Australia, you’ll probably not miss out on the chance to visit Sydney. If you want to combine city sightseeing with marine wildlife, you’ll be glad to hear that the NSW capital offers plenty of animal encounters.
For example, if you visit Manly, you can see penguins come ashore. Fishermans Beach, on the other hand, offers a look at sedentary invertebrates such as sea urchins and feather stars. Clovelly and Gordons Bay are great places if you want to see blue gropers, cuttlefish, octopuses, moray eels, spotted goatfish, and Port Jackson sharks.
However, if you’d rather watch from afar, you can go whale watching in Sydney if you join one of the many tours that leave from Circular Quay.
Experience the Variety of Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park, Victoria
The 3580-hectare Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park consists of six separate sites. Swan Bay, Point Lonsdale, Pope’s Eye, Mud Islands, Point Nepean, and Portsea Hole all have their own appeal so give all of them a chance if you have enough time.
In addition to protected wader, seabirds, and waterbirds, you can encounter a wide range of fish and marine invertebrates as well as Burrunan dolphins and Australian fur seals. Before you go diving, snorkeling, or canoeing, check whether the area is suitable for such an activity and whether you need a licensed guide.
Swim with Whale Sharks at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
If you find yourself on a road trip to encounter the native wildlife of Australia, you can also take the opportunity to visit Ningaloo Reef where you will have a unique chance to swim with whale sharks.
These sharks are the largest fish in the sea, reaching up to ten meters in length. Just make sure you time your visit right, as this takes place between March and August. Moreover, whale sharks are not the only attraction of Ningaloo Reef, as you can see turtles, manta rays, and perhaps even migrating humpback whales.
Visit the Iconic Great Barrier Reef in Queensland
Finally, one location you can’t skip on your tour of Australia’s wildlife is definitely the World Heritage wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef. Whether you want to dive or snorkel, you’ll get a chance to come face to face with a huge assortment of underwater species.
Seeing as how there are over 900 islands and around 3000 individual reefs, you’ll surely find a spot that will leave you gob-smacked. If you’re looking for a unique adventure, try swimming with dwarf minke whales, as the Reef is the only known site where you can do so. Keep in mind that, while their name might make them sound small, they can be up to eight meters long. Dugongs, stingrays, turtles, and over 1500 fish species will make this whole experience even more memorable.
Australia is a true paradise for lovers of marine wildlife. There are so many locations for you to choose from and whichever you pick, you will not go wrong. Happy exploring!
About the Author
More Places to Visit in Australia
About the Photo
The photo in the header above is of a dolphin. It was taken by Andrey Korman, from Smolensk, Russia, and is part of the Pixabay collection.
About the Author
Nina Simons is a blogger based in Australia.
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