Welcome to South Australia and the Eyre Peninsula! Set your sat nav in your Isuzu MU-X and head for Baird Bay, which is a little over three hours’ drive from Port Lincoln.
The Eyre Peninsula has extraordinary contrasting landscapes, from flat golden fields to the azure Southern Ocean – its power carving sculptures into the rugged coast line. It is also so very easy to get around: two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, you can find your own path and explore on an easy, relaxing drive.
Alan runs Baird Bay Ocean Eco Experience, a family-owned business established in 1992. Alan is a great bloke, who truly cares about the welfare of the sea lions and the bottlenose dolphins of Baird Bay. He also provides a handy large thermos of hot chocolate after your refreshing swim with the seals and dolphins.
This experience is not only swimming with Australian sea lions, it is also extremely important to Alan and his family that you learn a little about the rarest of the seal species in Australian waters. And what a great way to learn!
The Australian sea lion populations is “guestimated” to be approximately 12,000. In 2018, Scientific Update put the figure around 10,000, but the Baird Bay sea lions are maintaining their growth rate on their island home.
Sea lions are endemic to Australia and can be found from Kangaroo Island to the north-west coast of Western Australia.
The Baird Bay Ocean Experience is about being in the seals’ domain, their ‘play pool’ and the swimmers are their toys. The seals are not trained, fed or harassed; they come and swim with you on their terms.
This is an experience like no other and, if you don’t mind a little chilly water, you will be rewarded with a friendly smile from a seal, plus Alan’s hot chocolate.