Great White Shark
Duration: 4 days/4 nights
Type: Private Charter.
Interests: Birds, Fish & Marine Invertebrates, Land Mammals & Marsupials, Marine Mammals, Reptiles & Amphibians.
This four day adventures combines the best terrestrial and marine protected areas across the region including Lincoln National Park, Coffin Bay National Park, Neptune Islands Conservation Park and Mount Dutton Bay Conservation Park. Being one of the only places to swim with wild Sea-Lions, visitors will be mesmerised by the agility, curiosity and playful interaction from these ‘puppy dogs of the sea’.
On shore, there is an abundance of seabirds, shorebirds, songbirds, parrots (including the beautiful Port Lincoln Parrot) and raptors including Osprey and White-bellied Sea Eagles, with Western Grey Kangaroos, Emus, Koalas and Rosenberg’s Goannas a delight for visitors.
For an adrenaline rush, guests will venture out to the Neptune Islands to try and observe the Great White Shark via a cage or 360 degree underwater viewing pod, using a bait and berley free approach to witness the ocean’s most formidable predator.
On arrival into Port Lincoln, guests will be greeted by their personal guide and take a short drive through spectacular Sugar Gums and agricultural land to Big Swamp. Big Swamp Wetland is composed of three seasonal fresh water lakes, that form a water dependant ecosystem, fringed with a large and ancient Red Gum forest.
These wetlands are the last true fresh water wetlands on the Eyre Peninsula and contain many waterfowl, raptors and the endangered Emu Wren & Western Whipbird. A bird hide is available for viewing these species as well as Black Swans, Grey Teal Ducks, Chestnut Teal Ducks, Pink Eared Ducks, Musk Ducks, Black Winged Stilts and Banded Plovers.
Guests will then then enter beautiful Coffin Bay, an area is of outstanding beauty, world famous Oysters and is home to a variety of important species of flora and fauna. After a delicious lunch, exploring Coffin Bay National Park will provide the opportunity to spot some of the 150 species of birds, 11 species of terrestrial mammals, 12 species of marine mammals, 20 species of lizards, six species of snakes and several (mostly unidentified) species of amphibians have been recorded in the parks.
White-bellied Sea-eagle and Osprey are both moderately common in the parks, with the availability of undisturbed coastal cliff habitats and rocky offshore islands makes the Coffin Bay area a significant breeding refuge for these species. Other bird species of particular interest include the Eastern Reef Egret, Pied Cormorants, Australasian Shoveler, Cape Barren Goose, Eastern Curlew, Wood Sandpiper, Latham's Snipe, Buff-banded Rail, Swamp Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Scarlet Robin, Diamond Firetail, White-winged Chough, Blue-breasted Fairy-wren, Weebill, Southern Emu-wren and Western Whipbird. Other marine species of significance include the Australian Sea-lion, Long-nosed Fur Seal and Bottle-nosed Dolphins.
The day starts with morning viewing at the small coastal hamlet of Tulka where waders, Black Swans and seabirds can be seen from the Bird Hide. This is another known location for Southern Emu Wrens, near a well first dug by Captain Matthew Flinders when he explored the area in 1802.
From here, guests will experience the diversity of the Port Lincoln National Park, where rugged cliffs provide an opportunity to view Osprey, White Bellied Sea-Eagles, Whistling Kites and Swamp Harriers. In beautiful Memory Cove birds encountered include Purple-gaped Honeyeaters, Striated Pardalotes, Spiney-cheeked Honeyeaters, Dusky Woodswallows, Australian Pipits, Western Yellow Robins, Blue Breasted Wrens, and White-browed Scrub Wren.
Of the 29,000ha National Park, guests can elect to walk or beachcomb along Surfleet Cove or take a 45 minute hike to see spectacular views of Boston Bay, Port Lincoln and the Port Lincoln National Park at the Stamford Hill Lookout. Other wildlife that can be spotted include Australian Sea-lions, Long-nosed Fur Seals off the rocks of Donnington Point, Bottlenose Dolphins Western Grey Kangaroos, Emus, and numerous skinks, Rosenberg’s Goanna and dragon lizards. Migrant Southern Right Whales can also be seen occasionally from the coast from May through August.
An early morning departure will see guests boarding the Great White Shark cage dive vessel, the Shark Warrior. After a safety briefing and an induction to the boat, guests will depart the Marina at 7am and head for the Neptune Islands.
This cruise takes 2.5 hours, cruising along the edge of the Port Lincoln National Park, through the Thorny Passage and then out into the Southern Ocean. During a light breakfast, a keen eye will spot pods of dolphins that come to play at the bow of the boat, White-bellied Sea Eagles nesting in the National Park, and occasionally Pilot, Blue or Humpback Whales (May-October).
Once arriving at the Neptunes, the skipper will find a sheltered area to moor, and the group will gather on the back deck to discuss dive safety and procedures. Because this is a surface dive, there is no prior experience or qualifications required. Over the course of the next 5-6 hours, all passengers will have the chance to enter both our Aqua Sub (a glass underwater viewing area) and experience the underwater action in the cage.
With a maximum of 27 passengers, guests will have multiple opportunities to enter the cage and sub. To ensure we are protecting the natural environment, only audio sound vibrations are used to attract the sharks to the boat, rather than berley. The benefits of using sound vibration is that it is omnidirectional, it’s instantaneous and completely eco friendly.
The Neptune Island Marine Park is also home to breeding and feeding sites for many local and migratory birds, Australian Sea-lions and Long-nosed Fur Seals, all of which can be viewed from the boat. Throughout the day all passengers will be welcome to tea, coffee, soft drinks and water, along with cake and fruit for morning tea, hot soup, a buffet style lunch, and in the afternoon a barbecue to keep you satisfied until your return to the marina.
After an early pick up Port Lincoln, guests will transfer out to the Port Lincoln marina for the day’s aquatic adventure. Witnessing the rare and endangered Australian Sea Lions in their natural underwater habitat is one of the most life enhancing experiences. The inquisitive, gentle nature of these stunning sea creatures is unparalleled in the underwater world.
Seal Cove off Hopkins Island, is where the gorgeous puppy dogs of the sea will welcome the group, as they bound toward the boat with their unmistakable glee and excitement; performing somersaults and graceful swirls. The gentlest of underwater mammals, Australian Sea-lions love to play and interact. After watching leaps and twists out of the water and show off backflips, swimmers guests will undoubtedly experience the joy they get from swimming with visitors to their ocean habitat.
Cruising around the shores of the Port Lincoln National Park and the cliffs of the Memory Cove wilderness sanctuary, this untouched coast is best seen by boat, with the opportunity to spot Bottlenose Dolphins, White Bellied Sea Eagles and Long-nosed Fur Seals. Included in this 4.5-hour excursion is all swimming equipment with a 7mm wetsuit, mask & snorkel, tea, coffee and light refreshments.
In the afternoon, guests will venture out to beautiful Mikkira Station, one of the few habitats where Koalas can be easily found in the wild. Sit back around the fire (only out of fire season) in the restored original homestead and go for a stroll under the beautiful old Eucalypt trees and come face to face with the cuddly icon of Australia as they laze in the Manna gums.
Wild but placid kangaroos casually hop around in this beautiful historical setting, where in 1842 Scotsman Adam Borthwick and his family made their home as one of the very first settlers of the region. Emus roam around amongst mobs of sheep and there is astounding birdlife here, many of which are rare and native to this area. As the sun settles for the evening, we will relax with a platter of local produce, wine and listen to the sounds of nature.