I find seals extremely cute. They are the puppies of the ocean. They are inquisitive and extremely playful under water. And my most favorite activity to do is to swim with these puppies. In Australia, there are plenty of places where we can swim with the seals. In New South Wales (NSW), it is in the Montague Island.
This is not the first time I have swam with seals, I have swam with the seals at Montague Island before and also had done a similar activity in Queenscliff town of Victoria where I had swam with these amazing creatures.
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Where is Montague Island?
Montague Island is an island within the Montague Island Nature Reserve, off the coast of Narooma in NSW state of Australia. The island is just 9 kilometres from the mainland and is a mecca for marine life.
Montague Island is home for colony of fur seals, many little penguins and large species of birds (as close to 90 species). It is the second largest island off the coast of NSW.
How to reach Montague Island?
The snorkeling tour (details given in the below sections) picks us up from Narooma and takes us by boat to Montague Island, which is just 9 kilometres from Narooma, off the coast of NSW.
Narooma is about 360 kilometres from Sydney and the drive takes around 5 hours via Princess Highway. The easiest and quickest way is to drive. Reaching Narooma via public transport is very complicated as one needs to change one train and three buses to reach Narooma.
The boat is parked near the rocks where the fur seals are. And we can then go snorkelling around the boat.
Note: There are private properties on Montague Island where one can stay on the island. The stay is very expensive for solo travelers and is ideal for large families and a big group.
Swimming with seals tour booking details
- Tour operator: Lighthouse Charters Narooma & Montague Island Discovery Tours.
- Website: http://www.lighthousechartersnarooma.com
- Cost: AUD 99 per person. Note: Wet suits and snorkeling gears are included in the cost.
- Pick up point: Number 1, Town Wharf, Bluewater Drive, Narooma, NSW 2546.
- Contact details:
- Email address: email@example.com.
- Phone number: 0412 312 478.
If you are not a good swimmer, ensure to borrow a noodle strap from the tour agency guys. This gives a bit of confidence for snorkelling.
Review of the tour agency
I loved going on a tour with these guys. They are absolutely amazing, very organised and the staff were friendly. I really enjoyed so much on all the times I have gone with them. I definitely suggest them for swimming with the seals.
My most memorable moment
All the snorkelers in my tour were trying so hard to get a glimpse of these seals under water. They were swimming around everywhere where the seals were resting near the rocks hoping that the seals would come down into the water.
What was I doing? Well, I was struggling to swim. I am not a strong swimmer. In fact I barely know how to swim. Because of which I was fighting with the waves which were pushing me around. I was still near the boat, which was a bit far from the rocks where the seals were.
While this was happening, I realised that there was something under water. A seal had decided to come close to me. It was on the sea bed and was looking up, straight at me. The seal looked like a super cute puppy which was curious.
It did not go near anyone but it had decided to come near me. I was so excited that I started jumping (even in the water). Unfortunately, I had not realised that I had a camera with me at that moment and I had to take a decent picture capturing the seal. The only picture I have from that moment is below one:
Safety for solo female travelers
Narooma is very safe for solo female travelers. I have been to Narooma many a times and I have had no issues whatsoever. In fact, I had the best holidays every time I visited Narooma. However, be cautious and know your surroundings especially at nights.
Swimming with seals has been definitely my most favourite moment interacting with the seals. It is a delight to watch them play or even just lazing around doing nothing. If you are visiting Narooma or Bermagui, then I definitely recommend swimming with the seals.
For other things to do in Narooma, refer my guide to explore Narooma and Bermagui.