South Australia’s Marine Parks boast iconic species such as the southern right whale, bottlenose dolphin, leafy sea dragon, great white shark, Australian pelican, little penguin, Australian sea lion and giant Australian cuttlefish, and this month these natural wonders are all being celebrated through National Parks and Wildlife Service’s (NPWS) Park of the Month.
July is the peak month for the migration of southern right whales and the breeding season for giant Australian cuttlefish.
NPWS Marine Coordinator Dr Shelley Paull has worked on the Eyre Peninsula for the past 15 years and said July is a special time in our marine parks with migrations of humpback and southern right whales, little penguins and cuttlefish breeding, which provides us with a unique opportunity to witness these amazing species.
“Many of these amazing migrations occur in our regional places,” she said.
“So, if you’re looking for a fun adventure for the family this school holidays, pack the car and hit the road. Experience firsthand the amazing wonders that we have right here in our backyard!”
Whales can be seen in marine parks across South Australia with key locations being the Encounter Marine Park near Victor Harbor, Far West Coast Marine Park at the Head of the Bight, Sleaford Bay near Port Lincoln in the Thorny Passage Marine Park and Fowler’s Bay in Nuyts Archipelago Marine Park.
Giant Australian cuttlefish congregate in the waters of the Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park near Whyalla. Each year thousands of cuttlefish come together to these breeding grounds for an incredible underwater display. Cuttlefish can change and pulsate colours and textures to attract mates for breeding.
This month NPWS has partnered with community organisation Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries (EMS) to offer discounted cuttlefish snorkelling tours. Tickets are limited and are booking out fast. If you’re not keen on getting in the water there is a program of events onshore with Whyalla Cuttlefest 2022 running from June to August.
To celebrate South Australia’s great Marine Parks, NPWS has put together a program of activities throughout July, so come along and join in the fun. Activities include:
- Discounted cuttlefish snorkelling tours with Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries
- Cuttlefest program of events in Whyalla
- Interactive pop-up ranger stations on Granite Island and at Basham Bay
- Sea lions: Life by a Whisker film screenings in Victor Harbor and Port Lincoln
- 20 per cent off Seal Island and Southern Ocean Adventure tours with Big Duck Cruises
For more information and bookings, visit: www.parks.sa.gov.au/park-of-the-month