Seal Bay is home to a colony of around 1,000 endangered Australian Sea-lions, being a critical refuge for this species after being hunted to near extinction during the last century. Visitors have the unique opportunity to walk amongst the sea-lions as they laze on pristine beaches, with juveniles a common sight playing amongst the sand dunes and vegetation. Other animals common to the area include Short-beaked Echidna, Glossy Black Cockatoo, Rosenberg's Goanna (warmer months) and a range of bush and shore-birds.
Located on the western side of the island, Flinders Chase National Park covers nearly 75,000 hectares (almost 200,000 acres), dominated by coastal mallee due to the relatively infertile soils and salt-laden winds. The aptly named Remarkable Rocks allows visitors to explore 500 million years of geology and weathering of these massive grainite tors composed of lack mica, bluish quartz, and pinkish feldspar. Covered by bright orange lichen the smooth, rounded hollows and natural beauty of the rocks contrast starkly against the backdrop of the deep blue Southern Ocean. The high vantage point provides an opportunity to look for oceanic bird species (Pacific gulls, Australasian Gannets, Short-tailed Shearwaters in warmer months) as the low heath often reveals Tawny-crowned Honeyeaters, Southern Emu Wrens and seasonally, the Western Whipbird.
Nearby, Admirals Arch provides a spectacular haul out for up to three pinnipeds, namely Long-nosed and Australian fur-seals as well as the occasional Australian Sea-lion. It took thousands of years of weathering to form this distinctive stalactite-fringed rock bridge, providing amazing photographic opportunities of this former cave. On the headland above is a beautiful stone lighthouse where three light keepers and their families lived, maintaining a warning for ships.
This park was set aside to protect the feeding and breeding habitat of the critically endangered Glossy Black Cockatoo, with this region also providing sanctuary for Tammar Wallabies, Kangaroo Island Kangaroos, Short-beaked Echidnas, Koalas, Rosenberg Goannas, Scarlet Robins and Golden Whistlers. In the higher ridges, Brown Stringybarks are interspersed with Tates Grass-trees, Broombrush and Slaty Sheoak. Lower reaches allow visitors to explore Sugar Gum and South Australian Blue Gum open forests. Areas of Drooping Sheoak are critical feeding areas for the Glossy Black Cockatoos.
Start the day at Pennington Bay situated at the narrowest part of the Island. This Southern Ocean beach is a popular fishing and surf spot. Enjoy home-baked morning tea overlooking extensive wave-cut platforms and contrasting deep aqua water.