It’s heating up in Perth and there’s nothing better to do on a warm day than pack up the car, head
south and soak up the sun.
If you’re stuck on a destination, Shoalwater Island Marine Park is the perfect spot to bring the family for a fun day of relaxation the Australian way – with a BBQ and a kayak.
This protected marine park offers stunning views, awesome water activities and access to some adorable native sea life, here’s what you need to know.
What is it?
The Shoalwater Island Marine Park is a protected park which stretches from Garden Island to the southern tip of Becher point and spreads across over 6,000 hectares – so there’s lots to explore! One of three marine parks within Perth, Shoalwater is one of Australia’s most protected (and most popular) marine areas.
The most well known destinations located within the park are the picturesque Penguin and Seal Islands, known primarily for their popular snorkeling, diving and fishing adventures.
Where is it?
Located 50km south of Perth CBD (less than an hour’s drive) this dazzling marine park spreads across the beautiful Rockingham coastline. Ferries run to Penguin Island depart from Shoalwater everyday from 9am-3pm between mid-September to mid-June, and it’s best to book ahead.
What to do:
There’s something for everyone at this exceptionally diverse marine park, be it relaxing in the sun, exploring the beautiful marine life or simply existing with nature – the possibilities are endless. The park consists of four zones, of which the coordinates can be found on the areas map and are marked by yellow buoys, including three sanctuary zones, two special purpose zones and a general use zone.
The sanctuary zones provide protection of marine wildlife and allow non-extractive activities like boating, swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving while the special purpose zones are for special scientific purposes only. The largest zone is the general use zone which allows commercial and recreational activities including fishing, aquaculture and various water sports.
If you love a good canoe ride, the Shoalwater paddle trail is the perfect way to unwind and explore. Starting at the end of Point Peron Road and leading around Penguin Island, this paddle tour will take you south via the islands and reef, allowing you to view the extraordinary sea lions as they lounge on the sand.
What not to do:
Protecting the park is incredibly important to ensure the survival of this diverse marine ecosystem, so make sure to respect the rules (no dogs allowed) and the land. It is VERY important not to feed any wildlife within the park and bin your rubbish to keep the marine life safe.
When boating, go slow and anchor in sand to protect marine habitats and never walk on reefs because it can be incredibly dangerous to you and the reef.
Swimming with sea lions can be dangerous as they are unpredictable creatures who have been recorded to bite humans, so maintain a safe distance – sea dogs aren’t as friendly as land dogs so don’t try to pet them.
The Shoalwater Islands Marine Park offers an unforgettable experience that highlights the beauty
of Australian waters.
Penguin Island can get very busy, especially in school holidays, so make sure to book ahead.