Dive with Seals at Hopkins Island, South Australia

PaparazSea, Scuba Diving, Australia, Underwater Photography
Hopkins Island in South Australia is one happy place on Earth where you can get ridiculously close with Seals

Diving with Seals has always been in my things to do list before I say sayonara Earth and finally ticked that thing off  just a few days back. It was quite unfortunate South Easterly winds made the supposedly calm and clear dive into a nasty underwater sandstorm but nevertheless, the freezing 17c  40 minute dive offered by Rodney Fox Great White Tours yielded ridiculously fun close encounters with seals.

Jun V Lao, Underwater Photography, Scuba Diving
The customary Wildlife selfie...and the flash fails to work...damn it :)
Hopkins Island is your first transition stop from Port Lincoln en route to the Neptune Islands where you get to dive with huge Great White Sharks. While the Great Whites are the main draw of the tour for most, I personally wanted to have more dive time with the Seals by having the first dive to orient oneself with Seal behaviour and the second is to get creative shots with them, but thats the reality when going on a wildlife sojourn, anything may happen and nothing is guaranteed.

Jun V Lao, Underwater Photography, PaparazSea
Fly By
Living in the Philippines, Seals are a novelty as they can only be found in cold waters. Great Whites hang around South Australia as Seals are one of their favorite meals... dont worry though about the Seal's plight as they are very agile, an Adult seal can outmaneuver White Sharks any day of the week.

very inquisitive
Seals are like dogs with fins. They play with each other a lot and after about 10-15 minutes diving with them, they turn their attention to you, can get really curious and tug you by the fins, smell your head and if they had arms, they'll be hugging you tightly... priceless wildlife moments

Jun V Lao, Underwater Photography, Scuba Diving, PaparazSea
Fantastic beasts...Seals
The dive at Hopkins is a very shallow one, roughly just 6 meters deep.  The Ocean in South Australia gets cold starting Autumn to Winter (17c in mid May) and donning at least a 7 mm wetsuit with gloves and a hoodie is needed. Rodney Fox offers both snorkeling and diving with the Seals but if you are armed with a camera, go Scuba, lots of great shots you'll be taking will be shooting them from the bottom up :)

the customary diving with Seals video

Jun V Lao, Scuba diving, Underwater Photography
pre Hopkins Island dive with the hardworking Rodney Andrew Fox team
from left..Re, Charley, Mitch and Moi

Getting There

Port of entry is Port Lincoln South Australia but from Hong Kong, Malaysia or Singapore, direct flights will get you to Adelaide where you have to rent a car and do an 7 hour 700km+ scenic drive (rent a car cost six days around AUD500+/- exluding fuel) or pay for another local AUD300 air ticket to the Port Lincoln airport.

Flying from the Philippines will be a mandatory two stop flight. I made the mistake booking to Adelaide, one can directly do a second stop to Port Lincoln from first stop Sydney or Brisbane so your drive to the jetty will be cut to just a short 30-45 minutes, not another 7 hour drive time required.

Will be sharing next week what diving with Great Whites is like, do subscribe if having a Great White Shark encounter excites you.

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