Stanley Seal Cruises
Darryl and Heather, your hosts, offer seal cruises to view the wholly protected Australian fur seal (Artocephalus pusillus) aboard the 12 metre ‘Sylvia C’, from the wharf in Stanley, North Western Tasmania.
Leaving from the pontoon at the fisherman’s wharf, next to the Dockside Cafe and booking office, the 75 minute scenic cruise takes in spectacular views of the Stanley Nut, the unique township, the old burial ground and Godfrey’s Beach. Historic farmlands extend to the waterline below, where ocean-eroded caves scatter the shoreline.
The destination is Bull Rock, a non-breeding ground or haul-out, 600 metres offshore. Here, up to 500 seals bask in the sunshine or frolic playfully in the crystal-clear waters of Bass Strait. This is the most common seal in Tasmanian waters and breeds from October to January on rocky outcrops, extending from King Island, in the North West, to Tenth Island in the North Eastern corner. Cows give birth to one pup per year, which is milk fed for 10-12 months. There are about 5000 pups born in Tasmanian waters each year, on 9 Bass Strait Islands.
Hunted almost to extinction last century, the population recovery of the largest and fourth-rarest seal species in the world, has been slow and the mammal is now wholly protected. Ironically the seal is now a great source of enjoyment for tourists visiting Stanley and the cruise is becoming very popular for families.
Depart: 10am and 3pm September to April.
10am May and June.
Closed: 15th June to 31st August and Christmas Day
Open: Good Friday.