Penguin Island is a small island off the coast of Shoalwater, a town south of Perth in Western Australia. It's part of the Shoalwater Islands Wildlife Park. Most of this marine park is protected from the large swells of the Indian Ocean which makes it a safe destination to explore with kayaks. Even though it's only a short trip from Perth, I'd never visited the island before.
We borrowed a couple of kayaks to explore the marine park. It was a bit choppy from the swell that resulted from a storm to the south of Australia a few days ago. It only took about 30 minutes to paddle across to Penguin Island. As Penguin Island is part of a marine reserve, there is an abundance of birdlife and sea life on the island. We walked around the island on a nature trail.
There is a penguin discovery centre on the island. Rescued penguins which are deemed unfit to return to the wild live in discovery centre where the public can have a close view of these rescued penguins. We watched a short show about the penguins in the discovery centre and watched them feeding.
We got back in our kayaks and started paddling north to Shag Rock and Seal Island. We came across a sea lion (seal). It jumped out of the water several times only a few metres away from our kayaks. It was a bit alarming as sea lions can be over 200kg but fortunately it decided to keep swimming away from us.
We continued paddling up to Seal Island through the relatively open water between the islands. There was noticeably more swell coming through but it was manageable as we continued into the more sheltered bay on Seal Island. No people are allowed to land on the island. We could see a few sea lions on the beach and a couple of of males were fighting / playing in the water. We decided to keep our distance!
It was only a 15 minute paddle back from Seal Island to the mainland for a well earned lunch. Penguin Island was fun to explore and I recommend visiting it!
Keywords: Australia, Indian Ocean, Kayaking, Perth, Western Australia
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