Seal Island (Perth, WA): What You NEED To Know Before Visiting

Located with the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park is Seal Island.  This fantastic little Island not far off Rockingham is the perfect day out for anyone in Perth that is looking to get up close and personal with these majestical creatures!

Seal at Seal Island Rockingham Western Australia
A younger seal that I was fortunate to swim with

Where is Seal Island located?

Seal Island is located within the Shoalwater Marine Park which is 5 minutes south of Rockingham or 45 minutes south of Perth, Western Australia.

The Island itself is approximately one kilometre off the shore and can easily be seen from land.

How do you get to Seal Island?

Getting ready to head over to seal island
Getting ready to paddle over to Seal Island (Penguin Island ferry to left with Seal Island in background)

There are a few different options for getting to Seal Island.  If you’re fortunate to have your own kayak or paddleboard then you can launch your kayak or paddleboard at the beach near Pengos cafe and then paddle over.

Or alternatively, for those that don’t, there is a local tour company that runs kayak and boat tours out to both Seal and Penguin Island.

How long does it take to get to Seal Island?

heading over to seal island
Paddling over to Seal Island on our kayaks

If you’re paddling over via kayak and the conditions are good then it should take no longer than 30 mins (Well according to my fit bit it took us 23 minutes to be exact!).

What are the best conditions for Seal Island?

An example of ideal weather conditions with a light offshore wind in the morning and then switching to a light onshore wind in the afternoon

If you’re paddling over via kayak or paddleboard then it’s best to check out the conditions.  Personally, from my experience, I’ve found the best conditions to be when you have an offshore easterly wind blowing in the morning that then switches to an onshore wind in the arvo.

With such conditions, the wind is behind you on the way over and then it drops off before switching to onshore winds which makes good conditions for nipping over and checking out Penguin Island.

Can you go on Seal Island?

no entry signs around seal island rockingham

No, unfortunately, you’re unable to go onto Seal Island.  There are yellow buoys in the water, approximately 10 metres out from the shoreline which marks how close you can go to the island.

Mooring your Kayak or Paddleboard

signage in the water on seal island

As you can’t go onto Seal Island, your next best option is to moor your kayak or paddleboard which then allows you to leave your paddle craft secured whilst you sit back and watch the seals from a distance or choose to jump in for a swim with them.

When it comes to mooring your kayak or paddleboard, there are a couple of designated moorings you can tie off on, hence I would recommend taking some rope with you so you can tie off on these. 

kayak moored up at seal island perth

However, as there are only a couple of moorings these get occupied pretty quickly so if you do have a kayak that can support it you may like to take along a small kayak anchor allowing you to moor up independently. 

Tips for swimming with the Seals

close up of Seal swimming at Seal Island Western Australia

If you do enter the water to swim with the seals, then the main advice I could give is to remain calm and don’t chase the seals. 

Seals are quite inquisitive creatures and you’ll find that you’ll get the best experience by floating near to the seals, allowing them to approach you and swim around you when they feel comfortable doing so. 

If you chase the seals and annoy them they can get aggressive and may bite you in return.

Avoid the crowds

Kayaks at Seal Island Perth WA
Kayaks moored up at Seal Island

We were quite surprised by the number of people heading over to visit Seal Island.  We headed over early and we arrived at the island around 9 am though by 10ish (as the tour groups arrived) there were around 40-50 people moored up to see the Seals.  This included individuals like us, people in tour groups, boats, and jet skis.

With this in mind, I’d recommend trying to go there during the week, or outside of peak periods such as the weekends, school holidays, or public holidays.

Where to launch your Kayak or Paddleboard?

area to launch for seal and penguin island
Area to the right of the jetty near Pengo’s Cafe

The best spot to launch your kayak or paddleboard when heading over to Seal Island or Penguin Island is just to right of the boat jetty in front of Pengo’s Cafe.

Where to launch your boat to get to Seal Island?

If you’re looking to launch your boat to get to Seal Island of Penguin Island then the closest boat ramp is Safety Bay Beach Boat Ramp.  There is also Carlisle Boat Ramp though this is only for those that have a 4WD as it’s beach launching here.

What to do after visiting Seal Island?

checking out Shag Islands near Seal Island

Once you’ve finished spending time with the seals, I’d then recommend taking some time to explore the surrounding areas.  To the left of Seal Island is another small group of islands called Shag islands which are quite picturesque whilst also providing some nice snorkelling grounds.

Shag Islands near Seal Island
Paddling around Shag Island
Eagle on top of Shag Island near Seal Island Rockingham
An eagle resting on top of one of the Shag Islands

Out past these you then have the famous Penguin Island which is definitely worth a visit.  From Seal Island, you can paddle direct over to Penguin Island which has a nice beach to pull up and relax. 

Note, however, the water can get a little rough between the islands so always be sure to check conditions are suitable and that you don’t exceed your limits.

Book a Seal Island Tour!

Suppose you don’t have access to a paddle craft or boat then not to worry as there are guided tours you and your family can book to head over to Seal Island. 

These range from a few-hour trips to whole-day experiences.  They even offer experiences where you can head out on a charter boat to swim with the dolphins.  For more information, check out the link below:

Tour 1: Seal Island and Penguin Island or Point Peron Sea Kayak Tour

Tour 1: Seal Island Kayak Tour (Image credit:

Tour 2: Penguin and Seal Islands Sea Kayaking Experience

Tour 2: Penguin and Seal Islands Sea Kayaking Experience (Image credit

Tour 3: Shoalwater Islands Marine Park Cruise with Lunch

Tour 3: Shoalwater Islands Marine Park Cruise with Lunch (Image credit:

Tour 4: Winter, Wildlife & Seafood Cruise

Tour 4: Winter, Wildlife & Seafood Cruise (Image credit:

Final Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Seal Island and was fortunate to have an awesome experience swimming with one of the younger seals.  I definitely can’t wait to head over there again!

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