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August - Encounter Marine Park

You’re invited to celebrate Encounter Marine Park this August.

Stretching from beachside suburb of Christies Beach to the mouth of the River Murray and Coorong, the park protects the diverse marine life of St Vincent Gulf, Backstairs Passage and Encounter Bay.

There is so much to do in Encounter Marine Park like dipping your toes into the water at one of the pristine beaches, snorkel and dive spectacular reefs, surf one of the many great breaks, see the giants of the deep, southern right whales on their winter migration or fish from beaches and jetties.

Get involved with heaps of free events and activities happening throughout August.

Each month we feature a different park as Park of the Month, find out what’s happening throughout the year and learn how to host your own event.

What’s on

Visit the SA Whale Centre

Dates and times: 

Open 7 days 10:30am to 5:30pm

Have a whale of a time at the SA Whale Centre

  • Find out where the whales are (we facilitate a live whale sighting log!)
  • Delve into our cellar of secrets and immerse yourself in an underwater world where whales line the walls
  • Stare into the jaws of a Great White Shark
  • Steer Sea Shepherd‘s “Steve Irwin” replica into pirated waters
  • Watch Southern Right Whales come alive in our 3D theaterette
  • Dig for fossils or crawl through the belly of a giant squid
  • Stop by and have a play in our brand new Kids Zone
  • Visit our resident Eastern Long Neck Turtle “Soup”
  • Get hands on with touch tables and microscopes
  • Learn about the life cycle of Leafy Sea Dragons with a wall length mural
  • Gaze at our Southern Right Whale Skull & Sperm Whale Vertebrae
  • Descend into Victor Harbors macabre whaling history and learn about our commitment to conservation

Meeting point:

The SA Whale Centre is located at 2 Railway Tce, Victor Harbor SA
Phone: 08 8551 0750 

Fees:

Adults $9.00
Children $4.50
Concession $6.50
Family $24.00 (2 adults, 2 children)

Parkapiki competition - Win a 12 month vehicle entry parks pass

Visit Encounter Marine Park during August for your chance to win a 12 month vehicle entry for multiple park pass.

Our friends at Parkapiki have used GPS technology to create a virtual boundary around the park. All you need to do is visit Encounter Marine Park (within 200 metres of the coast) during August and when you’re there, open the competition page on your smart-phone or tablet, fill in the form and leave a creative comment about the park.

Don't worry if your out of mobile coverage, you can enter the competition by loading a digital photo you've taken in the park when you're back in range. 

Cosmic whale song digital art work

Date and time:

Nightly, after dusk

About/information: 

Cosmic Whale Song is a digital art work projection in Victor Harbor. In 2016, the City of Victor Harbor installed the first permanent outdoor projector in regional South Australia. This digital art work brings the Main street of Victor Harbor to life through projecting onto the gorgeous 'art deco' exterior of the Victa Cinema.

The Cosmic Whale song is screened nightly, after dusk.  

Meeting point: Victa Cinema, Main Street, Victor Harbor

Coorong Discovery Cruise

Dates and times:

Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 1pm

About/information: 

Discover ‘Storm Boy Country’ in the stunning Coorong National Park. Rich with Ngarrindjeri Culture, Bush-Foods, Wildlife, Seals & Birdlife.

Experienced guided eco-tours. Visit 90-Mile Beach, Murray Mouth, Cultural sites, ‘Storm Boy’ filming locations & more!

3.5 hour boat tour including lunch, guided walk & afternoon tea.  

What to bring:

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Weather appropriate clothing
  • camera 

Meeting point:

Main Wharf, Goolwa, SA

Bookings and fees:

Receive a 10% discount (on prices below) when you use the promo code PARKS-SA for cruises during August

$99 Adult
$93 Concession
$73 Children
$310 Family (2A/2C)

To book your seat, visit: www.spiritofthecoorong.com.au

Phone: 1800 442 203  or/  08 8555 2203

bookings@spiritaustraliacruises.com.au

Kangaroo Island’s Cape Willoughby light station tours and Marine Parks display

About/information: 

Take yourself on a self-guided walk and keep an eye out for White-bellied Eagles or migrating whales.

For a more in depth experience, and to go into the running to win two free nights’ accommodation, join one of the knowledgeable guides for the 20 minute lighthouse climb or 45 min history tour, and learn about South Australia’s first lighthouse and the marine park it overlooks.

Please note access to the lighthouse balcony may be restricted during extreme weather conditions.

Visit our Marine Parks display and put on a pair of VR goggles and immerse yourself in the marine life of the Great Southern Reef.

All ages welcome, but tours involve climbing stairs. Children under four are not permitted to use the stairs unless they are in an approved baby harness or backpack.

What to bring:

  • comfortable walking shoes
  • appropriate clothing for the weather
  • sun cream
  • water
  • binoculars for spotting whales.

Meeting point:

Cape Willoughby light station visitors’ centre

Bookings:   

No bookings required. Visitors’ centre open 9 am - 3.30 pm Thursday to Monday for tours, or visit anytime for a self-guided walk. See website for more information about the light station.

Self-guided walk $5

Lighthouse climb tour $10

Light station history tour $16.50

Or buy Kangaroo Island Tour Pass and visit Seal Bay, Flinders Chase, Kelly Hill Caves and Cape Borda light station while on the island; $78 per adult.

Buy any tour option and go into the draw to win 2 free nights’ accommodation!

Ranger Pop-up Information Sessions

Date, time and locations:

Tuesday 6 August  – Basham Beach carpark
Thursday 8 August – The Bluff carpark
Tuesday 20 August – Cancelled
Thursday 22 August – The Bluff carpark

**locations subject to change pending whale sightings on the day. Call SA Whale Centre on 08 8551 0750 to find out where ranger pop-ups will be located 

About/information: 

Meet our marine park rangers and get insider tips for what to do in this park.  Learn and ask questions about park projects, and life as a marine park ranger. They will even have spare binoculars on hand to help you spot a whale or two while you’re there.

Friends of Granite Island - Planting Day

Date and time:

Sunday 11th August, 9:30am-12pm

About/information:   

Come along and help the Friends of Granite Island restore Little Penguin habitat on the island by planting local indigenous plant species in the group’s project sites. Learn about the Little Penguin from the volunteers who are working hard to look after the island and it’s precious environmental assets. You could even join the group as a member and get involved regularly to help them with looking after the island.

This is a family friendly event.                                                                                                                                       

What to bring:      

  • Gloves
  • Water bottle
  • Hat
  • Appropriate clothing for the weather (it can get cold on the island).

Meeting point:    

Meet on the island under the big Fig tree at the end of the Causeway ready to plant in the Friends group revegetation sites both near the Fig tree and on the southern side of the island.

Bookings: 

This event is FREE but registration is essential. To register, please contact Volunteer Support Officer Rachel Godoy on 0488 952 026 or Rachel.godoy@sa.gov.au

This event is brought to you by the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board.

Dragon boat on Pelican Lagoon, Kangaroo Island

Due to unfavourable weather conditions forecast for Sunday 18 August, this event has been cancelled. The KI Dragon Boat Group regularly paddles every Sunday (weather dependent). If your interested in joining in, contact the club through Facebook.

Are you a plover lover with Birdlife Australia

Victor Harbor session: Cancelled

Unfortunately due to the forecast of strong winds, rain and hail for Sunday, this event has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Science Week - whale discovery days

Date and time:

Tuesday 13 August, 1:45 pm - 4 pm

Wednesday 14 August, 1:45 pm - 4 pm

About/information:                                                                                                                                           

Come to the SA Whale Centre to learn all about whales, and then put your newly learnt skills to the test on a whale spotting bus tour!

Whale centre guides will share their knowledge of whale species and their behaviours. You will learn about local whaling history and artefacts, and become immersed in the world of these gentle giants.

After your tour of the SA Whale Centre, hop on the ‘whale spotting’ bus which will take you to a number of whale viewing platforms in Encounter Bay.

All ages welcome.

What to bring:                                                                                                                                                         

  • camera
  • sturdy shoes
  • water
  • warm clothes, wet weather gear
  • binoculars.

Meeting point:                                                                                                                                             

SA Whale Centre

2 Railway Tce, Victor Harbor SA

Bookings:                                                                                                                                                            

Registration essential. Adults $7, children $4. 

The science behind Southern Right Whales

An evening with Dr Claire Charlton and special guests

Date and time:
Thursday 15 August, 6 pm – 8 pm

About/information:           

To celebrate Science Week, the SA Whale Centre is hosting this special event. Come and hear from Dr Claire Charlton and learn all about southern right whale research in South Australia. Find out how the information is collected and how it is used to inform whale conservation.

Dr Charlton is a Research Associate at the Centre for Marine Science and Technology, Curtin University, and an expert on Southern Right Whales.

Guest speaker Olivia Marsh will provide an update about her whale research and current field work in Encounter Bay.

This event is for all ages, but involves walking up and down stairs to the venue location.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Meeting point:            

SA Whale Centre

2 Railway Tce, Victor Harbor SA                                                                                                                

Bookings:    

Registration is essential. Tickets cost $5, nibbles provided. 

Science Week - getting to know the locals

Date and time:

Thursday 15 August, 7 pm

About/information:                                                                                                                                          

Celebrate the marine biodiversity in Kangaroo Island’s pristine waters on the Great Southern Reef.  Presentations about the latest research and conservation programs around the island.

All ages welcome.

Meeting point:                                     

Ozone Hotel, Kingscote, Kangaroo Island

Bookings:                                                                                                                                                             

This event is FREE and you can register your interest with Tony Bartram (KI/VH Dolphin Watch) on 0429 870 006 or bartram@kin.on.net

Dive into nature journalling on the coast

Date and time:

Saturday 17 August, 10am

 

About/information:

Journaling guide, Jenny Deans will help you stop and notice the wonders around you. You will learn about the unique ecosystem of Encounter Marine Park while discovering tips and skills for observing, drawing and thinking about the natural world. Jenny makes drawing easy and brings all the materials that you will need. 

Dress for the weather and bring a snack and water when you join us as we look at Encounter Marine Park, Port Noarlunga through fresh eyes. 

What you will learn:

  • tips and practical skills for observing, thinking about and drawing the natural world around you.

 What you will get:

  • an artist's notebook and drawing pencils (but you are welcome to bring your own materials too)
  • 2 hours tuition, with time for 1:1 with your guide
  • beautifully illustrated nature journaling guide with links to resources.

What to bring:

  • clothes appropriate for the weather including good walking shoes
  • bottle of Water and Snacks
  • sun screen
  • hat or cap.

Who for?

This class is great for anyone who likes to take the time to sit and contemplate nature - adults and/or children.

No drawing or artistic experience required.

This workshop is recommended for ages 8+ but may also suit other school-aged children. Parent/guardian to accompany children who attend.

Meeting Point:

Meet at the shelter by the jetty at Port Noarlunga.

Bookings:

Registration is essential. Tickets cost $20.

Rapid Bay Kayak Tour

Cancelled

Unfortunately due to the forecast of strong winds, rain and hail for Sunday, this event has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. 

Smartphone Nature Photography

Date and time:

Saturday 24 August, 9 – 11.30am 

About/information:

Bring along your smartphone to this photography workshop and see nature through a new lens. This is a creative and fun session that will get you moving and observing the world from a whole new perspective!

To celebrate National Parks South Australia's 'Park of the Month', we’re partnering a local expert with a photographer so you can learn more about the area you’ll be exploring before diving into the workshop. We’ll cover photographic concepts and theories before putting your new skills into practice along the shoreline of the Encounter Marine Park at Port Noarlunga. Each participant with have a chance to spend 1:1 time with the instructor. 

You will leave this class with a new skill-set that will enable your creativity to soar and take better photos with your smartphone.

What you will learn:

  • basic photographic concepts, including: composition, phone basics, working with natural light and taking pictures of nature
  • how to edit with your phone using the best free apps and achieve amazing images perfect for social networks. 

What you will get:

  • 2.5 hours tuition, with time for 1:1 with instructor
  • handout on photographic tips
  • recommendations for free editing apps. 

What to bring

  • a fully charged phone with lots of free space to shoot photos
  • an Instagram account (recommended, but not essential)
  • a pen and something to lean on to take notes
  • at least one litre of water and some snacks
  • loose fitting clothes appropriate for the weather
  • sun screen
  • hat or cap. 

Who for?

This class is great for anyone who would like learn about photography and how to get the most out of their phone while travelling, blogging or just appreciating the moments in everyday life. 

No previous photography experience required. 

Meeting Point:

Meet at the shelter by the jetty at Port Noarlunga.

Bookings:

Registration is essential. Tickets cost $20.

Port Noarlunga Beach Clean with Sea Shepherd

Date and time:

Sunday 25 August, 10:00am-12:00pm

About/information:                                                                                                                                          

Join in the Sea Shepherd Marine Debris Campaign as part of Park of the Month for a clean-up of Port Noarlunga beach. Learn about the impact of plastics on our environment, chat with marine park rangers about Port Noarlunga Reef Sanctuary Zone, and get insider tips on what you can do in marine parks.

What to bring:

  • There are a limited supply of tongs, gloves and buckets so please feel free to bring your own
  • water and snacks
  • clothes appropriate for the weather
  • sun screen
  • hat or cap
  • enclosed shoes

Meeting point:

Port Noarlunga Beach

Bookings:

This event is FREE and you can register your interest on the Sea Shepherd Marine Debris Campaign Facebook page.

Victor Harbor Beach clean up with the SA Whale Centre

Date and time:

Sunday 25 August, 9:30 am - 11:30 am

About/information:                                                                                                                                           

Come along to help the SA Whale Centre clean up the beach and foreshore area from the Causeway to the Hindmarsh River (amusement area, playground, Soldiers Memorial Gardens, bowling club, tennis courts, skate park, yacht club).

This event is for everyone, any age or fitness level (those that are unable to walk in sand can still participate by helping us clean the foreshore areas).

What to bring:

  • tongs, gloves and buckets/garbage bags
  • water and snacks
  • clothes appropriate for the weather
  • sun screen
  • hat or cap
  • enclosed shoes.

Meeting point:                                     

Meet at the Victor Harbor Visitor Information Centre.

Bookings:                                                                                                                                                             

This event is FREE and you can register your interest with the SA Whale Centre, on 8551 0750 or email whalecentre@victor.sa.gov.au

Kangaroo Island’s Antechamber Bay guided bird tour

Date and time:

Sunday 25 August, 10:30 am

About/information:                                                                                                                                           

Antechamber Bay, part of Encounter Marine Park, is a favourite spot to camp, swim and fish. But did you know it also is home to a whole range of important coastal bird species?

Come on a guided walk with our experienced ranger and learn more about this beautiful location.

All ages and fitness levels.

What to bring:

  • water
  • hat
  • sun cream
  • appropriate clothing for the weather.

Meeting point:                                     

Meet at the north side of Antechamber Bay campground, Kangaroo Island

Bookings:                                                                                                                                                             

 This event is FREE and you can register your interest with Anthony Maguire on 8553 4423 or Anthony.Maguire@sa.gov.au.

Note: event will be weather dependant. 

 

Insider tips for Encounter Marine Park

6 great surf breaks in SA's Encounter Marine Park

Whale watching for people with mobility impairments around Victor Harbor

Where to dive in SA to see blue devil fish

Snorkelling safari