Where to see Port Jackson sharks in South Australian waters

Where to see Port Jackson sharks in South Australian waters



While SA’s home to many shark species, the cutest has to be the Port Jack­son. Here’s what they’re like.


Port Jack­son sharks are Aus­tralian, stripy, grow up to 1.65 metres long, and are named after Port Jack­son Har­bour in Syd­ney where they have key rest­ing sites. 

The species is harm­less to humans and can be found in waters around south­ern Aus­tralia, and are reg­u­lar­ly spot­ted along Adelaide’s met­ro­pol­i­tan beaches.

A top spot to see them is Port Noar­lun­ga Reef in Encounter Marine Park. Usu­al­ly in about Novem­ber each year, Port Jack­son sharks con­gre­gate here to breed. Mat­ing is the only time that male and female Port Jack­son sharks share ocean space. 

Here are three cute facts about Port Jack­son sharks to keep in mind when you see one:

1. Their teeth are small and flat

They don’t have your typ­i­cal shark-like jaws’, but rather small and point­ed front teeth and flat and blunt back teeth. This allows them to hold and crush their meals of sea urchins, mol­luscs and crustaceans.

Where to see Port Jackson sharks in South Australian waters

2. They tuck eggs between rocks

The female lays about a dozen dark brown and spi­ral-shaped soft-cased eggs, then uses her mouth to wedge them in rock crevices to allow the baby shark to safe­ly devel­op for about 12 months.

Once the shark pup hatch­es, it hangs out in the shal­low waters until it’s big enough to swim deeper.

Where to see Port Jackson sharks in South Australian waters

3. They hide in rocky reefs

Port Jack­son sharks spend their days hid­ing in the nooks and cran­nies of rocky reefs.

They keep to them­selves, and are not usu­al­ly active dur­ing the day, but feed at night.

Where to see Port Jackson sharks in South Australian waters

Take a guid­ed snorkel with Pork Jack­son sharks this month

Who wants to swim with Nakud­la? Nakud­la is the Abo­rig­i­nal Kau­r­na word for shark.

Come along on a guid­ed snorkel at Port Noar­lun­ga Reef Sanc­tu­ary Zone from 917 Novem­ber to wit­ness Nakud­la in their native environment.

Dur­ing Novem­ber, Nakud­la vis­it the shal­low Port Noar­lun­ga reef to mate, lay eggs and then rest – often aggre­gat­ing in large numbers.

To book your spot vis­it the Expe­ri­enc­ing Marine Sanc­tu­ar­ies book­ing page.

Intrigued by South Australia’s under­wa­ter world? Learn more from our blogs aboutsea­hors­es,whales, andbaby marine ani­mals.

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in Octo­ber 2018.


This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living