Known as the chameleons of the sea, the Australian giant cuttlefish — the largest species of cuttlefish in the world — uses colour-changing cells called chromatophores to switch their patterns and colours in a fraction of a second, and it really is a sight to behold.
The annual migration of the giant cuttlefish is among the world’s most spectacular subaquatic events, and it is unique to the waters of South Australia. Between May and August, tens of thousands of giant cuttlefish gather around the Eyre Peninsula, a short 45-minute flight from Adelaide, to mate and spawn. The Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park in Whyalla is the only known place in the world where this mass congregation occurs, making it the perfect spot to engage in this incredible experience.
Although they primarily use their chromatophores to camouflage themselves in seaweed, against rock, or even among other cuttlefish, at this time of year the male puts on shapeshifting, kaleidoscopic displays to attract a mate… and dazzle snorkellers lucky enough to be in the water with them.
2. Swim with sealions
Enjoy the privilege of swimming with Australian sea lions in their natural environment in safe haven waters. These curious creatures, known as ‘puppy dogs’ of the sea will swim up to you and entice you to come and play as they perform summersaults and swirls, gliding effortlessly past. You can dive and play with them – that's the best way to keep them entertained. Chasing them doesn't work. Swim away and they'll follow you. It’s a unique and memorable experience in nature’s aquatic playground of the Eyre Peninsula. This full-day adventure from Port Lincoln is suitable for all ages with snorkel and wetsuit provided.
3. Brave cage shark diving
The Leafy Sea Dragon is the marine emblem of South Australia for a good reason and they’re every bit as spectacular as their name suggests.
Australia’s southern waters represent the only place on Earth where you can reliably dive with leafy sea dragons, and one of the very best spots to see them is at Rapid Bay on the Fleurieu Peninsula, about 90 minutes’ drive from Adelaide. Sheltered from currents, the visibility here is excellent — often up to 20 metres. Seeing these green and yellow-brown fragile creatures in the wild makes for an incredible experience.
5. Swim with dolphins
Always dreamt of swimming with wild dolphins? A bucket list item for many wildlife lovers, joining these curious and incredibly intelligent mammals in their natural environment is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Slip into the clear, calm, protected waters of Emu Bay on a marine adventure tour from Kangaroo Island and pods of wild bottlenose dolphins residing in the area will swim right up to you to say hello.
6. Watch whales
Make it happen
Fly to Adelaide with Qatar Airways, named World’s Best Airline at the 2022 Skytrax Awards. Stretch out in comfort, onboard one of the youngest fleets. While you dine, sleep or watch some of the 4,000-plus entertainment options, you’re sure to enjoy the inflight experience.
A 12-night holiday to Australia with Trailfinders including flights, 3-days car hire and 4-star hotels in Adelaide, Barossa, Port Lincoln and Sydney costs from £4,029 per person (based on two sharing). Includes 3-night 4WD tour with local guide, most meals and wildlife experiences. Call Trailfinders on 020 7368 1354.