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Seals by the Sea Tours

Seals by Sea Tours at Cape Bridgewater, 17km west of Portland, is a world class tour. It is an exciting boat charter which takes up to 11 passengers to the largest mainland seal colony in Australia, up to 1000 Australian and New Zealand fur seals. It takes just 3 minutes from our jetty to be alongside the rock platforms and into the watery cave where you will experience a unique interaction within the seals' natural habitat.

During the 45 minute cruise you will watch the seals playing all around you, showing off to the sound of clicking cameras and getting up to antics that will delight both the young and the young at heart. Some will even approach the boat to have their whiskers tickled! Suitable for all ages.

Operates daily, weather and sea conditions permitting. BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL. Departure times vary according to season and demand

Winner of the Best Tourist Attraction. As seen on multiple TV shows.

http://www.sealsbyseatours.com.au/

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Cape Bridgewater

Cape Bridgewater is one of Australia’s best kept secrets with its world class beaches, abundant wildlife and stunning scenery... read more.

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seal tour bridgewater

Cape Bridgewater is one of Australia’s best kept secrets with its world class beaches, abundant wildlife and stunning scenery.

Discover the incredible coastline and seal colonies with an ocean seal tour (keep an eye out for whales and dolphins).

Explore the Great South West Walk to appreciate the wildlife and natural beauty of the area or enjoy a nature walk to the boatshed and seal colonies to take in breathtaking views of Bridgewater Beach and the Cape.

Explore the Petrified Forest (formed when sand dunes covered Moonah Trees thousands of years ago!) and the Bridgewater Blowholes or take a surf, swim or stroll at Bridgewater Beach.

Enjoy great coffee and cuisine at Bridgewater Café by the Beach.

Explore the caves or take a quiet picnic or a day of adventure skiing at the Bridgewater Lakes.

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Cape bridgewater: hiking to the seal colony.

The beautiful sandy beach and clear blue water of Cape Bridgewater in Victoria.

Australia is full of unique wildlife, and the coastal areas are no exception. Cape Bridgewater is home to the largest mainland seal colony in Australia, which you can see by hiking out along the coast or on a boat tour. There isn’t much information online about this spot, as lots of people don’t choose to detour off the Great Ocean Road between Mount Gambier in South Australia and Portland in Victoria. But this is a beautiful and relaxed place to visit on the coast – here’s my guide for this coastal hike!

The coastline on the hike to the seal colony in Cape Bridgewater.

Starting the Cape Bridgewater Hike

The best and most convenient starting point for this walk is from the car park at the top of the hill in Cape Bridgewater. It’s listed on GoogleMaps as Seal Colony Car Park , I recommend saving this pin for later! You can also start from any of the car parks on the beach – I did this, and it only added on an extra 10 minutes or so.

Seals lounging on the rocks at the Cape Bridgewater seal colony.

Hiking to the Seal Colony in Cape Bridgewater

The hike is approximately 7.3km, and will take 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on your pace – and how long you spend observing the seals, of course! There is an overall elevation gain of 269 meters (882ft) for this hike. Most of the path is in good condition, but there are several steep sections. I recommend sturdy footwear, and be sure to pack plenty of snacks, water, and sunscreen for the walk.

The coastal hike in Cape Bridgewater is an undulating path. You’re going up and down regularly, with a few steep sections to navigate. It’s an out-and-back trail, so you return the same way you came. After about 25 minutes of walking (from the beach car park), I reached the halfway bench. It took me 40 minutes from leaving the beach at the start to get to the first lookout over the seal colony.

The seal colony, with seals on the rocks, at Cape Bridgewater.

I loved getting to see the seals here! There were so many of them, just chilling on the rocks and making loads of noise. I took so many photos! This was my favorite viewpoint of the two, so I spent a good amount of time observing the seals here.

The view over the rocks and seal colony at the second viewpoint, Cape Bridgewater.

The second viewpoint is about 5-6 minutes’ walk from the first viewpoint, with impressive views of the coastline. It was quite windy on the day I visited, so the waves crashing against the rocks felt extra dramatic!

The return follows the same trail back to whichever car park you parked at. You’ll have some spectacular views of Cape Bridgewater and the long stretch of beautiful sandy beach. All in all, I spent 1 hour and 40 minutes on the Cape Bridgewater seal walk. I hiked at a pretty quick pace, but also spent a bit of time relaxing and watching the seals.

If you’re interested in seeing the seals from a closer perspective, Seals By Sea Tours operate 45-minute cruises to see the colony. Prices are $50 for adults, and you’ll need to walk about 15 minutes along the coast to get to the jetty. Be sure to book in advance.

The bright blue ocean at Cape Bridgewater.

Where to Stay in Cape Bridgewater

I didn’t stay in Cape Bridgewater overnight, as I needed to drive a bit further for my Great Ocean Road itinerary. After having a wonderful free hot shower in Portland, I camped at Sawpit Free Campground. This was a fantastic free camp, with basic drop toilets. It did fill up as time went on, and most sites were full by the time it got dark.

Cape Bridgewater Coastal Camp has a variety of cabins and powered/unpowered campsites, but I’m unsure whether they’re open for the 2024 season yet. Other options nearby include:

St. Peter’s Accommodation Cape Bridgewater – a one-bedroom house, sleeping four, in a restored church full of character

Bushland Retreat – a quiet and cozy one-bedroom holiday home, with all the amenities you might need

Cape Nelson Cottage – a two-bedroom apartment close to Portland, with a stunning garden

NRMA Portland Bay Holiday Park – best for caravans and campers needing facilities, with an unbeatable location right on the beach in Portland

seal tour bridgewater

I loved getting to see the seal colony in Cape Bridgewater. It was my first stop after crossing the border into Victoria, and the beauty of the coastline and beach blew me away! If you’re planning a road trip in southwest Victoria, or are traveling the Great Ocean Road, be sure to stop in Cape Bridgewater. I hope this guide helps planning your Cape Bridgewater seal colony hike!

Have you visited the seal colony at Cape Bridgewater? Share your experiences in the comments!

You might also like my posts:

The Best Stops to Make on a Road Trip From Perth to Esperance

How to Spend 1 Day on Rottnest Island, Western Australia

A Guide to Jervis Bay, New South Wales

Hiking the Red Rock Trail in Agnes Water & 1770

Australia Budget: Month 10 (January 2024)

All of my Australia posts !

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Cape Bridgewater

Cape Bridgewater Seal Walk

Cape Bridgewater is one of Australia’s best kept secrets, with world class beaches, abundant wildlife and stunning scenery.

No tourist traps, no racket, no undue stress.  

There are no queues, no crowds on the beaches.

Discover Solace in nature, nothing compares to Cape Bridgewater

  • Discover the stunning coastline and seal colonies with an ocean seal tour (keep an eye out for whales or dolphins). 
  • Explore the Great South West Walk, it’s wildlife and natural beauty. 
  • Enjoy a nature walk to the boatshed and seal colonies, taking in breathtaking views of Bridgewater Beach and the Cape. 
  • Explore the Petrified Forest (formed when sand dunes covered Moonah Trees 1000’s years ago!) and the Bridgewater Blowholes. 
  • Surf, swim or stroll at Bridgewater Beach.
  • Enjoy great coffee and cuisine at Bridgewater Café by the Beach. 
  • Explore the Tarragal caves at Bridgewater Lakes.
  • Enjoy a quiet picnic or a day of adventure skiing at the Bridgewater Lakes.
  • Explore sand dunes (take boogie boards for extra adventure!)

Relax, enjoy the beauty and the breathing room.

Visit the Glenelg Tourism Website  or download the Visit Glenelg Vic app to plan your stay.

There are more natural wonders to uncover and explore at Portland ,  Narrawon g ,  Heywood ,  Nelson ,  Dartmoor  and  Casterton .

Cape Bridgewater Nature Walk

Cape Bridgewater Nature Walk

Bridgewater Seal Tours

Bridgewater Seal Tours

Ocean Surf Bridgewater

Ocean Surf Bridgewater

Cape Bridgewater Sunsets

Cape Bridgewater Sunsets

Cape Bridgewater Seal Walk

Cape Bridgewater Seal Walk

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Cape Bridgewater Beach

Bridgewater Seals

Bridgewater Seals

Bridgewater Lakes Sweet Nothing

Bridgewater Lakes Sweet Nothing

Bridgewater Lakes Skiing

Bridgewater Lakes Skiing

Bridgewater Beach Surf

Bridgewater Beach Surf

Cape Bridgewater Caves

Cape Bridgewater Caves

Bridgewater Seal Walk

Bridgewater Seal Walk

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Cape Bridgewater

Only 20 minutes from Portland, Cape Bridgewater is a picturesque and secluded.

The beautiful and secluded Cape Bridgewater was once a volcanic island. It is a pleasant 20 minute drive from Portland via Otway Street. The scenery enroute to the Cape offers a glimpse back in time, with stone ruins in paddocks – a testament to the area’s 1840s farming settlement. The round trip via Bridgewater Lakes and Cashmore Road is approximately 50kms.

This windswept bay comprises 4 kms of wide sandy beach, and is the hub of the town. Facilities include a beachside cafe, public toilets and great picnic spots. Bridgewater Bay Beach is patrolled by the local surf lifesaving club from the first week in December through until Easter on weekends and public holidays between 10am and 5pm

See some of the highest coastal cliffs in Victoria overlooking the deep-blue waters of Bridgewater Bay that stretches in a perfect crescent around the rim of a huge, ancient volcano crater.

Take a swim, stroll, or surf on the stunning Bridgewater Beach .

Take in the surreal landscape of the petrified forest which looks like a forest of tree roots turned into rock. Watch as the sea spray blasts metres skyward at the blowhole. See the large breeding colony of fur seals from a lookout above. Or sit back, relax, and enjoy a coffee while watching the ocean at Bridgewater Café

Petrified Forest

This area is called the petrified forest from an early theory that advancing sand engulfed an ancient forest of coastal trees that once covered the sea cliff, petrifying them for all time.

Actually the formation is a collection of hollow tubes of limestone called “solution pipes”, eroded by millions of years of rainfall. The process starts when water gathers in a shallow pan of sand and seeps downwards dissolving the limestone. The mineral saturated water then cements the sand, forming hard, trunk-shaped pipes. Most pipes around Cape Bridgewater are only three metres high, although some are as much as twenty metres.

The Petrified Forest is easily accessible from the car park at the end of Blowholes Road, Cape Bridgewater.

seal tour bridgewater

Formed from the lava flows of an extinct volcano the basalt (black) and scorpia (purple) rock create spectacular spouts of sea spray during high seas. The Blowholes are located approximately two minutes walk from the car park.

Take an action packed 45 minute tour by boat where you can get up close and personal with the largest mainland breed seal colony in Australia. Watch the adult and baby seals surf, slide down the rocks and jump beside the boat. If your lucky you will even see dolphins and whales as well. Tours do not operate throughout winter months. If boats are not your thing, not to worry! The seal colony is viewable via a coastal walk known as “ the Seal Colony Walk ,” which takes you along the eastern coast of Cape Bridgewater to a seal colony home to up to 2,500 Australian and New Zealand Fur Seals.

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Great South West Walk

The Great South West Walk is south western Victoria’s premier 250km bushwalking trail, located between Portland and Nelson at the western gateway to the Great Ocean Road. A world-class experience including rugged cliffs, sublime bays, tranquil forests and pristine river, all within four National Parks. Ideally set up for shorter walks, day walks or the whole loop. Maps can be purchased from the Portland Visitor Information Centre or found on the Visit Glenelg Vic app.

seal tour bridgewater

Freshwater Springs

The springs can be viewed by taking a 4km round trip from the carpark. Water drains through the limestone and forms a spring at the edge of the cliffs. During colonial times a stone ramp was constructed so that cattle could be headed down there in times of drought.

Whale Watching

During certain months of the year Cape Bridgewater is the ideal base camp for whale watching. There are several locations to choose from for viewing the whales, or you can even sit inside the cafe and watch for whales just 100m from the front door.

Bridgewater Lakes

This is a popular recreational area for fishing, canoeing and water-skiing. If you’re interested in surf fishing, beach combing or walking along 60kms of unspoilt beach. To get to the lakes, take the scenic 10 minute drive on Bridgewater Lake Road . Public toilets are available at the car park.

seal tour bridgewater

The lake is nestled among sand dunes and is a good place for a picnic, sand boarding and a lie-down. 30 km west of Portland on the road to Nelson is the turn off for Swan Lake Rd, a steep, loose-gravel road with a number of sharp twists. Caravans will need to be towed by a 4WD.

About The Author

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coreywilliams

Corey is a gentleman who works for the Portland Visitor Information Centre. With this role he has learnt a lot about Portland and can give a great insight on where to go and what to see with limited time.

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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.

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Relax and enjoy the beautiful ocean views in this tranquil setting. Just 15 minutes west of Portland, you will find an absolute beachfront cafe, fully licensed, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner (dinner by booking only). Winner of the Victorian Cafe of the Year award and Glenelg Shire Food & Beverage award.

Bridgewaterbaycafe.

Bridgewater Bay Cafe

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Seal By Sea Tours

Seals by Sea Tours is a family owned and operated venture founded by, and still currently run by Jo Austin and his family. Seals by Sea Tours is the only mainland breeding colony of seals in Australia, home to over 2000 Australian and Long Nosed Fur Seals and is without a doubt one of the most popular natural attractions in the South West.

Operating for over 19 years Seals by Sea Tours is an extremely popular, fun, adventurous and educational experience suitable for all ages. Our seal tour begins with a short walk along the beautiful Great South West Walk, to a one-of-a-kind tin shed where our tour boats await. An exhilarating three-minute-journey across the sea follows, delivering visitors to the striking seal colony, abundant in playful Australian and New Zealand fur seals.

Along with the hundreds of seals, passengers are guaranteed to see many other forms of wildlife that are frequently sited on the tour. Dolphins, blue whales, killer whales, penguins and many kinds of fish are regularly spotted.

During the 45 minute cruise you will watch the seals play all around you, showing off to the sound of clicking cameras and getting up to antics that will delight both the young and young at heart.

Bookings are essential as departure times vary according to season and demand.

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Ferguson wins BMW International Open for 3rd European tour title and seals place at British Open

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Scotland’s Ewen Ferguson poses with the trophy after winning the BMW International Open Golf tournament in Munich/Eichenried, Germany, Sunday, July 7, 2024. (Christian Kolbert/kolbert-press/dpa via AP)

Scotland’s Ewen Ferguson kisses the trophy after his winning the BMW International Open Golf tournament in Munich/Eichenried, Germany, Sunday, July 7, 2024. (Christian Kolbert/kolbert-press/dpa via AP)

Scotland’s Ewen Ferguson reacts after winning the BMW International Open Golf tournament in Munich/Eichenried, Germany, Sunday, July 7, 2024. (Christian Kolbert/kolbert-press/dpa via AP)

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MUNICH (AP) — Ewen Ferguson won the BMW International Open by two shots on Sunday for his third European tour title — and clinched a spot in the British Open taking place in his native Scotland this month.

The 168th-ranked Ferguson smiled as he rotated both of his shoulders before tapping in the winning putt for a final round of 4-under 68 at Golfclub München Eichenried.

Both of his other titles came in 2022 — at the Qatar Masters and the ISPS Handa World Invitational — but this latest one felt extra special because of the bonus prize that came with it.

Ferguson will now be in the field at Royal Troon in western Scotland, which isn’t too far from his birthplace of Glasgow.

In a tearful interview after his round, Ferguson said: “The Open Championship is a tournament that everyone wants to play in. I feel like I can do well there.”

Completing his impending homecoming, Ferguson will also be playing in the Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick next week. The British Open takes place the week after.

Ferguson was tied with Jordan Smith going into the final round. Smith shot 70 and was tied for second place with David Micheluzzi (68).

AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf

seal tour bridgewater

Ferguson wins BMW International Open for 3rd European tour title and seals place at British Open

Ewen Ferguson has won the BMW International Open by two shots for his third European tour title

MUNICH — Ewen Ferguson won the BMW International Open by two shots on Sunday for his third European tour title — and clinched a spot in the British Open taking place in his native Scotland this month.

The 168th-ranked Ferguson smiled as he rotated both of his shoulders before tapping in the winning putt for a final round of 4-under 68 at Golfclub München Eichenried.

Both of his other titles came in 2022 — at the Qatar Masters and the ISPS Handa World Invitational — but this latest one felt extra special because of the bonus prize that came with it.

Ferguson will now be in the field at Royal Troon in western Scotland, which isn’t too far from his birthplace of Glasgow.

In a tearful interview after his round, Ferguson said: “The Open Championship is a tournament that everyone wants to play in. I feel like I can do well there.”

Completing his impending homecoming, Ferguson will also be playing in the Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick next week. The British Open takes place the week after.

Ferguson was tied with Jordan Smith going into the final round. Smith shot 70 and was tied for second place with David Micheluzzi (68).

AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf

seal tour bridgewater

IMAGES

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  2. Photo of Seals at Cape Bridgewater as seen on the Seals by Sea Tour

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  3. A Place in the Sun: Cape Bridgewater swimming with the seals

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  4. Enjoy Seals Watching Tours in Cape Bridgewater, Victoria

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  5. Seals By Sea Tours, Tour, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia

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  6. Cape Bridgewater Seal Tour Photoes 4/5/2023

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COMMENTS

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    Seals by Sea Tours at Cape Bridgewater, 17km west of Portland, is a world class tour. It is an exciting boat charter which takes up to 11 passengers to the largest mainland seal colony in Australia, up to 1000 Australian and New Zealand fur seals. It takes just 3 minutes from our jetty to be alongside the rock platforms and into the watery cave ...

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  13. Seals By Sea Tours

    Seal Point at Cape Bridgewater is home for up to 2500 Australian and Long Nose Fur Seals and is one of the most popular natural attractions in the South West. A three minute boat ride from our jetty will take you alongside the rock platforms and into the watery cave, where you will experience a unique interaction within the Seals natural ...

  14. Must Do Seals by Sea Tour, Cape Bridgewater, Victoria

    Cape Bridgewater, near Portland Victoria, is the only mainland breeding colony of seals in Australia, home to over 2000 Australian and Long Nosed Fur Seals a...

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  25. Ferguson wins BMW International Open for 3rd European tour title and

    Ferguson wins BMW International Open for 3rd European tour title and seals place at British Open 1 of 3 | Scotland's Ewen Ferguson poses with the trophy after winning the BMW International Open Golf tournament in Munich/Eichenried, Germany, Sunday, July 7, 2024.

  26. Ferguson wins BMW International Open for 3rd European tour title and

    MUNICH — Ewen Ferguson won the BMW International Open by two shots on Sunday for his third European tour title — and clinched a spot in the British Open taking place in his native Scotland ...