Frequently asked questions
On this page, you can find answers to our frequently asked questions. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime.
Where do we meet?
Seal & Ocean Expedition: 9am sharp at the Wild Ocean Tasmania HQ (except when stated otherwise), 165b Pirates Bay Drive, Eaglehawk Neck.
Coastal Adventure: 2.30pm sharp at the pier next to the Blowhole in Eaglehawk Neck (except when stated otherwise). We will be waiting for you at the boat. Please allow 10 minutes to find a car park and wander down to the pier.
You can find a link to a map and directions in your booking confirmation. Our ‘contact us’ page also shows a map of the area.
What shall I bring?
All tours: Weather conditions can change rapidly in Tasmania. We recommend to be prepared for all types of weather conditions. Please bring some warm clothes and sun protection for all our tours.
Our tours are single-use-plastic FREE. We serve a hot cup of tea on our Seal & Ocean Expedition, but we don’t have bottled water onboard, so you might want to bring some drinking water (best in a reusable bottle). And don’t forget your camera, you will get loads of awesome photo opportunities!
Seal & Ocean Expedition: We recommend that you don’t apply any sunscreen before the in-water activity of our Seal & Ocean Expedition, because it can leave an oily slick in the water and we don’t want to impact on the animals. Instead, you can use our natural organic zinc. It is Ocean safe and smells like chocolate! 🙂 You are welcome to apply normal sunscreen when you’re back out of the water. We also recommend to bring a change of clothes, just in case you get a bit damp.
Will it be cold?
You don’t have to worry about the cold. Just make sure you dress warmly and we’ll supply some sailing jackets, beanies and gloves if needed.
For participants of our Seal & Ocean Expedition we provide a super warm polar-fleece jumpsuit and a drysuit to wear over your clothes. Only your face and your hands will get wet.
Will the tour be cancelled in bad weather?
The main thing for us is, that you can enjoy our boat ride and the scenery. That’s why we don’t operate in bad weather conditions. The booking confirmation reserves your requested number of seats on the boat. We will check the latest weather forecast and contact you 1-2 days prior to the booked date to give you the final confirmation. Wild Ocean Tasmania reserves the right to cancel departures at any time and will refund the full amount of any monies paid by the customer. We do recommend to allow a few days in the area, so you can reschedule to another date in case your tour has to be cancelled due to bad weather.
Seal & Ocean Expedition – Participants: Weather forecasts are only a prediction and weather conditions can change unexpectedly. If an unfavourable change in weather occurs and we can’t snorkel with the seals, we will only charge the ‘observer’ rate.
Will I get to see Whales, Dolphins and other Wildlife?
Wildlife: While we can always guarantee to show you some adorable little seals up close, all other wildlife sightings are spontaneous, as the animals are wild and generally food driven. We never know what the next day is going to offer, this is the exciting thing about our boat tours. 🙂 With such an abundance of marine life, from millions of tiny sea sapphires (copepods) to the biggest animal that has ever existed on the planet, the Blue Whale, we get amazing encounters on a daily basis. Follow the links provided here or check out our Instagram feed to find out more about the different species of animals we see on our tours!
Whales: There is a chance of seeing whales at any time of the year, because many different species of whales occur in Tasmanian waters and not all of them migrate. Killer Whales for example can be seen year round, depending on the availability of their prey. Humpback Whales migrate past our coastline between May and early July as well as between October and December. This is the best time of the year for whale watching in Tasmania! Southern Right Whales can generally be sighted between June and November. With a bit of luck, you can even see them from the land, as they often swim into the bays of the Tasman Peninsula. At times we also get to see some very rare whale species, like Fin Whales, Sei Whales and Pygmy Right Whales and also one of the smallest of the baleen whales, the Dwarf Minke Whale.
Dolphins: We see Common Dolphins and/or Bottlenose Dolphins on 80% of our tours. They sometimes even show up in ‘superpods’ with over 1000 individuals! On lucky occasions, we get to spend some time with different species, like the Dusky Dolphins which seem to be quite rare in Australian waters.
Sea birds: Lots of different types of sea birds frequent this stretch of coastline. Common bird species include the Shy Albatross, Buller’s Albatross, Short-tailed Shearwater, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Australasian Gannet, Little Penguin and Black-faced Cormorant. On occasions we get to see the Royal Albatross, Wandering Albatross, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Black-browed Albatross, Yellow-nosed Albatross, Campbell Albatross, Northern and Southern Giant Petrel, Fairy Prion, Common Diving Petrel and other Petrels, Fjordland Penguin, Southern Fulmar and more.
Seals: Australian Fur Seals and Long-nosed Fur Seals (formerly known as New Zealand Fur Seals) can be seen on every tour. Occasionally, other Seal species like Leopard Seals, Elephant Seals and Subantarctic Fur Seals make themselves at home in this area for a while before they wander on.
Can I free-swim?
No. If you love wildlife as much as we do, you will understand, that our number one priority is to protect the animals and to offer an ethical, non-intrusive way of observing the marine life. By keeping our guests together on the viewing-platform, we can ensure that the Seals don’t feel threatened. We found that the Seals are a lot more relaxed, they stay close together and usually come up very close to interact with us.
Do I have to be a good swimmer?
Whilst you don’t have to be a very good swimmer, please be aware, that boating and activities on the ocean can be physically demanding. A certain level of fitness is required for our trips. The Ocean & Seal Trip participants have to be able to climb off the boat onto our sea-view platform and back onto the boat without much assistance. The tour operates in a remote area and medical assistance might be a few hours away. We reserve the right to cancel or modify the tour or refuse participation for safety and capability reasons. Every participant has to sign a liability release prior to departure.
What happens if no Seals are in the water?
Our priority is to protect the animals. The seals that we encounter are wild and not trained. We don’t feed the seals or attract them otherwise, as this could potentially change their natural behaviour (hunting, breeding, natural instincts), make them dependent on humans, cause diseases, etc. It is up to the animals to decide if they want to swim with us. If no seals are in the water and we can’t give you the experience we market to, we will make the most of the scenic boat tour and only charge the ‘observer’ rate.
What does the boat look like?
We operate a foam-filled fibreglass rigid hull inflatable boat (RIB) with an electric toilet, 10 cushioned straddle seats that give great support for your back and one super comfortable bench seat for two people. RIB’s are designed for sea worthiness and safety and are often used as rescue vessels. RIB’s are perfect boats for those worried about motion sickness. They are incredibly stable, due to their low center of gravity and their air-filled pontoons. An extra bonus is, that they are fully open, so you get to breathe fresh air at all times and the view is not obstructed. Our vessel is powered by two 150hp Honda motors. We purposely chose Honda, because they are the leader of environmentally responsible technology and help us reduce our carbon footprints.
You can find photos of our vessel in our gallery under ‘boat & platform’.
What is a ‘sea-view platform’?
Our sea-view platform is a very thick, 4 meter wide foam mat that can support 4 -5 snorkel participants at a time. Free-swimming, lots of kicking and arm movements can intimidate the seals. We don’t want to disturb the animals or make them feel threatened. Keeping our guests together on the floating mat gives the seals the opportunity to interact with us on their free will. Usually, they get really cheeky and come up super close to play, nose our goggles and swirl around us. 🙂
You can find some photos of the sea-view platform in our gallery under ‘boat & platform’.
What is a drysuit?
Our drysuits are basically nylon overalls equipped with water-tight latex seals that fit firmly around your wrists and neck. Sharp objects can damage or perforate latex seals. We don’t recommend to wear any jewellery e.g. ear rings, watches, bracelets etc.
We can supply a range of different drysuit sizes. However, our smallest drysuit is made for children with a height of approx. 130cm and the largest adult suit is measured to a length of 195cm, chest of 127cm and waist of 101cm. For young children (approx. 120cm) we can also provide a 3/2mm wetsuit.
Do you need minimum numbers?
We don’t need minimum numbers to be able to operate, because we’re passionate about the ocean and take every opportunity to get out on the water. We would run the tour even with one person.
What about sharks?
Sharks are fascinating creatures that live in waters all over the world. If you are worried about a shark attack, here are a few facts and figures.
According to the IUCN, one-third of open ocean shark species are threatened with extinction. Approximately 100 million sharks are killed each year by humans. Your chance of getting attacked and killed by a shark is 1 in 3,748,067 (compared to a car accident 1 in 84). So please drive carefully on your way down here and enjoy your time in the water! 🙂
We hardly ever see any sharks. If we do find a shark, we will make the most of it and watch it from our safe vessel.
However, everybody who wants to join our tour should be aware that there are risks involved with snorkelling and boating, including perils of the sea, harm caused by marine creatures, acts of fellow participants, entering and exiting the water. Every participant will have to sign a liability release prior to departure.
How do I get to Eaglehawk Neck?
We highly recommend to hire a car to get around in Tasmania, because the public buses only run very sparingly out of town. Don’t worry though, driving is quite easy in Tasmania. Just make sure you download the directions on how to get to your destination before you start the drive, as mobile phone reception can be patchy.
You can find a map of the area here.
If hiring a car is not an option for you, please follow this link to the latest bus timetable (Hobart – Tasman Peninsula). The bus departs in Hobart in the late afternoon and in Eaglehawk Neck usually early in the morning, so you might have to consider staying on the Tasman Peninsula for 2 nights. There is lots to see and do, please contact us for itinerary ideas and beautiful accommodation options in the area.
How can I pay?
Payments are made when booking the boat tour with Visa or Mastercard, via our online booking system, or alternatively, we send a payment request. Last minute bookings (in circumstances where our online booking system is closed and you have to telephone or email us) can be paid on the date of departure on the boat tour by Visa, Mastercard or cash.
What is your cancellation policy?
We totally understand that your travel plans can change due to personal circumstances. Please let us know early, if you would like to change your booking to another date, so we can resell your seats. We often have people on the waiting list, because we only take 12 passengers maximum on our tours.
We reserve the right to charge the following fees for cancellations:
Cancellation within 24 hours of a tour: 100% fee
Cancellation within 48 hours of a tour: 50% fee
Cancellation beyond 48 hours of tour: No fee
Wild Ocean Tasmanian boat tours are dependent on the weather. All tours will be confirmed via email/ text message or through an automated booking system message, 1-2 days prior to the boat tour departure. Wild Ocean Tasmania reserves the right to cancel departures at any time and will refund the full amount of any monies paid by the customer.
Be aware that boating and activities on the ocean can be physically demanding. A certain level of fitness is required for our trips. We reserve the right to cancel or modify the trip or refuse participation for safety and capability reasons. All participants have to accept and agree to a liability waiver prior to departure that can be viewed and signed here.
COVID-19 Safety Policy
We are open for business and want to keep you – our passengers – safe. The COVID-19 case numbers are very low in Tasmania and therefore, joining one of our Ocean & Wildlife tours poses a low risk. We have implemented some changes to our operating procedures to ensure a safe experience for everyone. Follow this link for more information. We can’t wait to take you out on a Wild Ocean Tasmania tour! 🙂
I would like to purchase a gift voucher
Thank you for choosing a Wild Ocean Tasmania tour as a gift! 🙂
Simply select the right tour on our homepage and click on the ‘Book Now’ button. You will then see the option ‘Buy Gift Card’. Enter the name of the recipient as well as your personal payment details. A gift card will be emailed to you which you can then forward to the recipient. Too easy! Gift vouchers are valid for one year from the day of purchase.