CUTTLEFEST 2019

Snorkel tours

Stony Point, South Australia

As seen on David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II, Totally Wild & SA Weekender.

ABOUT CUTTLEFEST 2019

Join Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries’ professional guides for a safe and supervised tour with the only known breeding aggregation of cuttlefish.

People come from all over the world to see this annual event at Whyalla, including Sir David Attenborough who has visited South Australia twice to film this phenomenon for the Blue Planet series.

What they say about us

EMS is a not for profit organisation – all ticket sale revenue pays for volunteer expenses, dive equipment hire, insurance and event management. We thank you for your support.

Tickets are limited and sell out each year. Book now to secure your place and experience CuttleFest!

This year CuttleFest snorkel tours will be run over two weekends with school tours during the week. Get up close with some of the 120,000 cuttlefish between 24 June – 9 July.

Tickets include hire of a toasty warm 7mm thick wetsuit, hood and gloves, and a full snorkel kit. You will be led by a passionate and experienced guide close to shore to see the cuttlefish in just 1-3 meters of water.

Still have a question? Check out the FAQs.

Choose from two memorable sessions:

Community Snorkel Tours

Join a group session to swim with Australian Cuttlefish

VIP Snorkel Tours

VIP private swim with Cuttlefish experience for up to 4 people

Community Snorkel Tours

VIP Snorkel Tours

Cuttlefest 2019 F.A.Qs

Why experience marine sanctuaries?

Snorkelling is a healthy, positive experience based learning activity that enables children, their parents (and grandparents) and wider community to immerse themselves in our spectacular marine environment. EMS deepens understanding of ecology, habitats and the importance of protected areas.

What time do I need to arrive?

Please arrive 30-45 minutes before your session is due to begin so we can complete our briefing and get you fitted out with equipment. Remember that parking might be tricky on site so aim to arrive early.

What if the sea/weather conditions are not suitable for snorkelling?

EMS team will monitor sea & weather conditions the week leading up to the snorkel sessions – if not suitable for snorkeling all participants will be contacted via email and text before their booked snorkel tour to let them know that sessions have been re-scheduled or cancelled. Participants will be given option to re-schedule or receive refund.​ We aim to do this with as much notice as possible (ideally >24 hours) however we cannot control the conditions and they can change during the day.

Refund Policy

EMS Team requires 24 hrs notice of cancellation for snorkel tours. There is no refund if less than notice 24 hrs given. You can give your tickets to someone else if you wish, please contact us to advise us if this is the case. The new ticket holders will need to fill in new medical details and waiver forms.

What do I need to bring?

If you have any of your own snorkelling equipment, feel free to bring it. It is preferable to use your own as you know how it works and that it fits well. We can provide wetsuits, boots, fins, masks, snorkel and floatation aids. We also have sunscreen.

Bring your own:

  • Swim wear
  • Water
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Towels
  • Lots of warm clothes to put on afterwards
  • Hot drinks and food will help you to warm up afterwards so consider buying some on site or bringing your own

How deep is the water?

At Point Lowly, the cuttlefish hang out in water 1-3 meters deep and very close to shore (5-20 meters). Each group will stay together and proceed at a pace suitable for everyone – there is no rush! If you don’t feel comfortable you can choose to take a boogie board or noodle to hang on to (you do need to be able to swim without one in order to participate).

What if I want to get out early?

No problems! You need to stay with a tour guide at all times and follow their instructions. During the snorkel, our guides will check in regularly to see if anyone is getting cold or is experiencing any difficulties. If the group is small and has just one guide, the whole group may bring someone back to shore before going back out again.

Can children participate?

Yes! Generally we can take children as young as five, however for CuttleFest we are unable to provide thicker wetsuits for small sizes and we know that younger kids tend to get cold very quickly even in summer. For this reason, CuttleFest is has a minimum age of 8.

Children below the age of 15 must have one parent/guardian in the water, with maximum two children per adult (2:1 ratio).

How thick are the wetsuits?

For CuttleFest we use 7mm wetsuits along with hoods and gloves. The wetsuits come in a wide range of sizes. You can bring plastic bags or socks to use over your hands and feet to help the wetsuit slide on easily.

Should I wear layers underneath my wetsuit?

If you have thermal clothing designed for wet use that is ideal! If you do get cold easily, you can also try standard thermal underwear below your wetsuit, such as a woollen skivvy or vest. Wool is especially good as it retains heat even when wet. Avoid anything with loose sleeves as these will bunch up when getting into the wetsuit. Old clothing is advised it might be damaged.

Is the experience safe?

EMS has taken thousands of participants snorkelling over the last few years and has extensive safety procedures. However, no adventure is ever completely risk free. Every participant must let staff know if they have any medical conditions and judge their own level of swimming ability.

Our safety procedures include:

  • Experienced and trained snorkel guides
  • Small groups – up to 6 people maximum
  • Assistant guides support larger groups and less experienced groups
  • First aid and oxygen equipment on site
  • Checking participants in and out of the water
  • Shore person with binoculars and radio watching and counting participants in each group
  • Kayak or boat in the water for the duration of the session, also with radio & able to tow cold or injured participants back to shore quickly if required
  • A wide range of safety policies and processes used by staff

What does EMS do with the amount raised from ticket fees?

Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries is a non-profit organisation based in SA. We invest significant amount of funds to train community volunteers in first aid, CPR, oxygen provision and nationally recognised snorkel instructor qualifications to ensure the safety of our participants. For events such as CuttleFest we also need to cover significant costs for staff to organise and advertise the event, and to support volunteers to attend by covering food, accommodation and transport costs while away.

In order to expand CuttleFest, now run over two weeks, we have had to look at pricing to ensure it covers all costs and is sustainable into the future. Any surplus funds are directed into supporting next year’s CuttleFest, as well as providing additional equipment and training so that future events can cater to people with different abilities.

Any other questions?

Hit us up on our facebook page or leave a voicemail/SMS for Carl on 0466 278 187.