THE BEST SNORKELLING LOCATIONS IN AUSTRALIA
Exploring Australia above ground is like visiting an art gallery where only half of the paintings are uncovered. To see the full majesty our country has to offer, you need to submerge yourself in the surrounding waters and explore the spectacular underwater landscape hiding just below the surface.
To do this, most people think you require a PADI certificate and will need to join one of the country’s numerous dive schools, but you can see much of the biodiversity and take in many of Australia’s reefs with just a snorkel. Here are the best snorkelling locations Australia has to offer.
NINGALOO REEF, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
This is one of the few reefs in Australia that can be accessed just by walking into the sea from the beach. Visitors come to the north-west cape hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the 500 whale sharks that glide through these waters every year. Ningaloo is a must-visit destination for anybody looking to see the impressive biodiversity of Australia’s coastal waters.
MORETON ISLAND, QUEENSLAND
One of Queensland’s best-kept secrets, Moreton Island is home to the Tangalooma Wrecks, 15 boats which were deliberately sunk more than 60 years ago to create a breakwall. Now, these creepy, spectral wrecks provide a safe haven for sea turtles, a host of fish species and are on most snorkelling enthusiast’s bucket list.
JERVIS BAY, NEW SOUTH WALES
Home to dolphins, whales and seals, Jervis Bay is a highlight of the Australian coastline. Rocky cracks litter the coastline, providing an opportunity to get up close with fish and sea mammals alike.
JULIAN ROCKS MARINE RESERVE, NEW SOUTH WALES
This requires a short boat trip from Byron Bay to reach the reserve, which sits on the site of a prehistoric volcanic eruption. Now there are more than 500 species of tropical fish which inhabit the temperate waters, offering a spectacular display of colour and diversity in the glass-like waters.
ROTTNEST ISLAND, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Rottnest Island is a hub of life both above and below the waves. With plenty of migratory coastal bird species and over 400 fish species, the limestone reefs offer a plethora of aquatic flora and fauna to examine. The best place on the island is the south coast, particularly Parker Point, but all the surrounding waters are something of a gem.
NINEPIN POINT MARINE NATURE RESERVE, TASMANIA
The cooler waters bring different species to this Tasmanian reef than you typically see in parts of western and northern Australia. There are whales, penguins and a wide variety of fish species on offer.
LORD HOWE ISLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES
Lord Howe Island is a great place to beat the crowds, but you need to book early. The number of visitors is strictly controlled so accommodation needs to be booked well in advance. The benefit of this is the opportunity to explore the trenches and underwater volcanoes away from the hordes of tourists.
BUSSELTON JETTY, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
With more than 20km of beaches and a 1.8km jetty, there is no shortage of snorkelling in Geographe Bay. Stay close to the jetty itself for the best view of marine life which use the structure for shelter.
These are the snorkelling gems Australia has to offer. So get your snorkel and flippers and set off to explore the expansive underwater world lying just off Australia’s coastline.
If you know any other snorkelling locations you think deserve to be on this list, let us know in the comments section below.