With a land area as massive as Australia (2.969 million sq miles and 6th largest in the world), you are bound to find an extensive variety of landscapes. The country is also home to the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system in the world, which makes Australia a top destination for snorkelers and divers of all levels.
While most snorkeling tours are focused on the Great Barrier Reef, there are several awesome spots to snorkel and dive in Australia. We’ve come up with a list of the top 10 unique snorkeling spots here, separated per area.
Read on and find out which spot to visit on your next trip!
If you are looking for a less crowded snorkeling experience at an outer reef, book a trip to Opal Reef. This is one of the designated low-density areas in the Great Barrier Reef. Only tour operators with small boats are allowed to bring guests to Opal Reef. It’s an ideal spot for families and guests who are new to snorkeling and who want to experience seeing a variety of reef fish species.
It’s no surprise that Green Island is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Barrier Reef. It’s turquoise waters and landscape uniqueness make it a top spot for tourists. Here’s the intriguing part: fringing reefs surround the island but when you go inland, you will find a tropical rainforest in the midst.
At Osprey Reef, divers can sit on a natural amphitheater seat and watch the sharks as they feed. Feel your hair rise in a mix of fear and amazement as you see silky sharks, silvertips, grey reef sharks, and hammerheads swim around in their natural habitat. Aside from shark species, other big fish sighted here are beaked whales, bottlenose dolphins, sperm whales, whale sharks, tuna, marlin, and barracudas.
There is no other safer area for children snorkelers in Perth than in Mettam’s Pool. Reefs form a natural rock pool and with water that’s only waist-deep, you can definitely take your kids to go snorkeling with you. The best part is the water here is crystal clear and the visibility is great. However, due to its popularity, Mettam’s Pool can get crowded. Schedule your trip on weekdays or early mornings to avoid the crowd.
It’s not every time that you will see a colony of fairy penguins while you snorkel. Head to Western Australia and visit Penguin Island for this exceptional experience. Plus if you snorkel closer to the side of Seal Island, you might also see rare Australian sea lions swimming with you.
If you’re looking for a combination of a relaxed vacation and an interesting snorkeling trip, book a trip to Cottlesloe Beach. Tourists flock to Cottlesloe because of its relaxed vibe, plus there are plenty of restaurants and amenities to choose from. You’ll find the best snorkeling spots are on the northern and southern part of the beach.
While there are several jetty dives in the Yorke Peninsula, Wallaroo Jetty is one of the well-reviewed spots in the area. We’re certain that snorkelers who are into macro photography will enjoy muck diving and taking photos of critters and corals that must have started to form here when the jetty was built in 1958.
Go further down south at Kangaroo Island and find Hanson Bay – one of the island’s secrets. The shallow reef dive is set against a white sand beach and a crystal clear, blue sea. You’ll find rich marine life and plenty of rocky ledges to challenge the beginner snorkeler.
The next time you crave for more adventure, try wreck diving at Wardang Island. Choose from any of the eight wreck diving sites included in the Wardang Island Maritime Heritage trail. Buoys are installed to identify the sites. All of the wreck sites are teeming with marine life; expect to see sweep, silver, drummer, leatherjackets, snappers, garfish, morwong, razorfish, and blue crabs.
Point Turton is a sheltered bay at Spencer Gulf and while this provides excellent diving conditions all-year round, experienced snorkelers can go for a rare adventure: book for a night dive. Get your dive light ready and see worms, lobsters, squids, gobies, and blennies in their vibrant colors.
Think we missed your favorite snorkeling spot? Let us know in the comments below.