Adventure Travel

30 Spectacular Snorkel Sites in Australia

Though dive and snorkel habitués tend to guard choice spots with hyper-protective zeal, we did manage, after much clandestine research, to ferret out 30 of the most spectacular sites in Australia. Have a gander and let us know what you think.

Western Australia

Busselton Jetty

Busselton Jetty – Photo credit

The best artificial site in the southern hemisphere, bar none, is a prominent icon of the South West.

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Marmion Marine Park

Frenetic schools of fish feed on the reefs in this limpid marine oasis.

Montebello-Barrow Islands Marine Park

Pick a site, any site. This archipelago of more than 250 islands, off the Pilbara coast, is a marvel.

Ningaloo Reef

Turtles, mantas, whale sharks and humpbacks populate Ningaloo, which easily rates as one of the top dive and snorkel sites on the planet.

Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island’s Roe Reef, a limestone, honeycomb coral haven, is simply brilliant.

Shoalwater Island Marine Park

Two words: Bottlenose dolphins.

Northern Territory

Gove Peninsula

Set off from Nhulunbuy township for a Top End snorkel fix.

Garig Gunak Barlu National Park

Superb marine life teems 216 km northeast of Darwin.

Wessel Islands

While not necessarily the most accessible spot, the Wessel Islands provide pure underwater bliss for avid aficionados.

Groote Eylandt

Enjoy this Gulf of Carpentaria island but beware of crocodylus porosus … or saltwater crocs.

Queensland

Agincourt Reef

Agincourt Reef – Photo credit

The gateway to a multitude of Port Douglas, Great Barrier Reef sites.

Bait Reef, Whitsundays

The UNESCO World Heritage Whitsundays offer a parade of top snorkel sites. Bait Reef is the best.

Cod Hole, Ribbon Reefs

A Great Barrier Reef tour staple, for good reason.

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Osprey Reef, Coral Sea

Osprey Reef is for experts and offers ample rewards.

Wheeler Reef, Townsville

A pristine reef, with easy access from terrific Townsville.

New South Wales

Clovelly Beach, Sydney

Sydney has a slew of quality snorkel sites but Clovelly Beach stands head and shoulders above the rest.

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Jervis Bay

Jervis Bay dolphins – Photo credit

Jervis Bay is among the top marine recreation areas in all of Australia.

North Bay, Lord Howe Island

A UNESCO World Heritage Site some 600 km east of the mainland, Lord Howe Island is a phenomenal marine park.

The Pinnacles, Brush Island

The Pinnacles makes the cut as a popular fave among experts.

Solitary Islands Marine Park, Coffs Harbour

Many national parks, reserves and marine parks surround Coffs Harbour. Solitary Islands is worth a special detour.

Victoria

Pope’s Eye, Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park

This incomplete island fort foundation is a perpetual hit with divers and snorkelers.

Portsea Pier, Mornington Peninsula

The resort town of Portsea is home to Australia’s most affluent postcode and a stellar snorkel site.

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Queenscliff, Bellarine Peninsula

A throwback seaside resort, Queenscliff is a Bellarine Peninsula jewel.

South Australia

Nuyts Archipelago Conservation Park

22 islands and reefs serve as a haven for rare and endangered wildlife.

Troubridge Shoals

The indubitable stars of the Troubridge Shoals show: giant spider crabs.

Fleurieu Reef

The HMAS Hobart wreck lures divers to Fleurieu Reef but snorkel buffs can get in on the act too.

Tasmania

Freycinet

Freycinet National Park – Photo credit

Snorkel away in the first national park in Tasmania, where extraordinary scenery is the norm.

Maria Island National Park

Numerous shipwrecks punctuate this Tasmania treasure.

Tinderbox Marine Nature Reserve

One of the best snorkel secrets in Tasmania is a mere 30 minutes from Hobart.

Ninepin Point Marine Nature Reserve

To snorkel in the shallows of Ninepin Point Marine Nature Reserve is to commune with a kaleidoscopic array of marine life.

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