Top 5 Places to Go Snorkling in Australia Over Winter Break
Australia is definitely more than shrimp on the barbie and dingos that eat babies. In fact, it’s a such a great place that every week about 70 tourists overstay their visas. In the U.S. they call that illegal immigration; in Australia they probably call it a party. The more the merrier, right?
Whether you plan on staying in Australia longer than your winter break or not, you’re probably going to spend some time on the beach. There’s a reason more than 85% of Australians live within 50 kilometers from the coast.
And if you’re a snorkeler, you’re most likely going to want to don your mask. That’s why I’ve decided to sit down and tell you about the top five places you should go snorkeling in Australia this winter break.
1. Knuckle Reef Lagoon
There are loads of benefits to snorkeling as you might well know. And if you need any more excuses to put that snorkel and flippers on, you can read this Ninja Shark article.
One of the most obvious benefits of snorkeling in Australia, in particular, is that you get to witness one of the greatest natural wonders in the world: the Great Barrier Reef. Knuckle Reef Lagoon is the best place to check it out.
Nestled amongst the 74 Island of Whitsundays, 200 species of fish and a whopping 1400 species of coral call the White Knuckle Reef Lagoon home. If you’re looking to see wildlife, this is the most abundant source.
2. Ningaloo Reef, WA
There is only one fringing barrier reef on the west side of the Australian Continent. And you can see over 500 species of tropical fish at Ningaloo Reef.
While you might not be able to see large schools of them during winter break, you might catch a lone one swimming about. But don’t be afraid, the Whale Shark is fairly harmless if you don’t go whacking it over the head with your flippers or something.
Humpback whales swim through Ningaloo Reef in late winter (Summer in the northern hemisphere). But if you do see a humpback whale during your stay, but don’t approach them or you’ll break the law. You must not swim within 30 metres of them, but the law doesn’t cover them swimming toward you.
3. Ninepin Point Marine Nature Reserve, TAS
If flora is more your thing over large sea mammals, then check out Ninepin Point Marine Nature Reserve. The seaweed and corals at this Tasmanian reef are different. The water is tea colored and the reduction in light lets more diverse species grow among the sharp coral crevasses.
The flora here wouldn’t be accessible by snorkelers elsewhere. These species only grow in deep water environments. If you have an underwater camera, you can get some pretty rare photos that only your dive certified friends could get on a winter break vacation.
4. Thevenard Island, WA
Thevenard Island in the Mackerel Islands will be a much different experience than the rest. It’s not a barrier reef, but it does contain some unique large black coral trees. And Black Flag is the best place on the island to see these interesting coral formations.
Black Flag is only 10 meters deep, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see a nurse shark or two floating around.
5. Jervis Bay, NSW
If you’re hoping to just stick around Sydney, then Jervis Bay is the best spot nearby. It’s only 180 km south along the coast and it’s a massive area of about 100km of Snorkelable territory.
The eastern blue devil fish is native to this bay along with the weedy seadragon. But it’s the mammals here that steal the show. Swim with dolphins and seals and possibly see some penguins (yes, you are nearer to Antarctica than you think).