Snorkeling in Australia
A snorkelers paradise with an amazing diversity of fish, coral, rays and turtles
Snorkeling in Australia must surely include the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, which is located on the north east coast of Australia, and then there is the slightly less well known diving areas of Western Australia, but just as stunning none the less. Australia snorkeling involves an amazing tropical climate and warm waters all year and so much to be seen and explored for snorkelers.
The Great Barrier Reef, which is off the coast of Queensland is incredibly famous, and without reason. This area is made up of the largest coral reef area in the world and due to the warm, clear waters and large diversity of spectacles to see; the perfect place to go for a snorkeling trip. To go on a snorkeling trip here you will need to board a boat such as a liveaboard or a day trip boat and these will bring you to the most beautiful parts of the reef, and away from the busyness. What makes this area even better for snorkeling is the incredible visibility; on average 40m (120 ft)!
The other side of this country, near Broome on the west coast, there is also some incredible diving and much less known about as opposed to its counterpart. Well preserved, flourishing reefs and numerous marine parks allowing for some pristine snorkel areas.
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MARINE LIFE IN AUSTRALIA
What makes these dive areas just that much more special is that they begin quite some way off the coast, which means less spoiled by man and a much higher diversity and number of marine species. Some of the most common sightings include Potato Cod, Silver and Grey Whaler Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks, Manta Rays, Humpback Whales, Maori Wrasse and all of these species inhabit the incredibly diverse and flourishing hard corals and soft corals which make up the beautiful coral reefs of this area. During the months of June up to November you might be able to spot Minke and Humpback whales travelling through.
BEST SNORKEL SITES IN AUSTRALIA
THE GREAT BARRIER REEF: Undoubtedly one of the most famous coral reefs in the world, located on the north-east coast of Australia. This is the world’s largest coral reef system and largest living organism. It stretches down 2300km (1430 mi) down the coast and consists of over 2900 reefs and 900 islands and an almost uncountable number of marine species. These all together provide some incredible snorkeling and dive sites.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Western Australia snorkeling means exploring some of the more remote area of the ocean around Australia, and without a doubt just as impressive as the east coast. The coral reefs here are well preserved and unspoiled by man. There are over 650 species of fish here, which you cannot see from shore, so when you go out on a boat to this dive area, it will be a truly unique snorkeling trip.
BEST TIME TO SNORKEL IN AUSTRALIA
The Great Barrier Reef is open for snorkeling all year round as even in the winter the water temperatures only drop down to 24 C (75 F) which makes it still a pleasant snorkeling temperature; the winter in Australia runs from July to beginning September. In the summer the outside temperatures reach up to 38 C (100 F) and water temperatures reach 30 C (86 f) and the summer runs from December to February, these months also bring with them the best visibility.
On the West Coast the best times to go snorkeling here is between September and December, but please keep in mind that these dive areas are only accessible by liveaboard. Check out our website Liveboard.com for more information!
HOW TO GET TO AUSTRALIA
On the east side of Australia, the main port city is Cairns, which is located in the north-east and which also has its own international airport; Cairns Airport. Flights arrive here from destinations such as multiple cities in New Zealand, Asian destinations such as Hong Kong and Singapore, and lastly from all other larger cities within Australia.
When wanting to go to the West Coast of Australia to go snorkeling there, then the closest airport is Broome Airport. This is a much more remote location so flights only arrive here from either Perth, on the west coast, or Darwin which is located in the north.
Cairns and Broome are both holiday destinations in their own right, each offering world class hotels and resorts. From Cairns, there is easy access to the stunning tropical Daintree rainforest and waterfalls in the Atherton Tablelands. Broome is on the edge of the world famous Kimberley region, one of the most remote and impressive areas in the world.