When choosing from Australia‘s spectacular snorkeling spots, destinations such as the Great Barrier Reef are usually the first to come to mind. However, many do not realize that snorkeling in Sydney is actually a fantastic opportunity, with some of the best sites in the entire country.
With dramatic rocky headlands that provide great protection from the waves of the Pacific, the water at Little Bay is always calm and quiet, making it ideal for those who are new to snorkeling, as well as a perfect swimming spot with one of the cleanest beaches in the city. When it comes to marine life here, you will see a range of quite delicate creatures, such as black urchins to squid to huge schools of tiny colorful fish.
Clovelly Beach feels almost like a giant ocean pool, with concrete platforms and staggered steps that take you deeper into the water. This is a great spot for both swimmers and snorkelers, as it has gentle waves and feels almost like swimming in an aquarium. One of the marine highlights here is the blue groper fish, which is known for befriending snorkelers, so if you are lucky, you may find yourself accompanied by one.
The Basin, which lies within the shelter of Pittwater, is only accessible by water, meaning that snorkeling and swimming happens from the boat itself. The main appeal of this area is the fact that seagrass beds lie beneath the water, which creates an underwater wonderland that is so different from other parts of Sydney. Everything from sea horses to cuttlefish to starfish can be found here, as well as a few tropical species during the warmer months, making it the perfect spot for those who want a sighting of something slightly more unusual.
A family friendly north-facing beach, Shelly Beach is perfectly sheltered, so the water here is always clear and calm. Swimming, as well as floating on lilos, is a popular activity here, and there are many lilo rental vendors to be found along the beach. In terms of snorkeling, the right hand side of the beach is home to a spectacular reef that is just waiting to be explored.
Cabbage Tree Bay
Cabbage Tree Bay, which is located right next to Shelly Beach, is an aquatic reserve that spreads out for about 20 hectares, and because of all of its natural diversity, makes for a gorgeous swimming spot. In terms of snorkeling, the range of creatures that you will see beneath the water is definitely impressive, with everything from sharks to flounder to goatfish to fiddler rays. Due to its location near Shelly Beach, it would be well worth planning a trip that combines both of these top snorkeling spots.
Sydney has some incredible swimming and snorkeling sites, with different areas suitable for each ability level. With over 500 species of creatures roaming around the harbor and its surrounding areas, you never quite know what you will see on each snorkeling trip, with this selection also changing with the seasons, making each trip even more exciting than the last.