Snorkelling the Ningaloo Reef of Western Australia’s Coral Coast is an absolute must if you’re visiting Exmouth
, Coral Bay
or the oceanside stations north of Carnarvon. Regarded as one of the last great ocean paradises on Earth, you can access this watery wonderland by simply stepping off the beach and into the sea. Why not join a tour and explore the outer coral gardens of this amazing fringing reef, or snorkel with the giants of the deep the whale shark (from late March through to early July).
Be sure to check out these Ningaloo Reef snorkelling hotspots while you’re visiting Western Australia’s Coral Coast. If you forget to pack your snorkel gear, you can always hire some from the local dive shops.
Exmouth snorkelling Lakeside
Lakeside, in the Ningaloo Reef Marine Park
, is a great snorkelling spot for swimmers of average fitness and capability. From the carpark walk 400 metres south along the beach to the marked entry point. Snorkel out in a northerly direction for 150 metres before returning to your original entry point. Turquoise Bay
Snorkelling within Turquoise Bay is quite rewarding and easy - a perfect spot for beginners to practice their skills. Currents don't usually exist in the bay, but always check conditions to be sure. Turquoise Bay drift snorkel
The drift snorkel is considered to be one of the best snorkelling experiences in this area of the Ningaloo Reef. You can access it directly from the 'Drift' car park or walk 300 metres south along the beach from the 'Bay' car park. Swim straight out and let the current carry you north over coral bombies. Be sure to exit before the sand bar as this area is prone to strong currents, due to a break in the outer reef. This snorkel is suited to swimmers of an average fitness and snorkelling ability. Oyster Stacks
The Oyster Stacks are great for fish life and is best accessed on a high or incoming tide. Take care entering the water as the shoreline is rocky with some sharp oyster shelled areas. Enter the water at the end of the walking track and snorkel either north or south.
Coral Bay snorkelling Bills Bay
Located at the end of the Coral Bay
road, within easy walking distance of Coral Bay, this sheltered site has an average water depth of around three metres. It’s close to the boat mooring area, so please be aware of moving boat traffic.
Located 500 metres south of Bills Bay, just past the big red rock, Purdy Point provides access to some fantastic Ningaloo Reef coral bombies. While snorkelling, please stay away from offshore channel markers as there is often a lot of boating activity here. Oyster Bridge and the Lagoon
Oyster Bridge and the Lagoon can only be reached by four wheel drive. There are companies offering tours to these snorkel areas. For more information please contact Exmouth Visitor Centre
Outback station snorkelling
Several outback station boundaries run right up to the Ningaloo Reef, meaning they're the perfect places to base yourself on a snorkelling holiday. The stretch of coast between Carnarvon and Coral Bay provides an ideal location to soak up to rugged beauty of Australia's Coral Coast.
Shark Bay snorkelling
Shark Bay Marine Park
is home to an abundance of marine life and small coral reefs can be found in remote areas. Access is by boat or four wheel drive only, but snorkelling tours are available from Denham
and Monkey Mia
. Surf Point
Located at the southern end of Dirk Hartog Island
, this sanctuary zone on Western Australia’s Coral Coast boasts an abundance of fish and coral in shallow waters. Sandy Point
Located on the east coast of Dirk Hartog Island, Sandy Point has some of the best coral in the bay. Gregories
Within the spectacular Francois Peron National Park, Gregories is the perfect site for drift snorkelling with a shallow coral wall not far from the shore.
Abrolhos Island snorkelling
The Abrolhos Islands
on Western Australia’s Coral Coast are an undiscovered underwater paradise, boasting world-class snorkelling and diving sites.
The extensive coral reef system stretches for over 100 kilometres and the warm southerly current creates an environment perfect for both tropical and temperate marine life. Sea lions, dolphins and migratory whales are often spotted in the area.
You can reach the Abrolhos Islands by taking a 30 minute boat trip from Geraldton, a scenic flight or a helicopter ride. Fishing and snorkelling tours are available, but there's no accommodation on the islands.
Jurien Bay snorkelling
Similar to the Abrolhos Islands the Jurien Bay Marine Park
contains a mix of temperate and tropical waters and marine life, courtesy of the Leeuwin Current. Snorkeller’s will delight in the diversity of this environment. Colourful corals, extensive limestone reefs and cheeky Australian sea lions can also be found here.
For further information about Ningaloo Reef snorkelling sites, weather conditions and equipment hire, contact the local visitor centres
of Western Australia’s Coral Coast.