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Port Noarlunga Beach

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by Alicia Strous (subscribe)
I am a Science student with more hobbies than university subjects.
Published December 23rd 2012
Best snorkelling location near Adelaide
Just half an hour from Adelaide, Port Noarlunga is a fantastic destination for some summer fun. What makes this beach so special is the reef, a natural rock pile which runs parallel to shore for over 1.5 km. This protective barrier shields the beach from waves, large sea creatures, and strong rip currents. The best time to visit Port Noarlunga is at low tide when the reef is exposed and the water is clearer.

Noarlunga Reef
Children love to snorkel on the small reefs just off the beach. In the distance is the long Port Noarlunga Reef, which is exposed at low tide.

The beach is quite protected, making it ideal for families with young children and teenagers. A few tiny reefs can be found just off the white sandy beach, ready for swimmers and snorkelers to explore. The jetty takes you out 400m to the edge of the reef, with a resident school of fish at the end just waiting for food. Mostly Silver Sweep, they are extremely fond of bread - so much so that they will eat it right out of your hand. This is an awesome experience - the fish swarm in large numbers, snatching food and flashing past with great vitality!

Silver Sweep
Try taking some bread in a bag for these hungry fish. A large school under the jetty can always be relied on to provide some entertainment if food is on offer.

Take great care if swimming the length of the jetty to the reef, as many fishermen cast their lines here. The distance is quite deceptive, though there are stairs mid-way.

From the end of the jetty, snorkelling is beautiful in both directions. The reef is home to Leatherjackets, rays, cuttlefish, starfish, crabs and more. The water is 7-9 meters deep, but the top of the reef is flat and easy to get on to at low tide. Crabs and shells decorate the rocks and various squishy plants on the surface, and the sun-warmed pools are great to bathe in.

These fish are mostly seen speeding away, but occasionally a curious one will hang around the jetty and watch the snorkelers. This is just one species of many that can be found around Noarlunga Reef.

Finish at The Reef Café at the end of the jetty, which provides the traditional options of hot chips and ice cream.

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Why? For some great swimming and snorkeling
When: All year round, best at low tide
Where: Port Noarlunga beach
Cost: Free
Your Comment
The water looks so clear. Did you take the underwater pictures yourself. They are impressive.
by Oxford Explorer (score: 2|655) 2608 days ago
It is a great beach. Love your fish photos :)
by Hayley (score: 3|1016) 2609 days ago
Never knew such great beauty lies at Port Noarlunga beach. Great photos Alicia
by Yin-Yin Ow (score: 3|1596) 2608 days ago
Just to let people can hire snorkeling equipment right on the beach now from Port Noarlunga SNUBA during the summer months.
by benwa (score: 0|3) 2359 days ago
Hi Claire,
Yes, I took the photos. I love to scuba dive and snorkel, and am slowly growing a collection of fish pictures that I mostly don't do anything with! Glad to finally do something :)
And thanks Hayley!
by Alicia Strous (score: 1|37) 2608 days ago
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