Perth is blessed with an incredible coastline. Pristine sandy beaches and rolling waves stretch from end to end of our city. Beneath the surface is a fantastic underwater haven for sea life just waiting to be explored. Here are some of the best spots to snorkel in our own backyard.
Mettams Pool Mettams Pool is the most popular destination for snorkeling on the metro coast. The bay is sheltered from waves by a ring of shallow rocky outcrops, within which lies a treasure trove of aquatic life.
Thousands of bait fish glimmer in the sunlight while large herring and tailor lurk near the ocean floor. There is a variety of colourful reef fish hiding amongst the rocks ranging from the size of your thumb up to hand sized zebra fish.
Mettams is a safe haven for younger explorers, too. The water is very calm, and life guards as well as hundreds of parents are always on the lookout.
Marmion Marine Park Stretching from South Sorrento to North Beach, Marmion Marine park is a large rocky outcrop featuring the same variety of fish as Mettams, only on a much grander scale.
While Mettams can be quite crowded Marmion is very quiet as there is plenty of space to explore. The outcrop isn't as sheltered as Mettams so being a confident swimmer is advisable and you do even have the chance of encountering some of the larger sea life Perth waters have to offer.
The big difference with Marmion Marine Park is that you can fish and kayak without much risk of hurting someone, there are a ton of fish around and with few people to scare them off spotting them is very easy.
Burns Beach Up in the Northern suburbs - past the end of West Coast Drive - is Burns beach. The relatively small sandy area makes way for a large expanse of sheltered rocky reef stretching north beyond the sand.
Up here you get all the bread and butter species as well as the regular reef fish, but if you're lucky you also have the chance to catch a glimpse of Dhufish which can grow over 10 kilos.
To give yourself the best chance of seeing these monsters it is best to swim out just beyond the outcrops in the late summer months.
Rottnest Island It seems every beach on Rottnest is worth snorkeling. Being surrounded by reef, rocks and shipwrecks provides for an abundance of aquatic creatures from tiny reef fish to Grey Nurse sharks.
The sheltered "Basin" beach is always a popular option being just minutes from the main settlement. Just past Pinkies is Little Parakeet Bay. Down the far end of this bay is a large hole in the reef which traps hundreds of reef fish and even the occasional shark.
Around the island you can also swim with stingrays, rock lobsters and larger fish species, explore shipwrecks and take relaxing snorkels amongst the sheltered bays. For a full list of the best snorkeling spots in Rottnest you can check out the map here.
Penguin Island is the South's favourite spot for a snorkel. Between the coast and the island is a calm stretch of water with some of our more fascinating wildlife.
Seals and Dolphins frequent the area and if you're lucky you may even see the resident Sea Lions or Fairy Penguins taking a dip. The water isn't shallow like the other places so you will need to take your brave pills.