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Hottest Snorkelling Spots in Sydney

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by Chris Volpe (subscribe)
I'm the Chief Chillazy Officer at Chillazy, a business about having fun, living life, hanging out with mates and enjoying every moment! We create and sell fun products for outdoor events and the beach. Visit my website
Published January 20th 2015
My wife Leah and I love to snorkel. Together we have night snorkelled with manta rays the size of cars off Kona, snorkelled the coral cliffs of Maui, snorkelled the amazing reefs of the Yasawa Islands of Fiji, snorkelled the Mediterranean off the coast of Southern Italy and snorkelled many of the Australian beaches.

In Sydney our three favourite snorkelling spots which are beginner friendly are:

1. Shelly Beach, Manly

Why it's a hot spot:

Easy access to the water, beautiful reserve full of gropers and the odd moray eel! Shelly beach itself is a beautiful spot to hang out with picnic facilities, toilets, outdoor showers to rinse off and a shop for snacks and a restaurant for those who would like to enjoy a nice meal over looking a magical part of the world.

The parking lot at Shelly packs out fast on a nice summer day and you do have to pay for parking unless you are fortunate enough to have Manly Council parking sticker for Shelly Beach. If you need to find parking you can get lucky and find free street parking running along Bower Street or the streets that run off it. There is a path I've marked with a blue X below which you can use to find your way down to the beach.

2. Gordons Bay, Randwick

Why it's a hot spot:

It's protected on both sides and can be entered from the beach or from the rocks where the vis is at its best. We've seen plenty of gropers, sting ray and a variety of small colourful fish here. From the beach it's easy for beginners… so give it a go!


There is 2 hour free street parking around the area but it's a bit of a walk down to Gordons Bay. Look around Moore St, Major St, Gordon Ave.

Just find the Cliffbrook Parade path it takes you the whole way around from Gordons Bay to Clovelly.

3. Clovelly, Randwick

Why it's a hot spot:

It's protected on both sides by man made platforms which make it easy to enter the water for the wary beginner. The water visibility at the mouth of the beach is awesome because of the fresh seawater washing in. When we snorkelled there we saw a Wobbegong shark hiding in a cave, gropers, a sting ray and plenty of small tropical fish. It was hiding in a little cave but was cool to see. The facilities at Clovelly are great. There is life guard patrol, a cafe, picnic tables, a shower block and clean bathrooms.


Parking at Clovelly can be difficult on a beautiful day but it is definitely worth the effort!

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Where: In and around NSW
Your Comment
I also love snorkelling. Thanks for locating some good snorkelling spots.
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4196) 2279 days ago
Nice spots to scuba dive as Fairy Bower:)
by Maria M (score: 2|661) 2045 days ago
the restaurant and Kiosk at Shelly beach are currently closed but there's a cart that sells water and ice cream. Further along at fairy bower, off Bower street is a cafe restaurant. The viability in the water is MUCH CLEARER than the photo most days. Theres also wobbegongs and port Jackson sharks (harmless), wrasse, schools of cuttlefish, squid, octopus and many many others,
by kylie (score: 0|2) 2273 days ago
Nice sum up.
by figol0 (score: 0|2) 2068 days ago
Can't wait to try Gordon's and clovelly today!
by stewa (score: 0|2) 1956 days ago
Can't wait to try Gordon's and clovelly today!
by stewa (score: 0|2) 1956 days ago
Thanks for the article, always wanted to try scuba diving & now have places to think about. Nice article too.
by RC (score: 3|1221) 1566 days ago
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