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Published June 23rd 2019
Snorkel your blues away with these snorkelling beaches
You do not need to travel far to get some of the best snorkelling experiences because right in the heart of Sydney and its outskirts a world of snorkel beaches await to be explored.
The list below includes 12 Snorkelling Beaches in Sydney:
1. Silver Beach, Kurnell
Kurnell is famous for being the place where Captain Cook leapt ashore in 1770 and it is home to one of the city's busiest underwater life. You will find giant cuttlefish, moray eels, sea horses, Port Jacksons and firetruch red weedy sea dragons. Antarctic fur seals make an occasional visit too. From Silver Beach swim east towards Kamay Botany National Park, passing Captain Cook's obelisk. Click here for the website.
2. Bare Island Located just north of Kurnell, across the mouth of Botany Bay, Bare Island can be found. Here you will be welcomed to the underwater world of one the most popular diving sites not just in Sydney but also New South Wales. There is good visibility at the western side and it has vibrant sponge gardens that are filled with life, including red Indian fish and gurnards. The eastern coast is hugged by rocky reef. Click here for the website.
3. Little Bay This beach is perfect for newbies and it is an absolute treat. The rocky headlands provide excellent protection, which make the water almost always calm and clear. You will find shy, delicate creatures that thrive here, from sea anemones, black urchins, squid and tiny fish travelling in large schools. Click here for the website.
4. Long Bay (Malabar Beach) Situated north of Little Bay and bigger than her sister beach Little Bay. Long beach gains its name from a shipwreck in 1931, the MV Malabar, it was travelling to Sydney from Singapore when it smashed into the headland. Today bits of the ship are still in the sea and it is a big hit with divers, and when visibility is good the wreck can be seen when snorkelling. You will find an abundance of octopi (octopuses), stingrays and assorted fish. Click here for the website.
5. Gordon's Bay This beach is hidden between Clovelly and Coogee Beaches and it is one of the prettiest and secret spots of the eastern suburbs and it is the only beach dedicated to an underwater nature trail that is on this list. At Gordon's Beach you will feel like you have struck gold in the underwater world, with its clear waters, you will discover a series of sunken drums, linked by chains, each of which gives you information about local submarine dwellers, an abundance of starfish, sponges, sea urchins, anemones, cuttlefish, spotted goatfish and garfish are some of the marine life that call Gordon's Bay home. Click here for the website.
6. Clovelly Like Little Bay, this is perfect for beginners. It is a safe, reassuring place for inexperienced snorkelers. The waters are tranquil and it is easy to get in and out via concrete steps. You will find a wealth of marine life including the most renowned underwater resident Bluey, a 1.2 metre long blue groper, who was allegedly murdered in 2002 and 2005 but keeps making mysterious returns. Do note that killing a groper (New South Wale's official fish) can provoke a fine of up to $11,000. Click here for the website.
This beach is made for slow, gentle and relaxing snorkelling. It is best to start on the outside of the swimming enclosure on the western wall and follow it all the way around to the rocks on the eastern side. Keep alongside to the rocks till you hit the point and head back or if you are keen for more adventure, Collins Flat and Store Beaches are short strolls away. Click here for the website.
8. Cabbage Tree Bay- Shelly Beach, Manly This aquatic reserve comprises of 20 hectares, between Manly Beach's southern end and the northern tip of Shelly Beach Headland. This is perfect snorkelling as most of the time visibility is extraordinarily good and the abundance of critters is Great Barrier level impressive! You will discover flounder, flathead, goatfish, old wives, fiddler rays, Port Jacksons, wobbegongs and between January and June, young dusky whalers. The best point to begin is at Shelly Beach and follow the reef along the headland or jump in at the boat ramp and swim alongside the walkway. Click here for the website.
9. Fishermans Beach, Long Reef Another aquatic reserve, Long Reef covers 76 hectares between Collaroy's rock pools and the Long Reef SLSC. Most of it is rocky shores and wild surf, however, at Fishermans Beach you are welcomed to gentle waters with feather stars, sea stars, heart urchins and sea slugs. Click here for the website.
This escapade certainly does take you to new territory. It is safe within the shelter of Pittwater and you will find the alternative universe that is created by seagrass beds. Here you will discover the star attraction of sea horses, starfish, cuttlefish, bream, leather jackets and during warmer months tropical species can be found here too. The Basin beach is located near the campground, making it a perfect snorkelling weekend expedition escape. Click here for the website.
11. Cobblers Beach
Nestled at Sydney Harbour National Park, Cobblers beach offers fantastic snorkelling experience around the rocks where you will find many rock fish and other marine life. This beach is a nude beach, so do keep this in mind. Click here for the website.
12. Chowder Bay, Mosman
The waters are calm and clear making it perfect for that snorkelling adventure. The best snorkelling spot is along the rocks with easy access along the harbour beach. You will find white seahorses around the wharf pylon and larger big-bellied seahorses too. Click here for the website.