6 of the Best Places to Go Snorkelling in Sydney


It might be the surfing beaches like Bondi and Coogee that get all the attention, but Sydney is actually an incredible place to go snorkelling. There are so many places to snorkel in Sydney and even most of the locals are blissfully unaware of them! Whether you’re an experienced underwater explorer or a newcomer just getting used to your goggles, you can have a blast snorkelling and getting right up close to Mother Nature at these incredible locations in and around the Harbour City.

1. Kurnell

Pop in the water at Silver Beach and swim east towards Kamay Botany Bay National Park. This route will take you past Cook’s obelisk and give you the best opportunity to see a fascinating range of marine life, including giant cuttlefish, moray eels, sea horses, Port Jackson sharks and firetruck red weedy sea dragons. Kurnell is one of the best places in Sydney to spot fascinating marine creatures and you also might get to see some Antarctic fur seals if you’re lucky. Plus once you get out of the water, the surrounding area is pretty idyllic and worth a bit of a look around if you have some time.

2. Bare Island

This is one of the most popular snorkelling sites in New South Wales, and once you’re at Bare Island it will only take you a few moments to figure out why. A footbridge connects the island to the mainland and you see some of the most spectacular marine life in the country. The western side of Bare Island offers divers good visibility and the chance to see a wide variety of fascinating ocean life including red Indian fish and gurnards. The other side of Bare Island is equally as interesting and has a rocky reef that is definitely worth exploring. If you’re a serious diver and you want to snorkel in Sydney, Bare Island’s the place to go.

3. Gordon’s Bay

A hop, skip and a jump from Coogee Beach is Gordon’s Bay and it’s one of Sydney’s prettiest spots. A hidden paradise to most of the population, Gordon’s Bay has incredibly clear water giving you the best chance possible to explore a range of underwater creatures, including starfish, sponges, urchins and anemones to cuttlefish, spotted goatfish and garfish. Definitely one to visit before the everyone else gets wind of it!

4. Clovelly

Safe and reassuring, Clovelly is a great place to snorkel in Sydney if you’re just starting out. The waters are generally tranquil (unless there’s a storm on the way) and it’s really easy to get in and out through the provided concrete step. There’s a wealth of marine life to explore when you’re in the beautiful body of water, including the majestic blue groper which is quite a sight to behold when you spot one emerging from the depths!

5. Cabbage Tree Bay

Encompassing 20 hectares between Manly Beach’s southern tip and the top of Shelly Beach Headland, Cabbage Tree Bay is a veritable aquatic reserve with incredible sea life and great visibility. You’ll have an opportunity to meet a range of wildlife while you’re there including flounder, flathead, goatfish, old wives, fiddler rays and sharks. It goes without saying the underwater scenery is simply amazing. Definitely one for the more experienced snorkelers but if you’ve got a few swims under your belt you really can’t do much better than Cabbage Tree Bay.

6. Long Bay

Surrounded by the suburb Malabar, Long Bay is the site of the MV Malabar shipwreck which is an incredible spot for experienced snorkelers to check out. If the shipwreck isn’t enough to get your attention (and why shouldn’t it be?) there’s also an abundance of marine life to witness including octopuses, stingrays and a range of fish. If you’re looking for a snorkelling site that you can explore for hours and never get bored, then you really can’t do much better than Long Bay when you’re snorkelling in and around Sydney.