There are several great spots in Sydney for experienced snorkelers and those wanting to learn, here’s five –
Cool off in the clear waters of Shelly Beach and be amazed by the diverse wildlife that lives in the sea grass meadows and rocky reefs of the protected Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve. Hear what native creatures you need to keep a lookout for and learn more about the natural environment. You can also go for a nature walk to see the headlands and Northern Beaches then snorkel off Shelly Beach itself.
One of the eastern suburbs’ prettiest spots and the only snorkelling destination on this list with a dedicated underwater nature trail. Thanks to the bay’s incredibly clear waters, snorkelers can also enjoy it on most days.
Like the Bronte-Coogee stretch, Cabbage Tree Bay is in an aquatic reserve. Most of the time, visibility is extraordinarily good and the diversity of critters is akin to The Great Barrier Reef. Prepare to meet flounder, flathead, goatfish, old wives, fiddler rays and sharks (namely Port Jacksons), wobbegongs and young dusky whalers between January and June.
Clovelly is a safe, reassuring place to start for inexperienced snorkelers. Unless a storm is brewing at sea, the waters are tranquil and it’s easy to get in and out via the concrete steps. There’s also a wealth of marine life to experience and marvel at.
Famous for being the spot where Captain Cook leapt ashore in 1770, Kurnell is also where you’ll find one of the city’s busiest underwater communities. For an easy entry point, try Silver Beach from where you can swim east towards Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Keep a lookout for giant cuttlefish, moray eels, sea horses, red weedy sea dragons decorated with bright blue stripes and canary yellow spots. Antarctic fur seals make occasional visits too.