Have you been snorkeling before? If you’re like most people, it’ll be one of the things you’re most looking forward to as you plan your holiday to Queensland. But given that Queensland is home to some of the most spectacular snorkeling spots in the world, how do you decide where to visit?
We’ve outlined our five favourite spots to help make that decision a little easier. Take a look…
Top Five Places for Snorkeling in Queensland
1. Fitzroy Island, Cairns
Cairns has long been known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. And just a 45-minute boat ride off the coast of Cairns is Fitzroy Island, where the rainforest meets the reef. There is no better place to experience snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef than Fitzroy Island.
Here you’ll find Welcome Bay and Nudey Beach, both of which are surrounded by coral reef just meters from the shore, meaning you have easy access even for beginners or children. You also have the option to venture further out and access more remote reef areas, or to take a kayak and access stunning fringing reef systems. Get ready to see an amazing array of sea life, including clown fish, groupers and many sea turtles.
2. Lady Elliot Island, Bundaberg
Located 80km northeast of Bundaberg, Lady Elliot Island has great options for beginners as well as experienced snorkelers. The catch is that its only accessible by flights, which leave from either Bundaberg, Brisbane or the Gold Coast.
Once you’re there though, you’ll have a chance to explore the Coral Cay or theLagoon, both of which are full of coral, tropical fish, clams and turtles who have made their homes there. Heading to the western side of the island, you’ll find the Coral Gardens and Lighthouse, which are suitable for more experienced snorkelers. Here you’ll have a chance to see the reef plus dolphins, whales, reef sharks, turtles and manta rays.
3. Tangalooma Wrecks, Moreton Island
An extraordinary part of the Queensland coast, the Tangalooma Wrecks are made up of 15 ships that were deliberately sunk in 1963 in order to form a breakwater for local fisherman. Since then, the wrecks have become home to over 175 species of tropical fish including lionfish, kingfish and yellowtail, plus the likes of moray eels, turtles, dolphins and stingrays.
Moreton Island is 40km off the coast of Brisbane and the Wrecks are just a short swim out from the shore. This unique environment, plus its ease of access, makes Tangalooma Wrecks a great option for snorkelers.
4. Magnetic Island, Townsville
Another tropical paradise, Magnetic Island is a popular snorkelling day trip just outside of Townsville. Nellie Bay holds a variety of different coral and tropical fish, all of which is accessible just 100m off the beach making. Geoffrey Bay Snorkel Trail starts 400 meters off the beach and is suitable for stronger swimmers, giving you the chance to see not only an abundance of sea life, but also the Moltke Wreck and the remains of a WWII fighter plane.
5. Lowe Isles, Port Douglas
The Lowe Isles are made up of two small islands just 15 km off the coast of Port Douglas. Nestled in a protected coral cay, they hold over 150 different species of both soft and hard coral. You’ll have the chance to encounter clown fish, sea cucumbers and reef sharks while visiting this vibrant part of the sea. The Lowe Isles has been a research station since the 1920s, and has strict visitor guidelines and limits on the number of people who can go snorkeling.
Snorkeling is one of the best ways to make the most of the warm, crystal clear waters off the Queensland coast. Unlike diving, snorkelling means you don’t need a certificate or any heavy equipment to experience the immense beauty this region has to offer. You’ll find many different companies where you can easily hire the equipment you need and get further guidance. Whatever you choose, you’re in for an unforgettable experience.