Wondering where the best snorkelling spots in Perth and Western Australia are? We’ve put together a handy guide to the many great snorkelling spots Perth and WA has to offer. With so many to choose from, it wasn’t easy!
Western Australia is more than a little blessed by the number of unmissable snorkelling spots on offer. Evenly spread out up and down the West Coast, whether your next trip is down south to the fantastic Margaret River region, or further down around the stunning Esperance coastline, you’re in for a treat. There are some amazing spots up north with Jurien Bay, Kalbarri/Red Bluff and Geraldton offering many fantastic snorkelling spots, and proximity to even more, including world-famous bucket-list Ningaloo Reef. We haven’t forgotten about Perth, which also has some great snorkelling off its beaches and islands. Read on for our guide to Perth’s best snorkelling spots.
Best snorkelling spots: North of Perth
Carnarvon & The Coral Coast
Of the many things to do up in the Carnarvon and Coral Coast region, snorkelling ranks very high as a must-do activity. The area has many great snorkelling spots and is a great springboard to world-famous spots just a bit further north along the coast, such as Ningaloo Reef, and down the coast such as Shark Bay. Book a stay in Carnarvon and you’ll have days and days of world-class snorkelling at your disposal.
Snorkelling at Dirk Hartog Island National Park. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.
• Shark Bay
Location: Shark Bay Road, Shark Bay WA
Distance from Perth: 8 hr 30 min | 3 hr from Carnarvon Capricorn Holiday Park
Shark Bay is an excellent area full of numerous coral reefs and top snorkelling spots, some you’ll need a boat or 4WD to get to. Eagle Bluff is great for beginners and the bays of Dirk Hartog Island are fantastic, Louisa Bay is also popular.
Snorkelling at Dirk Hartog Island National Park. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.
• Aquarium at Point Quobba (Quobba Blowholes)
Location: Blowholes Road, Macleod WA
Distance from Perth: 10hr | 45 min from Carnarvon Capricorn Holiday Park
For some of the best snorkelling anywhere let alone in WA, just 45 mins north of Carnarvon look no further than the lagoon at Point Quobba, known as Quobba Aquarium or just ‘The Aquarium’. Right off the beach, just past the Blow Holes, the area is remarkable and teeming with thousands upon thousands of fish of numerous tropical varieties. It’s easily accessible and a great spot for the kids too.
Snorkelling right off the beach at Coral Bay. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.
• Coral Bay
Location: See below
Distance from Perth: 12 hr | 2 hr 30 min from Carnarvon Capricorn Holiday Park
Coral Bay offers several of the best snorkelling spots in Western Australia, thanks to the brilliant clean, calm and warm water. The famous Ningaloo Reef comes 100-200m off the beach, it is especially remarkable and special to be able to access this world-class coral reef with such ease.
Easily accessible Bill’s Bay 10 mins north and Purdy Point are two well known amazing snorkelling spots. One of the mighty fine local Carnarvon tour operators will be able to take you to some stunning slightly more remote spots like the Lagoon and Oyster Bridge.
Lakeside Beach is another great snorkelling spot in the area, thanks to its sheltered and calm beach. There is a marked entry point to the recommended area, about 400m along the beach from the carpark.
• Five Fingers Reef
Location: Lyndon, WA
Distance from Perth: 12 hr | 2hr 30 min from Carnarvon Capricorn Holiday Park
Just south of Coral Bay, you’ll need a 4WD but this area is very much worth getting to. Named after five fingers of coral reef that spread out from the beach offshore, the area is calm and shallow so lends itself nicely to beginners and kids.
• Ningaloo Marine Park, Ningaloo Reef
Location: Minilya-Exmouth Road, Ningaloo WA
Distance from Perth: 13 hr | 3 hr 30 min from Carnarvon Capricorn Holiday Park
Accessible from Carnarvon is the Jewel of the Coral Coast, the world-famous Ningaloo Reef. Some epic snorkelling spots are accessible right off the beach, like famous Turquoise Bay in Cape Range National Park near the town of Exmouth. The beach here is regularly named best in WA and Australia, and the snorkelling and diving on offer are held in equally high esteem. The white, sandy shores give way to stunning coral reef gardens just metres from the shore.
Diving deep at Turquoise Bay, Cape Range National Park, Western Australia. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.
The idea at Turquoise Bay is to enter the water at the south end of the beach and let the current carry you over the reef. There can however be some strong currents through the bay, so it is advisable weak or inexperienced swimmers don’t attempt this snorkel (and wearing fins is a must). You can get more information and advice from the local visitor centre.
We’d suggest booking one of the many great Carnarvon tours with a local operator to head further afield and see what makes this region one of the greatest snorkelling and diving destinations on earth. One incredible spot, probably the best in Ningaloo, and voted by National Geographic as a top 10 snorkelling spot, is Blue Maze, which can only be reached with a tour. Like the name suggests it’s a kaleidoscopic maze of fish, colour, and abundant coral formations.
Teach the kids to snorkel at Ningaloo Marine Park, Western Australia. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.
Ningaloo offers a copious amount of things to see - over 220 species of coral and over 500 species of fish. One of the highlights would certainly be the momentous Whale Sharks.
Please note fees apply to visiting sites in the Cape Range National Park.
Take a snorkelling charter tour with Ningaloo Blue Charters. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.
Kalbarri Red Bluff
Situated between Carnarvon and Geraldton, Kalbarri Red Bluff has some amazing beaches, where the red landscape delves into the turquoise ocean. There is also some of the state’s best snorkelling right nearby.
• Blue Holes
Location: Blue Holes Road, Kalbarri WA
Distance from Perth: 6 hr 30 min | 5 min Kalbarri Red Bluff Tourist Park
Blue Holes is a natural aquarium formed by protected waters and rock pools right off the beach in the centre of Kalbarri, fun and safe for kids too. You’ll be exploring tons of species of fish, sponge and even rock lobsters - speaking of which you can book your own experience to go out and catch your own rock lobsters!
Geraldton is the ideal stopping off point to the famous Abrolhos Islands and its many stunning reefs, beaches and snorkel spots.
• Abrolhos Islands
Location: 60 km NW of Geraldton
Distance from Perth: 5 hr | 60 km from Geraldton Belair Gardens Caravan Park
Likened by some to the Galapagos Islands, it’s no wonder the Abrolhos Islands have become a popular spot for eco-tourism and marine activities. It seems everyone’s talking about the Abrolhos Islands (not just us!). About 60 km offshore from Geraldton, accessible by boat or scenic flight, there’s a lot to do, especially if snorkelling is your thing! The islands themselves are surrounded by the world’s southernmost coral reef, making it a snorkelling and diving paradise.
We recommend booking a Geraldton dive and snorkelling tour to the infamous Batavia wreck site off Beacon Island. This is one for experienced divers and snorkellers, and the weather conditions need to be right - so it’s the best way to go.
Book your Abrolhos Islands tour and comfortable Geraldton accommodation for stress-free travel.
Snorkelling Houtman Abrolhos Islands. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.
As well as being known as a prime West Australian fishing destination, the town of Jurien Bay is spoiled with many limestone reefs following the shoreline and the Jurien Bay Marine Park, optimal for snorkelling and diving. Some of the State’s best snorkelling is offshore from Jurien Bay and we definitely recommend booking yourself an offshore excursion with one of the great local Jurien Bay tour operators who can take you out to the very best spots.
Snorkelling right off the jetty at Jurien Bay. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.
• Sandy Cape Beach
Location: Sandy Cape Road, Jurien Bay WA
Distance from Perth: 2 hr 30 min | 15 min from Jurien Bay Tourist Park
Just north of Jurien Bay, Sandy Cape is a great beach, fishing spot, and sheltered snorkelling area with crystal clear water and plenty to see.
• Boullanger Island
Location: 1 km offshore Jurien Bay
Distance from Perth: 2 hr 30 min | 2km from Jurien Bay Tourist Park
Just offshore from Island Point, below Jurien Bay, Boullanger Island has many sheltered great snorkelling spots, like the seagrass meadow on the west side.
• Hangover Bay
Location: Cervantes, WA
Distance from Perth: 2 hr | 25 min from Jurien Bay Tourist Park
Hangover Bay just outside of Cervantes is a hidden treasure, with a wide flat white sandy beach and excellent snorkelling in the clear waters around the rocks and reef. An added bonus is you’ll probably have the place to yourself.
Best snorkelling spots: Perth
Perth itself has some great nearby snorkelling spots for weekend adventures.
Location: 18km west of Fremantle
Distance from Perth: 30 min
A beautiful tourist island just off the coast of Perth, Rottnest Island is overflowing with Perth’s best snorkelling spots. Popular snorkelling spots include The Basin, Parakeet Bay, Little Salmon Bay and Little Armstrong Bay.
Snorkelling paradise Rottnest Island. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.
- Parker Point Snorkel Trail on Rottnest is located on the south-east side of Rottnest Island and features a number of plaques on the sea bed. There is a spectacular drop-off recommended for more experienced divers. You can expect a stunning display of coral, fish and crayfish.
- Little Salmon Bay is an easy bike ride from the main village and is a cute little white sandy beach with tons of coral and rock shelves. Great for kids and beginners.
- Parakeet Bay is a great place for confident snorkelers to swim out to the rocks.
- Little Armstrong Bay is less crowded and is another great spot for beginner snorkelers.
Mooring for a day of snorkelling at Parker Point, Rottnest Island. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.
• Shoalwater Islands Marine Park
Location: Arcadia Drive, Rockingham WA
Distance from Perth: 1 hr
Point Peron, nearby Mushroom Rock and Shoalwater Islands are some of Perth’s most popular snorkelling spots for kids, families and beginners. The Pristine Islands are surrounded by reefs, carved limestone overhangs and shipwrecks, generally no deeper than five metres, making for excellent diving and snorkelling with plenty of marine life including sea stars, urchins and molluscs as well as a number of fish species, even bottlenose dolphins. The area is super accessible to Perth at only 45 - 60 mins drive.
One of Perth’s best snorkelling spots: Penguin Island, Rockingham. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.
Best snorkelling spots: South of Perth
Margaret River, Geographe Bay and The Capes Region
No visit to the Margaret River region would be complete without breaking out the snorkel. The region is overflowing with amazing beaches, and there are some truly special snorkelling spots to explore too. Geographe Bay, in particular, offers several amazing family-friendly spots for a day of exploring under the waves.
• Busselton Foreshore, WA
In the areas around the Busselton Jetty is a great opportunity to explore the numerous species of marine life living under this iconic heritage-listed icon.
• Bunker Bay
Location: Bunker Bay Road, Dunsborough WA
Distance from Perth: 3 hr | 50 min from Margaret River
A gentle and temperate snorkelling spot, although best to head here in the morning before the winds pick up. The rocky outcrops along the Bay, between Meelup Beach, Castle Bay, Eagle Bay and Bunker Bay all offer great snorkelling opportunities.
• Shelley Cove
Location: Bunker Bay Road, Dunsborough WA
Distance from Perth: 3 hr | 55 min from Margaret River
At the end of Bunker Point, right under the Lighthouse, Shelley Cove is an awesome family-friendly snorkelling spot, with its colourful rocky and shelly bottom. The east-facing bay enjoys the benefit of being more protected from the Westerly and South-Westerly winds.
• Yallingup Lagoon
Location: Yallingup Beach Road, Yallingup WA
Distance from Perth: 3 hr | 30 min from Margaret River
A really great beginner or kids snorkelling spot, Yallingup Lagoon has an interesting marine ecosystem to check out. Easily accessible and big enough to find your own little space to explore, despite the crowds - parking can be tricky on days the surf break is going off, or on those perfect school holiday days. It gets deeper the further you get out until of course it drops off and you’re facing the famous surf breakers.
South of Perth, Yallingup Reef snorkelling. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.
• Injidup Beach
Location: Cape Clairault Road, Yallingup WA
Distance from Perth: 3 hr | 35 min from Margaret River
Half an hour from Margaret River, known as an especially beautiful and rugged surf beach, Injidup has a very Instagram worthy natural spa and rocky outcrops which offer great diving and snorkelling for all members of the family.
South west: Albany/Walpole/Denmark
• Greens Pool
Location: William Bay Road, Denmark WA
Distance from Perth: 5 hr | 45 min from Walpole Rest Point Caravan Park
Just an hour from Walpole, Greens Pool is a delightful and family-friendly snorkelling spot, with white sand ringed by big boulders keeping out the swells of the Southern Ocean.
White sands and sheltered waters of Greens Pool, Denmark Western Australia. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.
Best snorkelling spots: Great south coast
Plan a holiday down in Esperance and you’ll be truly spoiled for brilliant snorkelling opportunities, among other Esperance tours and activities on offer in the area. The area’s pristine and clear temperate waters are speckled with granite islands and outcrops, drop-offs, caves and swim-throughs. There’s a good mix of easy beginner sites and some more challenging ones. Add the below to your Esperance itinerary:
Snorkelling at Woody Island, Bay of Isles, Esperance. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.
• Duke of Orleans Bay
Location: Wharton Road, Condingup WA
Distance from Perth: 8 hr | 60 min from Esperance Bay Holiday Park
The Duke of Orleans Bay, known as ‘The Duke’ by locals, is regarded as one of the best Esperance beaches by those in the know. About 90km east of Esperance, the sheltered and secluded bay provides a beautiful natural shoreline ideal for fishing, snorkelling and four-wheel driving. There is even a boat ramp located at the bay for those venturing out into the ocean. We recommend packing a picnic and spending the whole day beachside at The Duke, especially if you’re planning to visit during the warmer summer months.
• Tanker Jetty
Location: Fisheries Road, Esperance WA
Distance from Perth: 7.5 hr | 4 min from Esperance Bay Holiday Park
Very conveniently located right in Esperance, and practically on our doorstep, Tanker Jetty is a popular spot for fishing and viewing the marine life from above, but it’s really special thanks to the artificial reef off the end of the 670m long jetty.
• Woody Island Snorkel Trail
Location: Shearwater Bay, Woody Island WA
Distance from Perth: 8 hrs to Esperance then a 40 min tour boat
One of the only publicly accessible islands in the famed Bay of Isles, Woody Island has its own Snorkel Trail. Swim to The Woody Island Snorkel Trail from the swimming platform or beach at Woody Island’s Shearwater Bay.
Snorkelling at Woody Island, near Esperance. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.
• Munglinup Beach
Location: Munglinup Beach Road, Munglinup WA
Distance from Perth: 6.5 hr | 1 hr 30 min from Esperance Bay Holiday Park
A great beach with a genuine sense of seclusion, Munglinup has a protected shallow reef area and protected lagoon at the Western end, and is absolutely ideal for snorkelling. You can take your 4WD on the beach here too.
• Hellfire Bay
Location: Hellfire Road, Cape Le Grand WA
Distance from Perth: 8 hr | 45 min from Esperance Bay Holiday Park
Sandwiched between scenic granite rocks and nestled within the scenic Cape Le Grand National Park, Hellfire Bay has a shaded picnic area with BBQ facilities overlooking clear aquamarine waters that are ideal for snorkelling and swimming.
• Wharton Beach
Location: Wharton Road, Cape Le Grand WA
Distance from Perth: 8 hr 20 min | 60 min from Esperance Bay Holiday Park
Wharton Beach will blow you away. Just over an hour’s drive from Esperance town centre, in the Cape Le Grand National Park, Wharton Beach is home to some of the clearest waters in WA, so bring your surf or paddleboard and spend a day riding the waves, or snorkelling underneath them. You can drive your 4WD onto the beach from the south-east end, which is also the best spot to snorkel, tucked in behind the point in front of the lookout.
• Blue Haven
Location: Twilight Beach Road, Esperance WA
Distance from Perth: 7 hr 39 min | 5 min from Esperance Bay Holiday Park
With rocky cliffs on each of this curved white sandy beach, Blue Haven is a sheltered haven protected from the winds, especially in the morning, making for idyllic swimming and snorkelling conditions.
• Lucky Bay
Location: Lucky Bay Road, Esperance WA
Distance from Perth: 8 hr 11min | 45 mins from Esperance Bay Holiday Park
A picturesque bay with an iconic white beach. Located in the beautiful Cape Le Grand National Park, Lucky Bay boasts clear azure waters, 5 km stretch of pristine white sands and plenty of resident roos just like all the brochures say. Offshore is what we’re interested though, and there’s great snorkelling here, especially at the right-hand end of the bay.
One of Western Australia’s best snorkelling spots, Lucky Bay, Western Australia. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.
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