Discover a whole new world beneath the surface, where you can meet a manta ray, race schools of fish, spot hidden treasures in the rock, and enjoy the peaceful shade of the octopus’ garden. Venture down where the seaweed is always greener at Australia’s favourite snorkel spots for families.
Be sure to do your research, visit the nearest information centre and check conditions before you depart to make sure it is suitable for your family.
1. Ningaloo Reef, WA
This reef spans over 260 kilometres, so is a hefty section of coast to explore. If you’re looking to narrow your focus, then we recommend Turquoise Bay or Purdy Point at Coral Bay.
Use Exmouth as your base, and run straight from the white sand into pristine waters to snorkel straight off the shore in the calm bays. You can hire or buy snorkelling gear from the Ningaloo Visitor Centre.
If you’re feeling especially adventurous then why not try your luck spotting majestic, friendly whale sharks, that call this area home.
2. Busselton Jetty, Geographe Bay, WA
Float along down south to Dunsborough and the beautiful Geographe Bay which is calm and sheltered by the landmass of Cape Naturaliste (a snorkeler’s haven!)
Try the Busselton Jetty Experience which takes you to the end of the 1.8km structure for a guided tour through the tropical corals.
3. Jervis Bay, NSW
Jervis Bay is known for the dolphins and whales often found frolicking off its shores. It’s no secret then, that this unspoiled region of southern NSW is a hotspot for swimming among unique marine life. The rock shelves and sea grass are home to the weedy sea dragon and loads of other interesting species for you to find.
4. Ninepin Point Marine Nature Reserve, TAS
Tasmania’s cooler southern waters bring a whole new snorkelling experience to the table. It’s completely different from anything you’ll find further north.
Venture out yourself or tag along on a snorkel tour to make the most of the kelp forests, sponge gardens and abundance of natural habitats.
5. Tangalooma Wrecks, Moreton Island, QLD
Most people don’t look past the snorkelling sensation of the Great Barrier Reef when planning a trip to the tropical north. But do so at your peril. If you’re narrow-sighted you’ll miss out on some of the most unique experiences available close by.
A car ferry, a camping trip and the remote location of Moreton Island off Brisbane add to the charm of exploring this great shipwreck. You’ll feel like an archaeologist or like you’re swimming through a magical dreamscape!
6. Great Barrier Reef, QLD
Last, but definitely not the least, is this beautiful and world-famous stretch of reef attracting thousands of tourists to Queensland each year.
The warm, tropical waters, island groups and numerous tour operators make for a great day out as a family. Popular, family-friendly spots to test out include Heron Island, Lady Elliot Island, Fitzroy Island and Knuckle Reef Lagoon. Options are not restricted to those who want to get wet.
If you’d prefer to enjoy the largest living ecosystem on earth and stay dry, try a glass bottom boat! Tour guides and experts have plenty to share – you’ll learn a lot about how precious these endangered environments truly are.
Janeece Keller is the founder and editor of Family Travel. She mostly travels with her husband and two young kids. She has a large blended family that lives in Australia and Europe. She has visited 52 countries and lived on 3 continents. From camping to luxury resorts Janeece tries to make sure her family has diverse holiday experiences each year. She is an avid hiker and ocean swimmer who loves good food, margaritas and heading off the beaten path.