Pull out the watersports gear, get the whole family together, and head for one of these gentle spots for a summer snorkeling adventure.
Great Keppel Island, Queensland
Not only is Great Keppel Island a top spot for a low-key family holiday on the Southern Great Barrier Reef, but you can snorkel directly off the shore – good news for seasickness sufferers. Take a short ferry ride from Yeppoon to land on this budget-friendly isle with 17 sandy-bottomed beaches and 1500ha of native flora and fauna to explore. The best snorkeling is at Shelving Beach, Monkey Point, and Clam Bay.
Port Noarlunga, SA
Head 30km south of Adelaide to the russet sandstone cliffs and long jetty that reaches into Gulf St Vincent at Port Noarlunga. This protected aquatic reserve is the perfect introductory spot for families to test out their snorkeling gear between the pylons, with up to 50 fish species to play eye spy with. After you’re done snorkeling, there’s fishing, surfing, and kayaking on the menu here.
Green Patch Beach
Strike out from Sydney and head to Booderee National Park at Jervis Bay. The white sands and turquoise seas are showstoppers in summer, to be sure, but an even bigger drawcard is the marine life you’ll spy while snorkeling around the rock platforms at Green Patch Beach. A short walk away, there’s more underwater action at Scottish Rocks, while the Aboriginal-owned national park also runs a cultural program for kids.
The Octopuses Garden Trail, Victoria
Fun fact: 85-90 percent of species found in Victoria’s reefs are not found anywhere else in the world, including the Great Barrier Reef. So mask up – with your snorkel, that is – and follow the 200m Octopuses Garden snorkeling trail beneath the pylons of Rye Pier and see how many you can find. Underwater signs explain the sea life in the area as you drift and keep watch for seahorses, schooling fish, rays, and even the odd penguin.
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