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Top snorkeling spots in Australia

012809	Diving - Great Barrier Reef

AUSTRALIA  has some of the best snorkeling spots in the world. If you’re heading to the Australian coast this summer, consider discovering the beauty of the underwater world with snorkeling. Join a guided tour or grab your snorkeling gear and swim through some of the most spectacular marine areas – anybody can do it.

Here are some of Australia’s best places to snorkel.

Ningaloo Reef, WA

Check out the whale sharks, manta rays, turtles and humpback whale at certain times of the year around this incredible section of the world. Some of Ningaloo’s hotspots are:

The Oyster Stacks. Five isolated islets which protrude from the reef and are covered with oysters. It’s also home to a variety of colourful fish. Best accessed during high or incoming tide.

Turquoise Bay. Absolutely stunning and is widely considered by many to be one of the area’s best snorkeling spots. Beginners who don’t want to deal with currents can simply step off the beautiful sandy beach of Turquoise Bay and swim right into the coral section.

Geographe Bay, WA

While Geographe Bay has many popular attractions, snorkeling off this pristine coastline in the state’s south-west is the number one experience for anybody visiting the region.

Busselton Jetty. The heritage listed Busselton Jetty is the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere, extending 1.8 kilometres across the bay. Dive into the surrounding waters surrounding to discover the 300 different marine species living below the jetty.

See something different at Shelly Cove, located at the end of Bunker Point. It’s a wonderful place to snorkel, with limestone cliffs towering above and gorgeous pebbles and shells of all colours and patterns scattered across the seabed.

Great Barrier Reef (pictured)

The world’s longest coral reef system has inner reefs, which comprise of softer corals, and outer reefs, where you’ll find harder corals. It’s definitely worth visiting both if you’ve got the time. However, the GBR stretches for over 2,300 kilometres, so we’ve narrowed it down to the three best snorkeling spots for you.

Agincourt Reef: located on the very outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Because of its distance, fewer travellers visit. Here, unique reefs known as ‘ribbons’ run parallel to the continental shelf, offering vibrant coral gardens.

Lady Elliot Island, Southern Great Barrier Reef: the lagoon on the island’s eastern side is ideal for beginners, with an abundance of colourful coral and tropical fish, along with sea cucumbers, starfish, sea urchins and gorgeous turtles. More experienced snorkelers can head to the deeper western side, where you’ll encounter mantas, reef sharks and dolphins.

Orpheus Island: this world-class snorkel site is situated just north of Townsville. Researchers regularly study this gorgeous section of the reef because of it’s fantastic variety of marine life. There are thousands of damsel fish and hundreds of giant clams, which have been seen to squirt water at low tide!

Lord Howe Island, NSW

Situated at the crossroads of five major ocean currents, Lord Howe Island is renowned for its pristine waters. Some of the best snorkeling spots include:

North Bay: a secluded beach, accessible only by foot or water. In these waters explore the colourful fish and coral, and also the shipwreck of the Favourite, which has been lying on the ocean floor since 1965.

Erscott’s Hole: among the luscious coral garden, including Staghorn coral, you may spot the amazing Double Header Wrasse or the Blue Fish, which can change its body colour from dark green to sky blue within seconds.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Brianna Piazza is an Australian television reporter and part-time travel blogger. Originally from Melbourne, she's currently living in Cairns where she works for WIN News and spends her weekends exploring the outdoors Far North Queensland.

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