Saturday, 18 March 2017

Snorkeling in Freshwater Beach, Sydney

Freshwater Beach is one of the best Snorkeling spots in Sydney. The very beginning of Queenscliff Bay on the left side of the beach when facing the ocean is protected by a reef. A huge diversity of fish and saltwater invertebrates inhabit these rocks and it is common to find schools of Yellowfin Breams and Stripeys. This Beach is not as well protected as Clovelly or Shelly Beach and it is thus not the best place to learn snorkeling. But it also means that the water is very clear and only getting cloudy near the beach.

Compilation of videos taken with a GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition while snorkeling in Freshwater Beach/Queensclif Bay:


Freshwater Beach is very close to Manly but it is not as famous. There are less people swimming and snorkling which is very enjoyable. I haven't tried to snorkel on the right side of the beach yet but the rocks on the left side when facing the ocean are suitable for swimming.


Freshwater Beach is one of the northern beaches, very close to Manly. Parking is usually not very difficult if you don't mind walking a few minutes with your flippers and goggles in your hands.

Sydney fish identification chart HD

This chart can be used to identify the common species of fish found while swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving, or captured while fishing in Sydney and in New South Wales. Various signs to help determine fish id are available at the most popular snorkeling place in Sydney like Bare Island, Shelly Beach, Gordon's Bay or Clovelly Beach. Even if they are not complete guides for the identification of fish, they will allow you to determine the most common species and tell you about the legal bag and size limits for saltwater species of fish.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Snorkeling in Bare Island, La Perouse, Sydney

Bare Island in La Perouse in the South of Sydney is a great place to snorkel. It is quite far from the ocean which means the waves are not very strong, but the current is strong enough to prevent the water to get cloudy. The snorkeling spot is inside Botany Bay, it might be possible to snorkel around Bare Island itself but I only snorkeled on the rocks between Congwong and Little congwong beach. Those rocks look safer than the ones on Bare Island itself that are more exposed to the waves and currents. Check for the jellyfish and blue bottles before you get into the water, as they can get stuck in the bay sometimes. You can see quite a good diversity of fish by snorkeling on these rocks, it is likely that you will see some Toad Fish, Grey Sweep, and Red Morwongs. If you are very lucky you might see the Red Indian Fish. Bare Island is also a great spot for scuba diving.

Compilation video of fish seen while snorkeling at Bare Island/Congwong Beach in Botany Bay:


Earth view of Bare Island in Botany Bay, the rocks between Congwong and Little Congwong are suitable for snorkeling. However this spot is probably not the best one to begin snorkeling because the waves are pushing you to the rocks.


Parking is quite easy around the area, Bare Island is a nice place to spend a day at the beach or to snorkel if you live in the South of Sydney and have a car. Be aware that it is very close to the airport so you will hear a plane from time to time:

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Snorkeling in Clovelly Beach, Sydney

Clovelly Beach is a great place to learn snorkeling as it is very well protected from the ocean. This beach is in the South of Sydney between Bronte Beach and Coogee Beach / Gordon's Bay. A very narrow bay goes from Clovelly Beach to the ocean and some large reef protect this bay against the waves and currents. However, because the bay is so well protected, the water is often quite cloudy and if you don't go there on a sunny day you may find it difficult to see the fish and the marine wildlife. If you go snorkeling there you will see the Australian Mado, the Smooth toadfish, many Grey Sweep, and some urchins. If you are lucky you could see the White-ear fish hiding between the rocks.

Compilation of snorkeling videos at Clovelly Beach:


Earth view of Clovelly beach, both sides of this narrow bay are suitable for snorkeling. There is also a swimming rock pool and the rocks on the sides are covered with concrete, with some ladders that allow you to go into the water.


Clovelly beach is a nice place to snorkel if you are a very beginner. Parking can be difficult but a few buses are going there from the center of Sydney:

Snorkeling in Shelly Beach, Sydney

Shelly Beach is probably the best and most accessible spot for snorkeling in Sydney. Shelly beach is a small beach near Manly, it is protected from the ocean by a large reef on the right side of the beach when facing the ocean. This reef protects the Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve against the waves and the currents. Both sides of shelly beach are suitable for snorkelling. It is a good place for beginners and more experienced snorkelers as there is a huge diversity of fishes to see. In Shelly beach it is likely that you will see Blue gropers, Crimsonband Wrasse, Australian Mado, Stripey, Hulafish, and if you are lucky you could even see some sea horses, carpet sharks, dolphins, sea turtles and pilot whales.

Compilation of snorkeling video at Shelly Beach:


Earth view of Shelly beach, you can see on both sides the large rocks that are ideal for swimming and snorkeling.


Shelly beach is a great place to snorkel if you live in Sydney, but don't take your car to go there as the parking is small and expensive. It is quite easy to go there by ferry or by bus.

Snorkeling in Malabar Beach, Sydney

Malabar Beach is a quiet beach in the South of Sydney. It is suitable for snorkeling on both sides of the beach and there is a swimming rock pool on the right side of the bay when facing the ocean. This place is good for snorkeling beginners if you stay near the beach. Be aware that there might be some jellyfish and blue bottles depending on the currents and wind direction. If you go snorkeling at Malabar beach you will see some Stripey, Horned Cowfish, Mado,...


Compilation of snorkeling video at Malabar beach:



Earth view of Malabar Beach, you can see the rocks on the left and right sides of the bay. The large rocks and the shape of the bay are breaking the current and the waves, but blue bottles and jelly fish can get stuck in the bay. In case you cannot go snorkeling you can have a short walk on Malabar Headland National Park to watch the ocean at Boora Point. You can also enjoy the beach and look at the wildlife in the rockpools surrounding the bay at low tide.



Malabar beach is a good place for snorkeling if you live in Sydney and have a car. You should find some free parking spots in the streets around the beach.