Amazing Snorkeling Spots Near Perth So far
Perth’s island playground, Rottnest is just a short ferry ride from the mainland and a world away from city life. For such a tiny island, this car-free and carefree Class A reserve packs a lot of pleasure into a day. Getting to “Rotto”, as the locals affectionately call it, is a breeze. Just 19 kilometres off the coast, ferries depart from Fremantle, Perth’s Barrack Street Jetty and Hillarys Marina. You can opt to arrive in by helicopter, air taxi, or even cruise across in your own boat.
63 stunning beaches, 20 beautiful bays, coral reefs and wrecks invite you to some of Australia’s finest swimming spots. In addition there are snorkel trails and surf breaks too. On dry land, you’ll meet the cutest mini marsupial, found only in Western Australia, the world famous quokka. There are many unique plant and animal species too.
With no cars on the roads, bicycle hires are available at the ferry terminals and on the island. If that’s too much effort, you can hop on and off the Bayseeker Bus. It has regular runs around the island, dropping you off at some of the more secluded beaches and surf breaks.
More family fun in the form of golf, tennis, shopping and guided tours can be found in Thomson Bay, as well as cafes, restaurants and takeaway options.
Tours on land and sea offer insightful experiences, from wildlife encounters with quokkas, seals, ospreys and whales. In addition there are history and cultural tours bringing Rottnest’s colorful maritime, convict, colonial and World War II heritage vividly to life.
Journey Back in Time
A stroll through the main settlement is a journey back in time which includes colonial cottages, salt Store and Lomas Cottage, dating back to the mid-1800s. The grand buildings and quaint holiday cottages commissioned by Perth’s Governor in the nineteenth century are still a favorite. The old barracks are a good budget option for camping and backpacking.
Mountain Biking, Birdwatching, Camping, Cycling, Scuba Diving, Fishing, Sailing, Snorkelling, Surfing, Swimming, Walks
Located 45 minutes south of Perth and a five minute ferry ride across Shoalwater Bay, Penguin Island is one of Australia’s premier nature based tourism destinations. The star attraction is the little penguin – the smallest species in the world. Visitors can get up close to the penguins at the Discovery Centre. The rangers host three daily penguin feedings (costs may apply). This is your opportunity to them as they’re shy and spend most daylight hours feeding at sea or hidden in their burrows.
Penguin Island lies in the heart of the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park which abounds with wildlife including dolphins, sea lions, stingrays, pelicans and seabirds. Underwater there are reefs and sea-grass meadows for snorkelers to enjoy. Nature lovers can explore boardwalks and lookouts. Enjoy a picnic overlooking a beach – perfect for children to have a swim while parents relax.
Penguin Island closes from early June to 14 September each year for the little penguin nesting season. Rockingham Wild Encounters operates an hourly ferry service to Penguin Island from 15 September to early June (costs apply). They also offer a range of cruises to explore more of the marine park.
Bird watching, Boating, Scuba Diving, Sailing, Snorkelling, Surfing, Swimming
Marmion Marine Park
Marmion Marine Park is a snorkelling and diving playground of limestone reefs, ledges, caves, swim-throughs and crystal-clear lagoons. It’s also a top spot for whale watching (in season).
Novice Friendly Snorkel Spot
The marine park stretches north from Trigg Island, a 20-minute drive from the center of Perth and a short boat ride from the launch sites at Hillarys Boat Harbour and Ocean Reef. There’s even a novice-friendly snorkel spot you can access off the beach at Mettams Pool.
Seabirds, dolphins, sea lions, rays and a huge diversity of other marine species call this coast home. Migrating humpback whales can also be spotted between the months of September and December. Hop on a whale watching tour at Hillarys Boat Harbour to get a closer look at these majestic visitors.
Private Dive Charters
Private dive charters will take you out to explore Boyinaboat Reef, North Lump, Whitfords Rock, Wreck Rock, Wanneroo Reef, Cow Rocks and the wreck of the Centaur.
Throw in a line from the designated shore fishing spots and you could hook some herring, skippy and tailor. Or join a fishing charter and head out beyond the sanctuary zones to chase a bigger catch.
Scuba Diving, Fishing, Snorkelling, Swimming
A family favorite on Perth’s Sunset Coast, Burns Beach is a sheltered swimming spot that sits within the wildlife-rich waters of Marmion Marine Park. Walk the coastal path, relax on the white-sand beach, barbecue in the grassed parks, or just sit atop the limestone cliffs and drink in a spectacular Indian Ocean sunset.
Driving north from Perth on the Mitchell Freeway, you can escape to Burns Beach within just 30 minutes, or take the train to Joondalup, hop on a bus and you’ll be there in under an hour.
Half Day Cycle
Make the journey part of your adventure by walking or cycling the Sunset Coast trail to Burns Beach, taking in sweeping views of the rugged limestone cliffs, wild coastal heathland and clear lagoons. The half-day cycle from Marmion to Burns Beach is approximately 14 kilometres.
Watch for seabirds, dolphins, sea lions, rays and a huge diversity of other species from the lookout points. Interpretive signs along the way provide insights into the native flora, fauna and history of the area.
Throw in a Line
Dine ocean-side at the café, or try chasing the herring, Skippy and tailor by throwing in a line from the groyne or northern end of the beach.
Jurien Bay has earned a place in the hearts of holidaymakers, as well as fishing, diving and snorkelling enthusiasts. Under sunny skies for the majority of the year, this fishing town is blessed with sandy beaches, colorful offshore reefs, amazing marine life and a thriving cray fishing industry.
If you hit the Indian Ocean Drive north of Perth, travel along this scenic drive to Jurien Bay in just 2.5 hours, passing pristine beaches, towering dunes and spring wildflowers.
Sheltered by a string of islands and limestone reefs, the snorkelling and diving here is first rate. There are underwater caves and coral gardens covered in colorful sponges waiting to be explored. Protected by the Jurien Bay Marine Park, these habitats are also a haven for the rare Australian sea lion.
Join a fishing charter for close encounters with visiting sea lions, dolphins and, during the migration season from June to December, graceful humpback whales.
Wild Flower Hotspot
If you’re in Jurien Bay around August/September time, prepare to be dazzled by another wonder of nature when native flora transforms the Jurien Bay area into a carpet of color. It is one of the top wildflower hotspots in the world. More than 900 stunning varieties can be found in Lesueur National Park, just a half hour drive east of Jurien Bay.
Nambung National Park
To the south, Mother Nature has also created one of the most unique lunar-like landscapes on the planet – the Pinnacles of Nambung National Park. Formed over millions of years, thousands of tall limestone spires rise eerily out of the yellow desert sands. It is an incredible sight to behold at sunrise or sunset.
Sandy Cape Recreational Park
In the opposite direction, heading north of Jurien Bay, Sandy Cape Recreational Park is the ideal spot to set up camp on the beachfront and indulge in some of Western Australia’s best swimming, coastal walks and beach fishing.
Alternatively, if you seek more creature comforts or the convenience of Jurien Bay’s facilities, there is a great selection of accommodation in town to suit all tastes and budgets.
Bird watching, Boating, Camping, Fishing, Sailing, Scuba Diving, Snorkelling, Surfing, Swimming, Walks
Like this, Read this: The Best Places To Snorkel In Perth