March 13th, 2020
Even though we’re marching so quickly into 2020 that it’s pretty much March, that doesn’t mean summer has left us – far from it in fact, and turns out this time of year is actually a pretty great one to go snorkelling.
High pressure systems dominate at this time of year, which not only means more warm weather, it also means consistent easterly winds (often all day) meaning there’s ample opportunity to cool off at the beach.
One fun way to cool off at the beach is to take some snorkelling gear, and here are a few of the best places to hit up around Perth, going north to south (trying to keep close-ish, for now):
Yanchep beach up to is a popular swimming and fishing spot that also serves as a gateway to the coral coast (Lancelin, Cervantes, Jurien Bay etc.), but if you’re trying to stay close enough to Perth it’s a great start. The lagoon shape of the reef offers some nice protection from the elements, and maintains visibility to help you see all kinds of reef creatures, coral and crays.
Burns Beach isn’t a huge beach in terms of just boring old sand, but that makes it a more enticing spot to get away from the crowds. There’s a big old chunk of rocky reef not too far off the shore, teaming with reef fish in a relatively protected area. Experienced swimmers/divers can dare venture further offshore to look out for some slightly larger monsters of the deep.
Mettams Pool / Marmion Marine Park
Marmion Marine Park takes in a large stretch of the coast from Hillarys down to North Beach, with a variety of different options for different levels of experience. Mettams Pool is an obvious and popular choice thanks to its proximity to shore and relative protection, but more experience snorkelers are encouraged to explore outwards from there.
Rottnest is arguably the cream of WA’s crop when it comes to snorkelling. The variety of places to dive are unparalleled, with a host of different environments to choose from, and bays to visit no matter what way the wind’s blowing. From trails like Parker Point, to the shipwreck at Henrietta Point and more protected bays like Little Parakeet or Little Salmon, there are fish-filled wonders all over the island to enjoy..
North Leighton/South Cottesloe
An under-appreciated little area for snorkelling is the long stretch of beach south of the Cottesloe Groyne. While it’s a little more exposed to the elements (so requires more favourable wind and swell than some other places), it has plenty to offer pretty close to the beach.
We went on a deep dive (heh!) into the Omeo Wreck at Coogee right HERE, so check out all the info you need for one of Perth’s coolest snorkelling spots. A shipwreck, just metres off the beach, it’s also now a full-blown maritime trail, with underwater art galleries, selfie portholes and more.
Ammo Jetty is a popular fishing and diving spot, and can be suitable for snorkelling in the shallower areas. It’s relatively protected, although you’ll still want to get there when the seabreeze isn’t, so why not head down early for a snorkel, before enjoying a picnic in the playgrounds at Woodman Point. The shallower areas are mostly seagrass, although filled with all kinds of undersea wildlife, and there are crevices and caves as you head further out.
Shoalwater Islands Marine Park/Point Peron/Penguin Island
Venturing further south to Rockingham and you’ll find a playground for marine life of all shapes and sizes, including big mammals like sea lions and dolphins to go with an abundance of fish, stingrays and maybe the odd penguin. If you head at the right time of year, you might even catch some migrating Hammerhead Sharks! The limestone reefs occupy fairly shallow waters, so are suitable for snorkelers of all ages, just get in before the wind does.
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