As you might have seen, we’re on a bit of a snorkelling tip lately, fishing out some of the best spots close to home.
As with many outdoors activities in Western Australia, the further you head out – the better it gets, and if you’re heading up north towards the coral coast anytime soon, Turquoise Bay is an absolute must-do.
What Is It:
Regularly voted as one of the best beaches in Australia, let alone just this state, Turquoise Bay is your gateway to the famed Ningaloo Reef.
Long, white sandy beaches roll into some of the most crystal clear waters in the country, laying home to vibrant coral garden beds easily accessed just a short swim off the beach.
Where Is It:
Part of the Cape Range National Park, it’s a relatively short drive from the main township of Exmouth, itself a 14-hour drive (or two hour flight) from Perth.
From Exmouth it’s just a 50-minute drive along Yardie Creek Road, easily accessible by normal 2WD cars.
What To Do:
Snorkel baby! Turquoise Bay is an incredible spot to see some effervescent reef fish, along with bigger beauts like turtles, reef sharks (small ones) and stingrays. It’s also unique in that you can drift snorkel, that is, jump in at one end of the beach and let the prevailing currents float you along the reef.
To do this, simply jump in at the southern end, let the current take you along the reef, and then jump out at the sand bar. For this reason it’s important you’re confident in your swimming abilities (it’s also recommended to use flippers), and talk to local guides and check the conditions before entering the water.
This video lays it out pretty nicely:
Outside of snorkelling Turquoise Bay is quite simply a bloody great beach to park up for the day with an esky and a nice big umbrella.
What Not To Do:
Enter the water without first assessing all the risks. Along with strong currents and some large swells, some marine life can be dangerous.
Go snorkelling during low tide. It’s recommended to go snorkelling here during a tide of 1.2m or higher, to make sure you don’t damage the delicate coral reefs in the area.
Hot tip: If the 14-hour commute from Perth is a little intimidating for you, Qantas have extended their cheap flights to Exmouth trial, going one-way, Friday-Sunday for as little as $169 (more info HERE).
If you’re not a super confident snorkeler, there are plenty of snorkelling tour operators in the area, take a look around and find one suitable for you to help you get the most out of your Turquoise Bay snorkelling experience!
Cover photo thanks to Tourism WA