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Best snorkeling spots in Sydney

Grab your flippers- it’s time to explore what’s below the surface. The Northern Beaches is home to some of the best snorkeling spots in Sydney.

Winter is the perfect time of year to head underwater with clear visibility – go explore where time slows down and the local residents put on a show. You can see large blue gropers, Port Jackson and Wobbegong sharks, cuttlefish and if you’re lucky, weedy sea dragons.

Here is the best snorkeling spots on the Northern Beaches.

1. Shelly Beach, Manly

A short walk from Manly wharf brings you to arguably the best snorkelling spot on the Northern Beaches (Sydney in fact!). Shelly Beach is home to the Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, a safe haven for marine life with a ‘no take’ policy meaning you can’t fish, harm or collect marine animals and plants, whether they are alive or dead.
Over 160 species of fish have been recorded in the reserve so there’s plenty to see.

2. Freshwater Beach

When the conditions are calm, walk around the swimming pool and enter at the inflow (with the rocks on your left). Schools of fish and blue gropers are a great sight to see here.

3. Fairlight Beach

Fairlight is the perfect spot for kids and beginner snorkelers. Visit early morning or evening and spot various fish species and sea slugs.

4. Little Manly Cove

With no waves and calm waters, this is the perfect spot to grab your snorkel and go for a slow and relaxed swim. If you’re really lucky you might spot a seahorse along the tidal pool walls.

5. The Basin

Catch the ferry and go for a real underwater adventure exploring the seagrass beds at The Basin. Keep your eyes peeled for sea horses, leather jackets and starfish.

6. Fishermans Beach, Collaroy

Sitting in Long Reef aquatic reserve, Fishermans Beach is a great spot to see feather stars, heart urchins and sea slugs (also known as nudibranchs).
When exploring our underwater world, please don’t harm, touch or collect marine animals and plants.
If you want more snorkelling tips or ideas on what else to do on your Northern Beaches adventure, come visit us at Hello Manly Visitor Information Centre.

Share the good times with us on Instagram using the hashtag, #hellomanly or tag us, @hellomanlyofficial.