Forget feeling the sand between your toes, get your toes into some flippers and get those flippers straight into the deep blue and experiencing the best snorkelling to be had near Brisbane.
Snorkelling and exploring the marine life of the deep is not just breathtaking, but arguably the best stress therapy going around. And to top it off? You can’t hear one single annoying voice. Just bubbles, splashes, and the greatest sound of all: silence.
Here’s where to experience the best snorkelling around South East Queensland—and beyond.
Just an hour from Brisbane, the Tangalooma Wrecks offer some of the best snorkelling in South-East Queensland. There are 15 wrecks which were deliberately sunk a few years back, creating a man-made reef; a pretty decent idea considering the thriving ocean life these wrecks have adopted. Expect turtles, wobbegongs, dugongs, and of course, fish galore. Chasing pretty coral? Flinders Reef is five kilometres northwest of the island and features around 100 species of coral and 200 fish species.
North Stradbroke Island
Drifting through the calm waters of Amity Point will make for some fun, chilled snorkel time, but for serious sea-life explorers, you might want to make a bee-line to Point Lookout where all the marine action is. Want to take things to the next level and get cuddly with some manta rays? Manta Lodge & Scuba Centre runs boats out to Manta Bommie—ranked in Australia’s top 10 dive sites—and is a cleaning station for the migratory rays. There’s even octopus, lionfish, and leopard and babboo sharks. Not to mention the guitar sharks (twang!).
If you're new to snorkelling, this is a great place to start as there are many tours that you can jump on to experience the gorgeous underwater views (complete with coral reef) of the Coast in a totally chilled out environment. You do need to get to Wavebreak Island by boat, but you can hire them to get to the island from Surfers Paradise and the Nerang River, or jump on a guided tour.
Take a 10-minute boat ride to Cook Island just off the Tweed Coast for a snorkelling experience to remember. Want to know the best reason to go and check out Cook Islands? Aside from the jaw-dropping beaches you'll be snorkelling with turtles! At Cook Island, you can go on a snorkelling tour or head out by yourself to get a complete view of the island's fish, reef, coral and turtles. Local divers have even named the turtles on Cook Island, so you may find yourself snorkelling alongside Crush, Cookie or Picasso.
Needing your cute turtle fix or maybe your kids are into the teenage mutant type? Hightail it straight to Coolum where there’s a shallow reef just off the cliff’s shore which is home to the gentle giants and many other marine life. The only slight difficulty here, is the reef is quite tricky to get to being at the base of the point’s cliffs and the currents can get a little strong, so we’re reserving this one for the more advanced snorkellers.
Home to an abundance of marine life including dolphins, turtles, stingrays, crayfish, wobbegongs, eel, and starfish, the best snorkelling is on the western side of Mudjimba Island (also known as Old Woman Island) where there’s a massive ledge of vibrant coral and large schools of fish reside. Don't have a boat to get you across to the island? No need to worry—Sunreef Mooloolaba have a Snorkel Mudjimba Island package ($79) which includes the 15-minute boat ride each way, along with all of the snorkelling gear you need (think: mask, wetsuit, fins and snorkel).
Prefer to stay out of the water? Check out where to go kayaking around Brisbane here.
Image credit: Jakob Owens