Pack the snorkel and flippers because we’re seeking out the best snorkelling Perth has to offer!
We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Countries on which these adventures take place who have occupied and cared for these lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.
Snorkelling in Perth is easy. I don’t want to boast, but when it comes to seeing a whole new world only a flipper stride from shore, Perth has got it good.
Perth – a city of epic beach sunsets and long stretches of white sandy coastline minus the crowds – is also a primo spot to pull on a snorkel mask, strap on the fins, and float on. The crystal-clear waters off Perth are not only teeming with marine life, but make for a curious adventure navigating around reefs and even shipwrecks!
Time to go with the current and experience Perth’s fun version of peak hour by checking out the best snorkelling spots in Perth.
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1. Mettams Pool
Location: North Beach
Time from Perth: 20 mins
Consider Mettams Pool the crème de la crème when it comes to snorkelling in Perth. Protected from waves with its rock formations, North Beach’s underwater playground has the trifecta – calm waters, abundant marine life, and effortless access from shore. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a Port Jackson Shark lurking around the 1.5 metre limestone reef but don’t worry; they won’t bite.
2. Coogee Maritime Trail
Location: Port Coogee
Time from Perth: 35 mins
Do you want to put your curiosity factor into overdrive? Dive right into the Coogee Maritime Trail.
This favourite Perth snorkel spot at the northern end of Coogee requires that extra bit of exertion, swimming 25 metres to reach the beginning of the trail at Omeo shipwreck.
The iron steamship was built in 1858 in Newcastle, England and travelled to Australia before meeting its fate offshore Fremantle’s shallow waters in 1905.
Nowadays, the centuries-old shipwreck forms part of a 200 metre maritime trail. Along this unique underwater concourse, you’ll see a purpose-built reef filled with a diverse range of marine flora, view underwater sculptures such as an old cannon, and immerse yourself in maritime history, aided by imperative panels. And, of course, meet its colourful residents. There’s also a giant starfish sculpture you can swim through, making it a memorable snorkelling spot in Perth.
3. Shoalwater Islands Marine Park
Time from Perth: 50 mins
Heading further south is another one of Perth’s best snorkelling spots and one of the state’s most important protected areas.
Shoalwater Islands Marine Park encompasses over 6000 hectares of nature reserve, stretching from Warnbro Sound in mainland WA to Shoalwater Bay towards the southern tip of Garden Island. Besides snorkelling in shallow lagoons, rocky outcrops, and small bays in Point Peron, keep a keen eye out for the marine park’s other residents: Australian sea lions, Bottlenose dolphins, and penguins.
To ensure you get to see the region’s tuxedo mascot, head to Penguin Island. The small island is conveniently accessed by a five-minute ferry ride with Perth Wildlife Encounters, and here you’ll find the world’s smallest penguins – cue cuteness overload. Enjoy the penguin feeding and meander around the island’s 12.5 hectares before journeying back to the mainland.
Read more: 10 Best Spots for Beach Camping in WA
4. Woodman Point Regional Park
Time from Perth: 35 mins
Another exciting spot to snorkel in Coogee is Woodman Point Regional Park.
The park’s landmark is the T-shaped Woodman Point Jetty, stretching 100 metres from the coast. It was initially constructed in 1903 as an ‘ammunitions’ jetty and ceased operation in 1984. Nowadays, the ‘Ammo’ jetty, as locals affectionally call it, is a Mecca for snorkelling enthusiasts around Perth who are eager to swim above seagrass meadows, sea sponge, and fish aplenty. Seahorses also frequent the area, so keep your eyes peeled for underwater gallops!
5. Boyinaboat Reef
Location: Hillarys Boat Harbour
Time from Perth: 25 mins
North of Perth is the popular Boyinaboat Reef. The popular snorkel and dive site is just 75 metres from the sea wall of the coastal hub, Hillary’s Boat Harbour.
Only six metres deep, expect to find plenty of fish, including the once ‘cockroaches of the sea’ crayfish in and around this limestone reef.
6. Burns Beach
Location: Burns Beach
Time from Perth: 30 mins
Almost fringing Perth is the urban oasis of Burns Beach. It may not entail long stretches of sand like other parts of the city’s coastline, but that doesn’t affect its offerings, oh no. As for marine bingo, expect to find its sheltered reef populated with fish, including dhufish.
7. Yanchep Lagoon
Time from Perth: 45 mins
A 45-minute drive from the Perth CBD, the spectacular enclave, Yanchep Lagoon, extends 300 metres. It woos swimmers and snorkellers with its calm waters and clear visibility, making it a mellow day in the water, especially along the southern end of the lagoon. Exploring its rock barrier to discover what marine life lurks below or relaxing in one of the lagoon’s many rock pools are just some of the ways to enjoy this far-flung part of the coast.
8. Rottnest Island
Time from Perth: 90 mins on ferry
I couldn’t complete this list without mentioning Western Australia’s cherished coastal playground, Rottnest Island. The bike-friendly island, home to those ever-smiling Quokkas, is also the perfect place to flip and flop.
The A-class nature reserve, just 19km west of Perth, is home to 63 pristine beaches and 20 secluded bays. Spoilt for choice? You bet! And within its patchwork of blissfully blue hue waters are over 135 tropical fish species and 25 species of coral. Expect life in technicolour above and below sea level!
As the island is relatively small, it’s leisurely enough to go beach-hopping from one snorkel spot to the next. Some of our favourites include:
Located in the southeast, Henrietta Rocks lures snorkelers to explore its shallow shipwreck, The Shark, which peaks above water. The wreckage dates back to 1939 and forms part of the state’s rich maritime history. Exploring in and around the wreckage is easy and access is only 50 metres from the coast.
Keeping to the southside nearby Henrietta Rocks, is another one of Perth’s top snorkelling sites, Parker Point. Here you’ll find Parker Point Marine Snorkel Trail. It features 12 plaques along the seabed, providing information about the island’s history and marine life as you meander through its coral reefs.
The area also includes a cliff drop-off only recommended for experienced divers to explore the depths below.
Little Salmon Bay
If you want something more easygoing on the flipper strides, head to Little Salmon Bay.
Families flock to this snorkelling spot on Rottnest Island’s southern shore, as this small slice of beach paradise is protected, so is perfect for novice snorkellers. In its shallow lagoon, expect to see corals, rock shelves, and abundant sea life, including different wrasse varieties.
9. Carnac Island Nature Reserve
Location: Carnac Island
Time from Perth: 1 hour 10 mins
Another famed snorkel spot in Perth is Carnac Island Nature Reserve. It’s worth going the distance to this limestone island, 10km off Fremantle, for its endearing residents, the Australian sea lion, the rarest sea lion in the world.
Rottnest has quokkas, Carnac has Australian sea lions… But with the latter, make sure to keep a safe distance as these creatures aren’t so selfie-friendly.
Besides being home to rare creatures, the island is a haven for Bottlenose dolphins and tropical fish, making it a snorkelling delight. Besides the sensory overload underwater, there’s also the perfect excuse to whip out the binoculars, as Carnac Island is an important habitat for seabirds. Wedge-tailed shearwaters and little penguins are some of the nesters on the island.
Accessing the island can be a bit of a mission, as it’s only accessible by private boat or guided tour (sorry, no ferry service here!). But whichever way you choose to get here, it’ll be an adventure well worth the effort!
10. Busselton Jetty
Time from Perth: 2 hours 35 mins
Further afield, ahem, 221km south of Perth, is Busselton. We get that this stretches what constitutes snorkel spots in Perth, but the road trip to this seaside town will satisfy the avid snorkeller. The landmark of this coastal hub is undoubtedly the iconic Busselton Jetty, which extends a whopping 1.8km over Geographe Bay.
The 19th century-built, heritage-listed jetty is ‘the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere’ – a fun fact to keep in mind for the next WA-themed trivia night.
Thanks to the Leeuwin Current delivering warm waters, 300 tropical and sub-tropical marine species, including fish, corals, and sponges, call the jetty’s piles home, making it one of the country’s most colourful artificial reefs.
Perth Snorkel Spots FAQs
Where is the best shore snorkelling in Perth?
Rottnest Island provides some of Perth’s best shore snorkelling opportunities moments from shore. Mettams Pool and Woodman Point Regional Park are also mainland favourites.
Are there coral reefs in Perth?
The best coral reefs near Perth can be found off the coast of Rottnest Island.
What do I need to go snorkelling in Perth?
Make sure to pack your snorkel and fins and if going snorkelling in winter, it’s recommended to wear a wetsuit.
What time of day is best for snorkelling in Perth?
It’s best to go snorkelling in Perth during the morning as winds pick up in the late afternoon.
Perth has ample snorkelling opportunities along the coast with some just a flipper stride from shore. Now it’s up to you to dive in and decide which is your favourite snorkelling spot in Perth!