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Snorkelling & Diving on the Great Barrier Reef

The vibrant marine life in the Whitsundays is one of the many reasons it is so popular for snorkelling and diving. As part of Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, it is home to a vast range of marine animals; including whales, turtles, giant clams, clownfish, dugongs, sharks and rays.

With warm water all year round, there are underwater experiences for both the qualified scuba diver and the first time snorkeler.

Whitsunday Escape provides snorkelling gear free of charge while scuba gear can be hired from the dive shop located below our office at Abell Point Marina.

Snorkelling & Diving Tips:

  • The best time to see the coral is when the water is 1m to 2.5m high over the reef as this is the optimal depth for visibility.
  • The waters to the north and east of Hook Island and Whitsunday Island have the clearest water.
  • For the first time snorkeler, select protected bays where you can snorkel straight from the beach.
  • For the scuba diver, you could bring your own gear or rent it from the dive shop (you will need to provide a copy of your qualifications).
  • The on-board copy of the cruising guide, ‘100 Magic Miles’, lists dive and snorkel sites.
  • Average sea water temperature ranges from 23° c in the winter months to 27° c in the summer months. Short wetsuits are useful for extended snorkelling or scuba diving in the winter.
  • The wearing of stinger suites or wetsuits is recommended during the summer months to increase protection from jelly fish stings, coral scratches and sunburn. They are available for hire at the dive shop.
  • It is recommend that in order to reduce the risk of being accidentally bitten by a shark, you do not:
    • swim or snorkel between dusk and dawn,
    • in murky waters, or
    • where fish are being caught or cleaned.
  • Whitsunday Escape provides a Freedom 7 shark deterrent device free of charge with each boat. While no one can guarantee their 100% effectiveness, they are the best device available to date and are used by both the Australian and US Navies, commercial divers and recreational spearfisherman. They have also been endorsed by the WA government.

Our favourite snorkelling spots The best scuba diving sites