We love nothing better than a boating adventure to one of our favourite snorkelling spots. Here's our top 5 favourite places to snorkel. Number 5 isn’t in Queensland though, but I thought it deserved a place on this list given it’s uniqueness and the opportunity to snorkel with an animal not usually found in Queensland.
That said, Queensland is home to some of the most beautiful and remote snorkelling locations in the world. The most obvious is the Great Barrier Reef. So, let’s start with our number one, Lady Musgrave.
1. Lady Musgrave Island
Our number one is Lady Musgrave Lagoon located at Lady Musgrave Island on the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Lady Musgrave is a 14 hectare coral cay with a 1,192 hectares of surrounding reef and is the second most southern island. It is located around 32 nautical miles from Seventeen Seventy. Lady Musgrave Island is home to turtle nesting and around 22 nesting seabirds including the Noddy’s. You can only camp here with a permit, there are only very basic facilities on the island and no running water and compost toilet. This is the reason why we love it so much, it is remote, no resorts and it is largely untouched. Visiting Lady Musgrave by boat and snorkelling the lagoon is an amazing experience, no phone reception, just reef, marine life, magical sunsets and the sound of the ocean.
We started going to Lady Musgrave back in 2017. Back then, it was considered very remote with only the Bundaberg Lady Musgrave Experience Tour boat visiting once a day if the weather was good. Since then, Lady Musgrave HQ has been built. It is a three level pontoon which consists of a dive platform, underwater observatory and on the upper deck overnight glamping facilities.
The snorkelling here is amazing! Extensive reef and marine life given the remote location and the vast lagoon surrounding the Island. Diving the small entrance into the lagoon will leave you in awe. The entrance walls are teaming with marine life coming in and out with the tide. You really will leave this place with a new appreciation for ocean conservation.
2. Mackay Coral Cay – Far North Queensland
Mackay Coral Cay is another snorkel location off the coast of Cape Tribulation in Far North Queensland. There are tour operators that can take you from Port Douglas for the day for snorkelling and exploring. This is one of my favourites, not for the remoteness but because it is home to an abundance of marine life given that the reef is exposed. Snorkelling the outer reef walls you can find an abundance of reef fish, turtles and larger fish, stingrays, giant clams.
3.Butterfly Bay Whitsundays
Butterfly Bay located on Hook Island is a beautiful bay with plunging cliffs on either side. This one is more for boaties given it’s hard to get to location. This bay is protected from most wind conditions from the south/south east. Other snorkel spots not far from here are Maureens Cove and Manta Ray Bay. Manta Ray Bay is more accessible to those without a boat as tour operators operate here daily.
4. Blue Pearl Bay Hayman Island Whitsundays
You may have already guessed, but our favourite long sleeve rash guard crop, the Bluepearl Long Sleeve Crop
is named after this magical bay. Fantastic snorkelling here and in whale season you may see whales passing through the deeper channel. There are bommies here to snorkel near Castle Rock. Dolphin Point is also a great location for diving and snorkelling. Blue Pearl Bay is accessible to boaties and also guests staying on Hayman Island.
5. Port Lincoln South Australia
Here’s a surprise location, not located in Queensland but it is too unique and remote not to mention. Snorkelling with sealions is something you just can't do in Queensland. So it definitely deserves a mention. While visiting Port Lincoln we took the Calypso Star Charters to Hopkins Island. Calypso Star Charters were amazing! Snorkelling with sealions is such a different experience. One I would definitely recommend. Sealions are really interactive and curious animals and it makes for a fun and different snorkel experience. Calypso Charters also offer shark cage diving for the more adventurous.