You don’t need to be a diver to experience the underwater magic on Lady Elliot Island. Snorkelling is a great way to get up close and personal with the amazing marine life and explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkelling on the reef surrounding Lady Elliot island is accessible straight off the beaches or guests can book on to one of the daily glass bottom boat/guided snorkel tours or snorkel safaris.
There are two entry sites on the western side of the island, Lighthouse and Coral Gardens and the Lagoon on the eastern side of the island. The lagoon is ideal for novice snorkellers (tide dependant) and you'll find enough tropical fish, colourful coral, sea cucumbers, starfish, sea urchins, clams and turtles to keep you entertained for hours. In fact many very experienced snorkelers have declared that some of the most amazing snorkel adventures anywhere in the world have been had in the safety and security of Lady Elliot’s beautiful blue Lagoon.
The western side of the Island provides a deeper snorkelling adventure for the more experienced snorkellers. This is where you will find the Mega Fauna such as Mantas, Reef Sharks, Dolphins and Whales as well as the abundant corals and fish that make up the remarkable biodiversity of this unique Coral Cay.
Snorkelling does not require a Medical Questionnaire or a Dive Medical in Australia, but it can be a strenuous physical activity that may increase the health and safety risks for persons suffering from any medical condition that may be made worse by physical exertion (such as heart disease, asthma and lung disease), any medical condition that can result in loss of consciousness (such as epilepsy or diabetes), or having a low level of personal fitness due to age or physical condition. Some medical conditions, such as asthma and respiratory disease, may also be aggravated simply through exposure to cold water or salt water mist.
Snorkelling lessons for beginners, or people wanting a quick refresher, are conducted in the resort pool daily. If you want some hints and tips on how best to snorkel bring your snorkel equipment for an introductory lesson. Please register at the Dive Shop.
Beach Snorkelling (Self-Guided)
Self-guided beach snorkelling is an activity that you can participate in at any time. Why not try one of our snorkel trails as detailed on the Snorkel Trail Map. Depending on your level of experience, you can choose from the Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced snorkel trails.
Safe Snorkelling Practices:
- Check the tides and prevailing conditions with the Dive Shop before entering the water and avoid areas where waves are breaking.
- Take note of the current direction and tide times, especially when snorkelling on western side of island.
- Only snorkel in the Lagoon during recommended times, based on high tide.
- Never snorkel after consuming alcohol.
- Always snorkel with another person (buddy) and ensure you stay together and keep a close eye out for each other.
- Know your own limitations and don’t exceed them.
- Use the entry/exit channels marked on the map.
- Keep clear of moving vessels at all times.
Please Protect our Reef:
Please ensure that your snorkelling activities do not harm the reef environment:
- Never rest or stand on coral, it’s a living creature!
- When snorkelling in the lagoon find a patch of sand if you need to stand up.
- Be careful not to kick the coral with your fins.
- Look, but don’t touch any sea creatures.
- Take only memories and photos. It is a legal offence in the Marine Park to remove or cause any damage to coral, shells etc.
Enjoy snorkelling as long as you like but it’s important to watch those tides and currents, cover up and wear plenty of sunscreen.
Download Safety Information for Snorkellers: