Best Snorkeling Locations in Sydney

We’ve put together the ultimate list of the best snorkeling spots in Sydney, they’re in no particular order so feel free to have a read and go explore them ASAP.

You won’t be disappointed with any of these locations.

Bare Island

Bare Island

You can’t go wrong for Sydney snorkeling locations if you head to one of the most popular locations Bare Island.

The islet is located approx. 16km south east of the Sydney CBD and is found within Botany Bay and close to the bay’s northern headland.

This area is a state heritage listed area which means it’s protected and in great condition.


Access & Popularity
The easiest way to access Bare Island is via the footbridge that connects the island to the mainland.

This location is a very popular location and can get very busy with both scuba divers and snorkelers, so be prepared for this. It is a beautiful location and although it’s busy on the weekends it’s still worth the trip.

Tip – Try a weekday if you want less of a crowd.


Visibility & Sea Life
There are multiple little spots you can find at Bare Island that have great visibility. Head to the western side if you want the best view and be prepared to see a variety of sea life situated within the amazing sponge gardens such as Red Indian fish, big belly sea horses, sea dragons, pygmy pipe horses and gurnards.

At certain times of the year such as late winter people have reported to have seen grey nurse sharks and seals. Port Jackson sharks are also quite common

Head to the eastern coast if you want to check out the rocky reef.


Bare Island was part of the traditional land of the Gweagal and Kameygal Aboriginal tribes in 1770. In 1880 a fort was contrasted on the island as it was found that a fort on the island would reduce the odds of a seaborn attack off the coast of Sydney.

It took 5 years for the construction to be completed and it came at a cost of £34,000. In 1890 a Royal Commission found that the construction was faulty due to inferior concrete. The fort was made redundant and by 1902 Bare Island was no longer a military fortification.

In 1912 the island became a retirement home for war veterans and continued to operate that way until 1963. After this it was transferred to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service where it has been used ever since as a museum and tourist attraction.