The weather is starting to cool down but that doesn't mean you should shy away from the coast. In fact, Autumn is an excellent time to snorkel the seas of Jervis Bay. The ocean is getting calmer and the beaches are far less crowded. Swim your way through the unspoilt waters and get up close and personal with a huge variety of marine life - there are plenty of opportunities to clearly spot many species of fish, stingrays, seals, sea urchins and even some octopus and sea hares if you're really lucky! We've popped together a list of the slightly more secluded locations throughout the bay, hand-picked by our local snorkelling experts. Head on out to any of these tried and tested hotspots for an underwater adventure to remember.
1. Shark Net Beach, Huskisson
Pack your snorkel and goggles and take a dip just south of popular Huskisson Beach at the quieter Shark Net Beach. This beach is 170m long with a low rocky shore that's known for its incredibly calm swell. It's quite rare that you will ever need to contend with choppy waves here so it's an ideal spot to peacefully swim and snorkel for the day. The water is so crystal clear at Shark Net, giving snorkellers ample opportunity to clearly spot a huge variety of marine life and habitats under the sea. Located close to the Jervis Bay hub of Huskisson, there are plenty of shops and eateries nearby so you can refuel on your adventure.
2. Plantation Point, Vincentia
Plantation Point is an idyllic place to set up for a day of relaxing coastal exploration. The lush trees that stand tall above the beach make this location feel incredibly peaceful and secluded. Who knows, you might even get the whole beach to yourself! On one side of this headland lies Barfleur Beach, and a short stroll through the reserve will lead you to Nelsons Beach on the other side. Both beaches are excellent places to dive in on a snorkelling expedition, with fantastic visibility for fish and the chance to spot all the wonderful colours and shapes of seaweed and algae elegantly dancing in the sea. Plantation Point Reserve is also fully equipped with picnic tables, BBQs and a children's playground, making it a top pick for snorkel loving families.
3. Greenfield & Blenheim Beaches, Vincentia
Another couple of great snorkelling destinations in Vincentia are Greenfield Beach and Blenheim Beach, conveniently connected by the stunning White Sands Walk. Greenfield Beach is filled with sparkling white sand and is nicely tucked away from the hustle and bustle. The waves aren't too harsh here so it's a great place for new snorkellers to get a taste for the sport. On the other end of the walk at Blenheim Beach, you'll find the ultimate bush to beach experience. The tall, sloping trees offer some welcoming shade and this area is known by locals to offer up some of the best snorkelling in the bay. There's an abundance of marine life that can be spotted here and if you happen to be visiting during winter, you might even get a chance to catch the awesome humpback whale migration!
4. Green Patch Beach, Booderee National Park
Green Patch Beach is a popular snorkelling spot for the younger ones and those who are just starting out. The calm and safe water makes for a great environment to learn the ropes. This beach is located inside Booderee National Park, filled with tonnes of local wildlife including wallabies, lorikeets and echidnas. You'll be able to spot these lovely creatures on the land but also catch a glimpse of octopus, squid and many species of fish that often swim about around the rock platforms. While you're here, be sure to venture along the easy Telegraph Creek Walking Trail that gives visitors a great insight into the surrounding vegetation.
5. Murrays Beach, Booderee National Park
Just a stone's throw from Green Patch and at the very end of the bay, you'll find the white sand beauty of Murrays Beach. Several short walking trails will lead you here from Green Patch - make sure to check out Scottish Rocks and the Hole in the Wall along the way! The towering sandstone cliffs at Murrays are a captivating sight, extending all the way down the eastern coast of the peninsula and around to St George Head on the southern side of the promontory. Snorkelling spots are abundant - there are shallow and deep-water rock reefs, sand zones, seagrass meadows, silty sand-flats, platforms and caves to explore. If you happen to be here at the right place and right time, you may even see squid mating and laying their eggs!
6. Little Hyams Beach
Hyams Beach is our most famous white sand beach in Jervis Bay - but did you know it has a baby brother tucked away just towards its north? Little Hyams Beach (also known as Hyams Point) is more secluded, less crowded and still boasts impressive crystal clear water that provides excellent snorkelling conditions. Blue Gropers, rock fish and small stingrays are often spotted here. A couple of minutes further north from Little Hyams will lead you to Chinamans Beach, which is another local snorkelling secret. A hot tip would be to try and catch a sunrise or sunset at either of these beaches, the stunning colours of Mother Nature are truly a sight for sore eyes.
7. Beecroft Peninsula & Point Perpendicular
Rocky areas around Jervis Bay are usually teeming with fish and marine life of all descriptions. So if you feel up for it, venture out by boat to Beecroft Peninsula with Crest Diving or Dive Jervis Bay and go on sea cave snorkelling adventure. These expert operators will take care of all the hard stuff and guide you through this fascinating underwater world. There are many impressive sea caves all along the base of the headland that are home to an army of wonderful sea creatures. A guided tour is great because it caters to all experience levels and lets you tap into all that insider knowledge, direct from the locals. For a more tranquil snorkelling expedition in more sheltered waters, make a trip to Honeymoon Bay. This picturesque beach is family friendly, easy to reach and lies just along the main road that leads to Point Perpendicular Lighthouse.
Swim & Snorkel with Care
Jervis Bay Marine Park, with its pristine water and stunning coastline, is a hugely popular snorkelling destination. It's an absolute paradise for water babies looking for some adventure. This whole region, though, is a protected environment, so please do be mindful not to disturb any natural habitats and make sure to check the guidelines on how to interact with endangered marine species. One of the reasons why Jervis Bay is so special is because there's a myriad of wildlife that can hopefully call this place home for many generations to come.