Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef

Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef

Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most popular pastimes when visiting The Whitsundays. During one of your day trips out onto the reef you will witness an abundance of marine life and different corals underneath the sea.

Here’s some of the common things you will see on your snorkel adventure:


Corals are marine invertebrates and are everywhere on the Great Barrier Reef. You may see staghorn, brain, plate, mushroom, slipper, microatoll and bommies when below the waterline and sometimes from above. Staghorn and plate corals are the most abundant types of coral you will encounter when snorkelling and are easily spotted.


Molluscs are the second largest phylum of invertebrate animals and include clams, mussels, slugs, snails and octopi. In the Whitsundays, you may see some species from this group such as giant clams, which have colourful fleshy lips, cone shells, which are extremely deadly if handled or touched, and sea slugs, which look like colourful kaleidoscopes of colour in the form of a slug.


Echinoderms are invertebrates recognizable by their radial symmetry and include sea cucumbers, starfish and sea urchins, among other animals. Sea cucumbers are easy to spot, as they are long and spherical, like that of a real cucumber. They are slow moving and dark brown or black, making them easy to spot.


There are thousands of species that live in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, many of which you will see on any snorkelling trip. They come in an amazing range or sizes, colours and shapes. Some of the more common types are Angelfish, Butterfly Fish, Cardinal Fish, Clown Fish, Damselfish, Gobies, Groupers and Cods, and pretty Parrotfish.

Sea Turtles

Possibly one of the most sought after prizes on a snorkel trip is an encounter with a Sea Turtle. Six out of the seven species of Sea Turtles in the world live on the Great Barrier Reef. The most commonly spotted in the Whitsundays is the green sea turtle, which can often be found munching on coral.

To arrange a snorkelling contact Palm Bay Resort. All tours can be booked direct by contacting 1300 655 126 or email

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