Snorkelling with turtles in Australia 

Location: Australia

Recommended by Linda of Muy Linda Travels

Snorkelling or swimming with sea turtles is a delightful wildlife experience that people of all ages can enjoy.Australia is the perfect place to find turtles in their natural habitat with many species of turtles living and nesting on the islands and beaches of the Great Barrier Reef. The Low Isles in far north Queensland are one of the best places in Australia to swim or snorkel with turtles as they have a large population of resident Green Turtles. There were 3 turtle sightings on my snorkelling adventure in the Low Isles.

How do I know it’s ethical?

While turtle sightings are common in the Low Isles, they are not guaranteed, and all visitors to the Marine National Park are asked to keep a few metres distance between themselves and any turtles they might see. Feeding, touching or chasing marine life is discouraged. 

Description of the Experience

In the Low Isles, the water is warm, calm, and shallow and you can swim or snorkel directly from the beach. This makes snorkelling in the Low Isles ideal for beginners and for those who are less confident in the water or just want to relax. Colourful coral reefs surround the Low Isles and, beneath the surface of the water, just a few metres from the shore, is a fascinating underwater world with brightly coloured fish, giant clams and many different species of hard and soft corals. Green sea turtles nest here and there are often multiple sightings on a morning or afternoon snorkelling trip.  

Turtles are graceful creatures and move through the water in an unhurried way. It’s a real thrill to watch as a turtle glides slowly past when you’re swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the Low Isles. 

Snorkelling with turtles in the Low Isles involves a short transfer by boat from Port Douglas on the mainland to the Low Isles. Snorkel gear and wetsuits are provided and there’s provision for changing on the boat. A smaller boat takes you to the beach for a guided snorkel tour of the reef. A guided reef tour in the glass bottom boat is an option If you don’t want to get wet. Free time follows the tour, and you can swim, snorkel, and explore on your own or simply relax on the beach. After a short island tour, the boat takes you back to Port Douglas. 

Company/ Cost: 


The Low Isles is located within the Marine National Park on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, 15 kilometres from Port Douglas in far north Queensland. Access is by boat and the crossing takes around half an hour. The trip can sometimes be rough so it’s best to be prepared. If you’re prone to seasickness, take a tablet around 20 minutes before the boat leaves. 

Company – Calypso / Cost- AUD$206 

I can recommend the Calypso half-day snorkel trip. I really enjoyed the experience with Calypso and would choose this company again although several other companies take visitors to the Low Isles. 

A sea turtle in Australia. Photo by Muy Linda Travels.

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This is one post on a series of ethical animal tourism posts by travel content creators. The experiences cover all seven continents and a variety of animals. Ensure that your animal experience is an ethical one.

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