Gold Coast Seaway Snorkeling
The 40th most popular snorkel dive spot in Queensland.
Sunday 21 January 2018 07:01 GMT
On the northern end of the Gold Coast, the snorkelling in the Gold Coast Seaway is considered by many as the best Queensland coastal dive due to big marine life and year-round diving conditions due to protecting walls. The main seaway dive zone is just inside the dual rock jetty protected entrance which blocks the surf. However, the main challenge is that there is a pretty hefty current, so you’ll want to start snorkeling about a half hour before high tide and preferably in the morning.
While snorkeling the Gold Coast Seaway, you may encounter up to 50 different species of reef fish in waters from shallows down to 15m. Close to the jetty rocks, you’ll see the smaller typical reef fish, but in the deeper water you get a chance to spot cownose rays, whiprays, white-spotted guitarfish, bigeye trevally and Queensland Grouper.
The seaway dive zone is located at the far north end of the Gold Coast. There are five main dive spots near the jetties. The south-central jetty wall is the most poular and is accessible near Doug Jennings Park. It is known for plentiful wrasses, butterflyfish, anglerfish, scorpionfish and has an eagle ray cleaning station. The southwest dive spot has a easy sand water entry and is good for beginners and families. There’s much less rock and more muddy sand, so you’ll tend to see more pipefish, lionfish, clownfish and seahorse among the sea grass. The southeast jetty wall spot is the furthest east on the southern jetty wall and is great for seeing all types of rays, sharks and sea turtles. Look closely among the rocks for resting sea turtles, but don’t disturb them. Since it’s further out, it does catch some wave action and has stronger currents, so exercise care. Across the seaway on the north side, there is another excellent snorkel spot. Also at the eastern end of the northern jetty, you will find the highest concentration of sharks, rays and big grouper. But, it’s much tougher to get to the north side and is best by boat or for very advanced snorkellers. And, you might get there only to find the visibility very poor due to closer exposure to wave action.
The last snorkeling spot in the Gold Coast Seaway is Wave Break Island. It is best explored by boat and near high tide. It is ideal for beginners and families.
The snorkeling in the Gold Coast Seaway can be accessed from shore, but many local snorkelers say its better by boat. When it comes to water visibility, it varies greatly with the direction of the prevailing winds. For example, if the wind is coming from the southeast, then the visibilty can be above 10m. But if the wind is from the northeast, then the visibility will be well below 10m. For the best water clarity, try snorkeling in the Gold Coast Seaway from September thru November. But, keep in mind that the water temperature is cooler then, so you may want a thin neoprene dive shirt. Typically, the water temperature ranges from 26C in the summer months to 18C in the winter months.
Overall, Gold Coast Seaway is the 40th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 43 snorkeling dives in Queensland. Several of the better snorkeling spots are nearby Gold Coast Seaway including Cook Island Aquatic Reserve, Wave Break Island, Spiral Beach, Kirra Reef, Palm Beach Reef and Narrowneck Artificial Reef.