Exploring the Underwater World: A Detailed Guide to Snorkeling for Beginners

Exploring the Underwater World: A Detailed Guide to Snorkeling for Beginners


Snorkeling is an enchanting way to explore the underwater world. It's a popular activity that allows you to observe aquatic life in its natural habitat without the extensive training and equipment required for scuba diving. Especially for those in Australia, where we're blessed with rich marine ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef, snorkeling is a must-try experience.

What is Snorkeling?

Snorkeling is a swimming activity done on or near the surface of the water. Equipped with a diving mask, a shaped tube called a snorkel, and usually swim fins, snorkelers can observe underwater attractions for extended periods with relatively little effort.

How Does Snorkeling Work?

The key component in snorkeling is the snorkel, a tube that allows you to breathe while floating face-down on the surface of the water. Modern snorkels are designed to prevent water from entering the tube, either through a simple one-way valve at the top or more sophisticated mechanisms.

How to Dive When Snorkeling

To dive underwater while snorkeling:

  • Take a deep breath and hold it.
  • Tuck your head down and kick your legs to dive.
  • Keep your snorkel above water if possible, or exhale sharply to clear water from it when resurfacing.

Where to Buy Snorkeling Gear

In Australia, snorkeling gear can be bought from sports stores, dive shops, and online retailers. Popular Australian chains like Rebel Sport and Decathlon offer a range of options. For quality assurance, consider specialized dive shops like Scuba Warehouse or Dive Warehouse.

What to Wear When Snorkeling

  • Snorkeling Mask: Essential for clear vision underwater.
  • Snorkel: Choose one that's comfortable and fits well.
  • Fins: They provide better movement through the water.
  • Wetsuit or Rash Guard: For protection against the sun and minor scrapes.
  • Sunscreen: Use a reef-safe sunscreen to protect your skin and the marine life.

How to See the Great Barrier Reef Without Snorkeling

For those who can't or prefer not to snorkel, there are alternatives to explore the Great Barrier Reef:

  • Glass-bottom Boat Tours: These boats offer a glimpse into the underwater world without getting wet.
  • Semi-Submersibles: These vessels have underwater viewing areas.
  • Scenic Flights: Helicopter or plane tours provide a bird’s-eye view of the reef.
  • Underwater Observatories: Fixed structures with viewing platforms below the waterline.
  • Interactive Marine Parks: Places like Reef HQ Aquarium offer educational and close-up experiences with marine life.


Snorkeling is a fantastic and accessible way to explore the aquatic world. It's a low-impact activity suitable for all ages and fitness levels, offering a unique perspective on the beauty of underwater ecosystems. With the right gear and a bit of practice, snorkeling can become a lifelong passion, especially in a country surrounded by such rich marine biodiversity as Australia. Remember to respect the marine environment and always snorkel safely. Happy snorkeling!