Kangaroo Island Snorkeller’s Guide


Top 9 Spots

Kangaroo Island is surrounded by 540 kilometres of coastline which has been said to rival the Great Barrier Reef in diversity.  You know what this means… its perfect for snorkelling, so if you are planning a holiday to Kangaroo Island have a think about packing your snorkelling gear - (oh and maybe a wetsuit, our waters can get a little cool!) Here are our top 9  snorkelling locations on Kangaroo Island

1. Western River Cove

Located on the North Coast this fantastic cove offers a variety of colourful reef fish.  These include the blue groper, horseshoe leather jacket, banded seaperch and the common bullseye.  Western River Cove has easy access from the beach and you can leave your car in the camp ground and walk over the bridge.

2. Rocky King George Beach

You will need a 4wd to get to the end of this beach but alternatively you can leave your car at the end of King George Beach Road.  This reef is home to many different species of fish including the longsnout boarfish, the herring cale and the old wife.

3. Browns Beach

Browns Beach has a fantastic camp ground where you can leave your car and take the easy path down to the beach.  If you then swim in from of the BBQ shelter and away from the shore, you will find the reef.  Browns is a great spot for seeing silver drummers, banded sweep and blackspotted wrasse.

4. Rolls Point Kingscote

Located right in our main town this great snorkelling spot has easy access from the yacht club.  Look for zebra fish, eagle ray, little weed whiting and western talma.

5. Hog Bay Penneshaw

Located at the eastern end of Hog Bay Beach, follow the reef in front of Frenchmans Rock.  More colourful reef fish here to be seen such as the magpie perch and the scalyfin.

6. Red Banks

Many fish can been seen in the sandy and seagrass areas and in shallow waters.  Be careful heading down to the beach as the trail can be steep in some areas and is sometimes slippery.

There are also reefs out in the deeper water for more experienced swimmers.

7. Harveys Return

Located at the far western end of the island – Harveys Return is for the dedicated snorkeller!

Leave your car in the camp ground and take the Harveys Return Hike.  This is only 750 metres but is very steep so take care.  Those who take on the challenge could be rewarded with seeing blue gropers, harlequin fish and rainbow cale.

8. Hanson Bay

Located on the South Coast and home to our luxurious lodge, this protected bay is home to a variety of inverebrates and fish.  Look out for the eight armed seastar, bluethroat wrasse, turbo shells and sea sweep.  There are two main beaches at Hanson Bay and the first one is the safest for snorkelling.

9. Vivonne Bay

The best snorkelling on Vivonne Bay is around the jetty and towards Point Ellen, it is also the safest.  Vivonne can be prone to swell and rips so be sure to check the conditions when you arrive.  Expect to encounter southern goatfish, smooth stingray and dusky morong.


Remember to stay safe when snorkelling – always check the local weather and conditions before going into the water.  Swim with a buddy and always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. Please do not touch any of the animals underwater as some might bite or sting.


Download Kangaroo Island Snorkellers Map.


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