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Turquoise Bay, in Cape Range National Park, is considered the best snorkeling spot in Exmouth area. As you drift in the crystal-clear waters of the bay, you will spot sharks, turtles, different species of rays, as well as a vast array of colorful fish above unspoiled corals.

Coral and damselfish in Turquoise Bay
Different species of damsels and chromis shelter around the coral.

How to get to Turquoise Bay snorkeling spot?

Turquoise Bay is located in Cape Range National Park, about a 40-minute drive from Exmouth. A 4×4 is not required to access this spot, which can be reached with a classic vehicle. Entrance to the park costs $ 15 per vehicle, and access to the spot is then free. Two car parks have been set up near the spot: if you want to do the “Drift loop”, choose the Drift parking.

Turquoise Bay snorkeling map, Western Australia

Water entrance for snorkeling Turquoise Bay

For the “Drift loop” (zone 1 on the map) we recommend entering the water about 200m south of the car park. To snorkel in the bay (zone 2 on the map), get into the water wherever you want from the beach. Wear swimfins.

Turquoise Bay snorkeling exploration tips

Two snorkeling areas are recommended in Turquoise Bay:

1 / The “Drift loop”, zone 1 on the map

The Drift is the main attraction of Turquoise Bay. In this area, you can encounter turtles, reef sharks, stingrays, and if you’re very lucky, an ornate eagle ray.

This area is explored by letting yourself gently drifted by the south-north current. Therefore, enter the water as far south as possible and then exit the water to the north. Be careful not to let yourself be taken by the current towards the sandy point (where the current becomes stronger and may drift you offshore) and get out of the water at the indicated point.

Ornate eagle ray at Turquoise Bay
A very rare ornate eagle ray spotted at the Drift.

At high tide, the depth on the Drift is on average 10 to 12ft/3 to 4m and at low tide from 7 to 10ft/1.50 to 3m depending on the location. The coral is breathtakingly diverse, as are the reef fish. The coral on the west coast of Australia is not the most colorful but it is very healthy, hosting a vast array of marine life.

The coral is scattered, with more or less large expanses of white sand between the different coral patches. Don’t hesitate to stay in the water until sunset to watch the reef sharks approach.

Whitetip reef shark in Turquoise Bay
Whitetip reef sharks are fairly common in Turquoise Bay.

2 / The bay, zone 2 on the map

This area is less crowded and less spectacular than the Drift, but may be worth a look if you spend the day there. There is hardly any current here, except when approaching the sandy point. The seabed is mostly sandy with a few corals, and allows spotting a nice diversity of reef fish.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

Turquoise Bay is a natural site, with no water point or restaurant. The nearest facilities are in Exmouth, a 40 minute drive away, where you will find a wide choice of accommodation, restaurants and supermarkets.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Protected areaCape Range National Park
  • Maximum depth12ft/4m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersCurrents near the sandy point
  • Visitor numbersMedium to high
  • Access costsNational Park entrance fee (AUD 15 per vehicle)
  • Restaurants nearbyNo

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.