Aldinga Reef Snorkel

by Steve Klein


Aldinga Reef Snorkel

LOCATION Aldinga, Adelaide, South Australia

DEPTH 2-7 Meters

WATER TEMP 18-23 Degrees


Getting across the intertidal zone to the subtidal snorkelling area can be tricky.


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Aldinga Reef Snorkel

LOCATION Aldinga, Adelaide, South Australia

DEPTH 2-7 Meters

WATER TEMP 18-23 Degrees


Need to take care walking over the intertidal zone to the subtidal snorkelling area.


Aldinga Reef

Aldinga Reef Snorkel

Aldinga Reef has some of the best shore snorkelling near adelaide. Home to a variety of schooling fish, not only will you see many Adelaide’s reef regulars, but you might also spot Port Jackson sharks, eagle rays and wobbegongs. The rock pools are also a fascinating place to explore if you haven’t got your snorkelling gear.

What can I see?

What Can I See?

  • Variety of fish including silver drummer, different leather jackets, sweep, old wives, long nose boarfish, dusky morwongs, scaly fins, whiting and moolighters just for starters.
  • Stingrays
  • Port Jackson Sharks
  • Wobbegong Sharks
Getting There

Getting There

Aldinga Beach is 45-50 minutes from Adelaide. Aim for The Esplanade where there are several carparks to choose from. We prefer getting in at the main car park at Snapper Point. It is the biggest carpark and has toilets, playground and picnic area.

Snorkel Entry

Where & How do you get in?

From the main carpark at Snapper Point there is a path to the beach just near the toilets. You can also access the reef from the other end of the carpark but it is about twice the distance down to the beach (90m vs 180-200m). There are a couple of smaller carparks north of the main carpark. The second one along only has a handful of parks but is also close to the water.

Best Season

Best Season

The water gets cold (under 18 degrees) from May to November so you will need a good wetsuit. More comfortable conditions are in summer. That said, at least a shortie wetsuit would still be a good idea as the water temp won’t be much over 22 degrees.

Current Australian Sea Temperature


Potential Hazards

  • During the winter months the water can be very cold

Recommended Gear

  • Reef Shoes to walk out across the intertidal zone
  • Wetsuit

How Busy / Crowds

  • There were quite a few people heading to the reef the last time we went, but it covers a big area. We didn’t see them once we were in the water. It is more ‘spacious’ here than you might find at Noarlunga Reef on a nice day.


  • There are several carparks along The Esplanade, the biggest at Snapper Point has the most facilities and easy access to the beach.

The information for each snorkel spot is provided by people who have snorkelled there. However, snorkelling conditions change daily. Please be aware that wind, swell, tides and cloud cover can all affect visibility and your experience in the water.

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Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries (EMS) do offer a tour here during summer.

Best Conditions

Aim for a day with light winds and low swell. Easterly or north easterly is best. At low tide you will have an easier walk to the subtidal zone across the intertidal zone.

Windy Map Instructions – Click on the wind icon in the top right to see other conditions such as swell, temperature, rain. To clear the four day forecast click and close the wind icon.

Facilities at Snapper Point

The facilities are located at the main carpark at Snapper Point.




Picnic Tables

Car Parking




About the Snorkel

While Port Noarlunga Reef is regarded as one of Adelaide’s best snorkelling spots, we think Aldinga isn’t far behind. In fact, if there was a jetty taking you right out to the snorkelling zone, like there is at Port Noarlunga, I’m sure Aldinga Reef would steal Noarlunga’s crown.

We love snorkelling here, there is just so much to see. We like heading out at low tide. It means a walk across the tidal rock pools so you will want reef shoes for sure. We head straight out from the southern staircase and at the end of the intertidal zone is a little shelf where you can get your gear on and drop into the water.

Conditions were perfect the last time we snorkelled at Aldinga. We were greeted with a huge school of silver drummer that seemed to keep doing laps around us. And we also saw Magpie Perch, Old Wives, Moonlighters, dusky morwongs, horseshoe leather jackets, sea sweep and bullseyes.

Aldinga reef is one of those spots where you could see all kinds of things. As well as the big variety of fish we spotted it is also home to Port Jackson sharks, eagle rays, starfish, sea urchins and nudibranchs.

Our experience has been that we see more fish closer to the drop off into the subtidal zone so once you have walked across the rockpools, you don’t have to go out to far to see lots of seas life. Another option is to drift north along the reef and and take the northern stairs back up to the car park. We saw so many fish on our last snorkel we really didn’t have to swim too far.

We were spoilt with perfect conditions on our last snorkel, glassy water and 10+ visibility, and we will definitely go back again for another swimming in an aquarium experience.

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Steve Klein
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