Shag Rock Snorkel

by Caitlin Grace


Shag Rock Snorkel

LOCATION North Stradbroke Island, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

DEPTH 5-15 Meters

WATER TEMP 18-27 Degrees




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Shag Rock Snorkel

LOCATION North Stradbroke Island, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

DEPTH 5-15 Meters

WATER TEMP 18-27 Degrees



Wobbegong Shark at Shag Rock

Shag Rock Snorkel

Shag Rock is a short boat ride from North Stradbroke Island in Queensland. It’s sheltered position makes it a great snorkel spot with rocky reefs and coral gardens. You will see a wide variety of marine life from turtles, sharks, cuttlefish, rays and moray eels.

What can I see?

What Can I See?

  • Turtles
  • Manta Rays
  • Sharks
  • Stingrays
  • Clown Fish
  • Octopus
  • Fish
  • Moray Eels
  • It is common to see dolphins and dugongs on the ride out to the Island, dolphins can be seen riding the bow on calm days. Throughout winter, spotting Humpback Whales is common.
Getting There

Getting There

Shag Rock is a site located off North Stradbroke Island and is accessible by multiple local operators from both the island or mainland (Brisbane). This site can also be reached by private boat but check for moorings as anchoring is often required. It is a shallow site centred around a large granite outcrop, with rocky reef, rock ledges and scattered coral gardens and is great for snorkellers, and is one of the most sheltered sites around North Stradbroke Island.

Best Season

Best Season

October to April: During these warmer months, “Manta Bommie” is an active cleaning station. Leopard Sharks can also be found here during this time of the year.

June to October: Grey Nurse Sharks visit the cooler waters to breed and give birth.

Current Australian Sea Temperature


Potential Hazards

  • Boat Traffic
  • Rips
  • Currents
  • Waves and swell crashing onto nearby exposed rocks

Recommended Gear

  • Stinger Suit
  • Wetsuit
  • Camera

Costs / Permits

If you travel over to North Stradbroke Island via the passenger and vehicle ferry. A standard car will cost approx $80 and a return fare for Adults is $21 and Children $12.

Alternatively, you can book a tour leaving from Brisbane.

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.

Disclosure: Please Note That Some Links In This Post May Be Affiliate Links, And At No Additional Cost To You, We Earn A Small Commission If You Make A Purchase. Commissions Go Toward Maintaining The Snorkel Spots Website.

Tours to Shag Rock

Brisbane Scuba – Departing from Brisbane, Brisbane Scuba is a small family run operation catering primarily to locals, taking between 4-10 customers at a time, providing exceptional quality and value. These tours run early to beat the crowd and offer longer in water sessions than other operators. Brisbane Scuba do not run daily, instead running on weekends to specific dive sites, allowing you to pick which site you’d like to visit. Whilst dive sites cannot be guaranteed due to weather and conditions, Brisbane Scuba do their best to accomodate.

Manta Lodge – Departing from North Stradbroke Island, Manta Lodge is the closest operator to Shag Rock just a short 5 minute ride from the island. Snorkelling and diving is conducted off a rigid inflatable boat and is perhaps less suitable for those less mobile.

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Best Conditions

Shag Rock is one of North Stradbroke Islands most reliable sites for providing a great experience all year around and is known for still being a good spot even in unfavourable weather conditions. However North Stradbroke Island sites are highly weather and tide dependant and can experience strong current, surge, swell and waves. I recommend checking with a local tour operator prior to visiting.

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 on Board

  • Guided tour available- check with operator for specific facilities.

About the Snorkel

Shag Rock is a large rocky outcrop, with rocky reef and coral gardens below. It is often quite sheltered in unfavourable weather conditions. Shag Rock offers the rock wall, which is between 1-5 metres deep, where it meets a sandy slope with scattered rocky reef and corals.

There are many families of anemone fish and rather comical puffer fish between depths of 5-15m. Remember to duck dive and look under corals, as the cracks and crevices provide shelter and are often home to Wobbegong Sharks, Moray Eels, Bamboo Sharks and Octopus.

It is not uncommon to see small stingrays such as Kuhl’s Lagoon Rays or shovel nose rays resting on the sandy bottom. This is also a strong macro site, with lion fish, scorpionfish many nudibranchs with a hot pink flabbalina the most common. Throughout winter months, you can expect to see the odd Leopard Shark, Manta Ray or Grey Nurse Shark, which are congregating at a nearby site – Manta Bommie.

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Caitlin Grace
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