In Turquoise Waters

Trip Start Dec 03, 2004
Trip End Nov 31, 2005

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Flag of Australia  ,
Monday, May 23, 2005

Monday morning we had a bit of a sleep in, considering the time Ian had come in at and his recent tough schedule. But when we got up we realized that if we wanted to go anywhere today, at this time of day, having missed the bus, we'd have to rent a car. We went across the street to a sort of caravan-motel-park that also rented cars. They had a small fleet of early '80s Toyota Camrys ready to go and we were equipped with a white one with the front hood entirely rusted out. That was alright, as long as it drove, and it didIt was almost lunch at this point so we equipped ourselves with a picnic and headed out for the much-lauded snorkelling spot of Turquoise Bay. The road drove up to the tip of the cape, past the lighthouse, and down the west side between the intensely aqua blue of the sea and the red-green stripes of the Cape Range hills.

Upon arrival at Turquoise Bay we decided to start with the easier of the two snorkels, the Bay snorkel, which has no tough currents to fight although less to see. But even with "less" to see, it wasn't disappointing; huge coral formations surrounded by extremely tropical fish darting in and out of the very clear waters. We ran into a green turtle, as well, and three little fantail rays darting about. Tropical fish come in so many strange shades and shapes that sometimes you think you're watching an animation---and then, in moments when you burst through a school of scurrying parrotfish, that you might actually be snorkelling in an aquarium, not twenty metres off a sandy beach.

After that snorkel we came back in for a nap, which Ian, tired from 22-hour work days, really seemed to need. I was lazing about when he sat up with a start and said, somewhat aggressively, "Where's Chad?" My shocked face must have fully woken him up and he lay back down murmuring apologies. "Sometimes when I wake up I think I'm still on the boat."

At around three o'clock I managed to get him up and out into the water again to attempt the supposedly somewhat-tougher Drift Snorkel, which has a current that pulls you northwards along the beach so you don't have to actually swim so much as just admire (the tough part is that there's a current that pulls out towards the main reef that you have to avoid). This section was even more fantastic: we saw a little Nemo among the anemones, and thousands more fish barely feet from the shoreline, darting in and out of the different types of coral. My favourite type of fish is a boxy white one with red, blue and yellow stripes shooting down its high, Neanderthal-like forehead and a set of big puffy lips (a triggerfish, if you're at an aquarium any time soon).

After finishing up with the snorkel it's getting close to sunset so we spend five minutes checking out a nearby dry gorge; the flies make the decision about whether to hike any further for us, sending us scurrying back to our vehicle. The sun sets while Ian's driving back and we're plagued by kangaroos and emus wanting to hop and flop out in front of us, but fortunately they're all easily enough avoided.
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Zita on

Turquoise Bay is the perfect spot to spend an afternoon relaxing, swimming and snorkelling. My family ventured around Australia and booked by my agent and had fun in Perth. I heard about Turquoise Bay and can't pass the opportunity to go snorkeling there. One of my favorite place.

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