• 2021.06.11
  • water sports and marine life
This past year and summer, I got close to water sports and especially I took up snorkeling and SUP which stands for Stand-Up Paddle boarding.
New South Wales may not be as blessed as Queensland when it comes to the variety of water sports on offer also because the latter offers the Great Barrier Reef and gorgeous weather year-round but New South Wales is definitely a must-go place for snorkeling, SUP and scuba diving nevertheless, especially during the summer months.
I’m personally not into scuba diving but I love snorkeling and I tried doing it the first time around Lord Howe Island, which is a two-hour flight from Sydney, and it was a truly unique experience.
It is a pretty exclusive experience since only 400 tourists are allowed on the island at a time, but you will also have the option of choosing your snorkeling location just off shore at Lagoon Beach or Blinky Beach. I had had this experience when I had first moved to Australia but, more recently, I decided to snorkel at Julian Rocks, a hotspot for snorkelers visiting Byron Bay.
Byron Bay is a very famous village and tourist spot for Sydneysiders, just a two-hour drive south of Brisbane and not far from Sydney.
Near the Cape Byron Marine Park in northern New South Wales, there is a dive center which organizes boat trips to admire the crystal clear, shallow waters around Julian Rocks, filled with tropical marine life and animals from the Ocean. You may also easily spot some dolphins or whales nearby because this wonderful bay is not only located in a geographically privileged position, which makes it attractive for tourists practically all year round, but it is also able to offer countless attractions, including whale watching tours and an incredible range of water sport courses.
A closer to the city spot to snorkel that I can reach after work if I want to is just north of the Sydney’s Harbor Bridge and this is the seaside village of Manly, which is home to the calm clear waters of Shelly beach.
Manly is a favorite destination for tourists, especially for lovers of water sports and heavenly beaches. In fact, it is one of the best Australian beaches, able to compete without problems with Bondi, both for attractions, and above all from an economic point of view (but it obviously costs much less).
Here I can snorkel on my own with my own equipment just jumping from the shore to discover over one hundred species of fish, including groupers and needlefish.
North of Sydney Harbor is a good place to practice paddle boarding.
Here I learnt how to do stand-up paddle-boarding with an instructor in calm, crystal clear waters with simple tips on balance, body alignment and rowing technique.
The lessons also included basic safety and weather advice, self-rescue and different ways to turn and maneuver the board.
I personally chose a morning class when I had time off work and then enjoyed lunch by the beach.
I tried stand-up paddle-boarding in Byron Bay too and I got to see amazing marine life up close including dolphins, fish, seabirds and sea turtles.
Australia offers such a rich marine life.
One of the most endangered marine species in Australia, the bull shark, is usually found along the East coast of Australia.
It is endangered and it is the first protected shark species in the world, but there are some sighting areas where divers can admire it all year round on the north-central coast of New South Wales around Seal Rocks where they swim alongside manta rays and leopard sharks.



  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

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