• Features: Snorkeling site close to Main Beach with nice coral bommies and fish
  • Opening Times: Daytime, daily
  • Best Time to Visit: Any time, around high tide
  • Duration: Any
  • Travelled By: Rental car
  • Cost: Free
  • Address: Coral Bay, Western Australia
  • Type: Activity, Wildlife

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Coral Bay Snorkeling: Bill’s Bay


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Coral Bay snorkeling at Bill’s Bay is easy and relaxing as it is located in a calm lagoon in the Ningaloo Reef area. It is protected from the open ocean by the outer Ningaloo Reef about two kilometres offshore and as a result, the waters are calm and safe to swim in.

The snorkeling area within Bill’s Bay has some lovely coral gardens and bountiful fish life. Enter the water from the Main Beach near the township and as you swim out a few metres, you will be surrounded by coral gardens and colourful fish.

Bill’s Bay is an ideal snorkeling spot due to its proximity to the main township of Coral Bay. You don’t have to swim out very far to see the coral bommies and the fish that live amongst them.

There is a downside to its proximity to the Coral Bay township. Due to the shallow waters, coral bleaching has left most of the coral gardens devoid of colour. Also the movement of tour boats in and out as well as snorkellers have done some damage to the coral reef nearby. As a result, the coral are brown and don’t look particularly healthy.

We found that swimming further out to sea north and west of the Main Beach area, the condition of the coral improved and we also saw more fish too. To see the best coral near the Main Beach, enter the water further west, closer to the point.


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There’s an interesting mixture of coral types, mostly brownish in colour, but with dull patches of green, yellow, pink and purple. The most common varieties are porites, brain and cabbage corals.

Look out for huge brain coral (known as ‘Ayer’s Rock’) about 300m out from the Main Beach in front of the resort. It’s one of the largest brain corals in the southern hemisphere.

There are quite a few giant clams resting on the sea floor amongst the coral in Bill’s Bay. Most of them are  just brown, like the one in the photo above, however, a few of them have brilliantly coloured and patterned mantles in shades of electric blue and green which are really spectacular.

Coral Bay snorkeling is one of the best in Western Australia and compares closely to the snorkeling in the Exmouth area.


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