Snorkelling Tips for Beginners

Snorkelling Tips for Beginners

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 01/18/2017

Reading time: 3 mins

Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, and one of the best snorkelling destinations in the world. Thousands of travellers come here every year to dip into the sea and explore the vibrant world that awaits below.

Snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef isn’t just for the pros, though. People with no experience can hit the water and get up close and personal with the region’s fascinating marine life. Snorkelling companies will provide all the equipment you need, as well as important safety briefings.  Snorkelling is a relatively simple activating, in fact, basically, anyone who can swim can snorkel!

If you’re a bit nervous about your first snorkelling adventure though, we’ve got a few tips for you.

  • Get Comfortable

    First thing first, you need to get comfortable in the water. This means splashing about in the shallows and getting used to the snorkel equipment before you head into deeper water. It’s just like swimming, but you float on top of the water with your face down, breathing through the snorkel.

    If you get water in your mask you simply have to lift it away from your face and drain the water out of it. This shouldn’t happen very often, as your guide will assist in ensuring you secure the mask to your face properly. Once your mask is on be sure not to break the airtight seal around it or you will get sea water in your eyes!

    If you swim down deeper than the water surface, you’ll get water in your snorkel. If this happens blow hard into your mouthpiece to push the water out the other end.

  • Fitness and Safety

    Although anyone who can swim can snorkel, it’s important to consider your swimming ability. You need to have fairly good fitness levels especially if you plan on exploring the deeper waters. Staying afloat can be tiresome, though many tour companies will give you flotation devices to help you out. It’s a good idea to wear a life jacket when snorkelling too, as this will ensure you don’t get stuck underwater.

    The Great Barrier Reef is set in a tropical location, which means temperatures can get seriously high. In order to stay safe in the sunshine, be sure to wear protective, waterproof sunscreen and drink plenty of fluids. It is also a good idea to wear protective swimwear such as a wet suit or rash vest.

    When it comes to marine life, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most diverse and vibrant spots in the world, but this also means there are some creatures that are best avoided. Marine stingers – better known as jellyfish – make themselves at home here, some of which are poisonous to humans. They tend to hang around between November and May, but to avoid any pain or discomfort, wear one of the lycra suits the tour companies offer.

  • Finally, Have Fun!

    Snorkelling is an incredible opportunity, especially in this part of the world, and you want to make the most of it. Take a friend, stay safe, and discover fascinating sea creatures and majestic underwater landscapes.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.

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