Underwater Activities

Norfolk Island, being is surrounded by the ever so inviting South Pacific Ocean. Well known for its fishing and surf breaks, there are also some world class underwater activities available literally as soon as you enter the sea. Rich in history, Norfolk Marine Park, surrounding Norfolk Island, supports diverse temperate and tropical marine life.

Snorkelling

​Snorkelling can be as relaxing or challenging as you make it and most people can participate by simply picking up a snorkel and mask. Emily Bay is 'the' perfect place for any skill level of diver, with its sandy shore and nearby reef – home to over 60 individual species of marine life, not including all the corals and anemones, just in the confines of Emily and Slaughter Bay! The author's favourite place to dive is along the channel edge in front of The Salthouse – this stretch of reef is home to many of the colourful wrasses such as the Pa'o and the Slippery Dolly, and if you're really lucky you'll spot a Doubleheader which are a threatened species but quite common on Norfolk Island.

Other excellent places to snorkel are:

Slaughter Bay - the end nearest the Pier has great calm shallow sandy areas fringed by coral for beginners and those not yet comfortable with deeper water. Best on mid-low tide.

The Chord - which boasts some incredible anemones around the edges of the huge rock pool. Best on low tide only. Visitors should go with a local or obtain local advice on how to access.

Crystal Pool - very pretty on a nice sunny day as the light sparkles in, again best on low tide only and watch out for unexpected waves crashing over the rocks. Visitors should go with a local or obtain local advice on how to access.

Bumboras - home to many Aatuti's, baby Nanwi and a few stingrays in the shallows of the northern corner. Best on mid-high tide.

Cemetery Bay - the shallow reef is full of little nooks and crannies for fish to hide in. Recommended around mid-high tide and calm seas.

Please observe the signs at Emily and Slaughter Bay and take note of the rip zones, when the waves come over the reef break at high tide. All the water must drain back out through gaps in the reef and even strong swimmers can be caught unaware. Snorkelling is not really recommended at Anson Bay as the seas sometimes appear calm but a strong undercurrent can carry swimmers out to sea.

Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving has been brought back onto the scene recently with Norfolk Island Diving igniting the scuba torch that has laid dormant for a few years. When you see some of the photos from past diving expeditions, you'll wonder why it ever stopped! A brief glimpse into the history of scuba diving on Norfolk can be seen on the walls of The Golden Orb Café – where photos and fish charts are on display and marked (very impressively) with all the fish spotted in Norfolk waters. Norfolk Island Diving is now fully operational and open for bookings - contact the Norfolk Island Visitor Information Centre for more details.

A caution:

Corals are living organisms that are relatively slow growing and can't cope with constant breakages – never stand on the corals and be careful not to touch, bump or kick them while swimming as this can seriously damage both the corals and you. We recommend the use of reef safe sunscreen whenever you intend on swimming. Please be careful with our beautiful reef and ALWAYS DIVE WITHIN YOUR LIMITS!

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