Manly Snorkel Trip and Nature Walk with Local Guide

Badge of ExcellenceSydney, Australia
Manly Snorkeling Tour and Nature Walk
  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Join your choice of a morning or afternoon excursion to Manly to snorkel in the clear calm waters of Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve. Just a short hop from Sydney, see some of Australia's diverse marine life on this guided snorkeling tour from Shelly Beach. Your expert guide leads your small group of beginning and experienced snorkelers into the water from the beach. Note: participants must be able to swim 500 feet (150 meters), float, and tread in water unassisted; a swim test is conducted at the start of the tour.
  • Enjoy a guided snorkeling tour of Cabbage Tree Aquatic Reserve
  • All snorkeling equipment and wetsuits provided
  • Suitable for beginning and advanced snorkelers (a swim test is conducted)
  • A small-group tour people ensures personalized attention

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

You get to explore Manly on land and underwater with an expert guide who shows you the diverse wildlife found near one of Australia's major cities.

What's Included

  • Local guide
  • 1 Hour snorkeling
  • Snorkeling equipment, wetsuits, rash vest, flippers, foam floating noodles
  • Binoculars
  • Food and drinks
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Meeting and Pickup

Meeting point

  • Shelly Head Lookout
    1/5 Marine Parade, Manly NSW 2095, Australia

    Shelly Beach Car park exit at disabled car spot Shelly Beach, Manly. There is only 1 car park at Shelly Beach. Please check Ecotreasures website for detailed map and instructions. Arrive before start time and allow ample travel time. Call phone if needed when at Shelly Beach.

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Meet your guide and small group at Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, an area that covers approximately 50 acres (20 hectares) from the southern end of Manly Beach to the northern end of Shelly Beach headland. With the use of snorkeling equipment included and the knowledge of your local guide, this tour is a great introduction to the underwater world of Manly Beach.

Begin with a short and easy nature walk on the headlands. Learn from your guide about Australia's natural environment and native animals, and hear fascinating details about Sydney's Aboriginal heritage and colonial history.

Next up, head to the water's edge to receive the provided snorkeling gear and a safety briefing. Your guide leads you into the calm water from the beach. Look for fish and other critters as they swim through seagrass meadows, rocky reefs and along the sandy bottom. Your guide can assist with any questions throughout your tour. You can start off by snorkeling in shallow water, then go deeper as your confidence grows. (Note: participants must be able to swim 500 feet, float, and tread water unassisted; a swim test is conducted prior to the tour)

Your guide details the marine life that you might spot underwater, including the most common species: blue groper and cuttlefish. Protected species such as seadragons, black rock cod, and elegant wrasse have also been found here, among more than 160 species of fish in the reserve. Some species rarely leave the reserve's waters while others come and go regularly.

Choose from a morning or afternoon tour that is suitable for both new and experienced snorkelers.

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Please wear closed-toe shoes suitable for walking
  • Please bring swimwear, sunscreen, hat and towel
  • Please note: wetsuit options are available to use on the day of travel: rash vest, spring wetsuit (short arms and legs) and steamers (full body suit)
  • All participants must be able to swim 150 meters unassisted, float and tread water
  • All medical requirements must be declared to our staff once booking is confirmed.
  • Please note pregnant participants are not permitted to join the tour
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Cannot participate if you are pregnant
  • If you can't swim please do not book this tour.
  • Not available for non swimmers
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 8 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

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Featured review
Our guide Sam was very friendly and showed real enthousiasm for spotting marine life. Was very educative experience.


205 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 205 reviews
Bad customer service.
Julie_V, Apr 2024
We did not go do to the weather conditions it was a rainy cold day. We were refused a refund or a re schedule. Who wants to snorkel or go on a nature walk in the rain.
This experience was worth...
Karalyn_K, Mar 2024
This experience was worth it! My friend loves to snorkel so this was an "must-do" for her. I had only been one time about 10 years ago. We were concerned due to the rain and overcast weather that morning but don't worry the visibility was not impacted for us. Sam was a great tour guide starting us off with a nature walk including humor and fun facts about the land/nature. It was nice having a guide who pointed out wild life and gave background into the fish/sea creatures we saw. Highlight was a sea turtle for sure! Sam took videos and pictures throughout the tour to remember the day. They also have wet suits, snorkel gear, and rash guards for everyone! I would recommend this tour!
Worth the Money!
Whitney_R, Mar 2024
The guide is knowledgeable about the area and the marine life. He is friendly and patient with people. You could always rent your own equipment but you would be missing out on the educational piece. I highly recommend his tours!
Kate_C, Jan 2024
Fantastic trip. Enjoyed the interesting walk and had a fabulous time snorkelling. Highly recommended.
Highly recommend!
Lance_C, Jan 2024
Sam was an excellent, knowledgeable guide and made it a wonderful experience. We saw plenty of fish and bonus points for sting ray, jelly fish and squid! The nature walk was an informative and fun experience to set the expectations for the swim and learn more about the area.
Excellent Shelly Beach snorkeling and Eco walk.
Michelle_G, Dec 2023
The Manly Beach snorkeling and eco walk were amazing! I hadn’t snorkeled in years and was a little tentative but Christina was a great guide! Highly recommend!
Great snorkeling at Shelly beach
Ed_D, Nov 2023
Exceptional experience with julie as our tour guide. Equipment was very good and plentiful enough to meet everyone's needs. The hike wasn't too difficult and it was interesting to learn about the aquatic reserve. The snorkeling was excellent with ideal water conditions and plenty of fish to see. The only suggestion I have is to come up with a clear description of the meeting point in all communications. Thanks for a great day.
First Snorkeling Experience
Javier_U, Nov 2023
This is definitely a must while visiting Sydney. The guide was very knowledgeable and attentive to the needs of the group. The nature walk was relaxing and we got some nice viewpoints of Manly beach. The snorkeling was nice for first timers. Unfortunately, I got seasick halfway through the trip and had to stop. But the guide quickly helped me to shore where I waited for the rest of the group to come back. Overall it was a great experience even if it was cut a bit short for me.
Response from Host, Feb 2024
Good to hear you had a overall good experience even though mother nature gave you the wobbles. Feeling uncomfortable is the best way to know how to feel comfortable. Good work taking the leap and giving snorkeling a go. Thank you for the support team Ecotreasures
Amazing snorkeling experience to appreciate Sydney’s marine life
Jonas_K, Nov 2023
Highly recommend this activity, snorkeling with EcoTreasures at Shelly Beach was the best experience I have had in Sydney thus far! I was meant to snorkel on one occasion but due to the poor visibility, we could not stay too long in the water. Damien was kind enough to invite me for another tour, and though it was very rainy in the morning, the snorkeling conditions were great and you could really appreciate the biodiversity that Sydney has to offer! You can see all kinds of aquatic species, my favourite being the massive male blue gropers! The tour guides are also very knowledgeable of both the wildlife as well as the history of the area, which makes for an overall spectacular experience!
Response from Host, Feb 2024
Epic, "The best experience you had in Sydney". Say no more we did our job. Thank you for the great feedback and support Team Ecotreasures
Czechoslovakya_K, Oct 2023
The whole thing was wonderful. Sadly I hate wearing gear as it makes me panic, which ended up happening. Other than that it was wonderful.
Response from Host, Feb 2024
Thank you for the review. As long as you had a good time that is all that matters. And good on you for doing something that is hard, that shows resilience. The more you try it hopefully the more comfortable you will become. Feeling nervous in the water and with wearing gear is not un common. You just need to take it one breath at a time and let the fish take your mind off your mind. Thank you for the support. Team Ecotreasures
Great experience
Aditya_V, Sep 2023
Damien and Christine were the instructors. They are the eco warriors educating to protect the waters and marine life in these parts. After a bit of education and instructions, they led us a group of 4 into the waters. I was clumsy at first but but once I got used to, it was a sight to behold in water. Saw jelly fish, groupers, port Jackson sharks swimming. Loved the experience. Recommend it highly.
Response from Host, Feb 2024
Eco warrior, thank you for the nice title. Yes we do have a great role in conservation to raise awareness and highlight the positives of protection. Good to hear you enjoyed the small small group format and had fun. Thank you for the support and review. Team Ecotreasures
Beautiful scenery
Chasm_B, Aug 2023
Great experience with memorable views of the underwater ecosystem! Truly enjoyed the quick nature walk before getting in the water. Overall fantastic time.
Response from Host, Feb 2024
Nice one. Thank you for the great review especially about the educational nature walk. The walk before the snorkel lays the educational foundation of the experiences. You receive interpretative discussion about the benefits of conservation management and the star of the day "The NO TAKE Cabbage Aquatic Reserve". Thank you fr the support Team Ecotreasures
Great experience!
Teresa_C, Jul 2023
This was a small group (just 4 of us). I chickened out (I'm not a strong swimmer and was nervous LOL) but my nephew had a great time with our guide Julie. I also like that it was a small group (only 2 others besides myself and my nephew). Very much recommend.
Response from Host, Feb 2024
You will make it in next time. Experience grows confidence. Thank you for the great review and it's nice to hear we helped you create a good family memory. Team Ecotreasures
Awesome guide & fun experience
Hannah_B, Jul 2023
The guide was great, it was easy to find the meeting place, the gear was good, a really nice area to go snorkeling
Response from Host, Feb 2024
Awesome review, yes we aim to make things easy for you, so you can just have a good time. Thank you for the support. Team Ecotreasures
Our guide Sam was very...
Mustafa_G, Apr 2023
Our guide Sam was very friendly and showed real enthousiasm for spotting marine life. Was very educative experience.
Response from Host, Apr 2023
Nice, thank you for the kind review. Good to hear you had a fun time with Sam and gained knowledge in the process. Eco tours are about you having fun, learning about the locations and themes of the conservation. Knowledge and education is a tool of environmental protection. Thank you for the support. Damien
Great experience
Anne_C, Mar 2023
The location is a little difficult to find. The guide was very helpful and informative, be aware there are some steep steps on the walk. If you suffer with mobility problems I would avoid this. The snorkelling is excellent and good quality equipment provided including wetsuits
Response from Host, Apr 2023
Yes true this is an action tour so you need to be able to walk the trail 800m with some step and be able to swim 50m freestyle float and tread water. We do offer private tours that can be tailored to suit our guests. Good to hear you had an excellent snorkel experience. Thank you for review and support. Damien
Absolutely worth it
Taylor_A, Mar 2023
Great guide, beautiful views, great water, life, saw a giant, Australian cuttlefish, giant, grouper, very wonderful trip
Need reimburesed
Susan_W, Mar 2023
I tried on several occasions to cancel this trip through VIATOR and thought I had been successful. When I got to Sydney I got an email from ECO TREASURES that our excursions was on. I contacted them and asked for us to be reimbursed as we thought we had canceled. They told us we had to cancel through Viator but then they canceled us without letting us know. I didn't want to be out my $111.00 so we traveled all the way from by the airport to Shelley Beach and when we met the tour guide he told me they canceled us and put another couple in our place. We need reimbursed our money!!!!!
Response from Host, Mar 2023
Hello, Thank you for giving us a very un justified review. Firstly we do not appreciate when you are rude to our staff threatening them with bad reviews because you cannot take ownership of your own error. The main point here is you contacted us the day before the tour and told us you would not attend for varied reasons. We did exactly what you said and took you off the tour list. I wish I was a mind reader and could predict that even though you said you could not come then you would come to the tour. I'm still confused, and now you have thrown another spanner in the works claiming that you came from the airport because you were worried about a ticket worth $111. The taxi from the airport to manly is more than $111. Any logical person wouldn't make the journey. To make things clear to the world wide web here is the real story with facts and a transcript of your messages to us. You booked through a travel agent called Viator. You contacted us the operator our business is called ecotreasures via the viator message system the day before the tour on 11th march for the tour date March 12th at 10am. See the below communication clearly saying you would not attend and we instructed you to contact your agent as we did not take payment and you had cancelled within the 24hr no refund cancellation period. As you said you would not attend we took you off the list and the spots were taken quickly as we book out our small group tours. I can not comment on what prior communication you had with your agent but please see below the transcript of the message you sent us. The first message you send us cancelling was 11th March 10:25am. Transcript of message - From customer - I just want to be sure we are still down for March 12 snorkeling. I accidentally hit cancel as I saw March 10th instead of March 12th but then realized the 10th was when we could cancel without a penalty. Jan 26, 2023, 03:37 PM From Customer - We canceled the Manly trip weeks ago. We have a tour of the opera house today instead Mar 11, 2023, 10:25 AM From customer - Why didn’t my cancellation go through? Mar 11, 2023, 10:27 AM From customer - We canceled the snorkeling trip weeks ago when we learned the water is cold. Help us get our refund please Mar 11, 2023, 10:46 AM Reply from ECOTREASURES Hi customer, Not sure why this didn’t happen, you will need to contact your travel agent Viator as the they have not cancelled your tour. You didn't book direct with us. The water is currently 25/26 which is not cold it’s actually the warmest the water gets Mar 11, 2023, 01:11 PM From customer - I did book direct on my home computer. Mar 11, 2023, 02:55 PM From customer - I booked through Viator Mar 11, 2023, 02:56 PM From customer - I canceled from my home computer. I don’t have those tries with me Mar 11, 2023, 02:56 PM To be clear you did not call us informing us you would attend. After all these messages you turned up on the day carrying on that you were booked in. I'm very sorry but please be clear in your communication with small business like us. If you tell us you are not coming then you are not coming. Now you have written a very poor review for us damaging our review score. I'm sorry but please be kind to small business and our staff and treat us fairly. I believe you have not treated us fairly in this instance. You were rude to our staff and have now slander our business online. You will see from all the good reviews, we do take care of people and will assist the best we can. The one thing we can't do is read you mind, so if you say you're not coming then don't come. It's very simple. Damien the owner - who had the all the communication with you
Dominique_T, Mar 2023
Our guide was great and was very helpful. On the walk he explained a lot about what we would be seeing and taught us about the protected waters around Shelly beach. On the walk there were a lot of huge spiders in their webs but our guide was very reassuring and explained that they were not dangerous. He warned us about what we should be aware of in the water and supplied all of the necessary gear. Once in the water we saw many different types of fish and sea life. A wonderful experience. There were unfortunately several jellyfish while we were there but they were quite easy to dodge. One of us did get a minor sting but it was not very painful and it went away quickly. Our guide was super nice and helpful. Overall it was a really great experience. I really recommend it.
Response from Host, Mar 2023
Awesome, thank you very much for the review. It's good to hear you valued the educational walk before the snorkel. It's a great way to meet the group and learn about the conservation area. Safe travels. Damien
First timers.
Cynthia_L, Mar 2023
Very knowledgeable tour we got to see some amazing sea life. It was both our first time but the instructions given and guidance made it a great experience
Response from Host, Mar 2023
We are very lucky to help you explore the underwater world. Too many more explorations in the future for you guys. Snorkeling is a fun and relaxing way to connect with nature. Thank you for your support Damien

From $71.20

up to 24 hours before the experience starts (local time)

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