My girlfriend and I recently spent an afternoon snorkelling at Julian Rocks Marine Reserve with Byron Bay Dive Centre! This scuba diving spot is really special as this is where the beauty of the Coral Sea meets the wildness of the Southern Ocean. This means you get to see the beautiful fish from the Great Barrier Reef mingle with the fish from Sydney
Julian Rocks is unique in that you have different temperatures on either side of the rocks meaning you have an abundance of ecosystems supporting many species. So when you snorkel or dive, you see heaps of marine life from sea turtles, harmless reef sharks and the odd nemo (clown fish) or two! Meeting at the Byron Bay Dive Centre for either snorkelling or diving you get your briefing with the lovely experienced staff and you head off to the beach. Taking the three minute boat ride to the rocks, you are ready to jump overboard and enjoy the reef.
I have dived and snorkelled before however it was my first time to Julian Rocks so I was pretty excited to see what it was all about. My girlfriend was new to the whole thing. The dive team did a great job from catering for both of us and the other guests from start to finish.
We were taken through the steps of filling out paperwork, watching a video presentation, getting geared up and comfortable testing the wetsuits and snorkelling mask whilst being instructed in a controlled environment in the pool at the dive centre before boarding the bus to The Pass launch-off area. We were introduced to a few different members of staff helping us out in all the various roles, all friendly and accommodating.
Our snorkelling group was part of a larger group of two boats including scuba divers. It was interesting and I think quite valuable for me to watch and familiarise myself with the procedures of scuba diving and then being able to snorkel on the surface and watch the scuba divers underneath.
The snorkelling itself was amazing. We were lucky enough to see 3 or 4 turtles, a few Wobbegong sharks and a crazy amount of fish of all shapes and sizes. We had always been told from friends and others how good it is at Julian Rocks so our expectations were quite high to begin with, which fortunately for us was completely justified.
To be out there floating around and seeing first-hand all the fish and turtles and a few sharks truly was a great experience for us both. A big thank you to the crew at the Byron Bay Dive Centre for a great afternoon of snorkelling.