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Lakeside snorkel, Ningaloo Marine Park

Explore corals in a sanctuary zone within the spectacular Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Unknown
Length: 0.311 miles
Duration: Unknown

Overview :  This shore dive is a good spot for snorkellers in the right conditions. Lakeside has numerous bombies of massive corals (Porites... more »

Tips:  If you stop at Milyering Visitor Centre in Cape Range National Park to check on tides and weather conditions, staff will be able to... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Lakeside campground and car park

Park adjacent to the Lakeside camp site (see dec.wa.gov.au/campgrounds for information about camping here), but note that vehicle access is not allowed along the beach north or south of the sandbar. You must walk south along the beach for 500m to reach the entry point.

2. Entry point

The beginning of the snorkel site is about 500m south of the Lakeside day parking site.

3. Sandy bottom with paddleweed

On the sandy bottom areas on the swim out to the bommies, keep your eyes open for species such as the spangled emperor, snub-nosed dart and hermit crabs, sea cucumbers and shells crawling across the sea floor. Also keep your eyes peeled for burrowing fish such as gobies in the sandy bottom habitats.

4. Small to medium sized corals

Numerous small reef fish and invertebrates inhabit an area containing small to medium-sized corals and algae-covered rock. Large rays are commonly seen on the adjacent sandy bottom.

5. Anemone colony

A small broken coral wall with interesting ledges progresses into a bombie wall. You should be able to locate an isolated medium coral head, with a huge anemone colony and its symbiotic anemonefish. These bright orange and white fish have developed a mucous that prevents the anemone’s stinging tentacles from triggering. These small fish then gain ... More

6. Coral wall and ledge

A coral wall with a ledge at its base often harbours stingrays, angelfish, toadfish, goatfish and other fish species. There are small staghorn corals on its top.

7. Fire coral

The next point of interest is a sandy gutter with scattered stands of fire coral. This is not a true coral. Take care not to brush against it, as this species can cause a burning sensation. Large schools of pike, juvenile snapper, trevally toadfish, surgeonfish and parrotfish frequent the area.

8. Massive coral

The southern face of a massive (Porites) coral has several caves and crevices in which you can often see sharks and rays dozing. Massive corals are fairly slow growing. Colonies four metres high may be more than 500 years old and therefore could have been growing long before Europeans came to Australia. There are numerous coral heads of various... More

9. Isolated bombie

There is a wall with an isolated bombie on the north-east corner. The main bombie is flat topped and has extremely diverse reef fauna.

10. Ledge

A ledge at the base of a wall of coral is a favourite spot for rays and toadfish. As you move back towards shore, you will swim over clouds of chromis fish hovering above stands of fire coral.

11. Small coral colonies

On the way back to shore you may see a number of small coral colonies of various species amongst rocky rubble and algae. Anemones, sea cucumbers, urchins, turban shells, clams and burrowing fish are commonly seen.