The 10 best places to go freediving in Sydney

Sydney harbour bridge being backlit by a sunset
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If you are a Sydney resident, or just visiting for a holiday, you might not realise that you are surrounded by some of the best freediving sites in Australia – and even the world. 

Read on to learn the 10 best places to go freediving in Sydney. 

What is freediving? 

Freediving is an activity that people do for sport, relaxation and fitness. It involves diving long or deep distances on a single breath hold, without scuba equipment. Freediving is a great way to experience marine environments, and is an excellent form of exercise. 

If you’re interested in freediving in Sydney, these are the absolute best places to go. 

Man laying on seafloor looking relaxed while freediving with snorkel

1. Shelley Beach

If you’re a beginner, Shelley Beach is the perfect Sydney freediving spot to visit. 

As a part of the Cabbage Tree Bay marine reserve, it’s abundant with unspoilt marine life. This underwater paradise, coupled with its shallow depth (most of the best spots are 10m or less), is a great way to experience the beauty of freediving without the challenges. 

2. Bare Island

Bare Island is one of the most recognisable landmarks in Sydney. A fort sits on top of the small island, built by the British while they were colonising Australia. 

Situated in Botany Bay, this dive is a little more challenging as swells can rise around the island. But the sights below water as well as above it make it an amazing destination for freediving in Sydney. 

Sunset photo of the walkway to the fort at Bare Island

3. The Basin

Accessible by ferry from Palm Beach, this freediving site is known for an abundance of one of the most weird and wonderful sea creatures in the world: seahorses!

Throughout the year seahorses flock to the Basin, but they aren’t the only attraction. A whole host of other sea life, including starfish and cuttlefish, can be found all year round. 

Three seahorses clinging to a piece of seaweed

4. Bondi Beach

Okay, you might be wondering how Sydney, and quite possibly Australia’s most popular beach, would be a good option for freediving? Surely with that many people all the marine life would have been scared away, right?

Now obviously we don’t recommend trying to stake your claim between the flags, but the north and south of the beach (near the rocks) have some impressive marine diversity. If you have a group of friends who aren’t into freediving, you can nip down to the rocks for a dive and then come back for a more relaxing, social swim.

Wide view picture of people sitting on Bondi Beach

5. Malabar Beach

Just like Bare Island, if you’ve got a hankering for history Malabar Beach is one of the best places to go freediving in Sydney.

It boasts the perfect combination of two shipwrecks in fantastic condition and clear water. That means whether you are a snokeller or a freediver looking to take their diving to the next level, you’ll get a great view of the historic wrecks. 

Fish swimming through a rusty window in a shipwreck

6. Oak Park

Oak Park is one of the most versatile sites for freediving in Sydney. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert freediver, it can cater to you.

To ease yourself into freediving, try practising breath holds in the beautiful tidal pools. There will be plenty of crustaceans and small fish to keep you engaged. Or if you are more confident, you can move further out to sea where this spot is renowned for turtle sightings. 

7. Kurnell

Dragons are scary, but sea dragons are cute! Or weird… But either way they are interesting. The best thing about Kurnell is that it’s teaming with them. 

Kurnell is in the South of Botany Bay and has plenty to see for shallow divers. In particular, it is known for having plenty of colourful sponges. For more advanced divers however, the sea dragons are usually found further down in the depths. 

Sea dragon swimming past some seaweed

8. Clovelly

Flanked by concrete, this Sydney freediving site isn’t going to have a much challenge to offer for the Alexey Molchanov’s among you, but it is an unbeatable location for first-time freedivers. 

Shallow, protected from currents and swells, and easy to access, Clovelly’s tranquil waters offer no challenge to beginners, and also provide perfect snorkelling conditions all year round. 

9. Little Bay

Another great beginner and snorkelling spot is Little Bay. Located in South-East Sydney, it is uniquely protected by headland that maintains clear, still waters and limits larger predators from scaring away the smaller sea creatures. 

While the beach can be difficult to access (it has steep steps down to the beach) there are amenities at the bottom so you won’t need to climb them unnecessarily throughout the day. 

Long angle shot of Little Bay, Sydney

10. Wattamolla Beach

If you’re looking for a truly hidden gem, Wattamolla Beach is like an oasis on the coast. Technically an estuary, it looks like a fantasy lagoon with some of the most beautiful sea life of any freediving site in Sydney.

If you have an interest in freediving or snorkelling, but you also have young children, this site is perfect for you. There are bushwalks, rock pools, safe shallow waters for kids to paddle in…this spot truly is a dream for a freediver with a family. 

Try a freediving course

Now that you know all the best places to go freediving in Sydney, how about you join a freediving class to develop the skills to use them?

At Freediving Central, we offer beginner, intermediate and advanced courses, as well as courses for instructors.

No matter your skill level, Freediving Central can help you improve. 

To get in touch and book a lesson, visit our contact page.

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