Snorkeling with sharks on the Gold Coast: Not as dangerous as you might think!

One mention of a shark and most people’s hearts start to race, especially if already in the ocean! But not all sharks are dangerous, in fact there are a number of harmless sharks out there and you’ll find one very distinctive looking one right here on the Gold Coast that we regularly snorkel with.

The graceful Leopard shark, which gets its name from its striking pattern of black markings and large spots, can be found right here off Coolangatta and the Tweed Heads Coast around Cook Island. At the southern end of the Gold Coast is where you’ll find Cook Island, a small rocky island teeming with marine life, named after the well known explorer. It’s on our snorkel tours here that we’re lucky enough to see these bottom dwelling sharks swimming along the ocean floor in search of small fish and crabs. 

While Cook Island is renowned for its Turtle population, this Gold Coast locals secret snorkel spot is bursting with beautiful sights and sea life of the harmless but no less exciting type! The Leopard Shark falls into this category ever so nicely as it’s quite the treat to swim and snorkel alongside a shark while knowing you’re not in any danger. 

Leopard sharks have a typical slender shark shaped body and usually grow to around 1.5m but have been known to grow over 2m long! While they have nearly 100 small teeth they are rather more wary of us humans and don’t tend to come too close, hence there has never been a case of a Leopard Shark attacking a human.

On the flip side these cruisy creatures have been classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 2015 due to overfishing and shark nets. This devastating fact is another reason we appreciate just how incredibly lucky we are to see and snorkel with Leopard Sharks so regularly so close to Coolangatta – only a 15-20min boat ride from the Tweed River (where Cooly Eco Adventures departs from) or about 55min from the Gold Coast Seaway. 

Every chance we get to photograph these beautiful species or when one of our customers on a snorkel trip snaps a shot of them we send it off to leopardsharkswildbook.org who collect the data for the East Coast of Australia and work to protect these endangered l animals.

Swim with Whales on the Gold Coast. Exclusive to Cooly Eco Adventures

Scroll to Top