Snorkeling at Greens Pool
William Bay National Park
How to Get There - From the centre of Denmark, head west along South Coast Highway until you see the signs for William Bay National Park. Turn left onto William Bay Road and follow this all the way to the parking area for Greens Pool. A popular spot in summer, please park in the bays provided and not on the side of the entry road. From the car park, follow the signs down the stairs to the beach at Greens Pool.
The Snorkel - Greens Pool is one of the most recognisable locations on the South Coast thanks to the idyllic waters, pristine beach and granite islands that are found here. Add in Elephant Rocks and the small swimming cove a short walk away, and it's no wonder that during the summer you'll find a great number of holiday makers enjoying this stunning place. Over the years I've loved every visit to Greens Pool and William Bay National Park, from walking through on the Bibbulmun Track to getting soaked to the bone while riding past on the Munda Biddi Trail (and subsequent return to re-shoot that section in sunnier weather).
One thing I had always meant to do was return in the warmer months and snorkel around the protected bay of Greens Pool. The calm waters and granite islands looked great fun to explore and so when a South Coast escape was planned for the March long weekend, I packed my snorkeling gear and prayed for good weather. After seeing photos from Greens Pool all summer on the WA Snorkeling FaceSpace page, I was looking forward to getting in the water. March rolled around with Caris and I heading to Denmark to spend some time relaxing, hiking and exploring this wonderful area of WA. Plans were a bit fluid based on the weather and it looked like I wasn't going to get a window of semi-warm and clear weather to visit, although experiencing some rain after a dry summer was music to my ears. Sunday afternoon arrived and I decided we should take a trip out to William Bay National Park to look around at the very least and I could decide if I wanted a swim while I was there.
We arrived to clear and sunny weather, and despite the cooler temperatures, when the sun was shining it was really pleasant. We had a wander around the beach at Greens Pool, before I dragged Caris the short distance to see Elephant Rocks. Deciding that I was going for a snorkel, we returned to the car so I could grab my gear, plus the beach shelter for Caris to use while I was snorkeling (she wasn't keen to swim in the cold water). With the Birds of Tokyo playing two concerts this weekend and it being a long weekend, it wasn't surprising that we were surrounded by people. Changing into my swimming gear, I had forgotten the baby shampoo to clean my snorkel mask, so did the best I could and hoped it wouldn't fog too bad. I was super lucky as I entered the water, as I'd forgotten to close the card slot on my Olympus TG6 after last using it. Paying attention to the warning messages that appear every time you turn on the camera, I did a check on the slots and thankfully closed them before the camera hit the water.
Crisis averted, I plunged into the relatively warm water and got stuck into what would be a fantastic snorkel. The water seemed crystal clear as I immediately spotted a couple of Tarwhines in the shallows. Swimming towards the first granite island sticking out of the water, my rough plan was to follow the eastern edge where the giant granite dome hits the water, before reaching the southern rock wall and following that in a big loop, ducking off to explore whatever I could see in the meantime. Like a rocky iceberg, it was fun to see how much of the granite boulder was underwater but I didn't linger here too long as there were people jumping off into the water. Heading along the edge of the granite dome, this area is full of bare sand and sea grasses, so I was on the lookout for whatever marine life I could see. Hoping for a Stingray, Port Jackson Shark or Octopus on this trip, my early finds included a Moonlighter, McCulloch's Scalyfin, Old Wives and Silver Drummers. As I reached the group of islands that forms a barrier against the swells of the Southern Ocean, I was happy that the clarity remained pretty good.
Heading along the rocky barrier, I chased a few fish here and there but found that the real action was where all the submerged boulders were in the middle of Greens Pool. Forming great places for the fish to hide, there are lots of little channels and chasms to swim through and explore. At times it can be confusing about where to go but I just kept swimming around, following whatever path looked the most interesting. During my aimless wandering I came across a White-speckled Seahare, Senator Wrasse, Zebrafish, Redlip Morwong and a school of Bullseyes at the base of one of the giant granite boulders. After about an hour I was starting to get quite cold but really wanted to see something special, so ignored the shivering and swam around for a little longer. Eventually accepting that amazing visibility and a host of neat finds was going to be it, I headed back towards the closest island to shore for one last look, spotting a large Australasian Snapper. On way into the beach, the water turned into a lovely temperature and my last fish sighting was a well camouflaged King George Whiting. What a snorkel and I was super happy to have made the decision to visit.