Snorkelling and Wildlife Swims


  • Snorkel Swims (primarily swim on the surface of the water)
  • Snorkel Diving (swims below the surface for relatively sustained periods of time holding their breath)


Snorkelling involves participants swimming, primarily on the surface of the water, using a mask, snorkel and fins to observe, “what is in the water” including wildlife, reef formations and plant life.  These include wildlife swims using snorkelling gear.

snorkel diving, where snorkellers are diving and swimming below the water surface while holding
their breath.

A snorkellers buoyancy has risk and safety management implications. Snorkel swimming activities generally have the snorkellers positively buoyant so that they float on the surface. Snorkel diving is more difficult while positively buoyant. When snorkel diving is a feature of the activity, snorkellers may use equipment to become close to neutral buoyancy with the potential to become negatively buoyant.

Snorkelling activities may be shore or boat based. It may occur in a range of environments and types of water bodies.

Water bodies are classified for snorkelling as either:
confined water: a swimming pool or a naturally formed water site no larger in area than approximately an Olympic size swimming pool with a depth of less than 5 metres, and which offers swimming pool like conditions with respect to water clarity and calmness
open water: any body of water that is not confined water.

The different type of water bodies can have different associated environmental hazards and risks.

Snorkelling is swimming for recreation with the aid of a snorkel, other than snorkelling in a swimming pool.

Who Can Participate

Open to all.

Some Activity Providers may have additional age or height restrictions.

Safety Rules

  • Sun smart protocols should be adhered to.
  • The minimum dress requirements are: a long sleeved rash shirt / wetsuit. Long hair should be up. Jewellery such as necklaces, bracelets, long earrings, rings and watches, must be removed.
  • Participants need to be able to swim 50 metres and stay afloat for three minutes wearing shirt, shorts, shoes OR hold the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia Swim and Survive level 3 or higher (or equivalent).
  • Should there be inclement weather the LiC will decide if the activity should proceed or be postponed.
  • Swimming is only permitted when the depth of water is appropriate, considering the swimming ability of the participants.
  • Must read the Australian Adventure Activity Standard (Snorkeling Good Practice Guide)

Supervision Requirements

Refer to Girl Guides Australia Ratios at a Glance

Leader in Charge

  • The LiC must ensure that all participants are informed of appropriate clothing and/or personal equipment prior to the activity.
  • The LiC must organise and collect the ADM.27 from youth members and ADM.28 from adults. The LiC must inform the Activity Instructor of any health conditions or behaviour issues with participants.
  • The LiC must have an appropriate first aid kit suitable for the activity present at the activity venue.
  • The LiC must ensure participants have water and food appropriate to the activity.
  • The LiC is responsible for all participants when they are not participating in the activity.

Activity Instructor

Many outdoor activity centres will use in-house instructor qualifications. If you are unsure if they are accepted or alternative qualifications are held, contact your State Outdoor Activities Manager to ensure the instructor’s qualification is suitable.

Minimum requirements for activity instructor

  • Competency in the following units of the Certificate III or IV in snorkel guide/instructor as offered through Australian Qualifications
    Framework (AQF)
  • A National Accreditation Scheme (NCAS) level 1 or Assistant Instructor
  • All Instructors/assistant instructors and/or guides must have recognised current training in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and emergency

Questions to be asked when looking for an Activity Provider

  • The Activity Leader/Instructor is to brief all participants on safety and the care of equipment prior to the activity.
  • It is suggested that the Activity Leader / Instructor provide ground training prior to the commencement of the activity if relevant.
  • Obtain permission from relevant authorities for access and use of land and waterbodies. Examples are: National Parks, State forests and private landowners.
  • The ratified Activity Leader/ Instructor must have knowledge of the locality, facilities, and terrain and weather conditions of the area that the activity will be taking place.
  • Should there be inclement weather the LiC and ratified instructor will need to negotiate whether the activity should proceed or be postponed.
  • Activity Leader/Instructor must have a first aid kit and appropriate rescue equipment readily accessible to all participants.

Notification Forms Required


For Approval – Prior to the Activity

  • OUT01 Camp/Adventure-based/Event: Notification /Application
  • 56B Risk Assessment Plan for Outdoor Activities, Events & Camps
  • The Activity Provider’s Risk Management Plan

At the Activity

  • Participants are required to have completed: ADM.27 for Youth Members or ADM.28 for Adults
  • Girl Guide Incident Report

After the Activity

  • 03 Camp/Adventure-based/Event Report


Last Modified: 10/09/22 at 12:53 AM