The Coogee Maritime Trail is located north of the Port Coogee Marina and features an underwater art trail that you can snorkel or dive that starts in waist deep water and extends west around 200m to around 5m of water. You can snorkel or dive the Omeo Shipwreck also found here, about 25m off the shore in approximately 3-4m of water, this is where the art trail begins.
If the Coogee Maritime Trail is a bit of a drive for you we recommend, visiting on a day with little to no wind forecast. It was a little windy on the day we visited, and while it was still a beautiful spot for a swim and snorkel it was a little rough. We are sure it would be even absolutely stunning on a calm day however.
The Coogee Maritime Trail is really easy to find. It's just south of the Port Coogee Marina along Socrates Parade you will see a large staircase alongside a picnic shelter, a couple of large anchors and signage with some information about the area. Free parking at the Coogee Maritime Trail stairway access is found on Socrates Parade.
The stairways goes right down to the waters edge and (depending on the tide) the last step or two are in the water, so you have to hitch up your jeans if you don't want them to get wet.
There isn't a lot of sand between the water and the bank of rocks (although I think the tide was quite high on the day we visited) so it's not a good beach if you are looking for somewhere to lounge all day and enjoy a game of beach cricket. The next beach south at Coogee Beach may be a better option for this. In saying that it is a lovely beach for swimming and well protected from large waves, even when it's a little windy like the day we visited.
It's pretty easy to see where the Omeo Shipwreck with the both ends sticking well out of the water. The water around the Omeo Shipwreck is about 3m deep and you can swim around the wreck or over it. There are some plaques with information about the wreck, maritime life and aquatic life in the area. We unfortunately didn't see the plaques, it was a little rough so we were busy battling the elements and they may be a little covered in weed and difficult to see if you are not looking out for them.
We saw lots of different fish and a few colourful pieces of coral on the wreck so it's certainly a good snorkel or shallow dive. There were a few jelly fish around but the water was clear enough to see them and keep clear. There were a few stings amongst us, but they were fairly mild but if you are going with little kids it's a good idea to bring some vinegar along.
The first few pieces of artwork on the trail can be seen at waist height. After heading out for a snorkel I walked my younger son out to the closest piece, a golden seal.
There are also a couple of Apollo clusters in line with the Omeo Shipwreck not far from the seal. To see the rest of the artworks you need to swim west up to 200m (up to 7m deep) to see them all. With young kids in tow it was a little too far out for us to explore but look forward to visiting again without the kids to swim the whole trail.
After enjoying a snorkel or dive there is a nice picnic area back at the top of the stairs. You'll find a grassed area and big shelter. There are no bbqs or toilets at the Coogee Maritime Trail access however. A shower was installed late in 2020 however.
Here you can also read some information about the Omeo ironsteam ship that was run aground and wrecked in 1905 as well as information about marine life and maritime history from the area.
If you are keen on a coffee before or after your snorkel, Dome Port Coogee is just down the road to the north, as is Coogee Beach Cafe just south at Coogee Beach.
If you are looking to enjoy a family snorkel and swim or a shallow dive, there is something for the whole family to enjoy at Coogee Maritime Trail with art pieces in the shallows, the wreck not far off shore and a lovely beach to swim at too.
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Review by Kids Around Perth Reporter, Lauren 20th March 2018
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