Want to know if you need to wear a stinger suit when going into the water at Keswick in case there are stingers? Are there any good snorkelling or diving spots? Anything exciting in the water, like shipwrecks? Discover what you can expect when you’re visiting Keswick.
Basil Bay is the main swimming beach on Keswick and because it faces SW there hasn’t been any reports of stingers in the past. If anything, we might get a few sea lice during king tides. We think this is because they come out of the sand that doesn’t normally have water covering it. During king tides, as you’re walking into the water, there is a lot of air that comes up with each step… We call it effervescence. 🙂
The locals don’t usually wear stinger suits as no one has ever been stung. However, if you’re allergic to stings, then you might want to consider wearing a stinger suit just in case to be safe.
At certain times of the year, usually the latter part, you can spot some baby black tip reef sharks in the shallows. Quite often there are sand rays basking in the warm shallows as well. They’re all easy to scare off as you walk into the water and they swim away.
Connie Bay faces north and there was one occasion when blue bottles were found on the beach. There is less shade at Connie Bay compared to Basil Bay.
Arthur Bay, next to Basil Bay, is safe to swim in and lovely after walking the Arthur Bay track. It’s always a little more private at that beach.
Victor Bay is the next beach around the headland and is safe to swim at. It also has some good coral viewing to be had straight off the beach. It’s a good idea to kayak or SUP as it’s a bit further away and tides can come in quickly.
Egremont Passage has a 6 knot current and we don’t recommend swimming there as it is very deep. Some people think they can just swim across to St Bees Island, but it would be foolish to even attempt that. It is safe to snorkel along the reef in Horseshoe Bay between tides and Coral Gardens at the southern end of the runway is a good place to snorkel from a boat. Basil Bay is a safe place to snorkel, but there isn’t all that much to see at high tide. Mid towards low tide would be better snorkelling further out from the beach.
Spear fishing can reap some good rewards around Keswick and winter is the only time you’d need to wear a wetsuit. The visibility underwater is usually fairly good but depends entirely on the tides and weather.
There are 3 shipwrecks around Keswick and St Bees Islands; the Singapore at Singapore Rock, the Cremer on the eastern side of St Bees and the Llewellyn SW of St Bees. It is recommended that diving take place either side of slack tide for better visibility.