Lady Elliot Island is known for having some of the clearest water in the country, with visibility staying around 30 metres for most of the year. It’s definitely the best place to experience the Great Barrier Reef for your snorkelling or diving holiday.
The resort has a dive centre conducting daily dives to the surrounding reef. Most dives can be done from the shore if you’re prepared to swim a little but the resort can also take you by boat if you prefer. There are 14 dive sites to explore right off the shore. The sea life in the area is spectacular and seeing manta rays, sharks and turtles is a regular occurrence.
The only wreck in the area is the Severance which sunk in 1998 and is still in great condition. For caverns, swim throughs and wall diving head to the Blow Hole or Tubes sites, for big fish and a great cave dive Hiro’s Cave and for an abundance of reef fish, sharks, turtles and rays then you’ll love Grouper’s Grovel. The best site to see reef sharks is Shark Pool and the best sites for manta rays are Encounters, Spiders Ledge, Anchors and Lighthouse Bommies sites.
If you just want to relax explore the area by snorkelling then you’ll find some great spots right off the beach near the lighthouse, or at low tide go on a guided reef walk. Be prepared for seeing some of the most amazing underwater life on the planet, you won’t want to leave this tropical paradise.
(By Kelly Luckman)
Located 80km off the coast of Bundaberg, Lady Elliot Island is the most southern coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef . The island only has one resort and an airstrip so you really will feel like you’re getting away from it all, surrounded by white sand and crystal clear water it’s one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
The only way to get to Lady Elliot is to fly from Bundaberg, Hervey Bay or the Gold Coast. There is no ferry transfer as there is no jetty for the boats to dock. The eco resort has a range of accommodation from small cabins for about $320 a night for 2 people, if you share with more then it works out cheaper and with 6 people sharing it’ll only cost you $140 a night per person. If you want a little more luxurious then you’re looking at $500-$600 a night for a double room.
You can walk around the island easily in about 30 minutes and you can stop and check out the lighthouse and small graveyard on your wander. The resort has some free activities for you to enjoy such as snorkelling, mini golf, guided walks, bird watching, whale watching and a few games like soccer, table tennis or pool. Other activities available at an extra cost are glass bottom boat tours, fishing and diving. This is one of the best places on the Great Barrier Reef to dive.
The turtle watching experience is not to be missed, from Nov-Feb turtles come up onto the beach to lay their eggs and to see this is a very special experience. Be sure to go with the guide as they know the best vantage points as to not disturb the expecting mothers.
There are a few restaurants and cafes to choose from at the resort. Breakfast and dinner are included in the overnight rate so you just have to buy lunch. Chill out at the Lagoon Bar for sunset and enjoy a cocktail or two looking out over the reef.
There’s no where in the world like Lady Elliot Island and if you are lucky enough to experience it, then you’ll never forget this amazing place.
(By Kelly Luckman)