Lady Elliot Island is not your regular Barrier Reef, island resort type holiday. It’s a hardcore eco-adventure getting up close with bird and sea life.

Quick Overview

Dive deep into the waters of Lady Elliot Island, located in Queensland in the Great Barrier Reef. From Brisbane, the only way to reach Lady Elliot Island is via a 30-minute flight from Bundaberg.



  • Unbelievable diving and snorkelling.
  • The southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • A small island, so it’s easy to get around.
  • Magical crystal clear waters and great underwater visibility.
  • Getting up close with manta rays, turtles and all sorts of sea and birdlife.
  • Stargazing as there’s no light pollution out there.

Tiny, Tiny Island…

Lady Elliot Island itself is very small, only 100 acres in size, you can easily walk around the whole island in about 45 minutes. It is separated down the middle by a grass airstrip for small planes which is the only way to access the island. Elliot is a Heritage Listed Marine Park and the closest Barrier Reef Island one to Brisbane.

If you’re thinking of cocktails and lazy days on the beach, I would probably suggest somewhere else. This whole place is a giant eco-classroom. On one side of the island is a massive lagoon where you find not only heaps of fish and sea life, but can swim up close with turtles as well as watching their hatchlings at certain times of the year.

It’s just beautiful.

A short walk across the airfield to the other side of the island and you’ll enter the snorkelling and diving zone, some of the best I have seen. There is even a shipwreck for keen divers.

Sitting on the bottom of the coral cay watching giant manta rays swim majestically around you is a bucket list, must-do experience and just incredible. Can’t recommend this place enough for enthusiastic snorkelers and divers. You can go on day trips, stay in cabins or glamp out on the island.

Essential Gear

The Island itself does supply pretty much everything you need for diving and snorkelling, including reef shoes that you can borrow as the beaches are coral shells. They even sell underwater cameras.

Depending on how hardcore you are, you could just pack your swimmers and be off. However, I would recommend at least a decent underwater camera because the images you can get are incredible. Be sure to bring a night torch as exploring the island in the pitch black and going stargazing is great fun.

How To Get There

The only way to access the island is by plane. You can fly direct from Bundaberg, Brisbane, Hervey Bay and the Gold Coast.


  • Swimming
  • Diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Bird watching
  • Photography, both above and below the water
  • Sunsets on the lighthouse side of the island are spectacular

Skill Level

I would suggest making the most of the island, you at least want to be an intermediate snorkeler. Diving is not essential but definitely a bonus if you have your Dive License.

Distance Covered / Elevation Gain

The Island itself is only 100 acres with no vehicles so you have to walk everywhere – although nowhere is very far. You’ll also be doing lots and lots of swimming too, so a cold beer at sunset is always well deserved.