- Unbelievable diving and snorkeling
- Southern tip of Great Barrier Reef so easy to get to from South East Queensland
- Small island so easy to get around
- Magical crystal clear waters, great underwater visibility
- Great for getting really really up close with Manta Rays, Turtles and all sorts of sea and bird life
- Out in the middle of the ocean so there is no light “noise” at night from anywhere else – the star gazing is amazing
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. The 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 air strip 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 class room. 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 year. It’s just beautiful.
A short walk across the airfield to other other side of the island and you enter the snorkeling 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 for day trips or stay in cabins or “glamping” on the Island.
Essential gear required
The Island itself does supply pretty much everything you need for diving and snorkeling, including reef shoes that you can borrow as the beaches are coral shells. They even sell underwater cameras. Depending how hard core 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. Also a night torch as exploring the island at night – in the pitch black the star gazing 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, snorkeling, bird watching and definitely photography, both above and below the water. Sunsets on the Lighthouse side of the Island are spectacular.
I would suggest to make 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 walk everywhere – although nowhere is very far. Lots and lots of swimming too so a cold beer at the end of the day watching the sun set is always well appreciated and a must do.