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Southern Great Barrier Reef

Southern Great Barrier Reef

Heron Island- Reef Within Reach


The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world's most iconic destinations for travellers.  Yet there are still parts of the reef where visitors can feel like intrepid explorers, as if they were discovering places no one else has ever been.

The Southern Great Barrier Reef offers visitors the chance to see large hard coral reefs firsthand and join colourful fish, turtles and manta rays for a swim.

All of our Southern Great Barrier Reef islands offer reef within reach.  Reef walkers will discover jewel-bright starfish, sea urchins, clams and corals exposed at low tide.  Snorkel or Scuba Dive amongst iridescent coral gardens, teeming with abundant fish life and turtles.

Thousands of seabirds nest in rookeries on the Southern Great Barrier Reef islands.  Many rare birds have been attracted to these havens and Lady Elliot Island now has its own small colony of red-tailed tropic birds.

Divers are well catered for with dive facilities on the island and specialised dive boats from Bundaberg

Back on the mainland and in the coastal towns of Bargara, Coral Cove and Elliott Heads, volcanic action of millions of years ago laid down an ideal bed for fringing coral reefs which can be seen on fine calm days by snorkelling only a metre or two from shore.

As an integral part of the marine ecosystem the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Queensland National Parks.  Please ensure you play your part in conserving this world class attraction. 


Lady Elliot Island

A mere 25 minute scenic flight, over the coast and reef, from the Bundaberg Airport and you are landing on the first island of the Great Barrier Reef.  The waters around Lady Elliot Island teem with marine life.  A coral cay, Lady Elliot Island i sworld reknown as home of the Manta Ray, with research identifying over 700 individual manta rays in the surrounding waters.  (That makes for pretty good odds of spotting one as you are flying to/from the island, or while you are snorkelling, diving or in the glass bottom boat).  Visitors can enjoy a day trip to this Southern Great Barrier Reef gem, or stay for as long as you like in the islands' 41 room eco resort. 


Lady Musgrave Island

Lady Musgrave Island is a day cruise away from Bundaberg Port Marina - onboard Lady Musgrave Experience, and also Town of 1770/Agnes Water onboard 1770Reef  Great Barrier Reef Eco Tours, Lady Musgrave Island is unique as it is the only coral island on the Great Barrier Reef with a navigable lagoon.  

The island and lagoon is a pristine oral cay with 1,192 hectares of spectacular fringing reef ready to be explored.   

Heron Island

In the north lies Heron Island, ribboned by sugar white sands, crystal waters and acres of coral gardens ripe for exploring.  With no day trippers, the 4 star resort island is made for doing as little or as much as you like, a boat ride from Gladstone Harbour.