An island paradise that is a marine sanctuary, home to manta rays and green turtles and located in the heart of the spectacular Great Barrier Reef? Sounds like an exotic destination from a movie!
But your crew of castaways can experience this tropical haven for yourselves with a day trip or overnight visit to Lady Elliot Island. And we haven’t even reached the best bit yet! While you are kicking back on postcard-perfect beaches, snorkeling in an octopus’ garden or spotting quirky coral creatures on a reef walk, you’ll also be learning heaps about the environment and leaving a minimal impact on this natural wonder.
The small eco-resort of Lady Elliot Island is proudly certified as a Climate Action Leader which means the complex is highly sustainable, rely on renewable technologies and leaves a minimal carbon footprint. During your stay, your family will learn heaps from guides and staff about the fragile ecosystems on the island and how best to protect them. North-east of Bundaberg, Lady Elliot is the southernmost coral cay of the Great Barrier Reef and is recognised as a highly protected Green Zone. Mums, Dads and kids alike will leave with a newfound respect for precious nature.
You can take return scenic flights for a quick visit to Lady Elliot Island, followed by an Orientation Tour and either a glass-bottom boat trip or guided snorkelling tour. With a buffet lunch provided along with snorkel equipment and access to all facilities, after an afternoon of leisurely snorkeling or strolling, you’ll be wishing you had more time to revel in the island’s environmental marvels!
A stay in your choice of a suite, cabin or unit includes full buffet dinners and breakfasts and spectacular views and access to the ocean. In fact, the two-bedroom Island Suite, which sleeps four and has a private balcony, fronts directly onto the beach. An overnight package gives you free range over a beach volleyball court, salt water pool, Beachfront café, children’s playground and Reef Education Centre. Have a peek at the Lady Elliot website at the deals on offer, as you might be able to purchase a package that gives you one or two nights free. For a trip that truly is one-of-a-kind, investigate the Reef to Rainforest package which offers you two nights on Lady Elliot Island and then two nights on Fraser Island!
What to do and see
Every day on Lady Elliot there are free guided tours and activities perfect for adventurous families. Try a reef walk with special poles and ‘seascope’ shoes, or try out the snorkel spots for a plunge into the magical world beneath the surface. There are two main snorkel entry points on the island. At The Lagoon on the eastern side, you’ll find calm, safe waters and an abundance of tropical fish, corals, urchins and even turtles if you’re lucky. More experienced swimmers should venture to the west to encounter the dolphins, reef sharks and manta rays for which the island is so famous. Littlies or anyone needing a refresher or confidence boost can get a snorkel lesson in the resort pool.
To step it up a notch, take a diving course for any level of experience. This one might be for the older families, looking to scope out the twenty dive sites around the island, accessed by boat, with over 20 metres of visibility for much of the year. Escorted by experienced staff, the once-in-a-lifetime day and night dives will show off the island’s majestic offshore residents, including giant manta rays and green or loggerhead turtles.
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