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Lady Elliot is one of Australia's best protected scuba diving islands where sights of manta rays, whales and turtles are common.

Name Dive Site:Lady Elliot Island
Inserted/Added by: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel

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Best dive-season / How to get there: Small 10-seater airplanes run scenic direct flights from Bundaberg, the Gold Coast and Hervey Bay in anything between half an hour and 1.5 hours. You can see whales beteen June and October and hatching turtles between November and April. Any time is good to be here, but the summer months are slightly better.

Lady Elliot Island is a small unpaved coral cay about 80 km from mainland Australia. It is the most southern coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef and popular because of its remoteness and scuba diving. Dive sites such as the Blow Hole where you can enter a large cavern inside the reef crest and Encounters, named after the sightings of Manta Rays, is what scuba divers are here for; diving at its best. The best snorkeling can be found between the Coral Gardens and the Lighthouse at the west side of the island. Shallow corals are not as colorful as expected, but tropical reef fish, turtles and rays are very common and it tends to be better a bit further offshore. Hatching Green turtles and Loggerhead Turtles (but also Hawksbill Turtles) can be found during the months January to April while whales are common between June to October. The lagoon on the east can be crossed all the way to the reef edge during low tide. Being within the Great Barrier Reefs' 'Green Zone', it is protected by Australia's highest standard.

Besides its beach activities such as swimming, snorkeling and diving, you can explore its 15meter high lighthouse. Originally built in 1866, Queensland 3rd lighthouse, but later destroyed by a hurricane and rebuild with its current wooden construction and iron cladding. Other activities include an island history tour, where you learn that Captain Thomas Stuart sailed by on a vessel called Lady Elliot in 1816. For those who don't like to get wet, you can explore its fantastic underwater scenery by glass bottomed boat. There are organized fish feedings and sea bird watching trips for views of boobies, terns and gull. Staying in the luxury Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort ( is a treat for each vacationer.

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