Red & Black Anemonefish
Lady Elliot Island (Credit: Darren Jew)
Green Turtle (Credit: Darren Jew)
Manta Ray (Credit: Funtraveltv)
Lady Elliot Island is a coral cay island situated at the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. Located approximately 80 kilometres north-east of Bundaberg and nestled in between Fraser Island and Lady Musgrave Island. Lady Elliot is the closest Great Barrier Reef island to Brisbane, Queensland’s southern capital. The Island lies within a Marine National Park ‘Green Zone’ and forms part of Australia’s World Heritage Listed Area on the Great Barrier Reef.
Lady Elliot Island has a small low-key Eco Resort but the main attraction for visitors is the natural environment, the reef and abundance of marine life. Lady Elliot is only 42 Hectares (100 acres) in size, small enough to walk around in 45 minutes.
The resort accommodates 150 overnight guests and is world renowned for the range of environmental best-practice measures implemented. A small sample of the initiatives includes the construction of a Hybrid Solar Power Station desalination plant, waste water treatment plant and recycling depot, as well as implementation of jet drive outboard motors and an extensive citizen science reef monitoring program.
The Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort Management team takes responsibility as a steward of the island’s incredible marine and terrestrial biodiversity, operating on the “Four E’s” Philosophy; to look after our Environment we need to be Efficient, Economically Sustainable and able to Educate effectively.
It is little wonder that Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort has scooped a plethora of awards that highlight its success as an environmental champion and industry leader in preserving one of the world’s greatest natural wonders..
Lady Elliot Island
Lady Elliot is a true coral cay located on the southern tip of Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef, 80kms northeast of Bundaberg, just north of Fraser Island. Being part of the Bunker Group of islands and reefs, this small flat coral cay is 42 hectares in size and is situated within a highly protected ‘Green Zone’ of the Marine National Park, providing a sanctuary for over 1,200 species of marine life.
Lady Elliot Island is regarded as one of the best diving and snorkelling sites across the Great Barrier Reef, due to its southern location resulting in outstanding water clarity, it is perfect to admire the healthy coral reef, the abundance of turtles, manta rays, reef sharks and a vast array of tropical fish. The corals at Lady Elliot Island are exceptional, with varying underwater landscapes across different sides of the island. This provides a wonderful mix of hard and soft corals, bommies and larger coral platforms to explore.
Lady Elliot Island is known as the ‘Home of the Manta Ray’ and these giant 'kites of the sea' can be seen feeding around the Island throughout the year but aggregate in larger numbers during the winter months. Three species of sea turtles frequent Lady Elliot Island throughout the year, namely the Hawksbill, Green and Loggerhead turtles. Green and Loggerhead Turtles are the only ones that nest on the Island, nesting occurs on Lady Elliot Island November through to March and the hatchlings make their journey to the ocean February through to April.
From June to October, the graceful Humpback Whales migrate past Lady Elliot Island. Regular sightings occur on the scenic flights, from the glass bottom boat, whilst snorkelling or diving and from the Island's beaches.
It is not just the marine offerings that make this region such an ecological wonder. Lady Elliot Island has the highest seabird diversity of any island within the Great Barrier Reef, with a huge volume of seabirds migrating to the island between October and April each year. Of the 57 species that can be found on the island throughout the year, approximately 14 of these species use the site to breed.