Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef
Picture plunging into a cool turquoise sea where ancient corals and exquisite aquatic creatures form an underwaterworld of vivid psychedelic colours. Imagine the feel of pure white sand between your toes as you walk along apristine beach with only your thoughts as company. Look out across the sparkling water where the fish, turtles andrays play, relax under the shade of a pandanus tree and with the gentle smell of sea-salt in the air take in the trulyspectacular sights and sounds of the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
The Gladstone Region is the only gateway to the entire Southern Great Barrier Reef. This internationally renownedpart of the Great Barrier Reef is known for its untouched, colourful and varied reef ecosystems. These marineenvironments are truly special and will leave you speechless. The Gladstone Region is dotted with impressive coral cays and reefs found throughout the Swain Reefs, Capricorn and Bunker Groups. Many are only a stone’s throw away from the coast. A getaway to a reef resort, day cruise, organised dive trip orchartered fishing adventure are just some of the great ways to explore this most remarkable part of the Great BarrierReef.
GREAT BARRIER REEF-HERON ISLAND
Heron Island is a jewel within an extensive complex of reefs. While on your Heron Island holiday, you can experience world-renowned diving, as well as snorkelling, fishing, reef walking and nature walks. The sun setting behind Australia is a sight not to be missed.
Heron Island lies 72 kilometres north east off the coast of Gladstone, and covers a total area of 18 hectares. Here you can enjoy some of the world’s best reef diving. From a range of quality accommodation, you step straight to the reef where the waters are teeming with colourful life. Between October and March, green turtles laying their eggs and hatching baby turtles are joined by up to 100,000 terns and mutton birds nesting and raising their young. Island access is by the fast Reef Adventurer II, or Heron Spirit catamaran from the Marina, or by a scenic helicopter flight.
Wilson Island is a tiny coral cay and is both part of the Great Barrier Reef and surrounded by pristine reef and beach environments including rare turtle and bird breeding grounds.
The island is essentially natural. The experience allows a maximum of 12 guests to access the pristine reef and beach environments. Guests to the island are able to enjoy snorkelling, bird watching, island and reef walks or just relaxing within the peaceful, natural setting of this stunning island. Wilson Island offers designer inspired tented accommodation on six permanent tent sites with modern interiors. Meals on the island are dinner party or gourmet picnic style with freshness, simplicity and variety guiding the menu.
For more information visit www.wilsonisland.com or www.epa.qld.gov.au
GREAT BARRIER REEF- LADY MUSGRAVE ISLAND
Lady Musgrave Island, the southern most island of the Capricorn Bunker Group is a 14 hectare coral cay with 1192 hectares of surrounding reef. The island is a major seabird and turtle nesting area. It has a central pisonia forest surrounded by fringing vegetation including coastal sheoaks, octopus bushes, pandanus and bird’s beak grass.
You can walk, swim or dive to see the reef’s coral and marine life to full advantage during a day tour. As you step onto the pontoon, you will feel the pace slow right down as the scent of the sea air relaxes you completely. Choose one of the many optional tours on offer or simply unwind on the pontoon and plunge into protected warm waters of the large, calm reef lagoon any time you wish. If you venture onto the uninhabited island you will feel the squeaky-clean sand between your toes as you are led on a guided tour of the island. Marine Park zoning conditions must be observed if you wish to fish on or around the island.
Camping is permitted on Lady Musgrave Island most of the year, except for closed periods for regeneration. Bookings are permits are required from Queensland Parks and Wildlife for permission to camp on the island. for further information visit www.1770reefcruises.com or www.epa.qld.gov.au
LADY ELLIOT ISLAND
Considered one of the top dive and snorkelling sites in the world, Lady Elliot Island is a true island paradise
and a must-see destination for anyone who wants to get back to nature. Home to over 57 species ofbirds, nesting sea turtles and a stunning underwater world of coral formations this island has somethingto offer everyone.The island is located within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in the highest possibleclassification of Marine National Park Zones.
At Lady Elliot Island, you can step off the beach and snorkel, swim or dive in an underwater holiday world of brilliantly coloured species of marine life. Take a dip with a magnificent manta ray. Be captivated as youswim side by side the green turtles live in the peaceful lagoon. Lie back on the white sands and beastounded by the romantic oceanic dance of humpback whales during migration session. Walk straightoff the beach and explore the superb reef wonderland below. Enjoy this ocean paradise for a day or stayover night.
For more information visit www.ladyelliot.com or www.epa.qld.gov.au
FITZROY REEF LAGOON
Fitzroy Reef is the largest reef in the Bunker Group and is a 3650 ha drying, closed ring reef with a large, deep (6-10m) lagoon that can be entered through two narrow, natural channels. Although no cay is present at the reef, an intermittent sand body often appears at low tide on the south-western end of the reef. The presence of a lagoon attracts many travelling vessels, as the lagoon is a good anchorage. Day trips exist to the Lagoon where you are free to snorkle, dive, and explore the colours and animals of the reef.
BeGreat Barrier Reef. Dive below the shimmering sea of aquamarine and use your sea scooter to weave in and out of the reef.
For further information visit www.epa.qld.gov.au
NORTH WEST ISLAND
North West Island is a 100 hectare coral cay at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. Situated 75 kilometres north east of Gladstone, it is the largest of nine islands in the Capricorn Bunker Group. The island’s pisonia forest is the largest occurence of the species in Australia. North West Island is also a major seabird nesting area and is also the largest green turtle nesting site on the southern Great Barrier Reef.
Youhas great rewards for those prepared to swim around and over the reef edge. Camping is permitted on the island most times of the year, except regeneration periods. There are environmental toilets on the island, however no other facilities. For further information visit www.epa.qld.gov.au
Masthead Island is the second largest on the nine vegetated coral cays in the Capricorn Group of islands. The 45 hectareofRegion.which is of world importance.
The coral surrounding the island can be viewed by reef walks, snorkelling or swimming. The best coral can be viewed over the reef edge.Masthead also has of the highest diversities of seabirds and shorebirds of all the islands onshearwaters.Camping is permitted on the island most times of the year, except regeneration periods, however there are no facilities. Visitors to the island are required to be totally self sufficient.Bookings and permits are required from Queensland Parks and Wildlife for permission to camp on the island.
For further information visit www.epa.qld.gov.au
Enjoy the Great Barrier Reef