Must visit Lady Elliot Island – Great Barrier Reef

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A trip to the Great Barrier reef has always been on my bucket list – so was thrilled when I was finally able to book my the kids and myself onto a holiday! Starting in Brisbane, then onto the Hervey Bay – Whale Watching paradise  and a daring flight to Lady Elliot Island.
The  Island, a coral cay, is nestled in the southern part of the Great Barrier reef which is only accessible by light aircraft (have I ever mentioned that I don’t really like to fly especially in incy wincy tiny aircraft!!)  from the mainland. The Island is a haven for manta rays and marine life.

As we approached Lady Elliot all fears dissipated,  it was so beautiful to fly in and get the aerial welcome!  I don’t think any of my writing can do the Island justice  – hope my images will give you a sense of its beauty and prompt you to add it to your very own bucket list.
Here are some of my favourite reasons as to why you should visit the Great Barrier Reef and Lady Elliot Island Eco resort.

  •  The Great Barrier Reef !
  •  Glass bottom boat
  • Family friendly eco – resort
  • Some of the best snorkelling / diving for Turtles Manta ray
  • Scuba diving
  • Swimming
  • Relaxing
  • Guided reef walking tours – great for the kids
  • Relaxing
  • Day trips are possible but would suggest at least an overnight!
We spent 3 nights on the Island and it was great to relax and explore the Island on our daily little walks (30 – 45 minutes to walk around the whole island)  – other than relax and do the resorts’ activities there is not much else to do, which really is the point of going on a holiday!

The kids were taught in the little pool how to snorkel, which was great, but a follow-up lesson in the actual sea would have been even better – especially as I was by myself with the kids and did not feel strong enough to take my youngest into the water (can’t really put your feet down once into the water, as it is all coral and sea life) – It would have been a better experience had Mr. Techno come along (he is braver than I…but he was stuck at home studying)

I was pretty proud of being able to manage solo with the kids on an adventure and took me out of my comfort zone big time…and the kids had a great time.

Nitty Gritty:

Accommodation: Lady Elliot Eco Resort 
Eco cabins – Lady Elliot Island
The Island offers various types of accommodation which is a great way to cater to various travel budgets. We opted for the cheapest – Eco cabins which were comfortable however they don’t have private facilities which was a little tricky at times with two kids in tow.

Accommodation types:
-2 Bedroom Island suites
-Reef Units
-Garden Units and Eco cabins (shared bathrooms & toilets)

The nightly rate includes:

  • Full buffet dinner and breakfast
  • Use of snorkel equipment (mask, snorkel & fins) & snorkel lesson if required
  • Glass bottom boat/guided snorkel tour (one per person/stay)
  • Range of guided tours and activities
  • Environmental Management Charge

Getting there:
Lady Elliot Eco Resort – planes
 See Air pacific – small light aircraft only – you can take the flight from the following: Harvey Bay, Bundaberg and the Gold Coast.  – 10 kg luggage limit per person. (you book your accommodation and flight package together)

Note: 

  • There is no phone reception (only 1 pay phone ) 
  • Kids should bring their own reef shoes

 The Island is covered in birds, which is great however they do leave their mark everywhere and if suffer from  ornithophobia  (fear of birds – don’t laugh a friend’s child is) don’t go! It is their breeding ground. 

 A few comments to make about the Resort –  too much attention was paid to the day trippers that came in and so they cancelled our ‘free’ glass bottom boat ride so that the day trippers could have the spot – so when we eventually got out on our ride the tide was out and the weather had turned so our experience was pretty poor –  Guests also have to pay for lunch, which should be included in the nightly rate as per the breakfast and dinner – because really where else are you going to get something to eat in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef!

The Great Barrier Reef is  under immense pressure from the coal mining industry and there is a strong movement to help save this unique world heritage  – please sign the petition to help save it Save the Reef!

Have you been to the Great Barrier Reef, if so where and what were your highlights?

2 thoughts on “Must visit Lady Elliot Island – Great Barrier Reef

  1. I am thinking of visiting LEI but have been reading alot about the noisy birds!! Was it a problem? We are also looking at an eco tent. What time of year did you visit?

    • Hi Nadine,
      Thanks for visiting the blog and posting a comment – much appreciated.
      We travelled to LEI during the September school holidays – the weather was pleasant but cool and overcast some days.
      There were a lot of birds as it is a breeding ground but the I don’t remember the noise being an issue.
      The eco tent was comfortable but if windy the flapping of the fabric made it rather noisy at night, but am a very poor and light sleeper.
      If you are NOT travelling with kids try and avoid the Queensland school holidays as it is very busy with families.
      Let me know if you have any questions – Happy planning.

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