Gladstone Region: Gladstone's Islands on the Great Barrier Reef

Leave Seventeen Seventy and Gladstone behind en route to the tropical paradise of Lady Musgrave, Heron and Fitzroy Reef Lagoon, in the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

The best islands to visit on the Southern Great Barrier Reef 

The Southern Great Barrier Reef is sprinkled with tiny coral cays that are surrounded by protective coral lagoons, providing exceptional snorkelling the moment you enter the water.

Heron Island is no exception, its surrounding waters are brimming with rays (eagle, cow-tail and giant shovel-nosed to name a few), turtles (primarily green, but keep an eye out for a giant and very old loggerhead named Ben) and reef sharks (don’t worry, they’re terrified of you).

Lady Elliot Island is regarded as the southern starting point of the reef, or as we prefer to call it, where GREAT begins. Located 46 nautical miles off the coast of Bundaberg, Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort is (as the name suggests) eco-certified and attracts divers from around the world who want to swim with super-sized manta rays.

Lady Musgrave is off the coast from Queensland’s birth town, the Town of 1770. This protected pocket of water is like swimming in an ocean aquarium, and its calm waters are perfect for families and swimmers of all abilities to snorkel and explore the colourful reef.

Located 89 kilometres north-east of Gladstone, Heron Island packs a punch with 16 superb dive sites within 15 minutes of the island. Plus, there’s no need for long boat transfers to the reef when you reach this island – you can literally swim off the beach and drift snorkel above colourful coral.

And rounding out these is an island that offers some serious island chill time. The biggest of the 14 islands that make up the Keppel group, Great Keppel Island has that relaxed feel where you can comfortably wander around in your togs (aka swimmers/bathers/cossie) and lose track of time. A quick hop across the bay from Yeppoon, Great Keppel Island has 17 pristine white-sandy beaches perfect for lounging, sand-castle building and beach cricket.



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Manta Ray Bommie Dive SIte

Lady Musgrave Island, Gladstone Area
Free Entry
Manta Ray Bommie is not just one coral head, but a collection of bommies off the western side of Lady Musgrave Island. These bommies come in a range of sizes, in depths from 12 to 20 metres, with the biggest ones decorated with gorgonians, soft corals and sponges.

1770reef Great Barrier Reef Eco Tours

Multiple Locations
Day tour to Lady Musgrave Island. 1770reef provide tours to Lady Musgrave Island, with the adventures of experiencing the Great Eight only found in the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Among the adventures of Snorkelling, Guided Glass Bottom Boat Tour and Guided Island walks, Lady Musgrave Island Lagoon has stunning turtles, manta rays and fish to swim with in the Coral Lagoon.

Heron Island Research Station

Heron Island, Gladstone Area
The University of Queensland's Heron Island Research Station is a world-class research and teaching facility. It is the largest island-based research station in the Southern Hemisphere with a rich history of research, event pre-dating its construction in 1951.

Entrance Bommie Dive Site

Lady Musgrave Island, Gladstone Area
Free Entry
Located at the entrance to Lady Musgrave Island lagoon, Entrance Bommie is a large blade of coral sitting in 22 metres of water. This elongated bommie is riddled with ledges and caves, which are usually overflowing with baitfish.
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