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Lady Elliot Island

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Lady Elliot Island (also known as ‘The Lazy Lady’) is the first coral cay on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. It is famous worldwide for the Green and Loggerhead turtle rookery, along with its extensive Manta Ray population and bird nesting grounds. Visitors to the island can step off the beach to snorkel, swim and dive in one of the world’s richest marine eco-systems.

Both Captain Cook in 1770 and Matthew Flinders in 1802 had traversed the 2,000 km length of the Great Barrier Reef, but it wasn’t until 1816 that Captain Thomas Stewart, sailing the 353 tonne ‘Lady Elliot’ (it had been named after the wife of Hugh Elliot, the colonial governor of India), sighted and named the island. The sighting was confirmed by Lieutenant Phillip Parker King who sailed past the island in 1819.

Due to the abundant bird life, over the centuries their droppings had covered the island with ‘guano’ (a source of fertiliser) to a depth of more than two metres. In 1863 a mining lease was granted over the entire island to Mr J Askunas. By 1873 the island had been stripped of all its guano and most of its vegetation.

Also in 1873, a lighthouse and a lighthouse keeper’s cottage was built and it still stands on beach to the west of the airstrip.

In 1969, Don Adams, a businessman and conservationist, built an airstrip on the island. He then killed all the feral goats on the island and began a revegetation program. In 1985 a lease for a low-key resort was granted. Today you can enjoy ‘reef’ experience’ with that includes snorkelling, scuba diving, reef walking and swimming.

Other activities include: bird watching - black-napped terns, crested terns, brown boobies, black noddies, buff-banded rails, reef egrets, oyster-catchers, plovers, godwits and gulls. Whale watching is between June to October as they migrate north. Turtles use the island to nest during November to February. See the amazing coral spawning during November and December.

Location: about 80 km north-east of Bundaberg off the Queensland coast.
Access: drive to Hervey Bay or Bundaberg and connect with daily Seair flights to Lady Elliot Island. There are also regional airline flights to Hervey Bay and Bundaberg that can connect with your charter.
Population: Resort has capacity for 120 (plus day trippers) - 49 units and suites, tents and lodges

In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre Lady Elliot Island
Ph: 1800 072 200
Fax: +61 7 5536 7285
Web: www.ladyelliot.com.au

Lady Elliot Island Resort
PO Box 206 Torquay
LADY ELLIOT ISLAND QLD 4655
Ph: 07 4125 5344 / 1800 072 200

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