Lady Elliot Island is a coral cay located at the southern tip of the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef. Situated within a highly protected ’Green Zone’ the island is a sanctuary for over 1,200 species of marine life and is known for its abundance of manta rays, turtles, amazing array of spectacular marine life and unspoilt coral reef.
When to visit
- Bird nesting season is October through to April, and there will be hatchlings running around from mid-November.
- Turtle nesting is November through to February, with hatchlings emerging from February through to April.
- Hump back whale migration is June to October.
- Peak Manta season is May, June and July, but note that during the winter the sea water temperature can get as low as 18°C, though it is above 20°C, and up to 28°C in February.
Quite a few people use Lady Elliot’s Discover Scuba Diving as a way to get their kids into diving. With guaranteed turtle encounters and a good likelihood of seeing different kinds of sharks and rays, it will definitely spark their interest.
Turtle nesting takes place between November and March, usually after dark when there is sufficient water for the turtles to get ashore. Nest are dug in the sand in front of the resort and at either end of the runway. The females lay clutches of eggs at approximately two weekly intervals.
On Lady Elliot Island the hatchlings appear 8 to 9 weeks later (between January and May), again usually after dark, though they can appear in late afternoons on cooler or overcast days. When the hatchlings emerge from the sand they find there way to the water by heading downhill and towards the lowest and brightest light on the horizon, which in the natural environment is the ocean. If you are fortunate to witness either of these natural events, please ensure you are aware of the protocols to be observed.
The island is alive with birds. This short video explains why – as well as pointing out the habits and habitat of the three most populous birds on the Island; terns, noddies and tropic birds.
Lady Elliot Island is the southern most island of the Capricorn Bunker group, which also includes Lady Musgrave, Heron and Wilson Islands. The next island heading south-east is Fraser Island, which is practically mainland. Lady Elliot is about 80 kms off the coast adjacent to (ie, east of) Bundaberg. There are two daily flights from Hervey Bay and Bundaberg, and one from Redcliff (near Brisbane) and Coolangatta.
The flights to LEI are operated by Seair Pacific and there are a number of flights each day. One early flight from Coolangatta and one early flight from Redcliffe (30 minutes outside of Brisbane) and two flights from Hervey Bay and Bundaberg – early and just after noon. Day trippers can get the early flights but over-nights need to get the mid day flights. Let us know where you are coming from and we can work out the best options for you.
A range of accommodation options are available, from Twin to Quad-Share Eco Cabins with shared facilities, to 1-bedroom ensuite Reef and Garden Units, 2-bedroom Beachfront Units and Glamping Tents. Each unit, tent and cabin is designed to minimise impact on the island while enriching guests’ experience of the seasonal wildlife.
In keeping with the natural, eco-friendly lifestyle there are no telephones, television or radios and all rooms are fan-cooled. Full buffet dinner and breakfast are included in the overnight tariff, served in the Beachfront Dining Room. For lunch, a choice of a buffet lunch in the Beachfront Dining Room or a range of light meals or snacks available from the Beachfront Café.
Two Bedroom Beachfront Units
Offering absolute beach frontage, the spacious two-bedroom beachfront units accommodate up to four people and features a separate air-conditioned lounge room and private bathroom. The units have a private balcony with lagoon views over Sunrise Beach. Each unit has a mini fridge, tea & coffee making facilities and a microwave.
Immerse yourself in our exclusive and spacious glamping tents set amongst our natural flora, whilst enjoying views of the spectacular lagoon. During season, migratory birds nest in surrounding vegetation and green and loggerhead turtles come ashore to lay their eggs only meters from your doorstep. The Glamping Tents accommodate up to two adults and are ideal for couples with a private bathroom and secluded balcony.
Reef and Garden Units
Arranged in blocks of three, the Reef Units are ideal for couples or families, offering either queen bed or a combination of a queen and bunk-style beds. Each unit is slightly elevated, featuring polished timber floors, ensuite bathrooms and a balcony to make the most of the ocean views. The Reef Units are less than 10 metres from Sunrise Beach and Garden Units within 20 to 30 metres walk to the beach.
Situated within 20 to 30 meters of Sunrise Beach, the Eco Cabins are roomy, permanent safari-style tents with polished wooden floors and shared bathroom facilities. Each hut accommodates four people with two sets of single bunk beds. Electric lighting and power is connected in every cabin, including a freestanding fan.
The Dive Shop is a PADI Resort Association member, and as such offers a range of dive courses from Discover Scuba Diving upwards. It also has the full range of equipment to hire.
The dive schedule allows for two dives each day, around 9am and around 2pm, with additional dives and night dives for groups available by prior arrangement, and there is no diving from the shore – only snorkelling. Register for dives at the dive shop preferably the afternoon before, or at the Lagoon Bar at Island Whispers, or from 7.30am on the day. If you are coming on the early afternoon flight, make sure they know you are coming and want to dive that day. They will accommodate you if humanly possible.
On arrival to the island you will be given an orientation, and the guys at the dive shop will tell you when you can visit to sort out any gear you may be hiring. Gear is assembled at the dive shop each day and placed onto the back of the truck. You will get half-dressed into your wetsuit, and then when everyone is ready, be driven the short distance to the beach, adjacent the lighthouse, where the boat is waiting.
The back of the truck is the perfect height to don your tank and carry it the 25m to the boat. The boat has a walkway like a drawbridge, that can be raised and lowered, so boarding the boat is easy, even for ‘mature’ divers. There are broad benches on each side of the boat. It is less than a 10 minute motor out to any of the dive sites so you keep all your gear on ready to go. All of the entry sites have fixed moorings.
There are enough guides to form sensibly sized groups and guides will take you around or between sites, depending on conditions and point out the local inhabitants along the way. Getting back into the boat is straightforward: hand up your fins and walk up the ladder. Then it’s a 10-minute trip back to shore – still in your gear. You carry the tanks straight off the boat and lay them on the truck, and 10 minutes later we are all washing down the gear at the shop where there is also a shower and tubs to stow your gear. It is best to wash down your wetsuit, leave it on the drying rack and change back into your dry gear there and then so you can go straight off to the Beachfront Café to write up the dive and review your photos.
Pricing for Lady Elliot Island Resort to 31 March 2023
|Valid from 1 April 2023 to 28 March 2024|
|7 Nights Glamping Tent (double) with 10 dives||AUD||3320|
|7 Nights Glamping Tent (single) with 10 dives||AUD||4010|
|7 Nights Reef Unit (double/triple) with 10 dives||AUD||3110|
|7 Nights Reef Unit (single) with 10 dives||AUD||3794|
|7 Nights Eco Cabin (twin/triple) with 10 dives||AUD||2174|
|7 Nights Eco Cabin (single) with 10 dives||AUD||2750|
|Pricing includes accommodation as specified, buffet breakfast and dinner, 10 boat dives, tanks, weights, boat, dive guide. |
Note: flights need to be added to the price above and differ depending on the departing airport.
Note: surcharges apply to Easter, and Christmas period: 17 Dec '22 to 15 Jan '23; 1-23 Apr '23; 16 Dec '23 to 14 Jan '24
Many of the rooms at Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort are suitable for triple and quad share which would give a lower per person pricing than illustrated above.
|The per person pricing above is indicative only: we show 7 night with 10/12 dive packages at high-end and lower-end rooms (singles & doubles) for the purposes of comparison. |
We can give you a price (and availability) for any combination of nights/dives you wish to undertake, which will include any discounts due to you as part of that package, and any exclusions, or items payable at the resort. Please use the [Enquire Now] tab to give us your exact requirements and we'll give you the best deal we can.