Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort

Green sea turtle lady elliot island great barrier reef harriet spark

Overview

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.

It is a small unpretentious 43 room Eco Resort on Lady Elliot Island which aims to provide guests with a genuine eco-tourism experience, providing guests with life changing moments both above and below the water. There is a range of comfortable accommodation options, with each unit, tent and cabin designed to minimise impact on the island while enriching guest’s 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.

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. There are two scheduled dives each day, around 9am and around 2pm, and an optional night dive subject to numbers and conditions. All dives are boat dives and all dives are escorted by knowledgeable and experienced guides. 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.

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.

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Facilities

Training School Type: PADI Nitrox Fill:
Air Fill
Number of Guides 4
Gear Hire
Number of Boats 2
Gear Sales
Number of Dive Sites 20
Gear Servicing
Accommodation

What to expect

The guys at the Dive Shop will tell you when you need to be at the dive shop for your dive and to sort out any gear you may be hiring. As it’s such a short walk from your accommodation to the dive shop, only take to the dive shop what you’ll need for the dive. There you will assemble your gear, and lay your assembled tank 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, usually 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 like me. There are broad benches down each side.

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, which is useful for two things – divers with dicky ears who like to descend slowly on an anchor line, and sending air-pigs up to the nearest mooring so that the rest of us can get a full hour on the bottom.

There are enough guides to form into sensibly sized groups, and the 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.

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