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Lady Elliot Island Experience

Complete Great Barrier Reef Experience

Why we Love Lady Elliot Island Experience

Fully immerse yourself in nature and the Great Barrier Reef, and experience a place where humans and the environment work in harmony. Lady Elliot Island, off the grid and an ecotourism success story.

The Lady Elliot Island Experience is an all inclusive Day Trip, the only one of its type in Australia. The visit allows you to view one of the most pristine sections of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef from the air as well as from above and below the water all in one day. The islands location on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef offers outstanding marine interactions, most notably marine turtles and giant manta rays and easily accessible for visitors to South-East Queensland.

Your Lady Elliot Island Experience will include the following highlights;

  • See the Southern Great Barrier Reef from the Air
  • Enjoy a day with passionate naturalist guides
  • Get up close with turtles and fingers crossed a Manta Ray!
  • Snorkel over stunning corals
  • Be part of an ecotourism success story

Departures / Flight Times:
  • Bundaberg:
    • Check-in at Bundaberg Airport: 8:10am
    • Depart Bundaberg: 8:40am ⇆ Arrive Lady Elliot Island: 9:10am
    • Depart Lady Elliot Island: 4:00pm ⇆  Arrive Bundaberg: 4:30pm
  • Hervey Bay:
    • Check-in at Hervey Bay Airport ‘Terminal 2’: 8:10am
    • Depart Hervey Bay: 8:10am ⇆ Arrive Lady Elliot Island: 8:50am
    • Depart Lady Elliot Island: 4:00pm ⇆  Arrive Hervey Bay: 4:30pm
*Flight times vary depending on weather, aircraft type and possible transit stops.
*Operates: Daily – Except Christmas Day (25 December)
What is included:
  • Return scenic flight to Lady Elliot Island
  • Welcome drink/Orientation tour
  • Glass bottom boat/Guided snorkel tour
  • Snorkel equipment (mask, snorkel & fins)
  • Hot & cold buffet lunch
  • Afternoon guided activity/tour
  • Towels, sunscreen and reef walking shoes provided
  • Use of day guest facilities
  • Lockers available for hire

What you need:
  • Swim wear and beach towel
  • Hat and Sunglasses
  • Comfortable walking shoes/crocs
  • Reef walking shoes with covered toes (communal shoes on the Island for guests to borrow)
  • Please consider a Re-useable/Sustainable Water Bottle
  • Please use Reef/Coral Safe Sunscreen (Sunscreen is provided)
  • Camera/Phone
Luggage Limit – Small backpack (max 4kg) – Items must be carried on the lap or put in the baggage compartment as there are no overhead lockers and there is no stowage facility under the seats.
Lady Elliot Island Experience:
(This is an example itinerary of a typical day)

The Great Barrier Reef Day Trip departs daily from Bundaberg Airport or Hervey Bay/Fraser Coast Airport. Enjoy a mesmerising scenic flight en-route to Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, a true coral cay island located on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef.

You will be greeted upon arrival and given a brief island orientation tour before exploring Lady Elliot Island at your leisure.

Activity Time! You will be fitted out with snorkel equipment before joining a glass bottom boat and guided snorkel tour to explore the islands fringing reef where you will come face to face with a large variety of coral and brilliantly coloured fish. Outstanding marine encounters at Lady Elliot Island include green and loggerhead turtles, dolphins and majestic resident manta rays.

Lunch! After an exciting morning enjoy a delicious hot and cold buffet lunch served in the eco resorts restaurant. There is a choice of magical ocean views from the Lagoon deck or some quiet time on the western deck.

The afternoon can be full of activities or spend your time snorkelling over the reef or simply relaxing on this tranquil paradise.

There are a number of activities on offer and the activities board is updated daily which may include:

  • Reef Walking – When the tide is low, you can venture into the lagoon from the beach to the reef edge. You’ll see a multitude of marine life as our experienced guide introduces you to the complexities of the reef eco-system. These run daily tides permitting.
  • Fish Feeding – An amazing array of reef fish appear at the ‘fish pool’ every day. Come with your reef walking shoes and immerse yourself in this awesome experience. Your guide will enlighten you regarding the fish and the way we feed them within the Marine Park. Duration 15 minutes.
  • Bird Watching Tour – A huge variety of seabirds, land birds and migratory waders may be seen across our picturesque island. The Crested Terns lay their eggs in the open, while Bridled Terns and Silver Gulls prefer to nest under shrubs. Black-Naped Terns are also common on the island along with the spectacular Brown Boobies, lesser Frigate Birds and a small colony of Red-Tailed Tropic Birds. On this 45min walk find out why Lady Elliot Island is an ornithologist’s delight!
  • Historical Tour – Step back in time to the years of the guano miners and lighthouse keepers. Find out how the Island has developed into the ecotourism success it is today.
  • Island Discovery Tour – Join us for a 30 minute peaceful trek leaving from the Reef Education Centre. Find out why coral cays and their flora / fauna are so unique, and how the Island has become what it is today

Lady Elliot Island is a nature lover’s sanctuary and regardless of what time of the year you visit there is always so much to see.

A popular question is “What time of the year is best to visit the Island?”
This is not an easy question to answer and depends on what type of interaction you are hoping for.

The information below and nature’s calendar may help you to decide.

Ocean Conditions

Water visibility during May and June is exceptional and this is when the manta rays are particularly prevalent. Compare our average visibility of over 30 metres and warmer water than the southern states during summer.

Manta Ray Season*

Lady Elliot Island is known as the ‘Home of the Manta Ray’ and these giant kites of the sea can be seen feeding around the island throughout the year but aggregate in larger numbers during the winter months of May, June, July and August. The manta ray is the world’s largest ray, with a wing span of up to seven meters.

Turtle Nesting Season*

Lady Elliot has three species of sea turtles frequenting the island throughout the year – Hawksbill, Green and Loggerhead turtles. Green and Loggerhead turtles are the only ones that nest on the Island occurring between November and March

These gentle giants nest on Lady Elliot Island up to nine times in a season, laying between 80 and 120 eggs per clutch. Under the careful guidance of our Turtle Rangers, guests of all ages can experience this amazing phenomena.

Turtle Hatching Season*

At the end of the nesting season thousands of baby turtles push through their sand nest on their way to the sea. This wonder of nature occurs only metres from the resort beach front balconies and can be observed at close quarters by all. Turtle hatching season normally runs from February through to April.

Sea Bird Season

Lady Elliot Island is a bird lovers haven with thousands of sea birds nesting on Lady Elliot Island during the summer breeding season from September to March. It gets quite busy and a little noisy at times (and sometimes a bit smelly) but it’s a very entertaining time on the Island!

Migrating Humpback Whales*

From June to October these graceful creatures migrate past Lady Elliot Island. Regular sightings occur on the scenic flights, from the glass bottom boat, whilst snorkelling or diving  and from the Island’s beaches. Almost daily during the season, whale songs can be heard under the water while swimming, snorkelling and diving around Lady Elliot Island.

Lady Elliot Island – Natures Calendar
Lady Elliot Island – Natures Calendar
Eco-Certification Awards

Ecotourism Australia: Setting Ethical Standards for the Travel IndustryThe following Eco-Accreditation from Eco Tourism Australia had been achieved.

  • Eco Certified Advanced Ecotourism
    Australia’s leading and most innovative ecotourism products, providing an opportunity to learn about the environment with an operator who is committed to achieving best practice when using resources wisely, contributing to the conservation of the environment and helping local communities.
  • Climate Action Leader
    Businesses have incorporated strategic climate change responses across all relevant levels of business planning and operations. They are measuring and auditing their carbon footprint via a creditable system and have undertaken an advanced level of adaptation, emissions reduction and offsetting and are working towards becoming carbon neutral.

Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort Eco-Initiatives

Our team recognises that sustainability is an ongoing journey with incremental steps continuing to be taken as our knowledge widens and technology improves. Good environmental management is achieved through our detailed Environmental Management System. Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort has made remarkable progress on many environmental management fronts since taking over the Resort lease 8 years ago.

Operating an island resort 80km out to sea presents a multitude of challenges on a daily basis. The island generates its own power, desalinates seawater for drinking purposes, maintains a waste water treatment plant and recycles the majority of its rubbish. The Resort has gained a wealth of knowledge in these technologies and has set new benchmarks for sustainable tourism on the Great Barrier Reef.

Download Lady Elliot Island Experience ‘Fact Sheet’ detailing their ‘Clean and Green Initiatives’

General Information
  • All additional Dietary Requirements can be catered for – Please ask upon booking
  • Itineraries may be subject to change dependant on weather and other circumstances
  • Prices are in Australian Dollars (AU$)​

Bookings and Payment:

Day Tours

  • 20% Deposit is required at time of booking
  • Full payment is due 7 days prior to travel
  • If travel is within 7 days full payment is due at the time of booking

Weather Conditions:

Please be aware that Lady Elliot Island cannot be responsible for the weather.  Should weather conditions result in Lady Elliot Eco Resort cancelling the tour, you will be able to transfer your trip to another date at no additional cost. If your travel plans do not allow you to postpone, a *full refund will be issued. 

Please note that weather conditions may vary whilst on the Island and may result in cancellation of water activities.
Once the day trip has commenced no refund will be issued.

Cancellation/Refund Policy:
  • If you cancel at least 3 days in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 10% cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel between 24-48 hours in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50% cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel within 24 hours of the scheduled departure, there is a 100% cancellation fee.
  • Pre-booked scuba divers that fail the onboard medical questionnaire are NOT entitled to a refund.

*Travel insurance is strongly recommended to cover unforeseen circumstances

Where Booking Tours means Saving Rainforest

Tree Hugger Travel invest in rebuilding biodiversity hotspots around the world by funding land acquisition through the highly respected World Land Trust and their projects.

Saving Rainforest with David Attenborough, World Land Trust's No.1 Supporter and Patron

How Do We Do That ?

We fund it with Your travel bookings and our eco-rewards programme.

  • Every dollar earns an eco-reward
  • For example: Spend $100 ⇢ Earn 100 eco-rewards
  • Reaching 750 eco-rewards will enable us to fund the permanent protection of 1/4 Acre of Real Rainforest in Real Places.
  • Continue earning and every 750 eco-rewards Tree Hugger Travel will continue protecting.

☆ Recognising Your Contribution ☆

You made this happen and in recognition, You will receive a colourful and informative gift pack by post.

This includes a personalised certificate, information about the project you supported and a letter from World Land Trust thanking you for Your support.

More information? Head to our Eco Rewards Programme page.


Ecotourism Australia-Advanced Ecotourism Certification. This is the highest level of eco certification available.
Ecotourism Australia-Climate Action Leader Certification. This is the highest certification available.

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Our Friendly Team will help plan your trip of a lifetime

Your Bookings Save Rainforest

Earn Eco-Rewards that fund the purchase of biologically important threatened rainforests around the world.

We partner with the World Land Trust to make this happen and you, our customers, will receive a personalised certificate in recognition of the land you have helped to save.

Your Bookings Save Rainforest

Earn Eco-Rewards that fund the purchase of biologically important threatened rainforests around the world.

We partner with the World Land Trust to make this happen and you, our customers, will receive a personalised certificate in recognition of the land you have helped to save.

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