Best Great Barrier Reef Adventure

Consider this…sleeping under a starry sky with only the sound of waves for distant company. Swimming with endangered Loggerhead turtles. Experience a chance meeting with a rare and beautiful Mandarin fish. Snorkelling or diving the iconic and pristine southern Great Barrier Reef with no crowds. Watch turtles nest and hatch on the island. Such an encounter like this is a privilege to behold, and Lady Musgrave Experience is the tour operator that makes the best Great Barrier Reef adventure possible.

The playground is Lady Musgrave Island – an uninhabited coral cay in the southern Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s greatest natural marvels and a World Heritage Listed Marine Park. Only 16 lucky guests can savour the experience of sleeping under the stars and enjoying exclusive snorkel or dive time in the Lady Musgrave Lagoon.

What a way to appreciate an iconic Aussie experience and it’s one that you cannot miss on your next holiday Down Under! Oh, and here is a quirky detail…you get to wear rash shirts that are fashioned from repurposed fishing nets…but more on that later…

Lady Musgrave Island is located on the southern Great Barrier Reef, just 100km off the coast from Bundaberg in Queensland. The island is surrounded by a 3,000-acre turquoise reef lagoon brimming with marine life and colourful coral. The reef lagoon is like swimming in the safety of a pool with all the bling that the Great Barrier Reef marine park delivers.

Snorkelling 81 Lady Musgrave Experience Great Barrier ReefLady Musgrave’s lagoon offers amazing colours and boasts an abundance of coral, fish, resident turtles, manta rays, migrating humpback whales, fantastic visibility, and no stingers year round. It is recognised as one of the world’s best dive sites and renowned for its pristine reef quality. The region is also fortunate to be largely untouched by the recent coral bleaching events.

The island itself is uninhabited with the only accommodation offered being seasonal camping. Lady Musgrave Island is teeming with birdlife, and an important refuge for Green and Loggerhead turtles, which nest on Lady Musgrave Island between November and March. It makes it a prime site for turtle viewing.

A dive or snorkel around the island will take you into the turtle’s underwater realm but come evening, you can watch the female turtles haul themselves slowly up the beach to dig their nest and lay eggs. Between January and March, you may be lucky enough to see hundreds of tiny hatchlings make their way down to the water to begin their own journey.

“The island is a piece of paradise on earth! The snorkelling was great, the fishes are around but no sharks too close, the spectacular water colours, the white sands… “

Lady Musgrave Island and the surrounding lagoon really has the wow factor! The tour operator, Lady Musgrave Experience, offers their signature tour which is the day tour where the lagoon-based pontoon serves as the base for the day’s activities. Expect an educational reef presentation, a guided island tour, glass bottom boat ride, an underwater observatory, plenty of snorkelling or dive time and the day is fully catered for. In addition, you can choose to do a lagoon dive (introductory or certified) or support conservation on the reef by helping the marine biologists with their reef health observations.

The best experience on the Great Barrier Reef…

But Lady Musgrave Experience have really upped the ante with the launch of Lady Musgrave HQ. The new three-level pontoon nestled in the sheltered waters of Lady Musgrave Island lagoon offers only 16 guests the option to sleep above the surface in an upper deck island view queen glamping bed (twin beds also available). There is also an underwater bunk style accommodation for dive or school groups of up to 20 guests.

Guests enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner cooked by the onboard Chef, showcasing local and seasonal produce with unbeatable reef views on the pontoon deck or guests can choose to indulge in a picnic hamper on Lady Musgrave Island in the serenity of a private beach. Stays are a 2-night minimum, and children 8 years or above are welcome.

In addition to what is on offer for the day trips, the overnight guests also have access to kayaks, the opportunity to visit the island in the evening to watch the turtles, and guests can choose to do a night dive in the lagoon or dive the outer reef.  Expect a luxurious operator, with a passionate crew who are proud to show off this pristine destination. It is an experience to be cherished!

Minimal impact on the environment….

Now let’s circle back to the rash shirts that are fashioned from repurposed fishing nets. Lady Musgrave Experience are an advanced eco-certified company who operate with minimal impact on the environment and are committed to protecting the coral reef and marine environment. In fact, the wardrobe offerings don’t stop there with caps made from recycled plastic. In addition, there are no single use plastics. The Lady Musgrave HQ pontoon has a zero carbon footprint.

The pontoon features the most sustainable and eco-friendly build in the world. Above the waterline, the innovative zero-impact design is completely solar and wind-powered, and below the waves, coral cultivation and Citizen Science programs give back to the world’s greatest natural treasure. All waste is transferred off the pontoon for treatment on the mainland. They make their own fresh water on the pontoon. Lady Musgrave Experience are certainly serious about protecting the unspoiled beauty of the region for both guests and future generations to cherish.

You can see why Lady Musgrave Experience offer the best Great Barrier Reef adventure. This is a tour operator who is committed to caring for the environment as well as delivering a Great Barrier Reef day or overnight stay that will be cherished forever. With the combination of the pristine destination, the myriad of activities on both land and sea, encounters with the resident wildlife and the opportunity to sleep under the stars on deck, it is no wonder Lady Musgrave Experience is the perfect choice. Make sure to include a stay and tour with Lady Musgrave Experience on your next visit…. I know it will be the highlight of your Queensland & Aussie adventure!


In Bundaberg, the summers are long, warm, muggy and wet and the winters are short, cool, and mostly clear. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 14°C to 30°C and is rarely below 10°C or above 33°C. The best time of year to visit Bundaberg for hot-weather activities is from mid-November to early April.

Good to know:

Just a 4-hour drive from Brisbane and a 2-hour boat ride from Bundaberg, Lady Musgrave Island offers the perfect Great Barrier Reef adventure for those looking to go off-grid.

The island and surrounds oozes pristine nature and is packed with plenty of marine & bird life as well as a whole lot of peace and quiet. And better yet, the drive to Bundaberg offers some marvellous spots to stop awhile enroute – such as Noosa Heads & Fraser Island.

Highlights of the Bundaberg region include a must-visit to the Mon Repos Turtle Centre which supports the largest population of the endangered Loggerhead Turtles, a day is well spent at gorgeous Woodgate Beach where you are likely to see kangaroos, dolphins & possibly turtles, and finally, make sure to do a guided tour at the famous Bundaberg Rum Distillery.

You could easily spend some days relaxing in Bundaberg or Bargara before exploring Lady Musgrave Island for two nights. Why not consider adding some nights at Fraser Island as well as Noosa Heads to really tick all the boxes for a relaxing south-east Queensland adventure…

And finally:

AET Travel (formerly Australia Expat Travel) specialises in exceptional holidays to Australia and New Zealand. We make it simple with our local knowledge, seamless logistics and trusted advice since 2004. Expect a bespoke itinerary curated with the big picture and the small details. Contact us

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