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Is the southern most point of the Great Barrier Reef worth...

Cambridge
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Is the southern most point of the Great Barrier Reef worth...

Hello. We are flying in to Brisbane, and wanted to visit the GBR. We are a family of 5, and wanted to visit the GBR from as far south as we can, as cost of internal flights for the 5 of us from Brisbane to somewhere like Cairns is £500 or so. We looked at visiting Lady Musgrave Island on a day trip from Bundaberg. It looks really nice, and I've read a few good reviews. I've been told, however, by a Queenslander that it's not worth seeing the GBR from south of Mackay. Can anyone give me some advice? I really don't want to pay £500 on air fares, but then again I don't want to be disappointed by Lady Musgrave Island.

Thanks.

Melbourne Australia
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1. Re: Is the southern most point of the Great Barrier Reef worth...

There is little doubt that the north is far more spectaular. I don't know that I would agree that it's not worth a visit south of Mackay, it a question of expectation. One thing is for sure I don't know anyone who has been dissapointed in investing the time and money to access the reef from Cairns or Port Douglas. The added bonus is that this is the point on the coast where the rainforest meets the reef and is quiet unique, spectacular and beautiful. The only other consideration may be the weather and the time of year you are travelling. If the money is not a major sacrifice then its well worth the investment and not just for the reef.

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane, Noosa
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2. Re: Is the southern most point of the Great Barrier Reef worth...

Hi Wilma

"""I've been told, however, by a Queenslander that it's not worth seeing the GBR from south of Mackay."""

I am sure that the only QLD er that would say that is one that has not been there. Take it from me the southern GBR is equally as good as the northern reefs, Yes go to Lady Musgrave, you will dive on some of the best reefs around. Snorkel with the manta rays -- hmmm I want to go back. we had 5 days on the island at Xmas 2002. (PS I have dived on many areas of the GBR)

Cheers

Jeff

Sydney
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3. Re: Is the southern most point of the Great Barrier Reef worth...

We have just got back from Lady Elliot Island last week and can truly say we were absolutely amazed by our stay. I don't know about Lady musgrave specifically, but the 2 islands are in close vicinity of each other and I expect you would see similar things.

We went there to try to get a snorkelling holiday, not a holiday spent by the wet bar and LEI delivered. We stayed for 7 nights, which was about right. I wouldn't recommend doing anything less than an overnight there, if you do, realistically you will get 1 - 2 hours snorkelling. Pay the money if you can afford it, stay the night (inc food too), and really cash in on being there for high tide when you wil get the easiest snorkelling. Bear in mind you can snorkel off the western side at any time if the weather permits.

As for not going south of Mackay, what a load of rubbish, unless you are specifically looking for soft corals! The coral life was mainly hard corals, which aren't quite as pretty, but the fish life more than made up for it! I have never seen a fish denisty quite like it, it didn't matter wether you were in the lagoon on the east, or off the bommies on the western side of the island, you never swam around a corner and didn't find fish! Some of the things we saw were batfish, angelfish, butterfly fish, damsels, clownfish, parrotfish, rabbitfish, groupers, coral cods, coral trouts, wrasses, blennies, gobies, trevallies, triggers, surgeonfish, rays and reef sharks. we even saw 2 juvenile sun fish! Every time we snorkelled off the western side (deeper water) we saw turtles and we were fortunate enough to be out there when a humpback passed by!

I would happily recommend going south of Mackay for fish life! the only thing that i would say is invest in a wetsuit.. It makes life just that little bit more comfortable at this time of year, and stops any stingers that might be about.

Cambridge
7 posts
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4. Re: Is the southern most point of the Great Barrier Reef worth...

Thank you all for your posts. It seems from what you are all saying that if money is no option the northern part of the GBR is slightly better, but that we won't be disappointed by the southern most part. I'll see if anyone else adds any other advice, but my gut feeling so far is to do the southern part, and save the £500 extra it would cost to get further north to use elsewhere on our trip.

Thanks again.

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