Sunshine Coast - Day 5

Lady Musgrave

It was up before the crack of dawn this morning to get ready for our trip to the Great Barrier Reef. We were heading out to Lady Musgrave Island with Lady Musgrave tours. Lady Musgrave Island is an ocean built coral cay located in the stunning Southern Great Barrier Reef. It is the second last southernmost island. I will give you some more details later in the post.

We boarded the reef empress which was out ship to get us out to the reef and settled in for a 2 and a haf hour trip to the reef. We were given morning tea on the way. They played David Attenborough Blue Planet on the way so that got us ready to see what wonders the ocean would have to show us today.

When we arrived on the pontoon we were given a schedule according to our group. We were in the seahorse group so we started off with snorkeling. After a brief introduction, some flipper fitting we were off. Now I can not say I enjoyed snorkeling but I can not even describe to you how amazing the reef is. We saw so many fish and many different types of coral. Most of the coral up here is brown in colour. There are some splashes of colours in it. It also some of the most healthiest coral on the great barrier reef. I am not even sure how many fish we saw but there were hundreds. I was also so very lucky and got to swim with 2 turtles. It was literally a dream come too. We spent about an hour swimming around before heading back in for a buffet lunch.

The next stop for the day was a glass bottom boat out along the reefs. Alex took us out right over some of the reefs. It was just as cool seeing all the corals from here. We also went over the turtle washing station and saw a turtle getting a wash. It was so cute. We also saw a large clam. After a quick run around the reef Alex took us to Lady Musgrave Island to meet our tour guide there.

Lady Musgrave Island is referred to as Wallaginji by local Australian Aboriginal tribes. The name Wallaginji means beautiful reef. Which makes sense as we had to find our way through the reefs to land on the island. As we got off the boat we had to walk over the dead coral which makes up the beach here. It had the most beautiful tinkling sound as you walked over it. The whole island is made up of coral. We were told that the Pisonia trees only grow on this island (there is no dirt) because the carcasses of noddy tern chicks that fall out of nests or adults that become tangled in the sticky Pisonia seeds give nutrient to the ground. So it is a real circle of life. We also got to see all the tern nests.The nest are made by the females only selecting the best leaves from the males and then using them to make a nest. It takes about 100 leaves to make a nest and the female tern only accepts one leaf in 10. We really enjoyed our time exploring here and seeing all the coral along the beach. An amazing little island which I think is as close to paradise as I will get to for a while.

It was then back onto the boat and some chill time before getting back on the Reef empress to return to Bundaberg. The trip back was freaking rough seas. The boat was rocking all over the place. About half the boat ended up being sick and having to sit outside. 2 and a half hours later and we were thank god back on stable land.

We went to a few beaches to see turtles. However the beaches are closed to people from 6pm to protect the turtles. So it was just dinner at a burger place and time for bed. It was a really amazing day out on the reef and swimming with the turtles was the most amazing highlight.