Coral Gardens Dive Site

Lady Elliot Island, Bundaberg Area

The Coral Gardens at Lady Elliot Island on the Great Barrier Reef is a very interesting shore dive with a maximum depth of around 12 metres. The gardens were damaged by a cyclone in 1992 but have recovered remarkably since then. This is an extremely good night dive site with all types of marine life. Night dwellers like the painted cray can be found out of their daytime hiding place.

Great Barrier Reef
Lady Elliot Island, Bundaberg Area
Queensland
Australia

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Free Entry
Located on the waterfront at the gorgeous Burnett Heads, this beautiful park offers plenty of space to run and play. For the kids there is a large climbing frame and a smaller playground. For the adults, sit back and enjoy the view of the pristine blue water whilst watching the kids play in the great outdoors. There is also a skate park in the vicinity. This is also the start of the Turtle Trail walk which will take you all the way to Bargara - perfect for a walk or bike ride.

Mon Repos Turtle Centre

Bundaberg, Bundaberg Area
From AU$11.60 - 11.60
At the Mon Repos Turtle Centre near Bundaberg, witness an ancient life cycle of the animal kingdom as majestic sea turtles make their journey from sea to shore to lay their eggs. Then delight at the sight of their young, hatching months later, and making their perilous journey to the sea. Mon Repos Regional Park supports the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland. At the Mon Repos Turtle Centre you can learn all about these extraordinary animals and the conservation and research programs that are protecting them, and even have a turtle encounter like very few others in the world. Every year, from November to March, you can join Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers at the Mon Repos Turtle Centre on a guided tour to watch nesting (November to January) and hatching (January to March) marine turtles. Mon Repos Turtle Encounters offer a unique opportunity for you to catch a glimpse of a turtle's world-at least for one night! Don't miss your chance to be part of this special experience. 'Connect with Nature' activities such as ranger-guided walks and turtle talks are also offered during some school holidays at the Mon Repos Turtle Centre.

Mon Repos Regional Park

Bundaberg, Bundaberg Area
Free Entry
Mon Repos Regional Park, a quiet coastal oasis near Bundaberg, is special! The beach supports the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland and has the most significant loggerhead turtle nesting population in the South Pacific region. Their nesting and hatching success here at Mon Repos is critical for their survival. At this globally-significant site you can learn about these extraordinary animals - a visit to Mon Repos Turtle Centre offers a turtle encounter like very few others in the world. Mon Repos also features Woongarra rainforest scrub, the site of Bert Hinkler's first glider flights, a tidal lagoon, rock pools and an historic basalt stone wall built by South Sea Islanders, who were brought to Queensland from the 1880s to work in the sugar industry. Explore the park on walking tracks and cycling tracks or, if you prefer a slower pace, take a wander along the beach to look at tidal rock pools. Entry to Mon Repos Regional Park is free. Fees apply for night access to the Mon Repos Turtle Centre and Mon Repos Turtle Encounters during turtle season (November to March). See Mon Repos Turtle Centre listing for admission and booking details.

Second Reef Dive Site

Lady Musgrave Island, Gladstone Area
Free Entry
Located off the western side of Lady Elliot Island, Second Reef is a long ridge of coral that varies in depth from 2 to 12 metres. Lovely hard corals feature on this reef, but with many ledges and caves to explore it is always a fascinating dive. Schooling trevally and surgeonfish often engulf parts of this reef, and divers regularly encounter turtles, eagle rays, stingrays and whitetip reef sharks. Also common at Second Reef are sweetlips, lionfish, barramundi cod, gropers, octopus, crayfish, snappers and a great collection of colourful reef fish. This is a wonderful dive site that is enjoyed by both divers and snorkellers.

Lighthouse Bommies Dive Site

Lady Elliot Island, Bundaberg Area
Free Entry
Just off the western side of Lady Elliot Island is a group of small coral outcrops known as Lighthouse Bommies. Descend down the mooring line and drift onto the bommies to discover a vast array of marine life - batfish, stingrays, white-spotted shovelnose rays, green and loggerhead turtles, sea snakes, moray eels, coral trout, reef sharks, trevally, barracuda, and manta rays waiting to be groomed by cleaner wrasse. At times leopard sharks and tasselled wobbegong sharks can be found resting at these wonderful bommies.

Lady Musgrave Lagoon Dive Site

Seventeen Seventy, Gladstone Area
Free Entry
Lady Musgrave Island is accessible on a day trip from the Town of 1770. This lovely coral cay is surrounded by a long fringing reef, and has a large lagoon that is a popular diving and snorkelling site. Scattered throughout the lagoon are countless coral heads, and with the depth rarely more than eight metres divers have a lot of time to explore. The calm waters in the lagoon allow delicate hard corals to flourish, including large patches of staghorn coral. While most of the reef fish seen are small, the ones under the permanent pontoon certainly aren't, as schools of sweetlips, goatfish, snapper, rabbitfish, damsels and a few gropers shelter here.

Entrance Bommie Dive Site

Lady Musgrave Island, Gladstone Area
Free Entry
Located at the entrance to Lady Musgrave Island lagoon, Entrance Bommie is a large blade of coral sitting in 22 metres of water. This elongated bommie is riddled with ledges and caves, which are usually overflowing with baitfish. Feasting on these tiny baitfish are predators like trevally, coral trout and mackerel. Entrance Bommie is also a good place to encounter turtles, tasselled wobbegong sharks, whitetip reef sharks, giant moray eels, stingrays, eagle rays and a good variety of reef fish. Don't be too surprised if you find a large shark sleeping in one of the caves, as tawny nurse sharks, which can grow to over three metres in length, are often seen at this dive site.

Severance Shipwreck Dive Site

Lady Elliot Island, Bundaberg Area
Free Entry
Quite a few ships have come to grief on the fringing reef around Lady Elliot Island, but only one of these can be dived, the Severance. This fully intact yacht sank in 1998 and still has much of its rigging in place that is now covered in glorious soft corals. Sitting on a sandy sea floor, 21 metres deep, the wreck is a haven for marine life with cobia, sweetlips, emperors, snappers, trevally and gropers sheltering around the yacht. A look inside the ship will often reveal tasselled wobbegongs, coral trout, coral cod, lionfish and thousands of shrimps. Other visitors to the Severance include turtles, stingrays, reef sharks, eagle rays and manta rays.

Maori Wrasse Bommie Dive Site

Lady Elliot Island, Bundaberg Area
Free Entry
Maori Wrasse Bommie off Lady Elliot Island is named after the family of Maori wrasse that call the area home. The site is located 14 to 18 metres beneath the surface and is ideal for intermediate divers looking to explore - reef sharks can often be spotted patrolling the reef wall and arches near the bommie, and just north of the wall is Spiders Ledge, named for the number of shells that decorate the outcrop. If you're a keen-eyed diver, you may be lucky enough to spot the shy barramundi cod and the brightly coloured clown triggerfish darting among the coral.

Manta Ray Bommie Dive SIte

Lady Musgrave Island, Gladstone Area
Free Entry
Manta Ray Bommie is not just one coral head, but a collection of bommies off the western side of Lady Musgrave Island. These bommies come in a range of sizes, in depths from 12 to 20 metres, with the biggest ones decorated with gorgonians, soft corals and sponges. Numerous reef fish populate these bommies, common being goatfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, sweetlips and parrotfish. Divers also regularly encounter turtles, stingrays and reef sharks in this area. But the main attraction is the manta rays that hover atop the largest of these bommies as they get cleaned by swarms of cleaner wrasse.
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