Manta Rays

Queensland plays host to a number of prime Manta Ray meet & greet spots, with Lady Elliot Island taking the cake as an animal encounter utopia. Unique up close interactions with manta rays, whales and turtles are literally right on your doorstep at this island in the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Coined ‘Home of the Manta Ray’, Lady Elliot Island plays host to these gentle giants feeding throughout the year. They come by in larger groups during the winter months in May and June, fortunately coinciding with when water visibility is best. Regardless of the time you go, there’s always a lot to see at this nature lover’s paradisical spot. 

Manta Ray Facts

  • With a wing span of up to seven metres, the manta ray is the world’s largest ray.
  • Despite their size, these huge kites are harmless – feeding off of microscopic plankton. 
  • They have short tails and are without a stinging barb (phew!). 
  • Manta Alfredi is the species found on Lady Elliot, and is known to frequent both Australia’s eastern and western coasts. 
  • With the largest brain to body size ratio of any living fish, manta rays are very inquisitive and popular amongst divers. 

Other hotspots to see Manta Rays:

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Great Barrier Reef Day Trip to Lady Elliot Island

Multiple Locations
Lady Elliot Island is a coral cay located at the southern tip of Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef (north of Fraser Island). The island is regarded as one of the best snorkelling and diving destinations in Australia and is famous for its unspoilt coral reef and amazing array of spectacular marine life!

Lighthouse Bommies Dive Site

Bundaberg East, 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.

Barolin Rocks Dive Site

Bargara, Bundaberg Area
Free Entry
Head to the Woongarra Marine Park on the outskirts of Bundaberg to find some of the most brilliant and easy-to-access shore diving in Queensland. There's something different everywhere you look - turtles, rays, sea snakes, nudibranchs, moray eels, a wide variety of reef fish and coral and even wobbegong sharks.

Hoffman's Rocks Dive Site

Bargara, Bundaberg Area
Free Entry
Hoffman’s Rocks is a colourful underwater playground just south of Bargara in the Woongarra Marine Park. The area is covered in hard and soft corals including gorgonian sea fans and pretty soft corals, and home to resting turtles, stingrays, gropers and wobbegong sharks.

Lady Musgrave Island Dive Sites

Bundaberg, Bundaberg Area
Free Entry
Lady Musgrave Island on the Great Barrier Reef is accessible from either Bundaberg or the Town of 1770. This 44 acre coral cay sits in a lagoon of approximately 3,000 acres with 14 world class dive sites:

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.
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