Backpacking the Southern Great Barrier Reef Islands

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  • lady-musgrave-042307
    CHECK OUT THE STUNNING REEF ISLANDS, INCLUDING LADY MUSGRAVE, LADY ELLIOT AND HERON ISLANDS: Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland
  • heron-island-042193
    AWESOME PLACES TO LAZE AWAY YOUR DAY ON STUNNING WHITE SANDY BEACHES, OR SWIM IN CRYSTAL CLEAR BLUE WATERS: Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland
  • great-barrier-reef-107122
    AMAZING DIVING AND SNORKELLING AVAILABLE IN THE GREAT BARRIER REEF, RIGHT OFF THE ISLAND'S BEACHES: Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland
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Southern Great Barrier Reef Islands Highlights

  • Some of the most spectacular diving on the planet is found around these islands.

  • There is an abundance of birdlife with many different exotic species.

  • Green Turtles make the beaches their nesting home at certain times of the year on Heron Island.

  • Stunning, white sandy beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters are found around all the islands.

About the Southern Great Barrier Reef Islands

The main islands of the Southern part of the Great Barrier Reef include Lady Elliot Island, Lady Musgrave Island and Heron Island.


Lady Elliot Island

This island is surrounded by spectacular reefs and considered to have some of the best diving and snorkelling on the planet.

It is a nature lover's paradise with over 57 species of birds, nesting sea turtles and amazing marine life.

It is a perfect island to chill out on the white sandy beaches and swim in the turquoise clear waters.

Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort offers accommodation here.


Lady Musgrave Island

This is an uninhabited coral cay that is teaming with birdlife and is surrounded by a stunning lagoon, which boasts an abundance of coral and marine life. You can often see turtles swimming here as well.

The lagoon is ideal for beginner snorkellers and divers as the surrounding ring of reef provides a barrier against outside currents.

Various operators offer guided tours to the island so you can dive, snorkel or swim.

Also, being part of Capricornia Cays National Park, there is camping on the island for most of the year. 


Heron Island

This is a popular spot for divers and snorkellers with more than 20 different diving sites to explore around the island and half of these are located just fifteen minutes from the beach. There is so much to see, including incredible amounts of intriguing marine life and colourful corals. One of the more popular diving sites 'The Heron Bommie' has been described by Jacques Cousteau as being one of his top ten favourite diving spots.

On land there is an abundance of birdlife and at certain times of the year Green Turtles make the beaches on the island their nesting home.

The beaches here are stunning and provide an excellent place to chill and enjoy the sun, or you can take a swim in the beautiful clear waters that surround the island.

Orientation Map for the Southern Great Barrier Reef Islands


View map of the Southern Reef Islands in a larger map