Southern Reef Islands
Between Bundaberg in the south and Rockhampton in the north are a number of coral reefs and cays which make up the Southern Reed Islands. These islands are located within the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef and can be reached from Bundaberg, Gladstone and Rosslyn. Four of the islands are National Parks which offer bush camping with very few facilities, although you should book early at the QPWS Ph: (07) 4972 6055. These islands include Lady Musgrave Island, Masthead Island, North West Island and Tryon Island. Other islands around this section include Heron Island, Lady Elliott Island and Wilson Island.
Heron Island is great for divers wishing to explore the beautiful coral around the island. The Heron Island Resort is on the northern side of the island, with the rest of the island being a National Park. Unfortunately if you want to visit the island then you are going to have to stay, although it is a great place to get away and relax. From Heron Island you can visit nearby Wilson Island which also offers great diving, and some excellent beaches, although there is no accommodation.
Lady Elliott Island is a coral cay which is perfect for divers and snorkelers of all levels. There is plenty of fabulous coral to see, and blowholes and shipwrecks to explore. The only accommodation on the island is at the Lady Elliott Island Resort, which you can get to on Whitacker Air Charters. You can also join a day trip to the island from both Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.
Lady Musgrave Island is another coral cay, which is a glorious National Park. The coral stretches around the island and is fabulous to see. You can camp on the island although the only facilities are bush toilets so be prepared and bring water.
North West Island is the largest coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef, and is all a National Park. North West Island is home to some magnificent wildlife including the magnificent Green Turtle which nests between November and February. You can camp on the North West Island, as well as on Tryon Island another home to the Green Turtle. You will need to book with the Department of Environment Ph: (07) 4972 6055.
There are a number of companies which travel to the Southern Reef Islands from Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rosslyn and the Town of 1770.