Visiting the Southern Great Barrier Reef

Visiting the Southern Great Barrier Reef

Visit the Southern Great Barrier Reef departing 1770, Bundaberg or Gladstone.


Click here for LADY MUSGRAVE ISLAND day cruises 

Day Cruise on the Southern Great Barrier Reef departing Bundaberg or Town of 1770. Lady Musgrave Island is where Pixar got their inspiration for the Finding Nemo movie. Animators spent many days watching the sealife, taking film, photos and sketches to make the movie more authentic. It is the only island on the WHOLE Great Barrier Reef that has an island and a lagoon that can be navigated by boat. Day cruises include meals, snorkelling equipment, glass bottom boat, guided island tour. Scuba diving, upgrades and camping available.

Click here for LADY ELLIOT ISLAND day flights  

Visit Lady Elliot Island on the Southern Great Barrier Reef departing from 1770 Agnes Water, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Gold Coast or Brisbane, you can fly to Lady Elliot Island for a day trip or longer stay in a variety of Lady Elliot Island reef accommodations. A day trip to Lady Elliot Island includes return scenic flights over the reef, meals, snorkelling gear, towels, complimentary drink & orientation tour, guided activity, glass bottom boat, hot showers, tea and coffee.

Click here for HERON ISLAND overnight stays

To visit Heron Island on the Southern Great Barrier Reef from Gladstone, you can catch the ferry or fly by helicopter or seaplane to Heron Island and experience the magic of the reef by air. You can book an overnight or longer stay in a variety of Heron Island reef accommodations. Day trips are not available.

Is the Great Barrier Reef Dead?

No it is not dead. While areas have been affected by weather and people, there are some amazingly healthy areas of Great Barrier Reef. South of Mackay and accessed from Town of 1770, Agnes Water and Bundaberg, the thriving Southern Great Barrier Reef islands of Lady Elliot, Lady Musgrave & Heron are the healthiest areas you will visit.


A map showing coral bleaching.
2022 Aerial Survey observations of reef community coral bleaching throughout the Great Barrier Reef after the final heat wave from 12-23 March 2022.(Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority)

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chief scientist David Wachenfeld said the good news is that early signs suggest a low mortality rate.”Bleaching is a stress response but bleached coral is still alive and under the right conditions it can recover and continue to live,” he said.

2022.11.24 LB


Great Keppel Island

To visit Great Keppel Island on the Southern Great Barrier Reef from Yeppoon (Rockhampton), you can catch the 30 minute ferry to Great Keppel Island for a day, overnight or longer stay in a variety of Great Keppel Island holiday accommodations.


Pumpkin Island is one of Australia’s best-kept secrets. The Island is the ultimate private getaway for couples, or families. Groups can book the entire island. Pumpkin is nestled in the Southern Great Barrier Reef’s Keppel Group of islands 14 kilometres off the coast of Yeppoon. Maximum 34 people in only 7 self catering cottages.

1770 Undersea Adventures

The 1770 Great Barrier Reef Tour company, 1770 Undersea Adventures, is no longer offering scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef from the Town of 1770 and Agnes Water.
The liveaboard (overnight) trips throughout the area of Lady Musgrave Island, Hoskyn Island, Fairfax Island, Fitzroy Reef, Llewelyn Reef, Boult Reef and the wrecks of MV Karma and Cetacea are unavailable. Overnight trips are available on Lady Elliot Island, Heron Island and Great Keppel Island.

Reef Jet Cruises

Good news! 1770 Reef is currently operating from the MV Reef Jet and their latest addition, a larger 140 seater boat. This has replaced the Southern Great Barrier Reef Tours with Reef Jet Cruises (who no longer offer day trips or scuba diving at Fitzroy Island on the Great Barrier Reef, or Pancake Creek from the Town of 1770 and Agnes Water).

Lady Musgrave Cruises

Lady Musgrave Cruises are not currently operating from the Town of 1770 (Agnes Water). Day trips and camping are still available with other operators. CLICK HER FOR MORE INFORMATION