Island Wonderland | Gladstone Attractions
Off the coast of Gladstone is where you’ll find a paradise of islands dotted along the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
Here lies the picturesque, uninhabited Lady Musgrave Island, where it is the only coral island on the Great Barrier Reef with a navigable lagoon. The lagoon offers calm, clear water – ideal for swimming and snorkelling – like swimming in a giant aquarium. There is also plenty to do on land: camping, trekking and exploring the wildlife on the island.
Closer to the shores of Gladstone are Heron and Wilson Islands. They also offer fantastic lagoons with calm waters well suited for snorkelling, diving and swimming. Wilson Island offers privacy and seclusion in a quiet, beautiful location. Heron Island is a bigger coral cay (meaning it is completely composed of sand and coral fragments) with abundant wildlife – from seabirds, Loggerhead turtles to clouds of multi-coloured fish.
Experience all that Heron Island has to offer: reef walking, viewing the marine life from the coral submarine, swimming, fishing and snorkelling. Heron Island is also renowned for having some of the best diving spots within 15 minutes of the shore.
Lady Elliot Island is another large coral cay and is the most southerly island within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. This island is a bird watcher’s paradise, with more than 50,000 birds nesting here during the summer months.
Lady Elliot Island is also known for being the ideal nesting ground for Loggerhead turtles – cute hatchlings can be seen from January until April. Explore the local shipwreck or the island’s iconic Manta Rays via 19 dive sites scattered throughout the island.
For marine animal lovers, Fitzroy Reef Lagoon (90 minutes from the town of Seventeen Seventy) is a must-see! This dazzling reef is the sole naturally formed, tidal entrance lagoon along the Southern Great Barrier Reef, and is home to a remarkable array of sea life in this coral metropolis.
Snorkel or scuba dive and explore this beautiful underwater world and its inhabitants: common and bottlenose dolphins, Green and Loggerhead turtles, black blotched stingrays, opalescent spotted Lagoon rays, Manta and Bull rays, plus be surrounded by over a thousand different species of multi-coloured fish! White and black tip reef sharks also cruise through the area – but don’t worry, they do not bother humans!