How to get to: the Southern Great Barrier Reef

By air, road and more.
How to get to the Southern Great Barrier Reef

By Air

Lady Elliot Island Resort is a coral cay in the Southern Great Barrier Reef and can be reached by a chartered flight from several regional airports around Australia. You can visit this island either by day trip or a longer stay from the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Hervey Bay or Bundaberg airports. The scenic chartered flights are well worth the price as you get a beautiful view of the Great Barrier Reef as you approach and land directly on the island.

By Rail

You can reach Lady Musgrave Island or Lady Elliot Island via gateway towns such as Agnes Waters, Bundaberg or Hervey Bay. Both the Tilt Train and the Spirit of Queensland trains will travel through Bundaberg and Hervey Bay several times a week to fly into Lady Elliot Island. To reach Lady Musgrave by rail you will need to travel to Miriam Vale Station and transfer by coach to Town of 1770.

By Bus

Greyhound coaches has several services a day into Hervey Bay, Bundaberg, Agnes Waters to visit island reef locations such as Lady Musgrave Island and Lady Elliot Island Resort. The journey does have many coastal stops, which can stretch the journey out so I would suggest getting the rail services into Hervey Bay or Bundaberg over the coach. However, if you have purchased a bus pass for travel along the East Coast then you will need to sit the wait out on the bus.

By Road

Hervey Bay is a short three hour drive from Brisbane and is a gateway to Lady Elliot Island via chartered flights from the regional airport. This trip can easily be done over a weekend but most people make it an extended holiday by including a stay in the Sunshine Coast along the way. The flights to Hervey Bay depart in the morning so it is advised that you stay in Hervey Bay the night before. Lady Elliot Island offers a day trip but to make the most of the island’s beauty a few nights is recommended.

Day cruises to Lady Musgrave Island operate from Bundaberg or Town of 1770 daily (weather dependent). Bundaberg Port Marina is approximately a four and half hour drive from Brisbane and Town of 1770 is around six hours drive. This is still accessible to do within a weekend trip but again please keep in mind that you would need to stay the night before to join the cruise at 7am. Lady Musgrave and Lady Elliot Island are perfect for those short on time and are usually uncrowded. If you time your visit between November to March you can also stop in at the Mon Repos National Park to witness nesting and hatching turtles on the beach on a guided turtle encounter.