Guided Lady Musgrave Island Walk

Guided Island Walk

Just one of the many inclusions on our full day tour to Lady Musgrave Island is our guided island walk.  Our knowledgeable guides will take you through the bird eating forest of Pisonia Grandis Trees and along the edge of the popular green turtle nesting area of the beach. 

Our guides will explain
  • How the island was formed
  • Why the trees eat birds
  • What animals live here
  • The turtle life cycle
  • History of the human impact
  • The naming of the Islands
  • Wildlife information as sighted
What to Bring When Visiting the Island

Water bottle – Surprisingly the island can get really hot. Ensure to take some water with you as there is none on the island.

Footwear – Arriving to the island on board our glass bottom boat you may have to step through a few inches of water to get to the shoreline. Ensure your footwear is ok to get wet – thongs are fine.

Hat – While the hat is perfect for sun protection during the months when the Noddy Terns are breeding, the foot path below is a drop zone, if you know what we mean.

Camera – This island is so photogenic you’d be kicking yourself if you left your camera behind. Ensure you carry it in a case to protect it from any sea spray on the journey over.



Whale Season

Whale watching from the Town of 1770

There are no specific whale watching tours departing from the Town of 1770, however if you join our full day tour to Lady Musgrave Island during whale season. Regular whale sightings are an added bonus.

When Is Whale Season?

The first whales are normally sighted here in June, during this time they are few and far between as their migration north begins. Then midway through July the numbers start to increase with August and September being peak times. Whale sightings slow down after August and the last sightings are around the start of November.

Where are the whales going?

The Humpback Whales have travelled 5,000 kilometers from Antarctica to swim past us here in the Town of 1770 on there to the tropical waters of North Queensland. Here the Great Barrier Reef and Inner Island provide a safe  sanctuary for mother whales to give birth and for others to begin their mating rituals. 

Whale Fun Facts

  • Whale songs are used to communicate with other Humpback Whales and can last for up to 30 minutes.
  • Humpback Whales are considered the Giants of the ocean. Growing up to 18m long and weighing up to 50 tonnes.
  • A Humpback’s brain can weigh 5kg 
  • When feeding they can eat around 2,000kg of food a day.
  • The consistency of the mothers milk is very similar to toothpaste.
  • The heart beats only 3 times in a minute.

Have a Whaley good time!

Turtles at Lady Musgrave Island

Turtle Encounters

At 1770 Reef we cannot guarantee what marine life we will see on our day tour to Lady Musgrave Island .  However daily turtle encounters are an everyday norm. If we go a single trip without seeing a turtle this would be most unusual.

What types of turtle?

Lady Musgrave Island and Lagoon hosts 3 out of the 7 species of sea turtle. The Green Sea turtle, the Hawksbill and the Loggerhead.

Green – The most common seen are the Greens who also nest on the Island during the warmer months. We love greens due to their relaxed nature in the water and the almost total disregard for us.

Hawksbill – Hawksbill turtles used to be quite rare due to previously being hunted for their decorative shells. They tend to be a bit more skittish and shy in the water than the greens but are now almost a daily sighting.

Loggerhead – Once used to be a regular and common sighting. However a slight decline has been notice in the last few years. This may potentially be caused by negative human impact as they predominantly nest on the mainland.

Tips On How To Snorkel With A Turtle

  1. Our top number one tip is to visit Lady Musgrave Island on a day tour with 1770 Reef.
  2. Maximise your snorkel time. If you prefer to be under the water than looking down on it, you can skip the glass bottom boat tour and dive in straight away.
  3. Slow it down. You’d be suprised how much you miss  and scare away when you’re swimming around fast.
  4. When you see a turtle stay calm and slow down. Fast swimming or approaching the turtle will scare it away.
  5. If a turtle is approaching you stop moving and stay still. More than likely it will come over to you to say hello.
  6. NEVER touch a turtle. Not only will this scare the turtle, it may bite you.
  7. Ask the crew about the turtle cleaning stations. These are certain area on the reef where the turtles stop to get cleaned by other fish. 
  8.  Most turtle encounters happen when you least expect it, so take some time to enjoy the whole reef and snorkelling experience.

Lady Musgrave Island Campground Closure

QPWS Temporarily Closes Island Campground

The ever popular camping ground on Lady Musgrave Island will be closed for up to 10 weeks from the 15th of July 2022. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services will have the tedious job of upgrading the facilities of the remote island campground. If everything goes as planned the grounds will be reopened in time for the  September school holidays.

Happy Camping!

Best Time to Visit Lady Musgrave Island

When is the best time to visit Lady Musgrave Island?

A visit to the Southern Great Barrier Reef can be enjoyed year round. With each season providing a completely difference experience.


Average water temp: 28 degrees

  • On Island turtle nesting (Nov – Jan)
  • Baby turtles hatching (Jan – Apr)
  • Coral spawning
  • Peak fish spawning
  • Baby seabird hatching


Average water temp: 26 degrees

  • Manta ray season
  • Grown seabird chicks begin to leave the island.
  • Humpback Whale migration starts, whales pass us heading North


Average water temp: 23 degrees

  • Humpback whales travelling both North and South
  • Peak Manta ray season


Average water temp: 26 degrees

  • Last Whales head South with Calves
  • Turtle mating starts with the amorous males battle it out to see who will get the girl.  
  • Breeding activity begins for most of the seabird species during October.


  • The Lady Musgrave Lagoon is home to hundreds of resident turtles who live here all year.
  • Lagoon Rays can be spotted in the shallows of the coral sands as you approach the beach of the Lady Musgrave Island.
  • Giant Clams are abundant and we have some beauties in our snorkel zone.
  • Dolphins can be encountered at any time in the open waters and often “play” with our vessel while travelling to and from Lady Musgrave.
  • Clown anemone fish can be found at any time of the year.
  • White-tip and Black-tip reef sharks are present as well, but will you see them? Probably not, they are very, very shy.

Snorkelling Lady Musgrave Island

Whether you’re a first time snorkeller or a well travelled underwater enthusiast. You will have an unforgettable experience snorkeling the Southern Great Barrier Reef with 1770 Reef.

We have written this article to give you more information about what to expect during your snorkel on our full day tour to Lady Musgrave Island.

Do I have to be a good swimmer to snorkel?

You do not have to be a great swimmer to go snorkelling. The unique Lady Musgrave Lagoon offers year round calm water perfect for the first time snorkeller. Our friendly crew will provide a snorkel briefing that explains how to use the equipment and safety information. We have floatation vest and noodles available for use and a stationery resting station where you can practice your technique before exploring the extensive reef. Our crew are there to help if you are still feeling nervous please talk to us. We are always happy to jump in the water with you.

Do you supply equipment

All your snorkelling equipment is provided, this includes:

  • Snorkel
  • Mask
  • Flippers
  • Floatation vest
  • Noodles

We have equipment for children, including children sizes snorkels, flippers, vests etc. Wetsuits are available to hire for $10 these can be arranged on board.

If you have your own equipment please feel free to bring it along.

How long will we be snorkeling for?

If you wish to partake in all of the activities for the day you will be snorkelling for around 1.5 – 2 hours. For the super keen snorkellers for maximum snorkelling time you can opt out of the other activities, ask the crew to hold your lunch till the trip home and you can be snorkelling for up to 5 hours!

What are we going to see when snorkelling at Lady Musgrave Island?

What won’t you see is the question. The opportunities are endless. The first thing you will notice as you submerge is the colourful array of reef fish dancing around naturally beautiful coral formations.  If you take your time, spotting anemones and the famous anemone fish is quite easy. Reef sharks are very common and pose no threat to snorkellers. Lady Musgrave is a turtle hot spot making daily turtle encounters basically a given. And for the lucky ones you may get to swim with a manta ray, sea snake, moray eel or giant cod.