Lady Musgrave Island Family Friendly

Lady Musgrave Island is perfect for all ages

Located right in our backyard, The Great Barrier Reef is perfect for both Australian and International families as it is surrounded by a Coral Wall to protect the Lagoon for stunning, safe snorkeling.

Untouched paradise
Lady Musgrave Island which is sometimes overlooked has some of the easiest reef viewing experiences for families. It is not crowded and fuss free, with minimal commercial reef enterprises; unlike other reefs. For easiest access to the departure point of Seventeen Seventy you can either fly into Gladstone or Bundaberg – or a short 5 hour drive from QLD’s capital city Brisbane.

Cost friendly for the extended family experience
There is no island resort on Lady Musgrave Island, and mainland (Seventeen Seventy and Agnes Water) accommodation is generally a cheaper option than island resort accommodation in other locations, resulting in a more cost effective experience for larger families. But because you aren’t ‘staying’ on an island doesn’t mean you won’t get that easy access to the true reef with 1770reef’s boat departing daily for full day tours to Lady Musgrave Island. 1770reef also have family packages and can offer great saving for additional children for the larger family. Want to bring the Grandparents along too? No worries, there is also a discounted rate for seniors.

Fun in the water for all ages
Lady Musgrave Island is fully surrounded by a wall of coral – creating a lagoon in which all of 1770reef’s tour activities are held. This lagoon resembles a large natural swimming pool; calm and safe full of colourful corals and marine life ready for your family to explore. Snorkel without fear of marine stingers year round, with the safety of provided life vest and floating noodles for added security. 1770reef have snorkels, masks, fins, wetsuits and flotation devices to fit all ages and sizes.

Personalised Experience
Children and adults alike love the glass bottom boat tours, viewing the underwater wonders of the lagoon without getting wet – with added commentary with our knowledgeable and experience guide Barrie, who has lived and breathed the reef his entire life.

Sandy Toes
If your family also wants to get their feet sandy our lovely and passionate Island Guide will take you on a fun guided tour of the island itself. Spotting where turtles have nested and bird watching, there is great island history to be told also.

Fussy eaters….No worries
What is better when travelling with kids for a full day than a fully catered tour; your family will be provided with freshly made scones in the morning, seasonal tropical fruits throughout the day, healthy and fresh filled wraps and turkish bread rolls for lunch, and delicious cheese and antipasto platter as you sail home. Special dietary requirements or picky eaters are easily catered for; all our food is made fresh the morning before travel.

LADY MUSGRAVE ISLAND AND WHAT SEASON IS FOR YOU

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.

SUMMER

Average water temp: 28 degrees

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

AUTUMN

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

WINTER

Average water temp: 24 degrees

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

SPRING

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.  Musgrave Island.
  • Breeding activity begins for most of the seabird species during October.

 

YEAR ROUND

  • 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.

LADY MUSGRAVE ISLAND – OUR OCTOPUS

LADY MUSGRAVE ISLAND – OCTOPUS 


As you know, the Great Barrier Reef is home to hundreds of amazing creatures. One of our favourites though, is the mysterious and illusive octopus.

ABOUT THE OCTOPUS

the Octopus is  better known for their bulbous head and eight tentacles, they are actually considered to be one of the most intelligent of invertebrates in the deep blue. Did you know that the “tentacles” are actually considered Arms, which more amazingly have a mind of their own? Not only have they been observed using them to manoeuvre tools, if they happen to lose an arm, it will grow back as if it was never lost, would be great if us humans could have that ability.

Their bodies are extremely soft and contain no bone structure which helps them easily fit through small gaps no matter how large their body mass. They are pretty much the Houdini of sea creatures.

OCTOPUS AND SURROUNDINGS

Octopus often live in solitary. Most species usually live closer to the water’s surface, inhabiting reefs and crevices enabling them to keep hidden from predators. This species is found at Lady Musgrave Island Lagoon part of the Southern Great Barrier Reef.  The common octopus has a wide range of techniques it uses to avoid or ward off attackers. Its first and most amazing line of defense is its ability to hide in plain sight. Using a network of pigment cells and specialized muscles in its skin, the common octopus can almost instantaneously match the colors and patterns of its surroundings. Another epic defense of the octopus is when feeling threatened it can shoot out ink that can temporarily blind and dull a potential attackers senses, giving the octopus time to swim away.

Just a quick overview on this special inquisitive species found in our waters at Lady Musgrave Island, pleae watch this short clip to see the beauty of Lady Musgrave Island.

 

 

 

 

Flying Fish

The Fantastic Flying Fish – Is it a fish? Is it a boat? Or is it a cocktail drink?

Well, it is all of them actually but the one we’re going to share with you today is the FLYING FISH.

Flying Fish are able to achieve powerful, self-propelled leaps out of the water where their long wing-like fins enable them to glide for considerable distances ABOVE the water’s surface. Amazing, right! This very uncommon fish ability is a natural defence mechanism to evade any predators.

Where are you likely to find them

They like to hang out in the top layer of the ocean – the “sunlight zone” – where most of the visible light exists under the water. This is the layer of ocean where nearly all the ocean’s primary production happens and as such, the vast majority of plants and marine animals live in this area. This, of course, leads to prey and predation relationships where the smaller fish, like the Flying Fish, are targets for the bigger fish. Their unique adaptation allows their torpedo shaped bodies, large pectoral fins and strong tail to reach the velocity it needs to “fly”. It also has adapted its gills to enable them to breathe whilst in the air. These flying fish are also found out at Lady Musgrave Island.

How big will they grow

When the Flying Fish is fully grown it can measure up to 20 – 25 centimetres in length and their pectoral fins can be as big as the size of the wings of some birds. After increasing speed under the water, they launch themselves out of the water and glide quite remarkable distances. At the end of the glide, they fold their pectoral fins to re-enter the sea or drop their tails into the water to push against it to enable them to lift for another glide and can even change directions at this point. They can increase the time in the air by flying straight into or at an angle to the direction of the updrafts created by the air and ocean currents.

Some Flying Fish have been known to launch themselves onto the decks of smaller boats. Other fisherman catch Flying Fish by shining a light into the water and then catching them with a net. Others are able to scoop them straight out of the air with nets and Sea Birds have been known to swoop in and catch the Flying Fish while they are in glide mode.

The average flight length would be around 50 metres and with updrafts up to 400 metres in distance. They can travel at speeds of 70 km/h at an altitude maximum of around 6 metres above the surface of the sea.

In May 2008, a Japanese film crew filmed a flying fish off the coast of Yakusima Island and the fish spent 45 seconds in the air. Remarkable for such a little fish.

Wobbegong Shark

Have you ever heard of or seen a Wobbegong Shark?

Have you ever heard of or seen a Tasselled Wobbegong? First of all there are over 370 shark species in the world. Australia is home to more than 100 of them. The Great Barrier Reef is a mecca for a massive variety of sharks, one in particular the Tasselled Wobbegong.

They are a species of carpet shark

We are bringing up this variety of shark because in the last couple of months some of our lucky snorkelers have been able to spot one of these little guys lurking around in our snorkel zone. They are a species of carpet shark that dwell mainly on the bottom of shallow reefs in Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia. Wobbegong came from an Australian Aboriginal word that means ‘shaggy beard’. It’s beard like features are used as sensory barbs and also they also help them to camouflage into their surroundings.  They are quiet flat and also have old school carpet patterns that make it a camouflage king in the reef.

Length of a Wobbegong

Wobbegongs can grow up to 1.25m and don’t hold much threat to humans .  They are quiet lazy and don’t really like to move too much, spending most of the day sleeping

Christmas Time with 1770reef on Lady Musgrave Island

Christmas Time with 1770reef on Lady Musgrave Island

Air temperatures are nice and tropical ranging from 23 – 31 Degrees Celsius

Water temperature is at an average of 25 Degrees Celsius and warmer, creating the most beautiful and comfortable snorkeling.

Lady Musgrave Island while always amazing does have some extra special things that happen at Christmas time.

CORAL SPAWNING

The annual synchronized spawning of corals takes place after a full moon and only when the water has reached the ideal temperature. As Lady Musgrave Island is located at the southern tip and is classed as sub-tropical it does take a little longer to reach that ideal temperature of 26 Degrees Celsius, making December the perfect time to witness this phenomenon.

TURTLES

The turtles have all paired up and mated and are now nesting and carefully laying their precious eggs.

You will spot turtle tracks and see where the Green and Logger Head Turtles have been nesting during your Guided Nature Walk of Lady Musgrave Island.

Say hi to our resident Turtle “Terrence” on the Glass Bottom Boat or maybe even get a closer encounter whilst snorkelling in the Lagoon.

BIRDS

The birds of Lady Musgrave Island love to nest over Christmas.

White Capped Noddy Turns can be found nesting in the Pisonia Trees, whereas the Silver Gulls, Bridles Turns and Black Naped Turns prefer to nest closer to the beach. With the Mutton Birds burrowing on the interior of the Island.

SNORKELLING

An underwater oasis is waiting to be discovered in the lagoon as you pop on your snorkel and mask to reveal on the Great Barrier Reef’s biggest swimming pools. Experience world class snorkelling where you can get up close to resident marine life; including hundreds of species of tropical fish (large and small), turtles and manta rays.

See how many of the world famous Great Barrier Reef Great 8 you can spot!!

I know where I would rather be at Christmas this year…. LADY MUSGRAVE ISLAND with 1770reef

Organ Pipe Coral

DO YOU KNOW WHAT AN ORGAN PIPE IS?

Organ Pipe is also a type of CORAL that grows in our Great Barrier Reef. It has quite unique actually. It is the only coral that retains its colour after it dies. On our walks around the island we often see vivid red fragments of this beautiful, red coral skeleton.

Tubipora music – there’s that musical reference to the actual organ pipe – Organ Pipe Coral forms in colonies of parallel, vertical tubes connected by horizontal platforms. The polyps live in the uppermost part of the tubes and come out to feed during the day. You’d think with such a beautifully coloured outer “house”,  that the polyps would be colourful as well? Nope, they are boring whites and creams. We never see this while we snorkel as while the polyps are out they cover the striking red skeleton.

Now, you know that we have hard corals and soft corals in the Great Barrier Reef right? Guess which one this.

It’s a SOFT coral that just happens to have  a calcium carbonate outer skeleton that forms just like the pipes on of an organ.

The Organ Pipe Coral, because of its red calcareous skeleton, has long been prized for jewellery and decorative ornaments since ancient times. Even a tiara was made from it in the mid 19th Century by Phillips Bros, London. This was a company well known for its distinctive coral jewellery and In 1870 the firm advertised that it had ‘the most complete collection of fine coral work in the world’.

Did you know;

Back in the “old days” the Organ Pipe Coral was believed to save children from illness, promote fertility and protect against witchcraft as well.

www.1770reef.com.au  Phone; +61 0749727222 for Bookings

We are the Closest access to the Reef!

Lady Musgrave Island – Gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

1770reef provides you with the closest access to Lady Musgrave Island being just a short boat trip out fro the Town of 1770  to Lady Musgrave Island, Reef and Lagoon. The Town of 1770/Agnes Water is only 5 hours from the city of Brisbane and only 1.5 hours from city of Bundaberg, by car.

You can drive yourself, catch a Greyhound Bus, get the Tilt Train or get an Executive Limousine service direct from Bundaberg, return. So easy to get here and so much to enjoy with 1770reef visiting the “jewel” in the reef – Lady Musgrave Island.

What to expect on your tour

We travel 65 kilometres across open oceans to access the wonders of the reef, right on our doorstep. All activities are provided for your day – a wonderfully informative guided island walk with our experienced guide who tends to spend most of the year either working on the reef/island with 1770reef or assisting with Qld Parks and Wildlife vegetation regeneration projects on the island. Let Marcus share his extensive knowledge about the island, the birds and the marine life that surround these shores.

Then, onto the glass bottom boat with your guide for a great coral viewing tour. With 6 metres of large glass panels on the bottom, it allows all our guests to enjoy “life under the sea” without getting your feet wet. Meandering through the coral bommies pointing out the different coral formations, finding Nemos’ and spotting turtles as we go.

On your return to our vessel to enjoy a fresh tropical buffet lunch before getting your swimmers on for your snorkelling activity. After your important snorkel safety briefing by the crew, get your snorkel gear (crew will assist with sizing if required) and away you go to enjoy the pristine waters of the lagoon within our large snorkel zone. Resting stations are provided throughout the zone, in case of fatigue during your snorkel time as it can be a tiring exercise for those of us not used to it. Open your eyes to the beauty below the water and let us know what you spot- turtles, garfish, cods, parrot fish, clown fish to name a few.

Advice before travel

As you are travelling across open marine waters to reach this magnificent destination, 1770reef also recommend that you consider motion sickness medication. This is best pre purchased before your arrival in town.  Also some thongs or covered shoes that can get wet as the island is a coral Island and quiet hard on your feet.

So need help to organise a great holiday or just a quick weekend away, call us – 1770reef – and we can offer you our reef trip, other local activities in town and accommodation packages.

Call us today 0749 727222 or email tours@1770reef.com.au or look at our website www.1770reef.com.au

Meet the Majestic Manta Ray’s at Lady Musgrave Island

Manta Ray’s at Lady Musgrave Island with 1770reef

The gracefulness of the Manta Ray is truly a thing of beauty. They are a giant of the ocean and can reach a disc size of up to 7metres, averaging around 4.5 metres.

Coming in at Number #2 on the Great 8 of our Great Barrier Reef’s living icons is the Manta Ray and you may have to chance to get up close and personal while snorkelling the pristine waters of Lady Musgrave Lagoon.

Did you know?

The Manta Ray has the largest brain to body size ration of any living fish which makes them quite inquisitive around snorkellers and divers, coming up to “inspect” what you are up to.

How  fast can they go?

The flapping in Mantas can generate incredible amount of propulsion. A 4.5 metre Manta can travel at around 14 kilometres per hour with bursts of up to 35 kilometres per hour.

You can name one as well.

If you get a chance to swim with the Manta take a photo of its underbelly. No two Mantas have the same markings. If it is identified as a “new” sighting, you can name it yourself!

The Love Train

During breeding times up to 30 males may follow only one (1) female as she leads them in a merry dance resembling something like the old Conga Line dance. She will then choose one of the males as a partner. Once she falls pregnant, the male departs and has no part in any parenting.

 What a big mouth you have?

The Manta has a very large, forward facing mouth. This allows them to migrate across the open seas and filter feed large quantities of plankton which they swallow with their open mouths as they swim along.

Let 1770reef help you tick the famous     MANTA RAY    # 2 on the Great Barrier Reef Great 8 off your bucket list!!!                                  

+617 4972 7222                                              tours@1770reef.com.au                            www.1770reef.com.au

Giant Clam

Giant Clams at Lady Musgrave Island Lagoon

It’s The Great 8!

The Giant Clam is found at our very own Lady Musgrave Island Lagoon part of the Southern Great Barrier Reef, with the Giant Clam earing its spot at number 5, alongside the likes of Whales, Manta Rays, Clown Fish, Sharks, Potato Cod, Maori Wrasse and Turtles.

Lady Musgrave Island is one of the only locations along the Great Barrier Reef where all 8 can be found, including of course the amazing Giant Clam.

Did you know?

It’s said that, like a human fingerprint, no two Giant Clams have the same colouration or mantle pattern.  These wild technicolour effects actually come from algae living within the clam’s tissue.

These extraordinary mollusks, which can grow to 1.5 meters in length and weigh up to 200 kilograms, feature a pretty ordinary exterior but a stunning mantle – the fleshy part protruding from the shell.

One of these Clams is not like the other….

Adult giant clams cannot close their shells completely.   This makes them the only species of clams unable to do so.

Male or Female?

By nature, Giant Clams are hermaphrodites. They possess the reproductive organs of both the sexes.

Despite this, they cannot reproduce on their own. On the contrary, they release sperms and eggs into the water.

A single giant clam can release over 500 million eggs at one time.

What’s for dinner?

The algae that grow within the Giant Clam’s mantle tissue are their main source of food. The giant clams absorb sugars and proteins, which these algae produce as they photosynthesize. The nutrition that they get from these algae enables them to acquire such enormous sizes.

Owing to their immense size and their sessility, giant clams are also preyed upon by a number of predators which are, more often than not, much smaller than them.

Let 1770reef help you tick the famous GIANT CLAM  # 5 on the Great Barrier Reef Great 8 off your bucket list!!!      Bookings 0749727222https://www.1770reef.com.au/book-now/