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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.

FREE THINGS TO DO ON YOUR HOLIDAY TO THE TOWN OF 1770

FREE THINGS TO DO ON YOUR HOLIDAY 1770

The perfect destination for a weekend away, family holiday or even if you are just passing through – the idyllic seaside Town of Seventeen Seventy (1770) is the place to visit. Among the range of activities available there are also a bounty of Natural Attractions that don’t even cost a cent and we’re going to share them with all of you.

1770 Headland and Lookout

Drive up to the Headland of 1770 and enjoy the majestic views from our lookout.

The track starts from the parking area at the 1770 Headland and goes to and from the lookouts. The walk will take approximately 15 minutes and is an easy walk.

Walk 250 metres through windswept tussock grasslands, vine thicket and coastal woodland to a lookout at the tip of the headland. Detour 50 metres to another lookout over a small sandy cove on your return. Enjoy the glorious views over Bustard Bay and the Coral Sea.

Look for dolphins and turtles in the crystal clear waters below or spot a wide array of seabirds as they fly overhead. During the winter months, we are lucky enough to have the whales passing through as they migrate on their journey north.  They are often spotted from the headland.

The 1770 headland is a great spot to sit, relax and enjoy champagne while you enjoy a spec­tacular sunset at the end of the day.

Dogs and domestic pets are not permitted in the national park.

Red Rock Walking Trail

Red Rock Walking Trail is located south of Agnes Water.

An intermediate amount of fitness is required as the track consists of steep inclines, boardwalks, sand and stepping stones.

From Agnes Water follow Springs Road for approximately 2.5kms, you see a sign on your right “Reedy Creek Reserve”, turn left, directly opposite onto a gravel track for 800 meters and park near the trees. There is a sign marking the start of Red Rock Walking Trail.

The beaches and the scenery are just to die for! You may even sight turtles and a dolphin or two. The track is to the right as you enter the beach and to Red Rock will take a good hour of walking or several hours if you wish to stop and take a swim.

November and December are the best months to catch a glimpse of the nesting mother turtles. Be sure to keep your distance if you notice any mother turtles making their way up the

Wear good walking shoes, bottle water, hat, sunscreen, and maybe a little snack/lunch.

Paperbark Forest Walk

This would have to be one of my personal favourites and something I always do a few times a year as it constantly changes depending on the time of day you visit and also how much rain we may have had.

From the town of Agnes Water follow Springs Rd to the south for a little over 2.5km. Look for the large Reedy Creek Reserve sign near a gravel car park on the right hand side of Springs Rd.

Special note: This walking trail is not suitable for all people including the very young or those with limited mobility or balance. You’ll en­counter obstacles, stepping stones, fallen debris, water crossings, steps and rough surfaces that require good balance.

This short but spectacular forest walk will take you into the heart of a very special type of forest, rarely seen in such pristine condition. The specially designed track makes it possible to penetrate the thick lush undergrowth and then you’re completely surrounded by hun­dreds of paperbark tree trunks and the green fronds of the cabbage palm. Keep an eye out for butterflies and richly coloured fungi.

A picnic table at the start/finish of the walk makes a great spot for a cup of tea.

1770 Foreshore

The Foreshore of 1770 is truly a beauty to behold and many hours can be spent whiling away the day enjoying the beach, creek, sandbanks and parklands. Many seabirds inhabit the sandbanks at low tide including pelicans, terns, sea gulls and cormorants to name a few.

Continue walking along the foreshore and you will be lead to the steps on top of the hill taking you to the Captain Cook Monument.

This sight designates the landing spot of the crew of Captain Cook’s ship – The Endeavour – when they visited on the 24 May, 1770 and that’s how we got the name.

Anywhere along the foreshore is the perfect spot to sit and watch the sun as it sets at the end of the day. The Town of 1770 is where you will witness the most spectacular sunsets. One of the few places on the East Coast of Australia that you can watch the sun do down over the ocean.

Eurimbula National Park

Within easy 4WD driving from Agnes Water/Town of 1770.

Eurimbula National Park features a transition of vegetation and landforms that are unique in Central Queensland. Over the past 6000 years, parallel dunes have built up on the coastal edge of Eurimbula National Park. Now covered in heaths, these dunes support a myriad of habitats. Botanically, this is a key coastal area that preserves a complex mix of vegetation including some plants common in both southern and northern areas.

Look for the marked changes in plant communities from mangrove-fringed estuaries, freshwater paperbark swamps and coastal lowland eucalypt forests with weeping cabbage palms to tall rainforest with elegant hoop pines.

Sand bars and tidal estuaries provide the ideal habitat for visiting and resident shorebirds.

Deepwater National Park

The park’s diverse vegetation of coastal scrubs, eucalypt woodlands, wet heaths and sedgelands surround Deepwater Creek and its tributaries. Tannins and other substances leached from surrounding heath plants stain the creek water brown. The creek is fringed by tall forests of swamp mahogany, paperbark and cabbage palms, and is broken in places by shallow sections of reed bed and paperbark forest. In these areas water only flows during the wet season.

Deepwater supports diverse birdlife such as emus, red-tailed black-cockatoos, honeyeaters, brahminy kites and waterbirds. Nesting turtles frequent Deepwater Beach from October to April, turtle hatchlings emerge from the nests from January, usually at night.

Agnes Water Beach

We make claims of the final destination for surfing on the East Coast of Queensland at the most northern surf beach available. Surfing is a very popular activity for locals and visitors alike. Bring your board and enjoy the main beach and other locations close by for some great surfing opportunities

Walk the 6 kilometre stretch of pristine beach on an early morning and you may spot turtle laying or hatching (in season), an array of sea birds frolicking in the shallows and even the odd kangaroo or wallaby may join you on your saunter.

You may see many species of terns, white-bellied sea eagles, turtles, dolphins and large schools of fish. Look out for pretty seashells washed up from the iconic Great Barrier Reef.

This beach also makes a wonderful location for a spectacular wedding ceremony with many accommodation options within easy walking distance of the beach.

So plenty of opportunities to get back to nature and enjoy our wonderful landscape, birds and other attractions that our small sea side town has to offer. Come and visit today and remember to stay for a sunset over the water.

 

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

LADY MUSGRAVE ISLAND PART OF SOUTHERN GREAT BARRIER REEF

Come with us and visit one of the most beautiful ladies on the whole Great Barrier Reef. It’s absolutely true – Lady Musgrave Island – with clear, pristine waters of the lagoon, almost 10 kilometres of reef wall and embraced within her arms – the island itself. One of the best reasons to visit this area is the reef wall has a deep channel that allows vessels to enter into the safety of her arms within the lagoon. It will be the beginning of a new love affair that will draw you back to her time and time again. She truly is a special woman and a very special place. One that we are so lucky to enjoy as the world’s climatic conditions are changing around us, seriously impacting the largest living structure on this whole planet we call home.

lady musgrave island

SNORKELING THE REEF

Snorkel the calm lagoon waters and view the coral and marine life at your leisure. Lady Musgrave Lagoon is surrounded by a coral wall that gives it the protection from the open waters of the sea, and makes it like a large swimming pool to snorkel in giving you a sense of safety as the Island is close  Enjoy our guided island walk on the island itself. Truly an enchanted forest thrives here, reliant on only rain water for growth.

SUMMER TIME AT LADY MUSGRAVE ISLAND

If you come in summer, make sure your hat is on, the 10,000 Noddy Terns that call this place home for the breeding season are above you as you walk. And we all know what birds do, don’t we.

great 8 bucket list

GLASS BOTTOM BOAT VIEWING

Enjoy our glass bottom boat tour, gliding across the lagoon, learning about the different coral formations and the reef itself. See if you can spot Nemo or Dory on your way. The turtles like to hang out with us as well for the day, right near the boat, an easy snorkel to knock on their door and marvel in their company.  you can watch all this above the water with our guide telling you about all the marine life below so that you can then Snorkel at your own pace and know what you have seen.

 

WHALES, YES WHEN THEY ARE IN SEASON

During the Whale Season, we often enjoy encounters with these graceful giants of the sea. Sometimes, they like to play just over the reef wall, right where you are snorkel. Don’t worry – they won’t come inside. Other times we spot them are on the trip out and back. Remembering of course, if they are right there next to us, you’ll get the best viewing, as the vessel may drift along with them until they flap their pectoral fin and wave us goodbye.

Sound all too good to be true – well it’s not. Come with #1770reef to visit the most beautiful Lady in the world – Lady Musgrave Island, Lagoon and Reef.


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

Whats New!

Whats New!

1770reef’s Reef Jet! Yes she has arrived at the 1770 Marina our new vessel to take you to your dream destination.

What is Your favorite destination

Lady Musgrave Island

The Town of 1770 is the closest access to Lady Musgrave Island and the outer Great Barrier
Reef being a short 1.5hr approx.
Southern Great Barrier Reef is the official start of one of the world’s great wonders only 5.5hr drive
North from Brisbane. Boasting colourful coral cays, authentic seaside town of 1770 and Island jewels,
Lady Musgrave Island provides a picture perfect getaway to experience all the reef has to offer. Get
up close to resident marine life including the Great 8 – Whales, Manta Rays, Turtles, Clown Fish,
Sharks,Giant Clams, Potato Cod and the Maori Wrasse. Included for your day–, Snorkelling , Guided
Island Walk and Coral Viewing tour on the Glass Bottom Boat, also provided is Morning and
Afternoon tea, Tropical Buffet Lunch, Beverages
1770reef tours to Lady Musgrave Island daily part of the Southern Great Barrier Reef. You get to
explore one the most beautiful places on earth and Snorkel with the Turtles, Manta Rays and other
marine life just a short distance from Main Land at the Town of 1770.

Pancake Creek

Pancake Creek is a short 40min boat trip from the Town of 1770
Southern Great Barrier Reef is the official start of one of the world’s great wonders only 5.5hr drive
North from Brisbane. Tour includes a picturesque walk to Aeroplane Beach and a Snorkel or swim
in the secluded bay after a light lunch and morning tea. Be the first to put your footprints in the sand
as this is a secluded beautiful place with magnificent