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.

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.



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.


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