In December I spent 7 days on Lady Elliott Island at the southern most tip of the Great Barrier Reef. I chose this island to visit because I was going with a friend who had never been to the reef, who wanted to learn how to snorkel but had a significant problem with sea sickness so choosing a place to snorkel where you could see good reef but didn’t require a long ride in a boat to get to the reef was the brief.
Snorkeling at Lady Elliott Island
I settled on Lady Elliott Island because it had a number of things I was looking for. Firstly it was only accessible by air so this was a plus for 2 reasons it satisfied my requirement regarding boat trips/sea sickness but it also meant that boats were not anchoring off shore and damaging the reef. Secondly it had a shallow lagoon area which was fairly well protected which is a good place to learn how to snorkel. I have been a scuba diver for 30+ years and know when you are teaching people how to snorkel it can take time for them to get comfortable with snorkelling/diving gear so it is good to have a safe place to start out.
We started there and after my friend was comfortable we went out on the glass bottom boat which was a great way to get out to better quality reef and we had a couple of great snorkels from the glass bottom boat. As it was turtle nesting season we saw a number of turtles, white tip reef sharks, manta rays and a whole host of other marine life.
I found a great video on You Tube which gives a good overview of the island.
So if you want a taste of the Great Barrier Reef and you are a first time snorkeler Lady Elliott Island is a good place to visit.