Lady Musgrave Island

One of our “must do” splurge activities was to take a trip out to Lady Musgrave Island and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. This was one of the few activities that we pre-booked since we knew it was a definite for us. 

After reading a lot of great reviews, we signed up for a day trip with Lady Musgrave Experience. They take guests out to Lady Musgrave Island on a 27 meter, high speed, 3 level luxury catamaran called “Main Event”. From there you have the opportunity to go on a guided walk on Lady Musgrave Island, a glass bottom boat tour and, of course, snorkeling the Southern Great Barrier Reef. 

Lady Musgrave Experience

We checked in at 7:00am and were quickly brought on board for the 2+ hour open ocean passage to the island. Although we don’t typically get seasick, we took some travel sickness medication as a precaution because we didn’t want vomiting off the back of the boat to be our most memorable experience of the day. We also enjoyed some terrific Bundaberg Ginger Beer the night before. Ginger helps with travel sickness and the Lady Musgrave Experience actually operates out of the City of Bundaberg so we got to enjoy two benefits – trying a local beverage while also helping to prevent motion sickness!

Fortunately, neither one of us experienced any motion sickness whatsoever, despite a somewhat rocky ride on the way out. 

Only 35 Guests!

The Main Event carries up to 160 guests. We only had 35 on our trip. Yes, you read that right. 35 guests. It was awesome. 

Along the way, we were served morning tea, which consisted of fruit bread, biscuits with jam and whipped butter, fresh fruit, and coffee or tea. Very tasty. 

Lady Musgrave Island Quick Facts
  • 35 acre coral cay sits in a lagoon of approximately 3,000 acres.

  • The island is the second island in the Great Barrier Reef chain of islands.

  • You can camp on it, but you need to be 100% self-contained.

  • It is named for the wife of Sir Anthony Musgrave, a colonial governor of Queensland.

Once we arrived at Lady Musgrave Island we were taken to the island on a glass bottomed boat. We then took a 45 minute guided walking tour of the island. On the way back from the tour, the boat driver talked about the reef, the animal life in the ocean, and positioned the boat so that we could all see a variety of things…including green sea turtles

After the island tour and glass bottom boat tour, we had a buffet lunch. This consisted of prawns, pasta salad, regular salad, rice, fruit, and a few other things that I frankly can’t remember! 🙂

Once lunch was finished, we paid $10 AUD per person for optional wetsuits since we knew the water was going to be cold. Rachel and I were the first on the boat to get into our wetsuits and jump into the water to snorkel. 

Great Barrier Reef Quick Facts
  • Spans two thirds of the northeastern coastline of Australia.

  • 2,300 km long (around 1,430 miles). 

  • Equivalent of 70 million football fields or the size of Japan or Italy.

  • World’s largest coral reef ecosystem.

Snorkeling Lady Musgrave Island with Lady Musgrave Experience
Snorkeling Lady Musgrave Island with Lady Musgrave Experience
Snorkeling Lady Musgrave Island with Lady Musgrave Experience
“I can’t feel my toes.”

After an hour of snorkeling, Rachel’s fingers were blanched white and she couldn’t feel her toes. Time to exit the water! Fortunately, there were warm water showers on the back of the boat so we could quickly warm up. 

Snorkeling Lady Musgrave Island with Lady Musgrave Experience
Snorkeling Lady Musgrave Island with Lady Musgrave Experience

We then spent some time on the top deck enjoying the views, warming up in the sun, and talking to some of the staff members. Eventually, it was time to depart for home. On the way back, afternoon tea was served, but most importantly we had some terrific whale sightings and beautiful skies.

Whale Sighting with Lady Musgrave Experience
Whale Sighting with Lady Musgrave Experience
Snorkeling Lady Musgrave Island with Lady Musgrave Experience

The ride back was very smooth and we were back to the dock at 5:00pm.

A truly lovely day in Australia.

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Betty Allen · August 9, 2018 at 10:06 am

WOW. Just W O W !!!!! So happy for you (but with envy in my heart) , Beautiful.

    Rachel · August 14, 2018 at 5:34 am

    Thank you, Liz!! 🙂

Lisa · August 9, 2018 at 10:28 am

Love the videos and pictures! Looks awesome 😎

    Peter · August 14, 2018 at 5:34 am

    It was pretty incredible! What was amazing was the noise – you could hear the coral and other organisms snap, crackling and popping down there. Very cool!

Betsy Wallace · August 14, 2018 at 8:42 pm

This was so amazing, Rachel! The water and sea life, so beautiful. I am so proud of you guys. It is always great to see someone dreams come true.

Deborah Robbins · August 20, 2018 at 11:26 pm

I’ve seen so much written and video about the health of the coral reefs. These looked relatively healthy. So glad you got to go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. That would be on my bucket list!

    Peter & Rachel · August 21, 2018 at 2:50 am

    We were told by the staff on the boat that these reefs were some of the nicest around at this time. Many further north have been impacted by coral bleaching, etc. Again, second hand-information, but we were quite impressed with what we saw!

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