43 Southern Great Barrier Reef photos that will blow your mind

Four hours’ drive north of Brisbane, lying just off the coast of Bundaberg, is where one of the world’s most famous natural wonders starts – the Southern Great Barrier Reef

This pocket of reef greatness fromam Bundaberg through to Gladstone, Rockhampton and right up the Capricorn Coast stretching out past the islands of Lady Elliot, Heron and Great Keppel will blow your mind and leave you in no doubt why manta rays, sea turtles and seabirds call this area home.

Here are 43 photos from the sensational Southern Great Barrier Reef.

 

Lady Elliot Island. Access to Lady Elliot Island is by a sensational scenic flight from the coast at Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Redcliffe or the Gold Coast. Photo by @jasoncharleshill.



Lady Elliot Island Reef Life

The reef surrounding Lady Elliot Island receives a particularly high level of protection and as such the biodiversity seen in these waters are quite breathtaking. It’s one of the best places on the entire reef to swim with the manta rays and getting a turtle selfie here is almost guaranteed! Photos by @jasoncharleshill.




Island vibes

Photo by @jasoncharleshill.


In the moment together

Photo by @jasoncharleshill.


Catching moon rays

Photo by @jasoncharleshill.


Lady Musgrave Island

The view from Lady Musgrave Island isn’t too bad. The island is only accessible via vessel from the town of 1770 (or your own transport) and you will need a permit to camp on the island. Waking up to this view everyday? Worth it! In the distance you can see the little Fairfax Islands that we will be exploring below. Photo by @jaxonark.


Hitching a ride to Fairfax Islands

Photo by @jaxonark.


A single coconut on a secluded beach

Many people only see the Fairfax Islands in the distance from Lady Musgrave Island. Here is a glimpse of these secluded islands. Photo by @jaxonark.


 

Stand up paddle boarding around Fairfax

With puppies! Photos by @jaxonark.

 


View from the kayak

Looking at a lone tree on Fairfax Island. Photo by @jaxonark.

 


Moving up the coast to Agnes Water, Gladstone

Sunrise photo by @insta_graham23.


Colours along to Turtle Way Walking Trail

Tannum Sands photo by @insta_graham23.


When you get here, meet me by the pool!

From Gladstone, Heron Island is a 25-minute scenic seaplane flight away. There is also a ferry that leaves Gladstone Marina at 11am several days a week and arrives around 1pm. Photo by @insta_graham23.


Over on Heron Island, the Black Noddy is your morning wake up call

Photo by @insta_graham23.


And the seagull is your faithful Surf Life Saver

Heron Island photo by @insta_graham23.


Queensland does the blue and white gradient thing pretty well!

Heron Island photo by @insta_graham23.


Tag fish, you’re it!

Heron Island photo by @insta_graham23.


Heron Island reef life

There are 20 dive sites, coral gardens and pinnacles around Heron Island that are waiting to be explored plus around 60 per cent of the 1,500 species of fish on the whole reef to meet! And you can snorkel right of the beach! Photo by @insta_graham23.


The stars of the Southern Great Barrier Reef

Heron Island photos by @insta_graham23.


On the way to Great Keppel Island

From Rockhampton you can jump on a charter flight to get an aerial view of Great Keppel Island and the Southern Great Barrier Reef on a 20-minute scenic flight. There are also daily ferries to the island that leave from Rosslyn Bay, Yeppoon. Photo by @markclinton.


The approach to Great Keppel Island


So many beaches!

The borders of the 240-hectare Great Keppel Island is surrounded by 17 pristine white sandy beaches. Photo by @markclinton.





Sunrise swim session

This sunrise swim session features Geoff from Great Keppel Island Holiday Village who has been running the place since he was 20 years old! It looks like a place you would never want to leave! Photos by @markclinton.



Stand-up paddle board session

Photos by @markclinton.




Great Keppel Island reef life

The surrounding fringing reefs in the Keppel group of islands have an unusually high coral cover in their coral communities, up to 60 – 70 per cent. Photos by @markclinton.


Back to the Capricorn Coast

Photos by @markclinton.


And the sun sets on this Southern Great Barrier Reef adventure.

Final photo by @jaxonark, feature image by @jasoncharleshill.

 




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