Pray for me … DD and I are flying to Lady Elliot Island today as our Christmas present to each other … on a tiny plane … as Cyclone Owen rages … I am terrified …
Here’s a little something DD wrote about our trip:
Ms HouseGoesHome has a passion to see live coral while there’s still some left – a 50th birthday bucket list wish. And once she gets an idea she becomes very obsessed.
She is also a single mum on a limited budget, so that rules out the Maldives, Tahiti and the Caribbean.
Last year, I had a successful brush with coral at Tangalooma Resort. I’d needed somewhere at short notice and not too far away for a school holiday break with my two daughters.
Doing some online research, I found Tangalooma – an hour’s ferry ride from Brisbane (so reasonable airfares) and, most importantly, it offered dolphin feeding! Who knew? Apparently it’s one of the few places in the world you can feed wild dolphins. All I had to say was “there are dolphins” and both girls were in!
It was just a two-night break, but we packed a lot in – whale watching (including some impressive sea sickness), snorkeling, quad bike riding, sand tobogganing and dolphin feeding.
The snorkeling was a highlight. In 1963, 15 decommissioned barges and dredges were scuttled to create an artificial harbour. This now provides an easily accessible reef, teeming with multiple species of fish such as yellowtail, kingfish and lionfish, as well as moray eels, turtles, dolphins, stingrays and wobbegong sharks.
On our last day, we decided to have another snorkel and were rewarded by being upgraded to the underwater scooter tour (bulk secret agent-type fun). You can learn more here: www.tangalooma.com
The girls loved our time there, however the 70’s accommodation wasn’t their favourite “It was a great holiday Dad, but a bit like being on camp!”
Which brings me back to Alana’s 50th year bucket list coral obsession on a tight budget. We both cashed in some frequent flyer points for the flights and will spend two nights on Lady Elliott Island, just in time for the start of turtle nesting season.
As it doesn’t have the highest profile … well, it didn’t until the Today Show featured live crosses to it on Monday morning … I’ll fill you in on some details: it’s an eco-resort located at the very southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, near Bundaberg.
And it will also be a bit like being in camp – it’s not a glamorous resort – however for location it provides an awfully big coral bang for buck.
This is how GreatBarrierReef.com.au summarises it:
What it offers: Brilliant snorkel and dive sites easily reachable from shore; named the world’s best spot to dive with Manta Rays; laid-back, unpretentious and relatively inexpensive environment
Who it’s best for: Snorkel and dive enthusiasts looking to save money while getting amazing marine life encounters
Pros: Excellent year-round water visibility; waters dense with marine life; good price point given reef quality; dive sites only a short boat ride away; relaxed and peaceful environment;
Cons: Relatively unspectacular island; not much to see on land; not an overly luxurious stay.
Editor’s note: the other con will be the weather, which is looking extremely inclement … so I will be spending the next two days snorkelling during a cyclone with a redhead who can’t swim.
What could possibly go wrong? Especially with a partner who lives a life less ordinary?
Stay tuned … however, you will need to wait until next Monday when we have decent wi-fi again.
Song of the day: Madonna “Like a prayer”