Exploring Lady Musgrave. Photo: Mikayla Haupt
Exploring Lady Musgrave. Photo: Mikayla Haupt

Explore untouched parts of the reef with Lady Musgrave

THE countdown is on until Lady Musgrave Experience launches its pontoon and guests can sleep on the reef, but another benefit will be access to untouched parts of the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

The pontoon, expected to be finished in September, will be off Lady Musgrave Island and the new custom dive boat will provide daily access to the Bunker Group and Southern Capricorn Group of islands on the Great Barrier Reef.

Lady Musgrave Experience marketing manager Shane Emms said by staying on the pontoon guests had more time to dive each day without the travel time to and from Lady Musgrave Island from Burnett Heads.

"When staying on the pontoon guests can have up to five 60-minute dives per day," Mr Emms said.

"People think they have to fly to Cairns or the Whitsundays to dive on the Great Barrier Reef but we have it all here."

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PASSION FOR THE REEF: Lady Musgrave Master Reef Guide Natalie Lobartolo.
PASSION FOR THE REEF: Lady Musgrave Master Reef Guide Natalie Lobartolo.

Lady Musgrave master reef guide and research diver Natalie Lobartolo said she had dived across the world and done research diving near some of the new locations.

"I called my boss and said, 'this is one of the best dives of my life, we have to come back here'," Ms Lobartolo said.

"There were sharks, rays, turtles and beautiful healthy reefs.

"After having dived in so many locations, to be able to come back and call it home and share it with people is pretty special. You don't need to travel across the world for the best dives."

As a marine biologist, Ms Lobartolo said she had a couple of ideas as to why the group of islands was so pristine.

"They are rarely accessed and for commercial and recreational boaties - to get out that far on a little boat would be almost impossible," she said.

"They are so far from shore they don't have the impact of run-off from the coastline or human interference, it is just nature doing its thing.

"Down here we haven't had much impact from that bleaching so far."

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Mr Emms said it was hoped the pontoon launch in September would bring a big crowd after Covid-19 forced closure for months.

"Winter is the best time to visit and normally the busiest time of the year," he said.

"It is Manta Ray season, the whales start coming through, it is the perfect time to see the reef."

Lady Musgrave Experience re-opened on Saturday.