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Lady Elliot Island

Meet a manta ray

Lady Elliot is one of top five destinations on Earth for diving with manta rays, according to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). You can snorkel or dive with manta rays all year round (though they congregate in larger numbers between May and September). These gentle, awe-inspiring creatures have wings spanning up to seven metres (23 feet). 

Take a turtle tour

Between November and February each year, green and loggerhead turtles return to Lady Elliot Island to lay their eggs – a sight you can see by joining a night-time guided tour. After darkness falls, watch the turtles scramble up to the beach around the resort to lay between 80 and 180 eggs in deep pits. Alternatively, visit between February and April to see hundreds of tiny turtle hatchlings emerge from the sand and make their way down to the water. 

Explore the reef on foot

Pull on protective reef shoes, grab a pair of reef walking poles and follow the island's daily guided walk, which explores the lagoon's reef in fascinating detail. With the help of a piece of equipment called a seascope you'll see marine creatures such as sea cucumbers, starfish, urchins, coral, clams and crabs, as well as plenty of technicoloured fish. 

Go scuba diving in paradise

Feel like you're in the world's biggest aquarium while scuba diving some of the 20 sites near the island. The clear waters allow great visibility of up to 20 metres (66 feet) most of the year, meaning you won't miss out on seeing the giant manta rays or the green, loggerhead and hawksbill turtles as they cruise past. 

See the reef come alive at night

It's one thing to snorkel or dive the reef during the day, but at night guests can take glass-bottomed boat tours that offer a whole new perspective on what's happening underwater. The boat is fitted with UV lights that allow guests to see the coral polyps awake, and what everything else gets up to once the sun goes down.

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