Australia – Bundaberg & Lady Musgrave Island

Bundaberg was an unplanned stop for us. We originally wanted to visit Lady Musgrave Island from a place called Agnes Water, we even had accommodation booked there. The day before we were due to leave we got a call from the tour company saying that the tides from Agnes water were preventing sailing from there for a few days, and suggesting that we go from Bundaberg instead. Some frantic searching on Airbnb followed. We struck gold and found a really good replacement 🙂

The drive up to Bundaberg from Brissy is nearly 400km and takes up most of the day. We stopped at a place called Gympie (yes, pronounced that way!) for a lunch break, arriving in Bundaberg late afternoon.

First impression of the town is that it is has hardly any tall buildings and that it was a lot bigger than expected. I guess outside the major population centres that space really isn’t a problem, so there is no need to build high.

Burnett heads coastline

We were actually staying in a small village outside town called Burnett heads. It is very quiet, close to the ocean and a stones throw from our departure point to Lady Musgrave Island. It’s highly recommended if you are just up here for the tour. Our Airbnb hosts Gabby and Ian were lovely, and the house was immaculate, well equipped and clearly had a lot of love thrown into it.

Burnett heads coastline

Our tour was not until the Saturday, so we had a full day to chill out around the amazing house, use the pool and go for a walk up the coast. One thing I would watch out for is the Mosquitos. They are huge, bite day and night and will itch like mad if you get bitten.

Onto the main event…literally.

Main event

It was an early and grey start to jump on the boat to Lady Musgrave. It’s around 90km offshore and took just over 2 hours to reach. There isn’t a lot to see en-route, except the odd dolphin pod and if you are really lucky, Humpbacks.

Lady Musgrave

Lady Musgrave pops up out of the horizon quite late into the journey because it really isn’t very high. The waters are unbelievably clear and shallow. We transferred to the island itself on a glass bottomed boat.

Glass bottomed tender to Main Event

Being a coral island it has a unique ecosystem. Here the trees provide valuable nesting space to the Noddy Terns that swarm the island, there are no predators here so the birds have no fear of people and will happily let you stand next to their nests while they sit there.

Noddy terns nesting

The nutrient cycle is brutal. The island has no topsoil so to fertilise the soil the trees produce sticky seeds, which unfortunate terns get caught up in. When they can no longer fly they die of starvation , their nutrients being returned to the soil for the trees to absorb. Yummy!

Lady Musgrave eastern beach

After a walk around the island, we got transported back to Main Event for a spot of lunch and some snorkelling.

Some still surviving Bleached coral :(Zebra fish (I think)

The coral is quite badly bleached here now, but small pockets remain intact, and there are still a lot of fish to see. If you are lucky you can see some turtles, they can move with surprisingly speed when startled.

Overall, a grand day out. For what you get it’s also pretty good value.

On the way back to the house we also clocked our first Roo 🙂

Next stop…Maryborough

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