turtle eating jellyfish

Lady Musgrave Island snorkeling

Snorkeling off Lady Musgrave Island was turtley awesome and def one of the best places we’ve ever snorkelled!

And what a great start this was to our van life adventure from Brisbane to Emu park!.. It was such a fun holiday and we got to see some beautiful parts of Queensland along the way.

Our first stop was the charming little town of Seventeen Seventy…

1770 beach
Seventeen Seventy beach

Which was Captain James Cook’s second stop in Australia and the first in Queensland in the year 1770.. Hence how the town got its name.

And not far off shore is one of the most southern parts of the Great Barrier reef!

So where is Lady Musgrave Island?

You will find Lady Musgrave Island, sitting about 58 km off the coast of Seventeen Seventy.

Now this is the closest land point to reach the island, where a boat trip to the reef/lagoon takes about 90 mins.

However, you can also reach Lady Musgrave from Bundaberg, but expect a two-and half-hour trip each way.

We weren’t keen for a six hour return journey, so we booked our tour from 1770 through Backpacker Deals.

Savings tip – If you book directly with them, you receive up to 10% cashback to use on another tour. Plus you can save 5% off with our discount code FWS5 😊

Nonetheless lets get back to our turtley awesome day out at Lady Musgrave reef!..

Even though the weather changed dramatically as we approached the island with this massive storm front (AKA cyclone Seth) starting to form out at sea.

cyclone Seth out at sea

It seems even the dolphins were trying to outrun this storm!

dolphin outrunning cyclone Seth

But to our luck the storm blew out by the time we reached the Lady Musgrave lagoon.

cyclone Seth out at sea

Fun fact: It’s actually better to go snorkeling in overcast weather as the corals open up more and more fish come out as they think it’s approaching night time.

Where we anchored off where there were two bommies – One to the left and one to the right. With a reef wall in-between.

snorkeling Lady Musgrave reef

And I was totally unaware that I was about to experience some of the best snorkeling I’ve ever done!

snorkeling off lady musgrave island

The bommie on the left was home to more predatorial fish and lots of little colourful fish.

fish swimming amongst the coral

While the bommie on the right was a popular turtle cleaning station.

fish swimming above coral

Then I spotted a sting ray just chilling at the bottom of the ocean.

stingray off lady musgrave island

Next a reef shark swam beneath me! So I followed him for a bit…

shark off lady musgrave island
And this is where things got amazing!
snorkeling lady musgrave island

The first turtle I spotted was at the bottom of the ocean. So I took a deep breathe and dived down to say g’day.

turtle amongst coral

Then at the cleaning station another two were enjoying the full benefits of the reef spa.

two turtles on coral

As I dived down again one swam back up to the surface with me.

two turtles lady musgrave reef
Snorkeling with turtle lady musgrave island

One thing I didn’t realise earlier was that there were heaps of jellyfish near the surface.


This just so happens to be one of the green turtles favourite snacks! And luckily for us these particular comb jellyfish don’t sting you.

turtle lady musgrave island

The turtle just started cruising around and casually started to snack on the jellyfish. He was like the pacman of the ocean.

turtle lady musgrave island
Check out this video to see the turtles in pacman mode πŸ’πŸ˜†πŸ‘‡

He didn’t mind us following him around while he ate at all. It was such a cool experience!

turtle eating jellyfish

Then another turtle appeared and got stuck into the jellyfish aswell.

two turtles swimming

So I followed this guy for a bit aswell.

two turtles swimming

If you swim next to them it doesn’t seem to bother them at all.

snorkeling at Lady Musgrave reef

Just don’t get in front or they will swim down to get away from you.

turtle lady musgrave island

Green sea turtles grow to a maximum size of 4 foot.

Turtle seen while snorkeling at Lady Musgrave

And they can live up to 100 years old!

Turtle seen while snorkeling at Lady Musgrave

Lady Musgrave Island is a popular nesting ground for these turtles. The female turtles return to the same nesting grounds where they were born when it’s time for them to lay their own eggs.

Turtle and fish
What a turtlely awesome day it was snorkeling with the green sea turtles at Lady Musgrave Island!
Snorkeling off Lady Musgrave Island

It was way better than I imagined! And I will definitely be back.

Turtle coming up for air

Another thing to note, if you would like to stay out at the reef there are two options: A camping option on Lady Musgrave Island itself or a glamping option on the Lady Musgrave Experience pontoon.

Lady Musgrave Island and pontoon
Lady Musgrave Island and pontoon

Which I might have to add one (or both) of these to my list as I’m super keen to do more snorkeling at Lady Musgrave Island!!

Happy travels 😁

Snorkeling at Lady Musgrave

For more snorkeling blogs, check these out πŸ€ΏπŸ πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘‡

Snorkeling with Australian sea lions

Snorkeling at Tangalooma Wrecks

Reefsleep on the Great Barrier Reef

Snorkeling with turtles off Gili T

Great Barrier Reef liveaboard