Monday 30 August 2010

Lady Musgrave Island - Great Barrier Reed

Lady Musgrave Island is a 14ha(35 acres) uninhabited coral cay with 1292ha of surrounding reef.  The trip was from the town of 1770 onboard the Spirit of 1770 - a trip I'd recommend to anyone - only $150 for the whole day including delicious meals - morning tea on arrival at 10am, lunch, afternoon tea and cheese and cabana just before departure from the island at 3.45pm.

Most of the time was spent snorkelling - my first experience of this and boy did I LOVE it - couldn't get me out of the water (except for the food of course)

The dead coral that forms the island
Lady Musgrave from the air

Approaching Lady Musgrave Island
The island is only around 6,000 years old so you are seeing the very beginnings of the formation of land here - first the dead coral then Pisonia trees which provide an evolutionary feature with their sticky seeds and their ability to generate from fallen trunks or limbs.

During October - March White-capped Noddie birds come to the island in their thousands and whilst flying amongst the trees collect the sticky seeds on their bodies - some collect so much they are unable to fly and fall to the ground and die and this together with their dung provides  fertiliser for the barren ground.

Such a great variety of colourful fish that swim so close to you, and in such vast numbers, that you feel like you are one with them - like you are part of the ocean.

Turtles too - both Loggerhead and Green Turtles nest and swim here. I only saw smallish ones - apparently they only reach reproductive age when they are 30 years old and around 1 metre in size - the one's I saw were around 50cm