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6 places to see Great Barrier Reef wildlife

6 places to see Great Barrier Reef wildlife

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Lady Elliot Island

Best for turtle spotting

Imagine floating in a lagoon just above a carpet of coral and sea cucumbers. A juvenile green sea turtle dances leisurely alongside you, regarding you with his big black eyes. In the protected waters surrounding Lady Elliot Island, a 45 hectare coral cay in the southernmost 344,400km2 Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, such turtle encounters aren’t unusual. Snorkel on the island’s eastern side, in front of Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, and you’ll also see reef sharks, flowery rockcod and elegant manta rays. The island seduces nature lovers on land, too. From September to March, thousands of breeders – black noddies, crested terns, and others – come to nest and rear their young. Between November and March, endangered green and loggerhead turtles labour up the beach to lay eggs beneath the stars, and, from February to April, precious hatchlings race down the same beach.

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