Lady Elliot Island - Best snorkel/dive site in Australia!
Sometimes as you get older you are able to look back on your life and some key life changing moments stand out. Like the day when a family friend rang my mother and told her she had heard about a fabulous job that she thought I would be great at. I'd not long finished school and the timing was perfect. A new Dive School had opened up and they needed someone to help run the store. As a bonus they taught you to Scuba Dive. Here is where the love of the underwater world began. Life was great until the partnership dissolved, but I was invited to join the Dive Team on Lady Elliot Island. A tiny coral cay sat at the southern most tip of the Great Barrier Reef. A Life changing moment again.
Some of the people I met are still some of my closest friends even today. Early morning staff dives were the norm, and the rest of the day spent talking and socialising with fabulous like minded guests, also passionate about the marine world. If we were not diving in the morning, we were snorkelling in the afternoon followed by some of the most beautiful sunsets ever.
The island itself is not the picture perfect types you see in movies. It is not full of palm trees with mountain peaks and waterfalls. It's low, its flat and it is also home to thousands of nesting sea birds, and yes, that means there is a certain smell, but don't worry, you'll get past that and you will learn to love them!
The roster is great as we worked 20 days straight and then had 8 off. Unfortunately on the days off we would have to venture back to the mainland a short flight to Hervey Bay. Sometimes the real world demanded your attention, or you simply had to get off the rock for some sanity. When you live and work with the same people day in and day out, sometimes the island feels too small. I would hate leaving the island, but I would love the first day back when I was looking at everything with new eyes.
Jump forward nearly 14 years and I found myself back on 'the rock'. New owners of the resort, a couple of the same faces, but mostly all new friendly ones. It was strange to go back the second time but fabulous to see the environmental progress and the changes of seasons. I had forgotten about all hundreds of Manta Rays, Turtles Whales and the turtle nesting and those cute hatchlings. The old lighthouse buildings that were staff quarters on the other side of the island and of course that smell!
If you ever have a chance to work or simply play on Lady Elliot Island Island jump at it! In my opinion, it is one of the best dive and snorkel sites in Australia!
(photo credits: www.ladyelliot.com.au)