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“A Fascinating and Special Place”

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Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
NZ
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A Fascinating and Special Place”
Reviewed December 15, 2013

We had a great time. The staff were all friendly and helpful, although several said it was their first week there, so they were not so knowledgable about the fauna. That said, there were a variety of people on the island, from casual tourists to folk seriously interested in the wildlife. We soon picked up on who to speak to regarding our sightings for the day and staff were always willing to help us identify fish and birds.
No complaints about the meals or the dining facilities. Good variety and choice of food. We were in one of the permenant tents and that added to the atmosphere of being in the wild.
We were there in November at the start of the rainy season so we heard occasional thunder in the distance, and twice there was a shower of rain which was quite enjoyable. Also great is the sunset on a fine night and the clear sky for stargazing.
Each day there are arranged activities, including snorkelling 101 in the pool, and reef walks. There are all sorts of island encounters and the week went by just as we did them all. There are tours about the flora, fauna and history (which is story of desolation and restoration). One night we walked the beach finding turtles making nests. Some nights there were presentations in the education centre which were great. A special one was Fabrice Jaine presenting his teams research findings on the manta rays.

The birds were a bonus - being able to cohabit with nesting birds is quite special. We saw lots of species, including the nesting terns, noddys, boobies, egrets, lesser frigates, red-tailed tropic birds, and the impressive sea eagles. I probably should mention that there are a lot of birds on the island and they make noises day and night. We didn’t have any problem with this (it’s fascinating listening to the sooty shearwaters howling at night) and earplugs were provided in the tent if you needed them.

Sea-life was even more abundant, with lots of fish in the lagoon, including the blue spotted stingray, and epaulette shark. I snorkelled with a sea turtle there one day. The lagoon is quite shallow and of even depth so go out around high tide. At low tide it is possible to walk onto the reef (between the coral) and exploring it in this way is equally rewarding.
The best snorkelling is on the west side. We saw sea turtles, reef sharks, and many fish at close range there. The week includes a trip out ion the glass bottom boat, and the skipper found a manta ray and two leopard sharks and positioned the boat for great views. After that we snorkelled from the boat at the edge of the drop off. Brilliant - if you have an underwater camera bring it with you. Some of the corals are impressive too. Do use a good suncream - LEI is far from the mainland smog (dust) and the sun is quite intense. A great thing about LEI is that if one side of the island has unfavourable conditions (due to wind, tide, and currents) then you can still snorkel the other side.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank go_to_oz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed December 13, 2013

We had a wonderful week here, where my partner learnt how to SCUBA dive in a few days. The whole island is just such a different experience. Personally I have no interest in staying in many of the uber luxury places in the GBR, but this was the perfect mix of comfort privacy, scenery and relaxation time. We were fortunate enough to have the larger cabins though, and the smaller ones looked a little bit too cramped and on top of each other, so its worth paying the extra for a bit of personal space. Diving was exceptional, the close encounter snorkelling with friendly sea turtles was thrilling, and I am so glad that we visited LEI. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Pony up for the bigger cabins. Seriously.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kenny F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2013

Lady Elliot Island is a pleasant, relaxed, attractive place devoted to ecology. The talks and walks are interesting, entertaining and informative. Birders would be particularly pleased. Thousands of almost-tame seabirds with their fuzzy chicks make it feel like the Garden of Eden. My wife and I were also captivated by the number of stars visible from horizon to horizon after our eyes got accustomed to the dark. Where else can you go that has no ambient light and total quiet and with nature all around. The food is mostly good, and if you don't like something, there are many choices with unlimited quantities.

The underwater world is troublesome but not for everyone. While there are indeed turtles, mantas, wrasse, etc. , as promised, there is also the potential for very strong currents and inadequate warnings by the dive master which could result in dangerous situations for new divers or older divers, which is what happened to my wife and myself. It is also the responsibility of the diver, just as when visiting a doctor, to ask questions and make statements. I did not.

After hundreds of dives in various corners of the Earth, it is my judgment that LEI should be dived by experienced divers between the ages of 20-55 . Oh, how I wish that I was still in that category, and for more reasons than just diving.

Room Tip: the reef room has a nice view
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank joseph g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hongkong
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 1, 2013 via mobile

We have been at Lady Elliot Eco Ressort two nights and really enjoyed our time there.
The flight in a small plane is adventurous and the grass airstrip goes from one side of the island to the other.
The resort is ok, we had a garden unit - though not luxurious it was nice and clean.
The staff was very friendly and helpful.
The food was quite good in our opinion but don't expect fine dining.
We really loved the snorkeling trips and the reef with all the marine life around: mantas, sharks, huge turtles - You can see a big variety of fish there.
It is for sure a great place however you also have to pay quite a lot for this special experience.
We can recommend it to those who would be ok to spend this amount of money for quite a short but intensive holiday.

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Matt155
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Level Contributor
21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2013

Lady Elliot was OK, good snorkeling, plenty of Sharks, Turtles and Manta Rays but the Resort has too many rules!!!
You had to sign that you would not snorkel alone, stay within 1 body length of your snorkel buddy, wear a flotation device at all times and only enter and exit the water at marked places.
We never need floatation devices, get separated occasionally and are experienced enough to enter in shallow water without damaging any coral so felt intimidated by having to sign their rules
They also insisted you wore closed toe shoes in the water and on the boats and traveling as light as possible due to flight weigh limits we did not bring them, were not advised we needed them, were not going to wear communal shoes so just wore our open toed ones and put up with the complaints.
We never saw any stone fish and have handled dozens of Cone shells without getting impaled but they use those fears as a tactic to insist on closed toe shoes, we can also get on and off boats without having our toes crushed and I don't think closed toe shoes would save your feet anyway!!!
The terns did a tap dance on the tin roof all night every night, we did ask if they could muffle the sound, it only required something placed between the loose flashing and the roofing iron but it never happened.
As expected the place smelled of bird poo but we did get used to that unfortunately we were in Reef 1, right next to the smokers area so the room filled up with smoke when we were trying to sleep.
We did one Snorkel Safari but found we could snorkel from shore to reach all the places the Safari took us, even that took us just short of where we found the really good shark pool with loads of Grey Reef, Black Tip and White Tip sharks when we snorkeled from shore in the direction they tell you not to go.
There was far less colorful coral than expected and with an algal bloom visibility was unfortunately limited.
The catering was good, the lectures interesting, and staff friendly.
We still had a reasonable holiday but prefer the more laid back islands in the Pacific.

Room Tip: Get one away from the smoking area's unless you are a smoker
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank smandkjc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LEIManagement, General Manager at Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, responded to this review, December 6, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to reflect on your visit to Lady Elliot Island. We're so glad to hear that you liked the island's food, lectures, and friendly staff. We try really hard to provide our guests with a great experience and usually we succeed! Yes we do have some rules, or guidelines, in place and for good reason. Sadly, we have all seen reefs and fragile eco-systems that have been damaged over the years because they have been poorly managed and people have not been educated about how to protect our environment. Many of our guests are experiencing a marine eco-system for the very first time and they embrace learning about, and protecting, the reef and the natural environment. As Lady Elliot Island is a coral cay, reef walking shoes or crocs are recommended for your personal comfort and safety.

I believe that the form you are referring is the 'Guidelines for Recreational Snorkellers' which highlights 'safe snorkelling practices' recommending that people snorkel with 'some form of buoyancy aid'. These are recommendations only. What you are signing is the Medical Declaration on the bottom of the form which clearly states that ‘if you have any concerns about a medical condition' you agree to 'wear a flotation device that will support me in a relaxed state'. I think you will find snorkel/dive guidelines and waivers standard practice on all Island Resorts in Australia and most of the world.

We have an abundance of colourful fish and hard corals on the reef surrounding Lady Elliot Island, the hard corals are often less colourful than soft corals but have amazing formations. If you know where to look, you will also find some of the more colourful soft corals whilst enjoying your snorkelling or diving adventures on the reef.

Thank you for your comments regarding Reef 1, we have discussed your concerns with Island Management who will address the issue.

We wish you all the best with your future travels :)

John Johansen
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whistler, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2013

We highly recommend this island resort. Fantastic snorkeling is just a walk off of the beach. The staff are very knowledgeable with their nature talks which happen days and evenings and are included in the stay. Breakfast and dinner buffer also included and extremely tasty; the desserts were to die for. Manager Andreas Supper was always accessible and the ultimate host. A very well run organisation, it is obvious that the owners are passionate about the island's natural history right down to the meticulous refurbishment of the old lighthouse.
Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank lasandia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2013

This is the most romantic Island, teeming with birds (over 90 species visit or nest here) and it has an amazingly prolific marine life made accessible to all visitors through the most enthusiastic, friendly and knowledgable staff.
The Island can only be reached by air and your first glimpse of it is truly fantastic. Efficiently managed as an Eco Resort, accommodation ranges from basic cabins set back a little, through to ensuite waterfront cabins with breathtaking views. None are luxurious but who needs pampering in such a wonderful setting. The standard of food is surprisingly good. Breakfast and dinner are included in the tariff and lunch is available as an extra.
We were here for three days. On our first evening we saw two frigate birds and a White Breasted Eagle from the deck of our waterfront cabin besides many other less spectacular species. Snorkelling is available two hours either side of high tide in the amazing lagoon but is also available 24 hours on the other side of the Island which is easily accessible as you can walk around the entire Island in not much over an hour. Diving and amazing trips in glass-bottomed boats run each day. We saw a Manta Ray, Eagle Ray, Whale Shark, Green, Loggerhead and Hawkshead Turtles and many other species.
A quite, quite wonderful and relaxing holiday venue. You just have to do it, either on a day flight basis or longer if possible.

Room Tip: For us, nothing beats the reef-side accommodation with their spectacular views of the lagoon and ree...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Vernonpopperbox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort

Property: Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort
Address: Lady Elliot Island, Queensland 4216, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Queensland > Lady Elliot Island
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lady Elliot Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 41
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lady Elliot is a true coral cay island located at the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, north of Fraser Island. The island is regarded as one of the best snorkeling and diving destinations on the Great Barrier Reef and is famous for its unspoilt coral reef and amazing array of spectacular marine life including turtles and manta rays. Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort provides a range of low key accommodation options ranging from 2BR Island Suites to Eco Cabins for those on a budget. The overnight rate includes: Full buffet breakfast and dinner daily; One free glass bottom boat/guided snorkel tour per person; Free use of snorkel equipment (mask, snorkel, fins); Range of free guided Island activities/tours; and Environmental Management Charge. Scenic flights depart daily from Bundaberg, Hervey Bay/Fraser Coast, Brisbane (Redcliffe) and Coolangatta. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lady Elliot Island Eco Hotel Lady Elliot Island

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