Don’t Miss the Excitement this Manta Ray Season!

Lady Elliot Island ‘Home of the Manta Ray’, is renowned for its pristine beauty, vibrant coral reefs, and diverse marine life. Conveniently located 80km north-east of Bundaberg, accessible via a 30 minute scenic flight from Bundaberg airport, this island paradise offers easy access to an unforgettable marine adventure. Among the many wonders this island offers, the peak manta ray season stands out as a truly magical experience for snorkellers and divers alike. Visitors may also spot the majestic manta rays from the scenic flight or glass bottom boat.

When is Peak Manta Ray Season?

The peak manta ray season off Lady Elliot Island typically spans from May to August. During these months, the waters around the island become a bustling hub of activity as manta rays congregate in larger numbers. The cooler water temperatures and increased plankton availability attract these gentle giants, making it the perfect time for visitors to witness their graceful underwater ballet.

Why Lady Elliot Island?

Lady Elliot Island is the perfect destination for an incredible snorkelling experience! Renowned for its large population of manta rays, the island offers unparalleled opportunities to swim alongside these majestic creatures. Snorkelling on the reef surrounding the island is easily accessible directly from the beaches. You can also join one of the daily Glass Bottom Boat/Guided Snorkel tours or Snorkel Safaris. Nestled within a highly protected ‘Green Zone,’ this coral cay is home to over 1,200 species of marine life. In addition to manta rays, the island is famous for its turtles, an astonishing variety of marine species, and its unspoiled coral reef.

What to Expect

Encountering manta rays in their natural habitat is an awe-inspiring experience. With wingspans that can reach up to 7 metres, manta rays glide effortlessly through the water, performing acrobatic flips and turns. Their curious nature often brings them close to snorkellers and divers, creating unforgettable moments and photo opportunities.

During peak season, you can expect to see multiple manta rays congregating around cleaning stations – specific spots on the reef where smaller fish clean parasites from their skin. This symbiotic relationship provides a unique spectacle for observers, as the manta rays hover calmly while being attended to by their fishy companions.

How to Experience It

To make the most of the peak manta ray season, consider booking the Reef, Rum and Nature package by contacting Kellys Beach Resort direct or you can book a day trip to Lady Elliot Island directly at the tour desk. Alternatively, Lady Musgrave Experience or one of the local dive operators may also provide manta ray encounters. Whether you’re an experienced diver or a beginner snorkeler, there are options available to suit all skill levels.

Conservation and Respect

While enjoying the breathtaking experience of swimming with manta rays, it’s crucial to remember the importance of conservation and respect for marine life. Manta rays are vulnerable species, and their populations are threatened by overfishing, habitat destruction, and climate change. By practising responsible snorkelling and diving, such as not touching the rays and keeping a respectful distance, you can help ensure that these magnificent creatures continue to thrive.

Supporting local conservation initiatives and choosing eco-friendly tour operators can also make a positive impact. Many operators on the Southern Great Barrier Reef are actively involved in marine conservation and work to promote sustainable tourism practices.

Plan Your Trip

If you’re planning a visit to Lady Elliot Island during peak manta ray season, be sure to book your accommodation or day trip in advance, as this period is popular among marine enthusiasts. Whether you choose to stay on the mainland in Bundaberg and take a day trip or stay overnight on the island, the effort will be well worth it.

Experiencing the peak manta ray season off Lady Elliot Island is a bucket-list adventure that promises to leave you with lasting memories. The combination of stunning natural beauty, vibrant marine life, and the chance to swim alongside one of the ocean’s most majestic creatures makes this a truly unparalleled experience.

For an even more enriching experience, consider booking one of these fantastic packages from Kellys Beach Resort:

  • Reef, Rum, and Nature (scenic flight to Lady Elliot Island):
    Dive into the wonders of the reef, experience the Bundaberg Rum Distillery, and immerse yourself in nature.
  • Beach, Reef, and Rum (catamaran to Lady Musgrave Island):
    Enjoy a perfect blend of beach relaxation, reef exploration, and Bundaberg Rum Distillery tour.

*Please note, sighting of marine life cannot be guaranteed