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We got Lady Musgrave Island on the most perfect day when we visited last October.

oss 1770, May 2019

Action around the Great Barrier Reef

Saturday, May 25-Saturday, June 1, 2019

palfrey box 260We have our packages ready for our first inaugural oceanswimsafari to the Fraser Coast, the Discovery Coast, and the Great Barrier Reef in late May.

It will be a seven-night oceanswimsafari, from May 25-June 1, starting with a weekend in Hervey Bay, day trips to Fraser Island and the two great gems of the southern Great Barrier Reef, Lady Elliott Island and Lady Musgrave Island, and four days on the Discovery Coast around the twin towns of Agnes Water and 1770, where it is said that Cook first set foot on Queensland soil.

Our oceanswimsafari

If you do only one holiday this year, this is the one to do. Our program is designed to give you the best of the Fraser Coast, the Discovery Coast (Agnes Water and the Town of 1770), and the lower Great Barrier Reef. We will start with a weekend in Hervey Bay, from where we will visit Fraser Island. Hervey Bay also is serviced by direct flights from major centres, including Sydney and Brisbane. We will move to Lady Elliott Island for a day, then on to Agnes Water, where we will spend five nights, before flying out of Gladstone.

Hervey Bay is the capital of the Fraser Coast, named for Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world. It's an enormous bay inside the island, and Hervey Bay has become a vibrant coastal community.

Lady Elliott Island is one of the two great unknown islands of the southern Great Barrier Reef. Accessible only by air, it's known for its reef, for manta rays -- and for passing humpback whales in season -- and for its eco resort. We'll visit for a day, flying in from Hervey Bay and out late afternoon on to Agnes Water. On Lady Elliott Island, we'll drift swim/snorkel, we'll walk the reef, and we'll tour the island. We'll have use of day guest facilities and we'll enjoy the island lunch.

Agnes Water and the Town of 1770 are twin communities on the Discovery Coast, so named because it was where -- in the bay off 1770 -- Cook made landfall after earlier departing Botany Bay. 1770 sits inside a north-facing bay, protected from the worst of the southerly weather. It's one of only three places on the Australian east coast where you can watch the sun set over water. It's a quiet, bushy community and serves as a base for expeditions to the southern Great Barrier Reef, and to remote locations along the Discovery Coast. Located almost precisely half way between Bundberg and Gladstone, 1770 and Agnes Water are off the beaten track, at the end of a road branching from the Bruce Highway and which ends at Cook's monument. The coastline is virtually untouched from Cook's days.

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From Bustard Head, 1770 is 30km away along the beach.

Agnes Water is the only spot on the Queensland coast above the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef where you will find genuine surf. This is because swell from the south-east can sneak through the gap between Lady Elliott Island and Lady Musgrave Island, hitting the coast around Agnes Water. If you're a surfer, or you like a wave, or you just like swimming in a little swell, it's a great place for you. But the swell is also moderated by the reef, so that whatever surf reaches the coast is fun without being unruly. In May, when we visit on this oceanswimsafari, the weather is likely to be perfect for beach and coastal swimming, with gentle offshore breezes and clear water.

We'll do morning swims around Agnes Water as opportunity allows. We'll do a day tour to Lady Musgrave Island, the other great "unknown"island of the southern Great Barrier Reef -- if numbers allow, we may also visit some of surrounging cays and reefs, even less visited than Lady Musgrave itself. We'll ride a LARC -- like a WW2 army duck -- 30km along the beach to Bustard Head to visit the lighthouse and museum. We'll go sand surfing (weather permitting), and we'll swim Aircraft Beach, probably the most remote beach you will ever swim in Australia (also conditions permitting).

We'll tour the local area -- the Paperbark Bush Boardwalk, the Butterfly Forest -- we'll have drinks watching the sun set over the water from the headland at 1770. We'll also allow time for you to pick your own local activities -- SUP on the bay at 1770, kayak tours by sunset, etc -- while allowing flexibility for our Lady Musgrave tour in case conditions are not co-operative on our initial chosen date.

On Saturday, at the end of our tour, we'll transfer to Gladstone for flights onwards.

Our program is -

  • lady musgrave clam 1810 600Saturday, May 25 - Gather in Hervey Bay
  • Sunday, May 26 - Day tour of Fraser Island (from Hervey Bay)
  • Monday, May 27 - Day trip to Lady Elliott Island, with drift swimming along the reef (manta rays?) (fly on to Agnes Water)
  • Tuesday, May 28 - Agnes Water - Morning swim, area tour, Paperbark Forest Walk, butterfly forest walk from Cooks Monument to 1770 Headland to watch the sun set with drinks.
  • Wednesday, May 29 - Day tour to Lady Musgrave Island, island ecotour, reef swimming, maybe visits to nearby cays
  • Thursday, May 30 - Morning swim, optional tours
  • Friday, May 31 - Paradise Tour by LARC along the 30km beach to Bustard Head
  • Saturday, June 1 - Transfer to Gladstone airport for homeward journeys

This oceanswimsafari includes high standard accommodation, all programmed transfers and is packed with adventures in places you'd probably otherwise never get to visit. It also includes random transfers in case you wish to "duck into" 1770 for evening drinks, say, or to a restaurant that's just a little bit farther than walking distance.

Inclusions -

Packages from $3,395 pp Twin/Double share and $4,388 single

Note: Flights to Hervey Bay and return from Gladstone are not included.

Accommodation options

Prices quoted above are based on one bedroom accommodation at both Hervey Bay and Agnes Water. Other options are available, including 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, which allow you to share with your friends and may also reduce your package costs. Please enquire for more information... Click here

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1770 is one of only three places on the Australian east coast from where you can watch the sun set over the sea.

Note on flights

Note that oceanswimsafaris.com/oceanswims.com are tour operators and we handle all your land arrangements. We do not book airfares for you. We are happy to advise on flights, however.

Enquiries and bookings


When you wish to make enquiries, please lodge an Enquiry Form to give us basic information to allow us to advise you accurately... Click here

When you're ready to book, please first check terms and conditions... Click here

When you've checked our Terms and Conditions, please lodge your Booking Form... Click here

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Lady Elliott Island is known for its manta rays. When we first swam there, we got five mantas and two humpback whales -- a mother and her calf -- in the one (photo) shot.

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The lagoon around Lady Musgrave Island.

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The bar at 1770. Cook crossed here.

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Lady Musgrave's reef is pristine.

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