TRIP SUMMARY
Discover Australia’s natural wonder with Mark Fitz’s Best of the Southern Great Barrier Reef trip. Life doesn’t get much better than this! Mark is an Olympus photographer, travel writer and local Great Barrier Reef expert, passionate about showing you his favourite tropical islands and locations not many people get to visit.


Fly to the secluded Lady Elliot Island, cruise around the Southern Great Barrier Reef on a luxury catamaran and snorkel your way around the pristine Lady Musgrave Reef lagoon, go on a spectacular helicopter ride to picnic on a private island, relax in an eco resort and spend a night in your own Wilderness Retreat.
From: $7,670 AUD
From
Mark
I'm excited to be teaming up with the Airguides team to offer this trip that has been designed by me to some of my favourite Queensland destinations. I've fallen in love with these places over the years and have now put together an itinerary so that you too can experience these incredible world heritage listed locations, luxury island getaways and unforgettable underwater encounters on the Great Barrier Reef!

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1
Day 1: Brisbane to Bundaberg
Pick up your rental car at the vehicle depot in Brisbane and make your way to Bundaberg. This energetic Queensland country town, just minutes from the coast, has plenty to offer. Bundaberg’s most iconic activities are the Bundaberg Rum Distillery, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks and Hinkler Hall of Aviation.
Activities
INCLUDED
Pick up your car
Collect your rental car in Brisbane and make your way to Bundaberg. We've made sure you travel comfortably in a Toyota Camry (or similar) automatic, equipped with air conditioning, 4 doors and unlimited free mileage. Comes with a full tank of fuel.
OPTIONAL
Extra night in Brisbane
Have more time? Stay an extra night to explore all of the Brisbane goodness. Speak to our friendly team for recommendations. We have a range of fun activities and accommodation options available!
Day 2
Day 2: Bundaberg to Lady Elliot Island
Fly out of Bundaberg for a day trip to Lady Elliot Island. Flying is the only way to get there, as boat access is difficult. Lady Elliot Island is located within a highly protected ‘Green Zone’ and is home to manta rays, turtles, spectacular marine life and coral reef.
Activities
INCLUDED
Day trip to Lady Elliot Island
The Lady Elliot Island Great Barrier Reef all-inclusive Day Trip is the only one of its type in Australia. Experience one of the most pristine sections of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef from the air as well as from above and below the water all in one day! Inclusive of a return scenic flight, welcome drink on arrival, Island Orientation Tour, guided snorkel tour, lunch, and use of day guest facilities. This will be one of the highlights of your trip!
OPTIONAL
Glamping at Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort
Spend a night at the stunning Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort. Immerse yourself in an exclusive and spacious glamping tent set amongst the natural flora, whilst enjoying views of the spectacular lagoon. With a queen bed, a private bathroom and secluded balcony, your tent is cooled with a mini-fridge and tea & coffee making facilities. Speak to our team to add this to your trip!
Day 3
Day 3: Bundaberg to Lady Musgrave Island
Get ready for another day of tropical paradise! Depart Bundaberg with the ‘Lady Musgrave Experience’ for a day trip to Lady Musgrave, the jewel of the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
Activities
Do
INCLUDED
Lady Musgrave Island Day Tour
Experience the Southern Great Barrier Reef on-board the luxury catamaran Reef Empress. Cruise to Lady Musgrave Island and enjoy morning tea, as you make your way to the pristine Lady Musgrave Reef lagoon for snorkeling, glass bottom boat tours, fish feeding and guided island walk. Including a gourmet buffet lunch and afternoon tea.
Day 4
Day 4: Bundaberg to Gladstone
Make your way to Gladstone, a real gem for nature lovers with options to dive, swim, snorkel, surf, hike or float about in a boat.
Activities
Do
FREE OPTION
Explore the Gladstone Region
Spend a day exploring the natural wonders of the Gladstone Region. Learn to surf at Agnes Water, the northern-most surf beach in Queensland, try beach fishing at Farmers Point and watch the sun slide in and out of the sea at the Town of Seventeen Seventy. Surrounded on three sides by the Coral Sea, it's one of the few places on the east coast of Australia where you can see the sun rise and set over water.
Day 5
Day 5: Gladstone to Heron Island
Catch the ferry to your next tropical destination, Heron Island! You will spend a few nights here, because this magical island deserves all your attention. A paradise for marine lovers, you get to experience nature at its very best.
Activities
INCLUDED
Ferry Gladstone - Heron Island
Aboard The Heron Islander to get to your next island destination. At 34 metres, The Heron Islander is specifically designed to provide a comfortable and spacious transfer from the Queensland mainland to Heron Island. She comfortably seats 170 and has a top speed of 30 knots (55 km/h).
INCLUDED
Stay at Heron Island Resort
At Heron Island, you are not simply a hotel guest, you are a guest of nature – sleeping, playing and exploring a protected sanctuary overlooking the Great Barrier Reef. Your room is located close to North Beach and set amongst Heron Island’s ancient Pisonia Forest, which comes alive with hundreds of thousands of seabirds during nesting season from October through March. Your ground-level room is appointed with an en-suite with shower, and a delightful timber deck and outdoor area.
OPTIONAL
Optional - Glamping on Wilson Island
Wilson Island is an adult-only private hideaway, owned by Heron Island. With only nine permanent Reef Safari Tents, Wilson Island can host a maximum of 18 guests at any one time, allowing for a feeling of private seclusion during your stay. Speak to our team to add this experience to your trip!
Day 6
Day 6: Heron Island
Wake up in paradise and hop on a helicopter flight (James Bond style!) to have your own private picnic at Broomfield Cay. This heli-picnic tour is guaranteed to make memories for life.
Activities
INCLUDED
Broomfield Cay heli-picnic
To picnic on Broomfield cay is one of those bucket list moments. Go on a spectacular helicopter ride and then it's just you, a beach umbrella, a delicious hamper with local goodies and a cheeky bottle of wine. Life doesn't get much better than this.
INCLUDED
Stay at Heron Island Resort
At Heron Island, you are not simply a hotel guest, you are a guest of nature – sleeping, playing and exploring a protected sanctuary overlooking the Great Barrier Reef. Your room is located close to North Beach and set amongst Heron Island’s ancient Pisonia Forest, which comes alive with hundreds of thousands of seabirds during nesting season from October through March. Your ground-level room is appointed with an en-suite with shower, and a delightful timber deck and outdoor area.
OPTIONAL
Optional - Glamping on Wilson Island
Wilson Island is an adult-only private hideaway, owned by Heron Island. With only nine permanent Reef Safari Tents, Wilson Island can host a maximum of 18 guests at any one time, allowing for a feeling of private seclusion during your stay. Speak to our team to add this experience to your trip!
Day 7
Day 7: Heron Island
Today, you have the option to do a photography workshop with the storyteller of this trip! Mark is one of the best known Great Barrier Reef photographers. He's spent years taking photos of some of the most iconic and lesser known locations on the reef. Let Mark show you all his favourite photography locations and share his skills in capturing life both above and below the ocean.
Activities
OPTIONAL
Photography workshop with Mark Fitz (July, Aug, Sept & Oct)
Get the chance to learn photography from one of the best and meet the creator of your trip, Mark Fitz! Spend a day with Mark to find the best photography locations on Heron Island, above and below the water. The spectacular island shots you will create are yours to take home and to cherish forever.
INCLUDED
Stay at Heron Island Resort
At Heron Island, you are not simply a hotel guest, you are a guest of nature – sleeping, playing and exploring a protected sanctuary overlooking the Great Barrier Reef. Your room is located close to North Beach and set amongst Heron Island’s ancient Pisonia Forest, which comes alive with hundreds of thousands of seabirds during nesting season from October through March. Your ground-level room is appointed with an en-suite with shower, and a delightful timber deck and outdoor area.
OPTIONAL
Glamping on Wilson Island
Wilson Island is an adult-only private hideaway, owned by Heron Island. With only nine permanent Reef Safari Tents, Wilson Island can host a maximum of 18 guests at any one time, allowing for a feeling of private seclusion during your stay. Speak to our team to add this experience to your trip!
Day 8
Day 8: Heron Island to Byfield
Take the ferry from Heron Island back to Gladstone and make your way to the lush rainforests of Byfield National Park, a circle of green. Relax in your rainforest cabin, take a dip in the freshwater creeks and explore the artisan local crafts at Nob Creek Pottery.
Activities
INCLUDED
Ferry Heron Island - Gladstone
Aboard The Heron Islander to make your way back to Gladstone. At 34 metres, The Heron Islander is specifically designed to provide a comfortable and spacious transfer from Heron Island to the Queensland mainland. She comfortably seats 170 and has a top speed of 30 knots (55 km/h).
INCLUDED
Stay at Rainforest Ranch
Spend the night in your own Byfield Wilderness Retreat! Relax in a beautifully appointed self contained spacious cabin that allows undisturbed privacy as well as easy access to the property.
Day 9
Day 9: Byfield to Great Keppel Island
Stay overnight on the magnificent Great Keppel Island! A barefoot paradise, you get to experience another beautiful slice of the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Discover the island’s many bushwalking tracks, native animals and perhaps, you feel like going on a guided kayak adventure to visit Leekes creek.
Activities
INCLUDED
Ferry Rosslyn Bay - Great Keppel Island
Aboard your ferry for a scenic journey to Great Keppel Island. This ferry service is proudly owned and operated by the local Allen family since 1999.
OPTIONAL
Guided Kayak tour up Leekes creek
Feeling adventurous? Choose to do a guided kayak tours to either Leekes creek with a bushwalk to the heritage listed Homestead or to Monkey Beach, including a snorkel on the reef and a guided bush walk to an Aboriginal shell midden!
INCLUDED
Stay at Great Keppel Island Hideaway
Spend the night on Great Keppel Island in your ensuite garden room including air-conditioning, tea/coffee facilities and a small bar fridge. A short stroll to the Bar and Bistro, where your meals will be freshly made for you, you can truly relax during your GKI tropical island holiday!
Day 10
Day 10: Great Keppel Island to Mackay
Take the ferry back to Yeppoon and drive to Mackay to drop off your rental car. Can’t get enough of the Great Barrier Reef? You have the option to extend your trip!
Activities
INCLUDED
Ferry Great Keppel Island - Rosslyn Bay
Aboard your ferry for a scenic journey back to Rosslyn Bay. This ferry service is proudly owned and operated by the local Allen family since 1999.
OPTIONAL
Extra night in Mackay
Have more time? Stay an extra night to explore all of the Mackay goodness. Speak to our friendly team for recommendations. We have a range of fun activities and accommodation options available!
STORYTELLER

Mark Fitz

About Mark
STORYTELLER

About Mark

Mark Fitz, the Great Barrier Reef Guru, is a travel photographer and writer whose love for the outdoors is contagious. His genius ability to capture Northern Queensland and the wildlife that live there is a tribute to his thirst for discovery. Mark’s exceptional knowledge of Down Under’s Sunshine State and vision for inspiring travellers near and far, is what landed him the storyteller title. He is the reigning champ of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, taking out the prize for his notoriously hilarious shot of Terry the Turtle flipping the bird. If there’s one thing Mark knows, it’s how to create extraordinary trips, where, by dropping his name in the underwater world you will be a welcomed guest.

FAQ's

The Airguides Way

Storytellers
Unique travel packages created by trusted storytellers.
Each trip is personalised for you.
Sit back and relax. We take care of all planning and bookings.
Independent
We balance well planned itineraries with the flexibility to explore destinations.
Travel at your own pace and create your own adventure.
Luxury meets adventure
We combine luxury accommodation with one of a kind experiences.
Discover destinations and natural environments all from within the comfort of your desired level of luxury.
224/7 support
Everything you need for a dream trip at your fingertips, thanks to our detailed and personalised trip notes.
We're only a moment away whenever you need assistance or advice!
Support local
Our trips have a focus on those destinations less travelled.
We work with local and First Nations' travel companies where possible.
Responsible tourism is at the core of everything we do.
Unique travel packages created by trusted storytellers.
Each trip is personalised for you.
Sit back and relax. We take care of all planning and bookings.
We balance well planned itineraries with the flexibility to explore destinations.
Travel at your own pace and create your own adventure.
We combine luxury accommodation with one of a kind experiences.
Discover destinations and natural environments all from within the comfort of your desired level of luxury.
Everything you need for a dream trip at your fingertips, thanks to our detailed and personalised trip notes.
We're only a moment away whenever you need assistance or advice!
Our trips have a focus on those destinations less travelled.
We work with local and First Nations' travel companies where possible.
Responsible tourism is at the core of everything we do.

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