We drove through Brisbane and started our drive north towards the Great Barrier Reef region.   It is getting super hot the further north we travel and time is sadly but surely running out.  My intention is to find out how far north we must drive in order to have the opportunity to see the Coral Reefs of Australia.  When we get to a town called Gympie, I stop at the information site and ask the volunteer how much farther I would need to drive before we can enjoy the reef and she gave us two options; drive to a town called Seventeen Seventy (1770) where one operator provides day tours or drive to a larger town called Rockhampton where there are a few more tours to choose from.  Driving to Cairns (the main Hub for coral reef expeditions) simply was not an option at this point and time in our trip, it was just too . . .

Sunset at 1770
far a drive for the amount of time we had, we have to return the camper van to Brisbane and I had no intention of racing up the coast and racing back down. 
     We headed towards Seventeen Seven to decide if this is as far north that we will drive.  Another appealing lure to the 1770 area is that it is on a small peninsula where on the more sheltered side the town of 1770 was established and on the more exposed side of the peninsula there is a surfing town called Agnes Water. Agnes Water is the last beach where you can surf and boogie board since further to the north, the Great Barrier Reef obviously creates a huge barrier to the wind and elements and diminishes the size of wave that hits the coastal areas.  Basically this area has the best of both worlds so to speak, a nice surf beach where you can splash around and jump into the waves and a more tranquil sheltered side that is picturesque and has access to one of the first coral areas. 

 When we arrived we loved it.  We stopped at Agnes Water and got out of the van and immediately headed to the beach to cool off and do some boogie boarding.  Birch and Allegra are enjoying themselves so much that we stay the evening and then head to 1770 the next morning.  Here we relax for the day and inquire about the day trip to the coral reef.  The trip is a full day trip leaving at 8:30am and returning at 5:00pm with tea, lunch and snorkel gear all included.  The operator takes us to Lady Musgrave Island which is a coral island surrounded by a coral ring with a lagoon.  It's a done deal!!
     The next morning we get up early, have breakfast and head to the dock to board our ship.  We are so excited!  We finally get on our way and arrive after an hour and a half later after a bumpy boat ride.  It is absolutely beautiful.  We get a tour of the island, have lunch and then jump into the clear acquamarine blue waters.

Allegra and Birch on the white coral sands of Lady Musgrave Island
  Snorkelling along and above the coral is truly a privilege.  It is teaming with life with a huge variety and colour of fish, the rainbow colours of the coral and the water is warm!!!  We spent all our time in the water floating and watching the beauty before us with constant taps and motions to say look over there, look here, now there . . .
My favourite experience was swimming and floating over the shallow waters of coral and reaching the edges where the coral drops off into deeper water which feels like I am flying along and then over a cliff.  Magnificent!
Bye Bye, Lady Musgrave Island

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