North of Brisbane off the coast of Gladstone, the snorkelling at Lady Elliot Island is considered to be the best snorkel dive site on the Great Barrier Reef. The fringing coral reef around the island creates a large lagoon that is teaming with marine life. With some of the highest visibility, the water clarity can be up to 75 feet. During a Lady Ellliot snorkeling dive, you may encounter flute fish, anemones, blue chromis, surgeonfish, unicornfish, triggerfish, green sea turtles and loggerhead turtles. The turtles frequent the area from November to March and, in addition, there are about 40 resident manta rays.
There are numerous snorkeling dives sites off Lady Elliot Island that are both beach accessed and boat accessed (there's a glass-bottomed snorkeling boat). One of the more popular snorkeling sites is known as the Shark Pool where reef shark are known to gather. The other popular site is Coral Gardens where you’ll encounter plentiful reef fish over the coral heads. Also, from July through September, there are humpback whales in the waters around the island.
To reach the Lady Elliot Island snorkeling, use one of the convenient Seair flights (30 minutes). Seair flies into Lady Elliot Island daily from Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Brisbane and Gold Coast.
Overall, Lady Elliot Island is the 5th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 37 snorkeling dives in Queensland.