It’s an entirely different world on this Great Barrier Reef island [gallery]

Sep 11, 2013 3 Comments by

AS A BOY, on holidays at my grandmother’s house there was a cherished hardback book I would pore over, losing myself for hours in pictures and stories of the Great Barrier Reef. I dreamt that one day I would get the chance to visit, to see firsthand the flora and fauna of the world’s largest single structure compiled of living organisms.

Although it is all linked, the GBR is actually made up of over 3,000 individual reef systems that together are larger than the Great Wall of China. Indeed, the GBR is the only living thing visible from space. It’s described as one of the seven wonders of the natural world.

Recently, my long-held dream was realised at Lady Elliot Island, the southernmost cay on the reef, easily accessible from Brisbane or Bundaberg. Here’s some of what I saw.

Al Mackinnon was a guest of Tourism and Events Queensland. This article was originally published on Matador Network

, bundaberg, diving, snorkelling


Al Mackinnon is a photographer and surfer with a penchant for uncrowded locales, often those in cooler parts of the globe. On the road ten months a year his work featuring in countless publications worldwide, he was the first Brit to score a cover of surfing’s bi-monthly tome; The Surfers Journal, the first Brit to be nominated for a Billabong XXL award twice (winning once in 2006/7) and featured alongside some of the greatest photographers of all time in the Silver Footprint book. Trusted by clients to produce arresting imagery whatever the weather and by locals to handle their zones with subtlety.
  • Roshnara

    Lady Elliot Island has only been on my bucket list for a few months now, but your pictures make me want to pack a bag and leave now! Can I ask you what season you went in and what camera you used under water? Thank you so much for sharing!

  • AussieCampervans

    Nice article!! The deep water life, and other landmarks of Queensland are so pretty and in peace, so much a traveler can explore, all the places and their snaps collections are phenomenal. Thanks for sharing.

    Shley @ Camperman Australia Motorhome Hire

  • Ben

    Queensland is an amazing place. I had couple of dives in the great barrier reef and i still can not forget it. After living for a long time in Melbourne, i still think why i did not move to Queensland at first. wishing to come back again one day. Greetings from