"Being an artist isn’t just a “right brain” activity---you must use ALL of your brain, body and spirit to create. When the creation is done, the whole is much more than the sum of its parts… and so is the creator." - Lyrae Perry

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is on many people’s bucket list…including mine, ever since I was a little kid.   The 2015 Paint Excursions trip  includes a visit to the Southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef this week…Lady Elliot Island (LEI) in particular.

There is only one way to get to LEI, and you have to fly there.  The flight is 30 to 100 minutes depending on which airport you fly from.  I flew to LEI out of the Redcliff Aerodrome on a very nice 14 passenger Cessna Caravan aircraftDe plane.

The flight was 50 min to Hervey Bay airport, where we picked up two more passengers…then another 30 minutes to the island resort.

Miles and miles of beaches!

Miles and miles of beaches!

 

On the way to LEI we fly over the coast of Brisbane, and across Fraser Island, which is the largest sand island in the world. The land is covered in rainforest.

 

 

 

 

Sand in the hills

Sand trap in the hills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In extreme weather conditions, sand can blow into a forested portion and it looks like a golf course sand trap from the air.  It’s not a good place to be….the sands blow and move around.

75-mile-beach

Want to get away to sip a cool drink and soak up the sun on a private beach?  Australia’s got more empty beaches than you can count!

And many of them are huge…how about 75 Mile Beach for starters?

 

Queensland Tourism and Events :

In the great tradition of many Australian place names, 75 Mile Beach on Fraser Island, was so named because it is approximately 75 miles long. Due to the constant movement of sea and sand, it’s not always exactly 75 miles long, but then, ‘75.173 Mile Beach’ just wouldn’t have had the same ring to it.

75 Mile Beach runs along most of the east coast of Fraser Island. While it may not be the best place for swimming due to dangerous currents and plentiful Tiger sharks, it is extremely beautiful and has a number of excellent highlights such as Champagne Pools, Indian Head (from where you can often see the sharks in the surf), the Maheno Wreck and Eli Creek. Eli Creek is strikingly clear and has its own unique and varied wildlife.

This unique stretch of beach is also a National Highway as well as a landing strip for light aircraft. Driving along 75 Mile Beach or taking off and landing during a scenic flight of the island is a must do.

Approach for landing.

Approach for landing.

 

Our Pilot “Nathan” was one of the best – his take-offs and landings were as smooth as the flight.  He landed our plane on the short LEI airstrip which is grass on top of coral and while there’s always a bit of dirt thrown in the air on those landings, it was not scary at all.   I’d fly with Nathan anywhere.

 

 

Lady Elliot Island

Lady Elliot Island

Lady Elliot island is owned by the Commonwealth of Australia, but the Eco resort is leased to Peter Gash, who was on the island with a Japanese UNESCO partner this week.  The visit is so that the Japanese representative  would see first-hand and understand what the ideal healthy reef looks like.

Learn more about UNESCO’s Marine Program here:  http://whc.unesco.org/en/marine-programme/

Air strip at ground level.

Air strip at ground level.

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Lady Elliot Island!  Dive Shop and Check-In.

Welcome to Lady Elliot Island!
Dive Shop and Check-In.

 

 

Running to my Garden Cottage – gotta get into my bathing suit and back to the dive shop to get outfitted for snorkeling.  See you “down under” !

 

 

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