| BNE January/February 2017
One of the best reef encounters is on
the southern end of the Great Barrier
Reef and the experience could change
your life, as
ho can remember exactly where they’ve welcomed in
the New Year, every year, for the past three decades?
For Jim Buck and family the answer is simple. Over
the past 30 years, without fail, the public servant and one-time road
designer has set up camp on Lady Musgrave Island, a destination that’s as
blissfully ‘back to nature’ as you can get (save being shipwrecked).
For Jim, it’s Paradise with a capital P. The best address on earth, where
‘simple luxuries’ extend to composting toilets. That said, not even a Lotto
win would halt his annual pilgrimage to this coral cay in the southern end
of Queensland’s World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.
Postcard perfect in every way, the island is easily circumnavigated by
foot in around 30 minutes (if you’re blinkered, that is, or immune to
endless wildlife encounters from marine turtles to spotted rays), close to
20 hectares levitating in its own wrap-around reef.
Lady Musgrave Reef is 150 times the size of the island, at 2930
hectares, and famous as the Great Barrier Reef’s only navigable, protected
lagoon, akin to the world’s largest swimming pool. Ideal for snorkelling