Lady Musgrave Island

Coral cay island on the souther Great Barrier Reef

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The vast lagoon of Lady Musgrave distinguishes it from other coral cays in the Capricornia Cays National Park. The big difference is that boats are able to anchor within the reef-encased lagoon. For cruising boaties Lady Musgrave offers the sort of idyllic lagoon anchorage often dreamt about (when the conditions are right of course!) 60km offshore, it’s a long trip out there, so the protection offered by the reef creates a welcome anchorage. The fringing reef itself is approximately 5km long, while it will take about 45 minutes to walk around the 13ha coral cay.

Lady Musgrave is a popular day tripper destination for divers and snorkellers in the lagoon populated by abundant soft and hard corals. There’s a glass bottom boat and underwater semi submarine for those who don’t want to get wet. Onshore, turtles nest during the season (approx Nov to Jan), generally coming ashore at night during high tide. Lady Musgrave is also a significant island for seabirds who come ashore (approx Oct to Mar) for roosting and feeding.

The only facilities on the island are a couple of compost toilets, a navigational beacon and radio tower. There is also a VHF radio installed near the toilets for emergency use only. Which makes it the perfect overnight destination for campers looking for seclusion, as are nearby Northwest and Masthead Islands. Once the day trippers depart you’ll be completely on your own. Just you, the stars, the sea and the wildlife. You’ll need to be completely self sufficient, bringing all your own food and drinking water. Fresh provisions can be delivered on request for prolonged stays by prior arrangement with Lady Musgrave Cruises. The island is closed to campers annually between Australia Day (26 Jan) and Easter.

Campers need to pre-book their outbound and return travel with Lady Musgrave Cruises. If you’re taking extra large gear like a kayak or dingy there are additional charges. check the Capricornia Cays camping info site for full details on what you should know before camping on the island. Like all National Park camping, campsites also must be pre-booked before arrival.


The island is a popular habitat for nesting birds. Terns, noddies and shearwaters all congregate here at various times of the year. Campers should be aware that bird poop will become a regular part of your day. Take a tarp or some kind of shelter that can be rigged to give protection from bird droppings.

Loggerhead and green turtles use the island for nesting, generally between November to January. Hatchlings leave the nests any time from January to April. Turtles are protected and should be given plenty of space to create their nests in peace. They are easily disturbed while building the nest and will return to the water if feeling threatened.


The lagoon of Lady Musgrave Island is almost complete apart from a narrow channel on the northern side. Red and green channel markers mark the entrance. Anchorage can be found within the lagoon over a coral sand bottom. Permanent mooring pontoon is secured within the lagoon which is used by day tripper vessels from Agnes Waters Town of 1770. At low tide the surrounding reef can dry, creating good shelter for vessels anchored within the lagoon.


  • dive
  • snorkel
  • glass bottom boat
  • nature
  • camp

Getting there: Lady Musgrave Cruises depart from Agnes Waters Town of 1770

At A Glance


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