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Low Isles Island Day Trip

Home > Port Douglas > Beaches | Adventure | Day Trips | Escape the City | Nature
by Gypsy Rose (subscribe)
I am a travel writer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and food! I love travelling and discovering hidden gems... experience the journey on Instragram! @gypsy_compass
Published May 24th 2019
Explore an island paradise only a select few can enjoy


Set like a jewel in the Great Barrier Reef and located only 15km off the coast of Port Douglas, Low Isles is an idyllic, unspoilt coral cay island that makes for the perfect tropical island paradise day escape... with four acres of spectacular coral cay surrounded by 55 acres of reef; Low Isles is the ultimate nature escape for snorkellers, nature lovers and history buffs and it is also the perfect way to experience the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef without travelling a far distance!



You will discover a magical world with an abundance of marine life and coral, a large population of sea turtles, and birdwatchers will certainly be impressed, especially with taking pleasure in observing the white Heron's and migrating birdlife at the uninhabited Woody Island. If history is more your thing then the active lighthouse and museum will certainly amuse you.

Low Isles can be seen from the speed boat...


Low Isles is made of two small islands, which are separate but share the common reef. The larger island of the two, Woody Island, which is uninhabited except for a large bird population (the Island is a vital habitat for many species) that call this Island home.



The smaller of the Low Isles is a coral cay and is home to a Lighthouse that has been operating since 1878. The Lightstation stands at 18 metres tall and was originally constructed on a timber frame with gal-vanished sheath in the typical Queensland fashion, however, Low Isles was the first to have porthole windows!

The small museum on Woody Island that houses exhibits and informative information about Low Isles


Weather data has been gathered from the island since 1887, and scientific associations date back to 1928 when it was the base for a year-long scientific survey that examined the structure and ecology of the surrounding reef. This was the first scientific study of coral reef anywhere in the world, and many current theories of coral reef ecology are based on the findings of this expedition.

How adorable! Birdwatching enthusiasts will certainly be impressed


Low Isles is also home to around 150 different species of hard corals in the waters surrounding Low Isles, although these are dominated by 15 species of soft corals and with the reefs being extremely close to the Island this makes it ideal for an easy and enjoyable snorkelling experience.

Getting ready for the snorkelling adventure...


Living amongst the corals is a large variety of fish, molluscs, sea cucumbers, colourful blue, green and purple parrotfish, angelfish, damselfish, anenomefish or clownfish, trevally, rabbitfish, sweetlip, moon wrasse and fusilleers are just some of the marine life you will discover. If you are lucky, you might run into the resident turtles and black tip reef sharks.



With so many activities to enjoy from snorkelling right from the beach, relaxing under the thatched umbrellas or exploring the Island by foot, Low Isles is the perfect day tour that must be added to your Great Barrier Reef itinerary!

Do note that there are no facilities on the island.

There are informative plaques on the island which are worth checking out...


Getting to Low Isles:

We booked through Reef Sprinter which was a 15-minute speed boat ride from Port Douglas Marina and guaranteed no sea sickness!

It is also capped to a maximum of 14 persons, making it a wonderful and intimate experience.

They have a couple of tour options to suit all interests and budgets. Click here for website.

For other Tour companies to Low Isles click here.
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Why? The perfect way to explore the Great Barrier Reef
When: All year round
Where: Low Isles- Inner Reef, near Port Douglas
Cost: See website for all tour pricing
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