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Gladstone Marina – Your Passport to the Reef

Gladstone Marina – Your Passport to the Reef

Gladstone Marina is the ideal base to explore the Bunker Group of Islands on the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Gladstone is ideally located just an hour’s flight from Brisbane, with Gladstone Marina’s luxury courtesy bus on hand for seamless Gladstone Airport transfers. Berth your vessel in a safe and secure marina and fly in for weekends on the reef, or, if you’re just cruising through, Gladstone Marina is perfectly positioned to refresh and reprovision while you explore further.

This modern, first-class marina facility has been recently upgraded. With revitalised surroundings and amenities, including a new dedicated BBQ area, Gladstone Marina is designed to help you refresh, relax and explore the secluded anchorages, tropical islands and pristine coral reefs in our region.


The Capricorn Bunker Group of islands and reefs is the perfect and accessible introduction to the Great Barrier Reef. Cruising this section of the Southern Great Barrier Reef is an unforgettable experience and offers exceptional reef viewing, cruising, snorkelling and diving. The Southern Great Barrier Reef is rich in sea life, coral and scenery. Navigation through the Capricorn Bunker Group can be effortless as most of the reefs have islands and wide channels between them.


Lady Musgrave Island is instantly recognisable, with a large coral lagoon with deep water access. This tropical paradise and sheltered lagoon provides a safe anchorage and abounds with masses of fish, coral and turtles. Keep a look out for coral bommies when navigating in the lagoon, but with clear tropical water, spotting and avoiding them is easy and of course they are all marked on navigational charts. Lady Musgrave is the jewel in the crown of the Southern Great Barrier Reef and a very popular destination of choice.


Fitzroy Reef is another stunning lagoon with a deep water entrance, but without a land mass. Deep anchorage on the southwest corner will protect from a north easterly and a north westerly wind. The deep water entrance is marked clearly for a good anchorage inside the lagoon. There is excellent fishing in the area.


Adjacent to Heron Island, Wistari Reef is an elevated lagoon, which is shallow and crammed with coral. The best dive site on this reef is the brilliant Wistari Wall. This sloping wall drops from three metres to 20 metres and is decorated with many striking corals. There is also excellent reef walking and snorkelling. There is shelter in the lee of the reef for anchorage.


Mast Head Island is a beautiful and accessible coral island close to Irving Reef, Polmaise Reef and Erskine Island. It is located just 31NM northeast of Gladstone. Boaters can shelter in the lee of the island to anchor in SE to NE winds. The island is popular with campers and day-trippers due to its close proximity to Gladstone. Camping on the island requires a permit.


North West Island is a hidden gem of the Southern Great Barrier Reef and only 40NM northeast of Gladstone. It is the second largest coral cay in the area and offers opportunities for camping, bushwalking, nature study, reef walking, diving and snorkelling. Camping on the island requires a permit.

This is just a small selection of the islands and reefs in close proximity to Gladstone. Consult your charts and weather forecast and explore the numerous reefs and islands in the area at your leisure.

Contact Gladstone Marina 07 4976 1399 for advice on cruising in the area or help with planning your passage. The Marina team are all fully qualified local mariners and are passionate about the region. Whether it’s assistance in navigating the Narrows (which links Gladstone Harbour to The Keppel’s) or planning overnight stays in the harbour or on the reef, the Gladstone Marina team is on hand to help.

Refresh. Relax. Explore. Visit




Published in print October-December 2022