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9 Jul 2017

5 minutes with Amy from Lady Elliot Island
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5 minutes with Amy from Lady Elliot Island

Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort and Greenfleet have recently partnered to offset the carbon emissions from flights to and from the island. 

The resort is asking guests to take part by donating $2 to help reduce the environmental impact of their holiday. 

We recently caught up with Amy Gash, Digital Marketing Coordinator of Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort. If you have never heard about Lady Elliot Island, you’re about to discover one of the most magical places on Earth.

Greenfleet: Hi Amy, can you please tell us a bit more about Lady Elliot Island (LEI)?

Amy Gash: Lady Elliot Island (LEI) is a self-sufficient 42-hectare coral cay Island located 80km North East of Bundaberg and the Southernmost Island on Australia’s Iconic Great Barrier Reef (GBR). We offer one of Queensland’s most amazing and accessible ecotourism experiences based on up close marine life encounters on the Great Barrier Reef with easy access for day trippers and overnight guests. Guests can experience the magic of the GBR from the Gold Coast, Brisbane (Redcliffe), Hervey Bay and Bundaberg or stay overnight in our basic accommodation with 41 rooms ranging from Eco Cabins, Garden Units, Reef Units and 2-bedroom Island Suites.

We are a self-sustainable eco resort focused on managing our carbon footprint. We ensure to educate our guests on how to enjoy the Island’s fragile ecosystem with minimal impact and are proud that our Island Team are happy to share their knowledge about renewable energy technologies as we continue to introduce and expand sustainable eco initiatives. It is our goal that our guests take home more than just photos and memories, but also join us in our fight for conservation and sustainable management of the environment and natural resources, in particular, the Great Barrier Reef. 

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What makes this place so special?

Due to our proximity to the continental shelf and the Eastern Australian Current, LEI is known for its large mega fauna such as Manta Rays with a population of over 1,000. The ‘Green Zone’ has allowed marine life to flourish in the surrounding waters with over 1,200 different species of fish, Green, Loggerhead and Hawksbill Turtles, Reef Sharks, Rays and a spectacular thriving coral reef providing guests with genuine and unique nature based experiences unlike anywhere else in the world! Guests can swim directly from the beach and within 10 kicks they’ll have the whole underwater world beneath them! 

As an eco-resort, you have a strong environmental policy, with initiatives around water consumption, renewable energy and more. Can you tell us more about why this is so important to you?

LEI is situated in one of the world’s most delicate natural locations, the Great Barrier Reef. The GBR is one of the world’s most biodiverse World Heritage Sites and we have a responsibility to ensure the protection and education of the reef for future generations. All our initiatives are implemented to ensure the protection and preservation of the surrounding environment as well as for the planet as a whole. We are currently operating on 80% renewable energy and our goal is to be 100% renewable by 2020, we have implemented a ban on plastic water bottles and plastic straws and have planted over 4,000 trees for our ‘re-Greening’ Revegetation/Eradication program to restore the Island back to its original state (due to being mined for Guano in the 1800’s). These initiatives are a step forward for a sustainable future and we are dedicated to creating change and influencing people/guests to follow in our footsteps. 

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You recently launched a carbon offset program to help your guests reduce the environmental impact of their holiday. What inspired you to launch this program and to partner with Greenfleet? 

Due to our remote proximity, the only mode of transport to LEI is via light aircraft. As we are an Eco Resort it was essential we combat our flight emissions from the aircraft and by doing so with the Greenfleet Carbon Offset Program. The carbon offset initiative is an immediate and cost-effective way for us to take responsibility for our environmental impact and to be part of the solution to mitigate climate change and to take action to help the Great Barrier Reef.

We choose to partner with Greenfleet for numerous reasons: 

  • They are an Australian not-for-profit organisation and working on projects in Australia 

  • The Greenfleet mission is to plant ecosystems on degraded land – not just planting monoculture species to sequester carbon 

  • The ability to work with Greenfleet on the Barolin Nature Reserve which is part of the Great Barrier Reef coastal ecosystem. The outcomes of protection for the Mon Repos turtle rookery and improved water quality going to the Great Barrier Reef were key benefits that align with the LEIER environmental mission 

  • The ability to work with other partners on the Barolin Nature Reserve project such as the Disney ‘Remember the Reef’ campaign. 

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Lady Elliot Island is a pretty magical place, what is the most amazing thing you’ve experienced there? 

For me, growing up on LEI was any child’s dream, having an island to explore and an underwater world to immerse yourself in was something very special. But my most recent encounter with a Humpback Whale would have to take the cake! In August 2016, we were on a snorkel safari when a juvenile Humpback Whale cruised right by our group in waters no more than 10 meters! I have snorkelled with many different marine life and travelled to remote locations to swim with Humpback Whales but to encounter a Humpback on Lady Elliot Island completely blew my mind. You can watch the encounter on YouTube below!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu4pOfwlG5I 


>> Find out more about partnering with Greenfleet: http://www.greenfleet.com.au/Organisations
>> Read more about Lady Elliot Island’s carbon offset program: http://www.ladyelliot.com.au/carbon-offset

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