Les Clefs d’or

CHEF CONCIERGE, SOF­I­TEL GOLD COAST BROAD­BEACH

Where Gold Coast - - Contents - By Shane Ed­wards

AS A CONCIERGE, we are called upon for a num­ber of rea­sons, and be­ing well­re­searched for our rec­om­men­da­tions is an im­por­tant com­po­nent of the job.

Fol­low­ing on from the Meet the Re­gion work­shop held at the re­cent Les Clefs d’or AGM, I had the won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to take my fam­ily to Lady El­liot Is­land for a day tour. Lady El­liot Is­land is sit­u­ated 45 kilo­me­tres off the Bund­aberg coast and is the most south­ern point of the Great Bar­rier Reef. In­cluded in the Green Zone, the area is home to a di­verse ar­ray of marine an­i­mals and reef life.

Leav­ing Coolan­gatta Air­port at 6.30am, our flight, cour­tesy of Seair Pa­cific, trav­elled straight up the coast, tak­ing us along the glit­ter strip to Red­cliffe, where we took a de­tour to pick up two more guests. Head­ing di­rectly over the Sun­shine Coast and Fraser Is­land, our pi­lot, Ben, came across a num­ber of mi­grat­ing whales which was an amaz­ing sight.

Af­ter just over two and a half hours we landed on Lady El­liot Is­land. Wel­comed by Barry, the man­ager on duty, and Blaze the marine bi­ol­o­gist, we had a quick safety in­duc­tion and were then in­vited aboard the Is­land’s new­est glass bot­tom boat, cap­tained by Kim the skip­per. On the jour­ney to the reef, Blaze was full of knowl­edge and seemed to get lost in the won­der of the reef. We were then ready to snorkel, and feel very lucky to have been able to see tur­tles, Manta rays, Mo­ray eels, co­ral and fish, fish and more fish!

Af­ter we’d worked up an ap­petite, it was time for lunch. We en­joyed the buf­fet-style meal that more than sat­is­fied our hunger. The af­ter­noon was then spent ex­plor­ing the co­ral la­goon be­fore it was time to board our plane for the flight back to the Gold Coast.

I would like to thank Peter and Julie Gash, and all the staff from Seair and Lady El­liot Is­land for their hos­pi­tal­ity to both me and my fam­ily. As my sev­enyear-old said to us, “we have just swum one of the seven nat­u­ral won­ders of the world!” And he is right; this is def­i­nitely one ticked off the bucket list.

Lady El­liot Is­land.

Snorkelling on the Great Bar­rier Reef.

Shane Ed­wards and fam­ily.

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