Heron Island

Heron Island Resort is an exclusive island for guests who want truly connect with nature. The nature itself is absolutely spectacular. The island is situated on the Great Barrier Reef, which means you can snorkel right off the island. Scuba divers come back again and again to fully discover the 20 dive sites that are just minutes off the island.

Heron Island is small enough to walk around in 20 minutes, yet it has everything you could wish. There’s the Shearwater Restaurant to satisfy healthy appetites plus Ballie’s Bar next to the resort’s swimming pool. Turtles return year after year to lay their eggs and guests can gather just outside their rooms, particularly the Beachside Suites, to watch the hatchlings make their way to the water.

Come June you may see whales passing by on their annual pilgrimage. Nesting season sees the island's resident human population well outnumbered by birds. The waters around Heron Island are teeming with reef fish, turtles, manta rays, reef sharks and an endless variety of marine invertebrates. Heron Island caters to all levels of marine enthusiasts from the novice snorkeler to experienced divers. The waters around the island are relatively shallow with an average depth of between 10 and 25 meters. Snorkelers can enjoy drifting over shallow reefs just meters from the shore. Around 60% of the 1,500 species of fish and around 72% of the coral species found on the Great Barrier Reef call the waters around Heron Island home.

Heron Island accommodation ranges from Turtle Rooms, which are set amongst Pisonia Forest (watch it come alive with birds during nesting season), to the secluded Point Suites—an ideal place  to watch the sun set. Taking top place are the Beach House and Superior Point Suite, which boast plenty of space and privacy, to get away from it all, or entertain family and friends.

Turtle Room
All Turtle Rooms are located close to North Beach and set amongst Heron Island’s ancient Pisonia Forest, which comes alive with hundreds of thousands of seabirds during nesting season from  October through March. Comfortable and compact, these ground-level rooms are appointed with an en-suite with shower and feature a delightful timber deck and outdoor area.
The Turtle Room is 22.79 sqm in size and accommodates up to two guests and features: Outdoor deck
One Queen bed

Turtle Family Room

All Turtle Family Rooms are set amongst Heron Island’s ancient Pisonia Forest, which comes alive with hundreds of thousands of seabirds during nesting season from October through March. Convenient to the pool and a short walk from the beach, these spacious rooms feature one Queen bed, two single beds and an en-suite bathroom with shower. Family rooms offer a ground floor setting, however one block of four rooms is available in a double story.   

The Turtle Family Room is 26 sqm in size, accommodates up to five guests and features:

Queen bed and two single beds

Reef Rooms

Located on beautiful North Beach, Reef Rooms are comfortable and spacious with an en-suite bathroom with shower and an outdoor terrace with filtered views through the natural vegetation overlooking the reef. The Reef Room is 21.85 sqm in size and accommodates up to three guests and features:

One Queen bed and one single bed

Private terrace

Reef Family Room

Available on the ground floor or upper levels, Reef Family Rooms offer either partial beach or forest views. These rooms feature one Queen Bed and two Day Beds, along with an en-suite with shower and an outdoor terrace.The Reef Family Room is 19.68 sqm in size and accommodates up to five guests and features:

Private terrace

One Queen Bed, two day beds

Beachside Room

Offering access to both the Great Barrier Reef and the resort’s beachfront, Beachside Rooms are spacious, with double glass sliding doors opening up onto a large outdoor balcony. The living area features partial ocean views, two day beds, an oversized cane chair and a coffee table. These rooms are available with one King bed or two Single beds located on both the upper level and ground floor. The Beachside Room is 33.6 sqm and accommodates up to four guests and features:

Large balcony or Private terrace

One King bed or two Twin beds and two Day beds

Wistari Suite

Located in a natural garden setting to ensure maximum privacy, air-conditioned Wistari Suites feature bright, spacious interiors and down lights. The Suite is available with one King bed or two twin beds with an en-suite bathroom featuring a stylish vanity and shower. The private outdoor terrace is just a short stroll to all Heron Island Resort facilities, the reef, beaches and the jetty. The Wistari Suite is 44 sqm and accommodates up to two guests and features:

Private terrace

One King bed or two twin beds

Air conditioning

Bathrobes and slippers

 

Diving

Heron Island is known the world over for its excellent Great Barrier Reef dive sites, coral gardens and pinnacles. So good is the scuba diving, that Jacques Cousteau—the world’s most famous undersea explorer of our time—listed Heron Bommie as one of his top 10 favorite dive sites. And there are plenty of sites to explore, more than half of which are just minutes away from the jetty.

The waters around Heron Island are relatively shallow (avg depth 10-25 metres) and are teeming with reef fish, turtles, manta rays, reef sharks, and an endless variety of marine invertebrates. Around 60% of the 1,500 species of fish, and around 72% of the coral species found on the Great Barrier Reef call the waters around Heron Island home. Heron Island caters to all levels of marine enthusiasts from the novice snorkeler to experienced divers, and offers PADI certified courses as well.

Beach Snorkeling

Being right on the Great Barrier Reef means that you can snorkel off the beach. If you haven’t snorkeled before or would like to practice, try Shark Bay (named after the harmless Shovel Nose Ray) or from the Gantry just in front of the Pandanus Lounge. Snorkeling in the harbor is not allowed between 8 am and 5:30 pm due to boat traffic. It is best two  hours before and after high tide from the Gantry and Shark Bay. Tide times are posted in the daily “Heron Times” or displayed outside the Marine Centre.

Snorkeling Boat Tours

Enjoy one of our snorkel tours offering a kaleidoscope of colored fish and coral on Heron and Wistari Reefs, all within easy reach of Heron Island.

Island Walk - About 1.5 hours

Take a walk with one of our Naturalist Guides and learn about the history, flora and fauna of Heron Island. This guided tour will take you through the Pisonia Forest towards Shark Bay and return to the resort along North Beach. Along the way we discuss the formation of Heron Island as a vegetated coral cay, learn about the environmental factors that have contributed to its formation, the plants that have colonized the island, the importance of the bird populations as well as sea turtles that visit Heron Island each year.

Bird Walk - About 1 Hour

Learn all about the different bird species around Heron Island with one of our Naturalist Guides. Birds are considered in four general categories: breeding populations, visitors, migratory shorebirds and resident populations. Heron Island can be home to up to 200 000 birds at the peak of nesting season! The guided walk begins at the Information Centre, walks around the rocky shores that edge some parts of the property, past the Gantry, and heads out towards the jetty where numerous birds can often be seen on the beaches and around the shipwreck. The best time for bird watching is usually early morning or late afternoon. Species of birds may differ between seasons, times of day and are often tide dependent.

Turtle Walk - About 1 Hour

Take an early morning or late evening stroll around the beaches with an experienced Naturalist Guide to watch nesting sea turtles. Your guide can provide information about the best practice guidelines for observing turtles, the stage of nesting the turtle is completing, as well as general information about the biology of sea turtles. Sea turtles usually nest around the high tide of a night time. Please remember- don’t use torches or flash photography on the beach.

Nature Presentations - About 1 hour

Join one of our experienced Naturalist Guides at a presentation where they share their knowledge on a variety of topics such as the biology and ecology of sea turtles, shark physiology and formation of the reef.

Turtle Hints Presentation

This presentation provides a quick snapshot into the process of sea turtle nesting on Heron Island. Your Naturalist Guide will explain how to observe sea turtles while having minimal disturbance to these beautiful marine reptiles. Simple things like staying low and still on a nesting beach at night time, not using artificial lights around nesting beaches, and remaining 10 minutes away and behind the line of sight of the sea turtle, can make a big difference to these nesting mothers.

Stargazing

Enjoy a tour of the night sky with Heron’s naturalist guides. Subject to weather conditions and cloud cover so please check the Information Centre board for confirmation prior to making your way to the Helipad. Our Naturalist Guide will set up the telescope on the Helipad so you can enjoy close up views of the many seas of the Moon and star action.

Island Walk

Take a walk with one of our Naturalist Guides and learn about the history, flora and fauna of Heron Island. This guided tour will take you through the Pisonia Forest towards Shark Bay and return to the Information Centre along North Beach. Along the way we discuss the formation of Heron Island as a vegetated coral cay, learn about the environmental factors that have contributed to its formation, the plants that have colonized the island, the importance of the bird populations as well as sea turtles that visit Heron Island each year.

Reef Discovery Walk

This tour is only available on certain days when the tide is particularly low and occurs during suitable daylight hours. Please wear appropriate fully enclosed footwear. Please wash your hands of any sunscreens or lotions prior to this walk. Your Naturalist Guide will explain the formation of the reef and identify some of the weird and wonderful creatures that you are likely to encounter on Heron Reef. You can learn about corals and their relatives, the threats to the reef today, the symbiotic relationships between marine species, adaptations for survival during low tide, and much more.

Sunset Cruise

Enjoy a peaceful end to the day aboard one of our launches, and watch the sun set over The Great Barrier Reef and Heron Island. Of course a sunset isn’t complete without some fine Australian wines and cheeses to go along with the friendly conversation.

Group Beach Snorkeling

Being right on the Great Barrier Reef means that you can snorkel off the beach. If you haven’t snorkeled before or would like to practice, try Shark Bay (named after the harmless Shovel Nose Ray) or from the Gantry just in front of the Pandanus Lounge. Snorkeling in the harbor is not allowed between 8 am and 5:30 pm due to boat traffic. It is best three hours before and after high tide from the Gantry and Shark Bay. Tide times are posted in the daily “Heron Times” or displayed outside Reception and the Marine Centre.

Semi-Submersible Spy Tour

Perhaps you’re not so comfortable putting on a mask and fins? Not a problem, the I-Spy semi-sub is perfect for you. Turtles, sharks and rays are often seen from the I-Spy. Your Naturalist Guide will commentate on the many species of marine animals that are encountered, and provide information about the biology and ecology of coral reefs. The I-Spy normally operates once a day, 5 days a week, subject to demand and weather conditions.

Kayaking & Boarding 

Another active way to explore the waters and reefs around Heron Island. Your guides will take you to areas where you’ll glide above abundant coral life, sharks (small ones!), and rays.

Guided Fishing Tours

The Great Barrier Reef offers exceptional opportunities for fishing in a number of areas close to Heron Island. Tour includes boat trip, bait and tackle. Best of all, our chef will gladly prepare your catch for evening dinner. There is a minimum age of 7 years old on Fishing Tours and your self-caught evening meal in the Shearwater Restaurant.

Fishing - Private Charter

For friends or family groups, we offer the choice of private boat charter fishing excursions.

Family Activities - Heron Island is Fantastic for Families!

As one of the few coral cays on the Great Barrier Reef, Heron Island offers a truly special family holiday destination. Complimentary activities and things to do at Heron Island can be found here, and include:

Guided bird walks

Guided island walks

Guided reef walks (tide dependent)

Turtle watching

Nature presentations

The beaches of Heron Island are also considered the best place to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef. The family can also snorkel directly off the beach in the waters around the island, using the snorkeling equipment included FREE for each during your stay.

 

 

 

Getting to Heron Island and the Great Barrier Reef takes just a little bit of planning, but it’s well worth the effort. The nearest urban centre and commercial airport is located 72kms from Heron Island in Gladstone. Regular flights to Gladstone are available via Brisbane with either Qantas or Virgin Australia.

Once in Gladstone, you have a choice of three transfer options to get to Heron Island itself.

Boat from $75

Seaplane

Helicopter from $449 one-way on a return ticket

Country: