Just 16 hectares in size, Heron Island is home to the University of Queensland Heron Island Research Station, which is famous for coral reef research and training students in marine science. Heron is the only island in the country with two different time zones, with the resort side of the island an hour ahead of the research side. Heron Island is for resort guests only, so you can lie on the white sand or take a dip in the warm blue water with nothing but calm, perfect ocean in every direction. And no swarms of tourists!
Heron Island is right on the Great Barrier Reef, which has over 1,500 species of tropical fish, and there are 20 diving and snorkelling sites only a five to 15 minute boat ride away. The island’s most famous dive site is Heron Bommie, which French explorer Jacques Cousteau listed as one of his top 10 dive sites of all time. Down here, you’ll find six large coral-covered boulders and all kinds of marine life from manta rays to wobbegongs. For more amazing coral views, visit one of the other dive sites too, like Coral Cascades or Turtle Gully.
Need more activities? Get your feet wet and learn all about the ecology of the reef during a guided low-tide reef walk. Kayak around Heron Island and see the reef from that point of view. Drop into Shearwaters Restaurant and Baillie’s Bar to have a sumptuous meal or relax with a cool drink. If you’re up for a challenge, take part in a trivia night and battle it out with other resort guests.
You can get to Heron Island from Gladstone by boat, helicopter or seaplane, so book your Heron Island accommodation and a flight to Gladstone with us. You’ll wake up on the doorstep of one of the seven wonders of the natural world: the Great Barrier Reef.
Hotels in Heron Island start at AU$430 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.