Perfect for nature lovers, Heron Island is a coral cay and part of the infamous Great Barrier Reef, where the marine life is among the most diverse and richest in the world.
A natural habitat for Green and Loggerhead turtles, witness the hatchings on the beach at Heron Island. Eggs are laid between the months of November to March, with hatchlings making their way to the water from January all the way to early June - a unique Queensland experience you won’t forget.
Incredible marine sights
With part of the island forming the Capricornia Cays National Park Heron Island also has a permanent ranger’s station to monitor the delicate ecosystem of the island and surrounding marine world. The island is densely populated with pisonia trees and is located on the western edge of Heron Reef, forming an area of immense biodiversity with over 900 species of fish and three quarters of the coral species that are found on the Great Barrier Reef.
The wreck of the HMAS Protector was towed there in 1945 to create a snorkelling and dive site. As such Heron Island is an idyllic base for snorkelling and diving enthusiasts. Heron Island hotels make this a fantastic staging post to explore the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, bringing you close to a multitude of marine wildlife swimming right by your goggles. Boat tours leave the island daily and will ferry you to dive sites and amazing views of the reef.
Things to do on Heron Island
For such a tiny atoll you’ll be surprised how much there is to do. Turtle watching will provide fascinating insights into the natural world and local environment. Night diving with nightsticks and torches is also an extremely popular activity although this experience is open to experienced divers only. On land however, at night the stars come out and you’ll be awestruck gazing at the wonders of the cosmos.
Perhaps it’s your first time diving or perhaps you need to brush up on your skills; there are snorkelling lessons in swimming pools plus beginners and refreshers courses for those new to the sport or recently returning to it.
Why not charter a boat out to visit a variety of different reefs such as Broom Field Reef or Sykes Reef? There are also snorkel tours to Heron and Wistari Reefs. On Heron Island why not have your own guide so you can fully appreciate the natural environment, on land or sea. Guides will take you on reef walks and will explain how land ecology works. There are wildlife presentations available and children are encouraged to become junior rangers. Kayaking is also extremely popular or you try a semi-submarine coral viewing cruise.
There is an abundance of wildlife to be observed on Heron Island; amazing birdlife including black noddies, mutton birds, reef herons and shearwaters. Keep your eyes peeled for humpback whales during migration season.
Heron Island holidays are a castaway experience like no other. One trip to this wonderful island and you’ll be in love with the big blue forever.