Snorkelling off Heron Island Snorkelling off Heron Island – Image courtesy of heronislandaustralia.com

Heron Island Honeymoon Guide

Discover a true coral cay – Heron Island is ringed by a gorgeous white-sand beach and surrounded by an endless coral garden teeming with marine life.

Stroll along the powder-white sand and pick your own secluded spot to sunbathe and swim or snorkel among colourful reef fish in the warm turquoise waters of the South Pacific.

Located on the Great Barrier Reef, Heron Island is world famous for its scuba diving and snorkelling with more than 20 dive sites available – half of which are only 15 minutes from the beach.


Diving Heron Isand

What to do and see on Heron Island

In the waters around the quiet and unassuming coral cay of Heron Island, on Australia’s spectacular Great Barrier Reef, lie some of the best and most accessible diving spots in the world.

With more than 20 true dive sites, most of them less than 15 minutes from Heron Island Resort, the waters around Heron Island teem with exotic tropical fish and lush coral gardens.

Watch green and loggerhead turtles during the nesting season between January and March and follow trails through dense pisonia forests and groves of pandanus to see thousands of noddy terns and shearwater mutton birds.

Experience the thrill of diving alongside green and loggerhead turtles, majestic manta rays, sea snakes and clown fish.

Explore stunning reefs of gorgonia, tabletop and fan coral as schools of black-tipped fusilier drummer and yellowtail fish swim around and above you in the warm, crystal clear water.

Glide around scattered coral bommies with overhangs, swim-throughs and amazing natural grottos. Whatever your skill level, there’s much to see at Heron.

Coral type – Anemone, colourful nudibranchs, gorgonia, fan, staghorn and branching coral.

Marine life – Green and loggerhead turtles, black- and white-tipped reef sharks, black-tipped fusilier and yellowtail, crayfish, jacks, barracuda, strawberry hussars, moray eels, eagle rays, snakes and mantas.

Reef type – Bommies, honeycomb caves, gullies, swim-throughs and grottos.

Type of dives – Reef dives, drift dives, caves, adventure and night dives.

Water temperature – 26°C (78°F) in summer (November to February); 21°C (69°F) in winter (March to October).

Visibility – Up to 60m; best during July to September.

Suit – 3mm full-length wetsuit in summer; 5mm full-length wetsuit in winter.

Water entry – From dive boats and buoyed dive sites– a stable platform-style boat with shaded canopy.

Dive shop – Fully serviced dive shop (PADI/NAUI qualified).

Dive courses – Full range of PADI dive courses available from beginner to advanced level.

Equipment – Quality dive equipment is available, including scuba tanks, weights, belts, mask and flippers.

Caution – Watch out for poisonous box jellyfish from October to May.

Tip: Sea water is clearest an hour or so before high tide. Visibility at high tide can be 30m but at low tide can drop to 6m.


Top dive attractions at Heron Island, include…

Walts Bommie – A flat sandy bottom surrounding a series of scattered bommies with colourful nudibranchs. Attracts green and loggerhead turtles and black- and white-tipped reef sharks.

Heron Bommie – The drift dive from Pams Point to Heron Bommie (just two minutes from the harbour) is a spectacular feast of marine life including schooling jacks, barracuda, strawberry hussars, moray eels, sharks, eagle rays and mantas.

Other activities Take a guided walk to spot Black Noddy Terns and Wedge-Tailed Shearwaters flittering through the island’s Pisona forests and at night watch female turtles nesting or new hatchlings race to the ocean.

Heron Island is renowned for its abundance of birdlife and is a major breeding and nesting sanctuary for a variety of birds – nests are often found in the middle of a trail.

You can also choose to simply laze by the pool and in the evening enjoy live entertainment, dancing or a quiet drink in the bar or by the pool.


Best time to dive Heron Island

All year, but best between April and September. Heron has year-round sunshine, with an average temperature of 27°C (80°F).


Where to stay

Relax at the Voyages Heron Island resort, offering a range of creature comforts that includes rejuvenating treatments at the Aqua Soul Spa.

Heron Isand  ResortHeron Island Resort
Location: Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef
Rating: 4-star
Ave nightly rate: AUD402 per room
Description: Located on the World-Heritage-listed Heron Island, this resort offers free snorkeling lessons in the outdoor pool and free guided reef walks. Guests can use non-motorized water sports equipment free of charge. Rooms at the Heron Island Resort feature bright living areas, which open onto balconies with garden or sea views. Each has a fridge and tea/coffee-making facilities. All include beach towels and sun umbrellas. Resort Heron Island has a day spa offering massages and facials. The tour desk organizes a variety of diving and snorkeling tours around many Great Barrier Reef locations. Shearwater Restaurant offers buffet and menu options with views of the Coral Sea. Guests can sip cocktails on the outdoor terrace or relax in the Pandanus Lounge. Heron Island is just 89kms off the coast of Queensland and is accessible by boat and helicopter from Gladstone. The boat transportation takes approximately 2 hours. The resort runs a courtesy bus to pick guests up from the airport. Additional charges apply for transportation from Gladstone to Heron Island.


Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about resort accommodation on Heron Island at TripAdvisor.


Getting to Heron Island

Heron Island is located around 80km (50mi) northeast off the coast of Gladstone and 15km (9.3mi) from nearby Wilson Island – a 40-minute boat ride.

Gladstone is 534km north of Brisbane and 1,183km south of Cairns.

The most convenient route to Heron Island is by air to Gladstone Airport (GLT), located about 6km (3.7mi) southwest of Gladstone, followed by 30-minute scenic flight in either a helicopter or seaplane from Gladstone Airport to Heron Island.

Alternatively, a courtesy coach departs from Gladstone Airport to Gladstone Marina to connect with the Heron Island launch service – a 2 hour voyage by high-speed catamaran.

Regular flights to Gladstone are available via Brisbane with either Qantas or Virgin Australia taking 1 hour 10 minutes.

More information on How to get to Brisbane


Index of places to honeymoon in Australia


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Latest update: Heron Island: 21 January, 2020


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