We visited Heron Island in early December. We initially booked for 4 adults, but at the last minute added an additional adult without any problem at all. The rooms (Reef rooms) were very spacious, with a king bed and 2 day beds, and can easily fit 4 adults in the one room comfortably. The boat ride in from Gladstone was quite rough. Don't visit the toilet - I made that mistake and after that couldn't stop throwing up! The staff on the boat transfer were fantastic though, taking care of me and kept asking if I need anything. They even brought water and a cold towel for me. It was definitely not a good start and I was telling myself I'm not coming back here again! Boy, was I wrong. At the end of my 4 days here, I was planning my next trip back.
Arriving on Heron Island, we were ushered to a hall for a quick briefing and welcome cocktail (non-alcoholic). It was then straight to lunch. Then checked in to our rooms.
All the meals at the resort are buffet style, we only had one dinner where it was ala-carte 3 course meal. I have to say food is not the highlight of this resort. Buffet was average, and the alacarte dinner that I was looking forward to was a disappointment. We had a vegetarian in our group and I have to say the restaurant tried their best to provide vegetarian food, even cooked special vege meals. Service was brilliant, and the average quality of food is not for lack of trying. We know they tried their best.
Now for the island itself - if you love nature, this is the place to go. There were birds nesting on the trees and it is difficult to avoid being "blessed" by them when you walk underneath the trees. The resort provided complimentary guided walks - we joined the Reef Walk and the Bird Watching. Both were very enjoyable and educational - not to be missed. Snorkelling was at its best too here on Heron Island. Turtle watching again is a must - but please ensure that you attend the turtle watching briefing in the afternoon before you venture out at night. There are some do's and don't's and it is good to know. We went out to watch the turtle nesting every night that we were there.
There is a shop on the island that sells souvenirs (t-shirts, swimsuits, etc.), ice cream, as well as seasickness tablets! I know that coz I asked as I was dreading the boat ride back to the mainland. But it turns out I had nothing to worry about as it was a very smooth ride back.
The only negative I had about the island is that other than inside the rooms, smoking is permitted everywhere. That just spoils that nature atmosphere of the island. You would be walking around enjoying nature at its best when suddenly someone in front of you puff out cigarette smoke. It was really disgusting. Being a world heritage area and a national park, with all the birds nesting, etc. smoking should be banned. Or just allow a small designated area to smoke, and not as and when/where they like walking around smoking. We escaped the big cities to come visit nature at its best, only to be confronted by cigarette smoke! That is my only grief about this place.
Overall, this is a fantastic island to visit. I have been to several islands in Queensland and Heron Island is still my favourite.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Heron Island is a true coral cay right on the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Here you swim off the beach to an endless garden of coral. Activities include guided island and reef walks, semi-submersible cruises, bird watching and beach picnics, plus a Kids program. Voyages Heron Island is famous around the world for its scuba diving and snorkeling. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Heron Island Hotel Heron Island