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Heron Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia)

An aerial view of Heron Island
Source by
Jon Connell on Flickr

In Australia, The Great Barrier Reef is the most extensive coral reef system on earth and has the largest structure made from only living organisms (tiny coral polyps). Heron Island is unique since it’s a real coral cay part of the Great Reef that offers accommodation. Diving and snorkeling on the reef are the perfect water sports to try. The turquoise waters, marine wildlife, and shining white sandy beaches are waiting for you!

What is The Great Barrier Reef?

The Great Barrier Reef is a series of connecting reefs and islands that cover over 2000 km in the waters. You’ll find three types of islands: continental islands, sandy islands, and coral cays.

The Great Barrier Reef looks apparently normal from ground level: the sea has a blue color and the sand of the islands is creamy white. The real magic happens when you go up or down!!

From the air on a helicopter, you can admire the real extent and the variety of colors of the Great Barrier Reef. Within the purity of the turquoise waters, you’ll see how a reef stretches away after another reef and the white coral cays are surrounded by reefs.

Source by Jon Connell on Flickr

A variety of corals form an outcrop

Source by  Toby Hudson – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Heron Island

This island is a beautiful coral bay found in Queensland’s Southern Great Barrier Reef. This Island has the reputation of having the best diving on the whole reef. And this for sure attracts people worldwide.

Heron Island was given that name because of the herons which are popular birds that live in the area.

Blue fish and coral near the reef

Coral and fish at a reef near the island
Source by
 NASA Earth Right Now on Flickr

The Best Things to Do

Apart from that helicopter ride, snorkeling and diving on the reef are activities that you can’t miss. Indeed, this is a marine park, and you can do diving and snorkeling among the reefs around the island.

All you need is your sense of sight to experience a new magical world!!

We advise that you stay close to the shallow water so that you can see the colors clearly. The deep water makes difficult to distinguish between the red and green wavelengths and give everything a strong blue instead.

Besides, you can visit the Heron Island research station. It’s one of the most important coral reef research stations around the world that started in 1951. Also, you can afford to be a guest of the Heron Island Resort, you won’t regret it. This is the only accommodation available on the island.

An aerial view of the island
Source by
Nogwater on Flickr

Marine Life

Not all the fun on Heron Island is limited to water sports because it’s also an extraordinary place for animal life especially marine life. Indeed, Some of the characteristic life forms of the coral are Colorful fish, green turtle nesting and hatching on the beach, and loggerheads.

On top of that, if you go at the top of the island, you can have the opportunity of swimming with some small and friendly sharks of the reef. It’s not necessary that you go underwater to appreciate marine wildlife. You can come across some migrating humpback whales when you come back by boat from a nearby island. You can even hear their “chants” in the deep waters.  

A green turtle just hatched on the hand of someone

A green turtle that was just hatched
Source by
Manuel Heinrich Emha – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5

How can you get to Heron Island?

You can get to Heron Island by ferry or helicopter transfer from Gladstone. However, the ferry is limited to guests of the Heron Island Resort which offers all food and some exclusive trips and activities. If you are not planning to stay on the island, you can visit the island by charter boat.

A Blackfish Creek
Source by
Robert Johnson on Flickr

The Best Moment To Visit

Bear in mind that in January and February are the perfect moment to see turtles while in September it’s more likely to see migrating whales.

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