Heron Island is situated on the Southern side of the great barrier reef. It is located in Queensland, Australia. Many visitors visit Heron Island during the summer months. It is a fantastic island in Australia.
Heron Island is a true coral cay. Heron island has many facilities, such as accommodation options, an on-site restaurant, a beachside room, a beach house, a turtle family room, resort facilities, a reef family room, reef sharks, a private beach, and related services.
Heron island is full of natural beauty. You will see many amazing panoramic reef views on Heron island. You will get more facilities like Baillie’s bar, a day spa, a swimming pool, spacious suites, Gladstone marina parkland, and a shearwater restaurant.
Heron Island is also very rich in vegetation, marine life and wildlife. Many different species of plants, animals, birds, and fishes are found on this island. Some of them are tropical fish, manta rays, and so on.
1. History of Heron Island
Heron island was discovered in the year 1843 on January 12. It was found by a Royal Navy ship. Captain Francis Blackwood commanded that ship. They were exploring the Great barrier reef, so they found a new island on the eastern side.
The name Heron island is given by Lieutenant Charles Bampfield Yule. At that time, there were no inhabitants, and people started living there in the early 20th century. At that time, the turtles’ cannery was introduced to get profit from the green turtles.
2. Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef comprises 900 individual islands and 2900 individual reefs. It covers an area of 133,000 sq. miles. It is the largest coral reef system in Australia. Heron island is one of the islands present in the Great barrier reef.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is the protecting unit of this place. This team limits human activities and takes care of environmental factors. The biodiversity of this place is well known. It gives shelter to many endangered species.
You will find 6 main species of turtles, 15 species of seagrass, 5,000 species of mollusc, 22 species of sea birds, 125 species of large fishes, 9 species of sea horses,32 species of shorebirds, 7 species of frogs, 2,195 species of plants.
3. Heron Island Resort
Heron island resort is situated at the northwestern corner of the island. This resort gives many facilities to the visitors. The responsibility of Heron Island resort is given to The Aldesta Group. Heron island resort is counted among the most prominent alternatives in Australia.
At a time, approx 300 people can stay in Heron Island resort along with 100 staff members. The room size is very big, and it also has swimming pool facilities. This resort has a turtle room and a reef room.
From the Heron Island resort, there is easy access to many nearby tourist spots. The check-out and check-in timings of this resort are fixed.
4. Heron Island Research Station
Heron Island research station is situated at the southwest corner of the island. This research station was founded by the University of Queensland, Australia, in 1950. The research is conducted on coral reef ecology.
In the year 2007, this research station caught fire. No one was harmed in that fire, but the building and its belonging were lost. In the year 2008, all things are constructed again. They made new laboratories, hostels, dark rooms, a library, aquaria decks, and computer rooms.
5. Heron Island National Park
Heron Island has a national park, and it is located on the eastern side of the island. The name of this national park is Capricornia Cays, National Park. This national park was established in the year 1994.
It covers an area of 0.7 sq. km. The managing authority of this national park is Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. This national park is well known for its biological diversity. Many species of birds and animals are found in this national park.
You will also see loggerhead turtles in this national park, an endangered species. The visitors can enjoy many activities such as walking, camping, hiking, diving, boating, snorkeling, and swimming.
6. Heron Island Harbour
Heron island harbor is not a natural harbor. It is an artificial one. The water of the harbor is very calm and clear. You can see a lot of boats at the Heron Island harbor. This harbor is very rich in marine life.
You will encounter many different species of birds and water animals. You will encounter common animals’ reef, sharks, eagles, turtles, lionfish and many more. You will see many boats.
You will have a walk in the harbor. You will enjoy walking on the sand where the waves of the oceans touch your feet. This amazing feeling makes you calm and relieves all your stress.
7. Heron Island Utilities
Heron Island has many utilities. There are many new technologies which run on this island. In earlier times, there was a shortage of freshwater supply as the ocean’s water was so much salt that water was not so useful for many other purposes.
To overcome this issue, reverse osmosis technology was introduced to this place, and a desalination plant was started here. After this, many new things are created to upgrade the island and make it full of modern technologies.
There are many desalination plants, solar panels, proper electricity supply, diesel generators, and many more.
8. Ecology of Heron Island
Heron island is very rich in ecology. It has many different species of plants, flocks of birds, and animals. Especially at the southern end, there is a very big dense forest. Along with this, many different species of underwater plants and marine life exist.
This wildlife helps the soil as well in many ways. One of them is the birds digging their nesting burrows which stops the formation of a hard layer of soil over the surface. This hard layer makes the soil infertile. Leaches help in the growth of plants and allow plants to have nitrogen fixation.
We will discuss the complete detail of flora and fauna of Heron Island.
There are many different species of plants found on this island. The area for the plants is divided according to their habitats, as on the island’s northern side, you will see the shrubland. There is an open forest as well. It contains herbs, shrubs, trees, climbers, and creepers.
The eastern and northern sides of the forests are easily accessible. Some of the plant species found on this island are Celtis Paniculata, Pisonia Grandis, Melanthera Biflora, Ficus Opposite, Suriana Maritima, Euphorbia Cyathophora, Stenotaphrum Micranthum, Scaevola Taccada, and Pipturus Argenteus.
Heron island is very rich in fauna also. It has an Important Bird Area. You will encounter many birds in this area. You will see many seabirds as well. Along with birds, you will see beautiful marine life and many invertebrates.
Some of the animals and birds species found on this island are marine snails, Polynesian rats, humpback whales, sea turtles, hawksbill sea turtles, white-bellied sea eagles, white-necked herons, bar-shouldered doves, eastern reef regret, scared kingfisher, buff banded rail, silver gull, and black-faced cuckoo shrike.
9. Geology of Heron Island
The geology of this island is unique. The Heron reef is made up of a lagoonal platform reef. This area is developed due to high tidal flow, which has a higher water turnover rate.
This is a high-energy environment, with no obstruction in the ocean’s accession. According to some earlier research, the formation of this reef started in the Holocene period, and the rest development was done in the Pleistocene period.
10. Development of Society and Culture on Heron Island
Heron island is situated on the bank of the ocean. Europeans gave the name of this island in the year 1843. In 1920, Denmark’s Captain took to land on lease and built a resort on that land.
After the second world war, the world leader-initiated research programs. So, many researchers, scientists, and students come to the island and start their research on the land of Heron Island. In 1943, a national park was built on the island’s land.
In the 1950s, many geologists visited this place and started their research about the nature and environment of the island. In the early 2000s, the buildings caught fire, and all the things got destroyed in the fire. Then the managing authority rebuilds them and develops the society and culture again on Heron Island.
11. Amazing Things to do on Heron Island
There are many amazing activities which visitors can enjoy on Heron Island. Visitors can explore the Heron Island resort, shipwrecks, beaches, oceans, wildlife, the water’s edge, and many more.
It is an amazing island, so you can enjoy fun activities like diving, snorkeling, hiking, walking, swimming, kayaking, discovery walks, canoeing, biking, having beach parties, watching the sunset and sunrise, and so on.
The hotels and resorts also provide very good services to enjoy your time there. Some hotels and lounge-like Pandanus lounge treat their real guests very nicely. They provide them with facilities such as a spa, swimming pool, beach parties, and many more. But the check-in and check-out times of these hotels are fixed.
We will talk about the following activities in detail.
11.01. Turtle Walk
Turtle Walk is a very amazing walk. When you reach the walk, you must register at the Information Centre. You will enjoy this walk more in the evening so go on this walk in the evening.
You will spot many turtles on the shore of the ocean. They are doing many activities. Some walk on the sand, and some dig holes in the sand. If you visit here during the nesting season of turtles, you will see their eggs in their holes.
You can also capture their photos but remember you are not allowed to disturb or harm them. You will enjoy the walk, and this will be a new experience to share the ocean’s shore with turtles.
11.02. Explore The Shipwreck
Shipwreck is a very fantastic activity which many visitors like. It is situated just off the beach. The timing for enjoying snorkeling is restricted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is because in the daytime there are many boats which cause boat traffic jams.
Many visitors love to enjoy it during sunrise and some during sunset. But the experiences for both times are different. At the time of light, the water is very calm and clear. You will spot many turtles and flocks of birds flying above your head.
At the time of sunset, the water is not calm, and it is also not so clear. But you will encounter many water animals like reef sharks and turtles. You can enjoy this activity on any particular day of the week, like Su mo tu.
11.03. North Beach and Shark Bay
North Beach and Shark Bay is the beautiful place to explore. You will see many different species of fish on this beach and bay. You can enjoy many watersports on this beach. This beach is the less crowded place on Heron Island.
Visitors who want to relax and enjoy their vacation by looking at the fishes and waves of the ocean can visit here. It is the perfect place for them. There is also a walking path so you can enjoy walking on the sand along with the ocean’s waves.
11.04. I-Spy Boat
Along with diving, snorkeling and walking, you can enjoy other activities on Heron Island. There are some submersible boats. So, you can watch all the activities of wildlife and vegetation underwater.
You have to register yourself and pay the charges for the tour. It is an hour-long tour. You will encounter many different species of fish, turtles, and plants underwater.
11.05. Snorkel Boat Tour
There are many sites for snorkeling and diving on Heron Island, Australia. There are more than 20 sites which you can explore. So, it isn’t easy to explore them by snorkeling and diving. To overcome that, there are boat tour facilities.
So, you can go on a boat tour to explore all those sites. You can watch marine life during these boat tours. You can also enjoy music during this tour, so ear plugs in your earphones.
11.06. Enjoy The Bird Walk
People think that there is a known number of birds on the island. So to prove yourself wrong, just on a bird walk on this island. During this walk, you will be known there are thousands of birds which you will discover.
Visitors are not allowed to shoot a video recording with the drone because it may harm the birds. There are many birds, so to protect them, no drone decision was taken.
11.07. Reef Discovery Walk
The reef discovery walk is a short walk which takes around 1-2 hours to complete. This walk will teach you about the reef, small sea creatures, and famous coral. If you are interested in sea creatures and marine life, then surely go on this walk.
You can go on this walk on any day of the week, like su mo tu. It is open to all every day. Do not forget to take your reef shoes with you on this walk.
11.08. Morning Sunrise Scenes
The best thing to enjoy on this island is the view of the sunrise. This will make you calm and brings positivity to you. The best sunrise scene is viewed from Shark Bay and North beach.
Take accommodation near these places, so you can easily watch the sunrise in the morning. You can also see many turtles walking on turtle tracks. This is one of the best memories of this island.
You can capture photos of sunrise from the Old Jetty. Many professional photographers capture pictures of the light from there only.
11.09. Watch The Sunset
The sunset on Heron Island looks as beautiful as the sunrise. You will watch peacefully that the sun is going down the wreck. After visiting for the whole day, you will get tired, and in the evening, when you see the sunset, you will feel very relaxed.
You can also capture pictures of the sunset from the Old Jetty. This is the favorite spot of photographers on Heron Island. After the evening, you can also enjoy some time on the beach at night. Just take your drinks and spend some time only with yourself.
11.10. Game of Pool
If you are interested in a night out and hanging out, this is your best plan. Many bars offer the game of pool so you can enjoy your night there with your friends.
Many people love to make such memories with their friends and enjoy every moment of their vacation. So, this could be a great idea for you if you are interested in late-night parties and games with your friends.
11.11. Paddle Boarding Tour
A paddleboarding tour is a fun activity you can enjoy on this island. Don’t you think this is very interesting when you float in the water and watch all the activities happening underwater?
This is very exciting, so you have to book a paddle boat for yourself, and you can enjoy your tour. Children like this activity more as they watch all these television programs.
So, when they get a chance to do so. They can see many sea creatures and enjoy their activities.
11.12. Wilson Island
Wilson island is known as the sister island of Heron island. This newly opened island is situated at a distance of 15 km from Heron island. Now, this island can handle only a limited amount of visitors.
This island has a total of nine reef safari tents. This island also has some romantic spots, so it is added to the romantic gateway of Australia.
Before making your plans remember this island remains closed from February to April. It is because that is the breeding season of birds.
12. Accommodation Facilities on Heron Island
The accommodation facilities of Heron Island are awesome. There are many hotels and resorts which provide good service to their consumers. Before visiting the place, you should book a hotel for yourself. You can do it on any day of the week, like Sun, mon tue. The booking holdings in near Christmas day.
Some verified guests of the resort or hotel can easily check in and out of the hotel and spa. These resorts and hotels give some facilities to the visitors, such as air conditioning rooms and different room types; the room size is big, outdoor areas for sports activities, day spa facilities, extra beds, a swimming pool, and a beach.
The food provided by this resort and hotels is also awesome. The dinner and la carte menus have many famous dishes of Heron Island.
We have discussed Heron Island in detail. It is a famous island located in Australia. It is a part of the Great Barrier Reef. You can visit this place along with your family and friends. There are many online travel agencies as well that plan a trip to the island.
We have described the various facilities which Heron Island provides to visitors. If you want to reach here by air, then the nearby airport is Gladstone airport.
Heron island is very rich in natural beauty. The island is near the ocean, so visitors can enjoy the beautiful ocean view. The visitors can enjoy the watersports like diving. They can explore turtle rooms, heron reef rooms, swimming pool, private beach, and boat tour.
Visitors enjoy many activities on Heron Island. Heron Island provides good accommodation facilities to visitors. So, the visitors also like the hotel and resort facilities here. Many animals, birds and fishes take shelter on Heron Island.
There is an information center on the island. This helps the visitors to know the several facilities of the island. They will come to know the famous places which they can explore.