Heron Island is a true coral cay, set right on the Great Barrier Reef. As a consequence of this, the waters just off the island teem with marine life and offer superb swimming, snorkelling and diving.
The island lies at the southern end of the reef, some 72km northeast of Gladstone. Transfers to the island are generally by launch or helicopter from Gladstone.
This small island is a national park, housing only a low-rise resort and a marine research centre. There are no daytrippers on Heron Island, so visitors to the resort have the place all to themselves.
Activities include island and reef walks, bird watching, turtle watching (in season) and a range of reef tours including dives, glass bottomed boat tours and scenic helicopter flights.
All meals are included in the tariff at the resort and for some real pampering, Aqua Soul Spa is the place to go. The resort runs an innovative Junior Ranger program for children aged 7 and over, which introduces them to the ecology of the area. In turtle nesting season, the kids can even help with turtle monitoring programs.