5 Reasons I’d Love to go Back to Heron Island

Heron island review

I’m not the only one who can’t Heron Island out of my head. I met several people there who were on repeat visits and I’d love to go back too. Here’s why:

1. Supreme natural setting

When you stay at Heron Island you’re literally living on a bird reserve with the sights and sounds of birds everywhere. It’s a desert island setting with white sand beaches and sea in ever-changing shades of blue as far as the eye can see.

Of course being stuck in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef means there’s as much wildlife underwater as there is in the skies and in the trees. The multi-coloured fishies show no fear when you snorkel by them and it’s a thrill to see turles swimming under the jetty and pulling themselves up the beach to lay their eggs during the turtle nesting season.

Heron island turtle nesting

 2. Plenty of free activities and learning opportunities

Free bird walks, reef walks and a tour of the research station will spark your curiosity about the Great Barrier Reef and Heron Island’s unique ecosystem and the trained guides will answer all your questions.

Once  you’ve hired your mask and flippers the gear snorkelling is free and for a few hours either side of high-tide you can be totally immersed by what you see below the ocean. If you’ve never snorkelled before or are nervous about it you can have a free lesson in the pool. We managed to drag ourselves out of the water and off the beach for a game of tennis too.

Heron island snorkelling

3. Free food and no cooking

The ultimate holiday for this busy mum involves no cooking and Heron Island delivers. Many packages include all your meals in the rate with big buffets for breakfast, lunch and supper so not only do you not have to cook or clean up but there’s something to please everyone in the family, even those fussy eaters. To mix things up a bit sometimes you can choose your evening meal from a set menu.

We ate out on the deck entertained by watching the buff banded rails try to break into the restaurant for scraps. Meals are much more enjoyable when you don’t have to jump up to turn off the oven, get the ketchup or wipe up a spill and you have more time to hang out at the beach when you don’t have to cook.

Heron Island beaches

4. Spa pampering

The spa is a quiet oasis with huge glass windows in the treatment room so you can still enjoy the nature but feel totally private. With the rest of the family busy snorkelling I snuck off for a facial and may or may not have drifted off as the therapist pampered me. I’m not quite sure what she did to me but I came out looking fresh faced and feeling as free as the birds.

heron island birds

5. Desert island experience in total comfort

There’s Wifi in the Heron Island bar but otherwise we were offline, off our computers and cut off from the real world in a good way. We had two rooms next door to each other on the first floor with a seaview from the balcony that put us on eye level with the nesting black noddy terns.

Thanks to the kettle and fridge in our room I could even make a nice cuppa and take it down the beach to drink while we looked for nesting turtles at sunrise or just sup it on the balcony while playing cards with the kids.

heron island sunrises

The wildlife changes throughout the year at Heron Island and there’s something new to see every day. Stripped of worries and obligations we got back to nature, enjoyed our family time and left feeling nourished in body and soul.

No wonder I can’t get Heron Island out of my head.

I was a guest of Heron Island Resort. Check out their fabulous photos, take a virtual tour or plan your visit on their website.

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  1. Charmaine February 1, 2013 at 11:54 am - Reply

    The staff the food thr.atmosphere the accomodation and its like ur in heaven.

  2. James Ward February 1, 2013 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    Nice post Annabel.
    I have so many reason apart from these 5 to visit this beautiful place. Its one of my best holiday destination.


    • Annabel Candy February 3, 2013 at 9:23 am - Reply

      Hi James,

      Great to meet another Heron Island lover :)

  3. Seana Smith February 4, 2013 at 10:51 am - Reply

    Sold!! I’m heading off to the airport now.

    Seriously, I am so going there… both my sisters have been. Sudden flash of inspiration, I should take my mum when she comes in the second half of the year. And maybe one incredibly well behaved child.

    • Annabel Candy February 9, 2013 at 7:55 am - Reply

      Hi Seana,

      I was following in the footsteps of my mum who loved it. Sounds like a great excuse for a visit and some bonding across the generations :)

  4. Richard Phillips February 9, 2013 at 3:37 am - Reply

    Its great, been fortunate to have visited a few times.

    Try Wilson Island – its the next island on from Heron.
    Its not cheap but you and a max of 5 other couples have the island completely to yourself.

    • Annabel Candy February 9, 2013 at 7:56 am - Reply

      Hi Richard,

      I would love to. I think they do some packages where you can experience both islands at the same time. Not sure if Wilson is suitable for kids though but it would be wonderful for an escape with my husband :)

      • Richard Phillips February 10, 2013 at 10:27 pm

        Hi Annabel, Wilson is for adults only.

        We’re from England and my wife asked for one of her favorite drinks – a ‘Pimms & lemonade’. The couple running the island did not have any so contacted Heron Island by radio and ask they deliver a bottle the next day.

        As promised the following day a boat was dispatched from Heron for the 40 minute sailing to Wilson with one bottle of Pimms. Very special!

  5. Aaron Schubert August 7, 2014 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    This looks like an incredible place – love the photos

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