Turtle hatchlings racing to the Great Barrier Reef. Photos by @scottels.
Turtle hatchlings racing to the Great Barrier Reef. Photos by @scottels.

If you’re lucky enough to visit the island between December and February, make sure you’re on the beach at sunset. Baby turtles wait under the sand for the temperature to drop as a signal to make a break for the ocean.

Seeing these little turtles race down the beach is a glorious animal encounter you MUST tick off your bucket list! To see the mumma turtles coming up the beach to nest, plan a moonlight vigil or an early wake-up time at sunrise from November to January. Trust us: It’s totally worth your time, luck and patience.



Heron Island is blessed with some of the best dive sites on the Great Barrier Reef – if not the world – with sites accessible within a very short boat ride. This island was made for diving holidays. You can be out exploring the reef up to three times a day and, with the right qualifications and conditions, jump back in for a night dive.

If you’ve never dived before, do an introductory dive while you’re here. Our intro dive was on the famous Heron Bommie Dive Site and we saw a mantra ray hanging out at a cleaning station on our very first dive!


Will be spent in the following ways:

  • Snorkelling right off the beach
  • Reef walking at low tide to spot clownfish and other reef fish
  • Spotting reef sharks and rays at the jetty
  • Naps on the beach
  • Sipping cocktails by the pool
  • All of the above


Sunrise on Heron Island. Photo by @scottels
Sunrise on Heron Island. Photo by @scottels


If you haven’t already, do yourself a favour and get up pre-dawn to make your way down to the beach for sunrise. It is a memory you need in your life – trust us.

If you’re on the island during Turtle Season, keep an eye out for turtles at this time.

Mumma turtle returning to the Great Barrier Reef after nesting. Photo by @scottels.
Mumma turtle returning to the Great Barrier Reef after nesting. Photo by @scottels.

Today is the day to take advantage of the great complimentary activities Heron Island has on offer, like the guided reef walk and talks.

The must-do is the guided tour of the Research Station. You’ll hear about the interesting research projects happening on the island and have the chance to ask questions of the visiting scientists.


Squeeze in one more early morning snorkel, then sit back and practice holding onto that nice holiday feeling as the boat sends you home.

Leaving Heron Island. Photo by @scottels via IG
Leaving Heron Island. Photo by @scottels.