There is perhaps no better place on the Great Barrier Reef to let nature take you by the hand and guide your over 50’s holiday. Life on Heron Island moves slower amongst the resident birdlife and nestling Green and Loggerhead turtles. The spectacular coral reef is a stone’s throw from your room at the Heron Island Resort and is home to diverse and extraordinary sea life. Sit and watch as manta rays, blacktip reef sharks, and striking clownfish pass by.
Heron Island is located off the Queensland coast, 72 km from Gladstone on the Southern Great Barrier Reef. The Heron Island Resort is set amongst an ancient Pisonia Forest and is surrounded by 24 hectares of coral reef. This is a place to switch off and take guided naturalist walks on the reef. It’s a place to witness turtle hatchlings make their first journey to the sea. It’s a place to reconnect with nature.
Heron Island is a National Marine Park situated in the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. This area is a significant nesting location for two threatened sea turtle species, the Green Turtle and the Loggerhead Turtle.
Our over 50’s tour to Heron Island is in the height of baby Green and Loggerhead Turtle hatching season. During hatching season, turtle hatchlings will erupt from their nests between 25 to 50 metres from shore and make their way to the reef, just beyond the water’s edge.
Heron Island is a true coral cay and is ribboned by white sands, crystal clear waters and acres of coral with beautifully coloured marine life. The emphasis is on enjoying natural beauty. Stress is replaced by adventure, and your days are filled with discovery.
Get back to nature and discover some iconic Queensland destinations. Take a guided nature walk discovering the flora and fauna of beautiful Carnarvon Gorge before getting up close with the turtles and even volunteer at the Rehab centre on Quoin Island. Enjoy bird watching tours and eco reef walks on a coral cay whilst staying on secluded Heron Island. Then venture out on a full Paradise tour to Bustard Head on the iconic LARC whilst staying in Agnes Waters.
It is not possible to make a day trip to Heron Island. And why would you? There is so much to see and do on a Heron Island holiday.
It’s easy to fill your days with the selection of complimentary Heron Island tours. Expert naturalist guides offer walks around the island. Options include bird watching, exploring dive sites and turtle nesting (to see both egg-laying and turtling hatchlings). At night there’s even guided stargazing.
Additional activities such as Heron Island snorkelling tours, semi-submersible boat tours and visits to the on-island University of Queensland Heron Island Research Station may incur a fee.
You can visit Heron Island at any time of year and depending on what attracts you most, you can time your visit with some pretty special events. The island is an important nesting location for two threatened sea turtle species, the Green Turtle and the Loggerhead Turtle. Nestling turtles start making their way ashore in November and hatchlings start emerging in early January. The early months of the year are also peak bird breeding season, with the island becoming a sanctuary for many sea birds.
Heron Island is a place that you have to visit to truly understand. Fun Over 50 Holidays offers a number of different Heron Island packages in our Queensland tours, including one very special Heron Island Eco Encounter. There’s something for everyone!
Getting to Heron Island does take a little extra effort, but it is well worth it. Most travellers fly into Gladstone Airport, but with a Fun Over 50 tour, you can travel on one of our luxury coaches from Brisbane.
Boat transfers aboard The Heron Islander depart five times a week from Gladstone Marina, the 72 km journey taking about two hours to reach the Heron Island Ferry Terminal. The open waters can be rough, so sea sickness medication is recommended (which you should take before boarding). Also, pack any necessities in your hand luggage as checked luggage will not be available until your room check-in at 3 pm.
Heron Island is home to a vast number of marine species, from manta rays and turtles to sharks and humpback whales. A guided reef walk reveals sea cucumbers, clams, and many other beautiful creatures in the shallows.
An astonishing array of birds live near Heron Island Resort, including Black Noddy and Wedge Tailed Shearwaters (Mutton Birds), can be spotted on Heron Island throughout January and February. An estimated 200,000 birds are said to inhabit the island during January’s peak breeding season.
As Heron Island is a two hour boat ride from the Gladstone Marina, we don’t recommend day trips as there’s so much to do and see on the island that can’t be fit into just one day. Our over 50’s tours stop in at Heron Island for at least 2-3 days to get the full experience.
All of our over 50’s tours for Heron Island leave from Brisbane, however, we do offer a pre and post tour extender which includes return economy class flights to Sydney as well as Melbourne or Adelaide. Ask our friendly team about flight options for our Heron Island tours.
The Heron Island Resort, where our guest stay during our tours, doesn’t have Wifi access in their rooms in order to provide our guests with a genuine opportunity to disconnect. All accommodations are intentionally devoid of televisions, telephones, and Wi-Fi access. You can access the internet at Baillie's Bar, Pandanus Lounge, Reception, and Shearwater Restaurant.
Our team is always happy to help if you have any questions about us or our tours. Fill out our form and we will get back to you soon.