Heron Reef

Heron Island was named after the herons that inhabit the area, and it has been a protected sanctuary within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park since the 1940s.

The island itself offers a unique blend of natural beauty and human presence. It has served various purposes over the years, including as a research station for marine scientists and a haven for eco-tourism.

Coral species, such as brain corals, staghorn corals, and gorgonian sea fans, create a stunning backdrop for encounters with tropical fish like clownfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, and wrasses.

The island’s reef are also home to larger marine creatures, including sea turtles, reef sharks, rays, and occasional visitors such as manta rays and whales during migration seasons.

Besides its marine attractions, Heron Reef provides nesting sites for various seabird species, and it plays a significant role in the conservation efforts for turtles, with opportunities to witness nesting and hatching events.


The Gooreng Gooreng, Gurang, Bailai and Taribelang Bunda peoples are the traditional custodians of the Sea Country around the reefs we visit. Evidence of Great Barrier Reef Sea Country connections dates to more than 60,000 years. When you visit the Southern Great Barrier Reef, consider that you’re travelling through Sea Country that has spiritual importance.