The Wildiaries Experience

Great Barrier Reef Family Discovery (5 days, 4 nights)


  • 'School Holiday Departure' 21 - 25 September 2016


SCHOOL HOLIDAY discovery tour to Heron Island with the Sea Turtle Foundation. Join STF’s founder Tim Harvey for an unforgettable experience for you and your kids on the Great Barrier Reef. 

You’ll never forget your first turtle encounter

Your guide is director of the Sea Turtle Foundation and for 3 years, ran the research station on Heron Island. When Tim is not leading tours and teaching kids about nature and conservation, he's more or less doing the same thing! For Tim this is his life, his sole ambition and on this tour, he will be your private mentor.     

Availability (Months)



  • A visit to a privately-owned turtle rehabilitation centre meeting some of the turtle guests up close*.
  • Three nights on Heron Island, one of the world's most spectacular coral reef destinations. 
  • Personal guiding, talks and snorkelling trips with Tim Harvey.  


Heron Island (via Gladstone, Queensland)


Day 1 

Arrive in Gladstone before lunch-time and you are met by your guide at the airport before being transferred to your accommodation for the evening. Dinner at own expense. 

Day 2 (B)  

After a continental breakfast, you will be picked up at 8am from your accommodation and transferred to Gladstone Marina for your boat trip to Quoin Island, where you will visit the turtle rehabilitation centre*, where turtles are routinely fed and health-checked before being prepared for return to the wild. You will also have a chance to get up close to the whiptail wallabies that make the island their home.   At midday, you will be transferred back to Gladstone Marina and checked in to join the ferry to Heron Island. The ferry departs at about 2pm and we expect to be at the island around 4 o’clock. As you pull up at the wharf on Heron, you’ll be immediately struck by how small the island is and the bounty of life in the water around the boat. 

Day 3-4 (B)  Before breakfast we will take a morning walk to explore the island looking at the seabirds and wildlife that make Heron Island their home - first thing in the morning the rays and sharks cruise the shallow waters and seabirds are most active. There is loads to see and do. After breakfast we usually take a snorkelling session at the wharf, as it is here where many of the larger animals gather: the rays, sharks, turtles and sometimes the giant Queensland Groper. After lunch you can decide whether to take one of the daily boat trips to the outer reef. Late afternoon we rejoin for another session exploring the island's coral reef. Depending on tides, there's the chance to swim or walk out to the reef. Light presentation in the evening about reef ecology and turtles. Overnight at Heron Island resort.  

Day 5 (B)  It's the last day on the island. Bags are packed and left outside your room to be picked up by the staff, leaving your before breakfast for a final explore. We meet early for another snorkelling session before settling bills and preparing for the journey home to Gladstone. The vessel leaves at 10am so we arrive in plenty of time for flights home. 

Flights to and from Gladstone are with Virgin Blue and Qantas via Sydney or Brisbane. 


*Occasionally there may not be turtles in rehabilitation. For the majority of the time they have turtles but it depends on whether there has been a particularly good period and no turtles have stranded. If this is the case, we reserve the right to alter the trip and instead, visit an alternative breeding sanctuary for rare and endangered species including the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat. 

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  • 1 night in Gladstone, transfers to and visit to rehabilitation centre or sanctuary.
  • 3 nights bed and breakfast at Heron Island resort. 
  • 1 snorkelling trip OR glass bottomed-boat trip per family member.
  • Private guiding for 5 days. 
  • Talks and presentations. 


From $750.00 * AUD

Price per person, based on family of 4 (2 ads + 2 children under 12) staying bed and breakfast in a turtle family room. Contact us via 'Ask for Details' (left) and we'll call you to discuss a quote. Prices vary slightly depending on room size, availability and family composition. Our specialists can advise you on your travel arrangements.  


  • Lunch, dinner and breakfast at Heron Is resort (The resort has a restaurant and bar snacks. Most of our guests prefer to eat on the go).
  • Environmental Management Charge (Queensland Parks and Wildlife), $6 per person per day (for guests 5 years or older) up to a maximum of $18. 
  • Flights to and from Gladstone.
  • Any items of a personal nature.
  • Anything else not listed in inclusions.

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