The Wildiaries Experience

Heron Island: Nature's Wonderland - Small Group Tour


  • 'Escape the Winter' 7 Aug - 12 Aug 2016
  • 'Nesting Season Special' 9 Oct - 14 Oct 2016


Docile Lemon Sharks, stingrays and guitarfish cruise by. Black Noddies chatter overhead and turtles nest here, one of the best turtle-watching places in the world.

When you land at Heron, you will be amazed. This is absolutely what the Great Barrier Reef is about. While you go about your day, the permanent residents do too, and all about you is alive. There is no better way to enjoy it than with a self-proclaimed sea-turtle fanatic Tim Harvey (founding director of the Sea Turtle Foundation).

Tim used to manage the research station. Whether alone or with kids, the experience you can have, what you learn, the passion you can share with someone so connected, will make all the difference to your trip.

Availability (Months)



  • A visit to a privately-owned turtle rehabilitation centre meeting some of the turtle guests up close*.
  • Four nights on Heron Island, one of the world's most spectacular coral reef destinations. 
  • Personal guiding, talks and snorkelling trips with Tim Harvey, Sea Turtle Foundation (STF) founder
  • Support the work of the Sea Turtle Foundation
  • Watch turtles nesting at night (Nov-Mar) or turtle young hatching (Jan-Jun). At all other times of year, turtles are abundant in the waters around the island.
  • Snorkel and swim in some of Jacque Cousteau’s favourite haunts


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 3-5 (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 6 (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. 

NOTE, the resort's meal prices may change. As of 15 Mar 2015 they were approximately $20 per adult lunch and $30 per adult dinner. Kids' meals between $10-14 per meal. Snorkelling boat trips are $35 for children and $55 for adults. There is diving and equipment hire, though we'd encourage you to bring your own mask, snorkel and fins. The island is far enough offshore that stingers should not be a problem but it may be worth wearing a thin wetsuit if you are prone to getting cold.    

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.
  • 4 nights bed and breakfast at Heron Island resort. 
  • Private guiding for 5 full days. 
  • Talks and presentations. 


From $3095.00 * AUD

Per person, twin share, in a standard turtle room.

Price is based on 2 adults. Note, kids under 12 stay and eat free at Heron Island. Contact us if you would like us to quote on family rates.  


  • Lunch and dinner at Heron Is resort (the resort has a restaurant and bar snacks. Most of our guests prefer to eat on the go but a la carte can be arranged on request).
  • 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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