Queensland is the most tropical of the Australian territories and the last place I have chosen to explore is the island of Heron, so fascinating and seductive that the choice proved to be easier than expected.
Beaches of white sand, emerald and crystal clear waters, dense and luxuriant vegetation, right on the Coral barrier.
Reaching the island has been simple. An approximately fifty-minute flight connects Brisbane to Gladstone and from here a free shuttle bus takes you to the marina, where every morning a catamaran takes visitors to the island in about an hour and a half.
Heron is a coral atoll, a dot lost in the blue of the Pacific Ocean, right on the Tropic of Capricorn, where the Barrier Reef is not too far from the coast.
The only accommodation facility on the island is the Heron Island Resort, which occupies about a third of the atoll with various types of villas surrounded by lush greenery. What characterizes the structure is simplicity, the villas are built in perfect harmony with nature, all in wood, without television or wifi, not even a phone unless there is an emergency so there is only one in the reception - the lighting is dim in the evening so as not to disturb the animals, especially the birds.
Birds are indeed an integral part of life on the island, they are the real masters of the territory, but for some they could also represent a somewhat annoying experience. In fact, the island is home to an impressive amount of birds of various species, which differ according to the seasons. There are migratory, sedentary birds plus those that arrive on the island between September and October to reproduce.
The result is that each tree houses dozens of nests. There are also some species that nest on the ground in small hollows in logs or in the ground. The latter leave in the early morning, spend the day at sea looking for food and then return at dusk. When you walk back to your bungalow in the evening along the poorly lit paths, it is advisable to have a torch with you so as not to risk stepping on small chicks.
The guano covers part of the avenues and creates many anxieties. Walking along the paths under the trees is always a risk because sooner or later you will be hit.
Part of the island is occupied by a research center of the University of Queensland where researchers study marine life, including sharks, turtles and manta rays. Resort guests have the opportunity to make a short but interesting visit to this research station.
Those who choose the island of Heron must forget the unbridled luxury of other natural paradises, must forget the suite with whirlpool and sauna, the tourist village entertainment with music until late at night, in favor of a harmonious coexistence with nature, in full harmony with the fauna present in the area. A holiday of this type allows you to live in close contact with nature, but it is good to be prepared and informed.
The traveler who comes to this island is generally either a keen diver, a snorkeling lover or yet a keen bird watcher.
The island is part of the Barrier Reef and its waters are considered among the best for scuba diving being populated by thousands of different species of fish. You can explore stretches of sea of incredible beauty, but even a simple walk on the reef at low tide, discovering the many varieties of coral formations with bright colors is a unique and exciting experience.
The beach is covered by an almost blinding white sand which contrasts with the bright green of the luxuriant vegetation that covers the whole island.
I would recommend it to all nature and sea lovers.
SPECTACULAR WATERS AT HERON ISLAND