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Heron Island Resort

4.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

A group of family and friends went on a luxury escapes trip to Herron. An amazing island for snorkelling/ diving and watching turtles, stingrays and birds. We missed the turtle breeding season so a little disappointed. Snorkelling off the beach was brilliant with so many fish and living coral. The staff on the island are amazing and make your stay memorable. The only downside are the quality of the rooms and the food. Breakfast and lunch are OK however dinner verges on the inedible and at $45 a head you expect a great meal or at least an ok one. Highly recommend the great escapes deal as this is not a low cost destination.

My friend and I just came home from 4 magic days on Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef. We had been to Heron once before 20 plus years ago and the difference was just amazing. Heron is an eco resort abundant with nature including birds and sea life. Our room was great but it was outside walking around the island we discovered the true beauty. Talcum powder white sand, crystal clear tropical waters in vibrant shades of blue and turquoise and baby reef sharks (harmless) swimming around our legs in the shallow waters. I was in island heaven and thought I’d have to go to the Maldives to experience this but it’s right here in Queensland and so accessible. We arrived by helicopter with Will the pilot telling us so much that we didn’t know about the local industries of Gladstone and then he pointed out turtles and dugongs did did his best to spot a whale for us to see as it’s the beginning of their migration now. He was just fabulous and I heartily recommend taking the 1/2 hour flight as it it’s well worth it. Kaitlyn and Britta were helpful staff on the island and happily ensured our comfort and sorted our challenges. Just lovely ladies. The music was top class and we danced and sang to the musician TJ Hollis’s brilliant repertoire. The food on the island is generous and delicious and Jack Motion the Barman ensured we had a crisp champagne at the end of a day in nature. The photos I took on the island are worthy of a National Geographic mag but you couldn’t take a bad photo of the beauty there. I give the experience 5 stars and we will definitely be back.

Heron Island is a holiday where you can do as much or as little as you want. Our room was clean and really quite lovely. A big shout out to the Marine Centre, all of them are lovely. We went on the Sunset cruise and we had a great time, maybe a bit too much champagne but we were all having a lovely time. There were only 8 passengers and the crew Matt & Rich were delightful. The main barman made a great cocktail but it is clear that the other stand in bar staff were not as well trained. The food was very good and we thought all of the staff were lovely and very engaging with guest. I agree the food is overpriced but they aim for the food to be gourmet hence the price. I-Spy was a lot of fun, we saw lots of turtles and more fish than you can imagine. At any time when you were on the jetty you could see Turtles, Stingrays, Eagle Rays, Sharks, fish, fish & more fish. Make sure you do the Reef walk, very interesting & lots of creatures to be found. The band playing in the evening were a pleasure to listen to, not so loud you couldn't chat. In all, a very nice holiday. Thanks Heron Island

The best part of our time on Heron Island was Rachael (nature guide), the marine and bird life. The rest of the staff seemed to be all backpackers on work visas, delightful people but no experience and obviously no training nor leadership. Customer service and maintenance left a lot to be desired. For example 1) a European couple traveling with children booked a family room, had to ask three times for the childrens' beds to be made up. (Reception asked the couple to keep checking their own room and report back.) 2) In our room a loose tap separated from the basin after 3 days. We showed the non-english speaking housekeeper, and expected a repair. But when we returned to the room at 5:30pm a letter told us move to another room. We went to reception saying we prefer to move the next day. The receptionist said can we move tonight as they have already changed their computer system, and it was inconvenient for them to change our room number back. We moved in darkness to the new room, only to find the sheets on the bed hadn't been changed. Back to reception. At 9pm the sheets were changed. Whilst the new room had good plumbing, the light globes needed replacing, the fire alarm had been dismantled and not replaced, the slats on the blind were broken, etc etc. 3) We were upset that after 3 days of heavy rain and wind with all sea based activities understandably cancelled, that the resort cancelled the snorkel/dive boat owing to not meeting minimum numbers (irrespective of beautiful sunshine). After complaining that we had traveled thousands of miles to visit the island, and booked an advertised one hour trip, the story was changed by the manager to a problem with the boat. (They did run the snorkel/dive trip next day - lucky we we still on the island) Similarly visitors were disappointed that the advertised research station tour was also cancelled, meaning that they were denied the chance to do what they had planned on the island. 4) The scheduled Saturday ferry from Heron Island to Gladstone was cancelled owing to small numbers booked. It meant for some leaving the island a day earlier than booked so they could get back to Gladstone. Not happy. 5) When we arrived off the ferry in Gladstone a number of people's luggage was not on the ferry. It had been left on the island. 26 hours later a North American couple still had not had their luggage delivered by helicopter as promised and they had to fly without it, and a promise that their luggage would be forwarded to their next destination (Perth). 6) But the buffet breakfast and a la carte menu food was good. (apparently due to a recent total change in management of the kitchen.) 7) And Racheal's complimentary reef walk and free talks were great.

at first we were dissapointed. the other reviews seemed so great adn we epected the coral to be vibrant colours as it is apart of the reef, but we soon learnt that the coral is a natural green-brown with few other colours. most of the tour guides were lovely and helpful bet when they're not, THEY'RE NOT. They can be rude and harsh for the smallest things like asking a question or not understanding instructions DEFINITELY DON'T: Do the sunset cruise, you are wayyy better off in your room watching it or buying a srink by the bar. Snacks are very limited and it was generally unpleasent and overpriced If you love turtles definitely come. even though it is not the season for hatchilings we saw heaps and heaps, but don't take my word for it if you go out of hatchling season and see none. I was so dissapointed personally. I love sharks sooo much but staff members were so judgemental of me being young and asking questions or discussing them. I know this may sound naive but i was to the point of tears when everyone ignored me, laughed at me or gave me odd looks. there weren't many sharks to swim with too. the whole trip i saw about 4 and in the water saw one. many people told me they saw soe so good luck to you, i'm very jealous The highschool-university vistors were awful. they were yelling and drinking and disturbing the willdlife purposefully. several times we tried to move away but we could still hear them for kilometers down the beach. They were splashing, rude and disruptive, worth while to ask if there will be any of those vistors food was SPECTACULAR. but the staff gossiped to us about how he reigned on our last day, yet the food was still great. Bar was fabulous too all in all it was still enjoyable but not the best. you must have a keen love for the ocean to go as everything else was very ordinary. Definitely bring a candle or air freshener, the place stinks of bird feces and the room is appalling when it comes to cleanliness

Spent 1 week. Amazing diving. Very empty hotel at this time of year. Minor issues with housekeeping i.e. dirty coffee cups, toilet not cleaned and coffee not refilled. Food was excellent, however service in restaurant was spotty. Special mention to Lora (waitress) who provided excellent service. Louisa (reception) always helpful. The marine center service was great with special mention to Luke and Adam. It was a wonderful vacation and would love to return. It's just a long way from Florida.

We were so excited to start our North Qld holiday at Heron Island after deciding to holiday in ohr home state instead of overseas. Our welcome at check in and the transport across to the island and our welcome on the island was lovely...our room (remember to request a firstfloor room) was perfect as our verandah provided a relatively unimpeded view of the sea. The bar is beautifully situated to maximise the sunsets....then came the catering. On Heron you are a captive foodwise UNLESS you plan ahead and bring your own. Breakfast is included...the same breakfast every day. Lunch is either a la carte or a sandwich/pue from the bar dinner is $45 a head wine...and on the night of the "seafood banquet" we were charged $75 per head but not informed it was spouse isnt a sea food fan a d had just an entree of crab..i had 6 oysters and some prawns..worst 60$$$ I have ever spent..other evenings included a roast..$45 each!! However my main criticism is the total lack of fresh salads..we did not see lettuce spinach or rocket or any fresh green vege for the entire time we were there..let alone tomatos cucumbers etc etc that were free of copious amujnts of couscous. Our food and wine (just 1 bottle a night) bill for 5 nights was over $1,000.00 for 2...on top of the $400 a day accommodation...well Qld wonder we go to Asia...

Last visiting several years ago, very little has changed with this amazing natural paradise. Our flight arrived into Gladstone at 10am, so taking the afternoon boat would have wasted a whole day. We instead travelled on seaplane at 11am with pilot Josh, learning about the islands below before a smooth arrival on the turquoise water in front of the resort. Definitely worth the money! We were welcomed on the beach for check-in by friendly staff and taken directly to our room. Whilst the accommodation is nothing special, we spent very little time inside so it really didn’t matter. The bed was comfortable and we slept well. It takes just over half an hour for a leisurely stroll around the whole island and we saw the two resident eagles during our walk. The reef walk (footwear is provided) and guided bird walk were informative and entertaining - Rachael’s enthusiasm for the island birds and marine life was fantastic, she is a wonderful ambassador for the resort. The shearwater chicks are gorgeous, however you need to take your room torch out at night because they tend to sit quietly in the middle of the walking paths. The buff-banded rails and seagulls on the other hand, are very cheeky and quick to help themselves to your food at the bar if you are not looking! The marine activity crew made our trips out to the reef fun - as we were only on the island for two nights, we did two snorkel trips in one day, to different areas. Safety is a priority and the trips are well organised. You are in the water for 45mins so wetsuits are needed at this time of year and cost $15 per day. It was a bit windy on the way back, so bring a towel to wrap around you as it gets quite cold. If you want to do a sunset cruise or go on a fishing charter, they only run on certain days of the week (not Friday or Saturday) so check with the resort before arriving. Watching the sun setting over the water in front of the bar is a highlight of each afternoon, however paying $18 for a Toblerone ‘cocktail’, I expected an Instagram opportunity: instead, it looked like a chocolate milk - served in a basic tumbler with ice cubes - what a disappointment. The bar also serves sandwiches, pies and snacks during the day if you don’t feel like a big meal for lunch. The Mammino gourmet ice cream selection is creamy and delicious. We were impressed with all of the delightful restaurant staff who were cheerful at every meal, even early in the morning. Breakfast is from 7am-10am, with plenty of variety in the continental selection which accompanies the a la carte hot menu. The Saturday night buffet was superb, particularly the grilled salmon and tender salt & pepper calamari. The cold seafood - bugs, prawns, sandcrab and oysters - was plentiful. Returning by helicopter with pilot Will gave us another opportunity to see how beautiful the reef is from above. Highly recommended! On arrival into Gladstone, we were taken to the very comfortable Marine Helicopter Charters lounge (adjoining the airport terminal) where we were offered refreshments and relaxed in comfort before our flight home. I have visited many of Queensland’s islands and Heron continues to be one of my favourites.

Wonderful 3 days spent on Heron. Snorkling wonderful, walks easy and interesting. Would have preferred a la cart dining which we booked and paid for rather than the buffets which were offered due to larger numbers of guests! Enjoyed the induction on arrival and education aspects of each day! W&A Real

The island was great! Lots of things to do. I had a wonderful time even though it was short. Too bad the ferry does not run on Thursdays. The only other detractor was the table service in the restaurant. It felt like there was not enough waitstaff.

Via Gladstone Heron Island QLD

Hotel highlights

  • Free hot/cold buffet breakfast
  • Onsite dining
  • Spa
  • Outdoor pool

Heron Island Resort is adjacent to popular attractions such as Heron Island Dock and The University of Queensland - Heron Island Research Station. This 109-room, 4-star resort has a full-service spa along with a private beach and an outdoor pool.


Free hot/cold buffet breakfast is included with your stay and awaits you each morning. Enjoy a bite to eat at the resort's restaurant, or relax with a drink at the bar/lounge. Order from room service to satisfy your hunger without leaving your room.


The 109 rooms have an array of amenities, including balconies, refrigerators, and minibars. Bathrooms have hair dryers, free toiletries, and bathrobes. Coffee makers, ceiling fans, and phones are also standard.

Property features

Guests staying at Heron Island Resort enjoy access to a full-service spa, an outdoor pool, and WiFi in public areas. If you drive, self parking is AUD 10 per night, or you can take advantage of the airport shuttle during limited hours. The 24-hour front desk has staff standing by to help with concierge services and securing valuables. This beach resort also has express check-out.

Room options

Family Room

Queen 1 | Sleeps 5

Family Room (Reef)

Full 3 | Sleeps 4

Reef Room

Queen 2 | Sleeps 3

Turtle Room

Queen 1 | Sleeps 2

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

77.0% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 1804 reviews