A girl snorkeling in the sea near Heron Island Resort

Snorkelling at Heron Island

Discover more things to do at the Great Barrier Reef


Incredible snorkelling opportunities abound on Heron Island, and it’s the most popular of all guest activities. Whether you’re a mask and flipper novice or a more experienced diver, you’ll find plenty to marvel at just below the waters off Heron Island. Learn more about our snorkelling tour programmes below.

Heron Island Snorkelling Lessons

Complimentary snorkelling lessons are conducted in the swimming pool. Booking is essential. You’ll require a mask, snorkel and fins to participate, which are available at the  Marine Centre.

A lady snorkeling in shallow waters near Heron Island Resort
A lady snorkeling near the beach at Heron Island Resort

Beach Snorkelling

Being right on the Great Barrier Reef means that you can snorkel off the beach. If you haven’t snorkelled before or would like to practice, try Shark Bay (named after the harmless Shovel Nose Ray) or from the Gantry just in front of the Pandanus Lounge. Snorkelling in the harbour is not allowed between 8.00 am and 5.30 pm due to boat traffic.

It is best two  hours before and after high tide from the Gantry and Shark Bay. Tide times are posted in the daily “Heron Times” or displayed outside the Marine Centre.

Snorkelling Boat Tours

Enjoy one of our snorkel tours offering a kaleidoscope of coloured fish and coral on Heron and Wistari Reefs, all within easy reach of Heron Island.

Novice snorkellers are strongly encouraged to take advantage of a complimentary snorkel lesson. A minimum age restriction of 8 years applies, and children 8-14 must be accompanied by an adult.  We require a minimum of 4 participants per departure. Weight Belts are not permitted to be used during the Snorkelling Boat Tours.

Adult $50 AUD
Child $35 AUD

Man jumping out of a boat near Heron Island Resort

Snorkel Equipment Hire

The Heron Island Marine Centre offers a range of quality snorkelling gear to borrow (included in room cost) or to purchase. Wetsuit selection includes 4 mm shorties for the warm summer months, to 7 mm full-length suits for the colder months. N.B. All prices are per person, per day.  

Please be assured that we follow strict hygiene regulations to ensure our equipment is disinfected, clean and safe at all times.

Mask and Snorkel


Prescription Mask

complimentary - $150 AUD refundable deposit

Snorkel Fins


Wetsuit Shorty
Wetsuit Long

$15.00 AUD
$20.00 AUD from April 1, 2024 $25.00 AUD

For guest safety, weight belts are not available for hire. Any snorkel gear not returned on your check out date or returned damaged will incur a charge equal to the cost of the equipment.

Snorkel Safety Requirements

Naturally, safety is of high priority on Heron Island and all snorkelling guides are trained in first aid.

  • Do not snorkel or swim alone or out of sight of family and friends.
  • Do not snorkel out to the reef edge.
  • Snorkelling is generally a safe activity. However, exercise can aggravate certain medical conditions such as asthma and heart conditions. You should only participate in the activity with this understanding.
  • Heron Island holds your health and safety as our highest priority, and procedures are in place to support this.
  • Do not snorkel in the harbour or boat channel between 8:00 am and 5:30 pm.



While the Heron Island Dive Team strives to take guests to as many dive sites as possible, all diving activities are subject to environmental conditions—to ensure maximum safety and enjoyment for everyone.

Please contact our Marine Centre with your booking enquiry at dive@heronisland.com

FORMS:  Certified Diver Registration  │ Snorkelling Registration  │ Medical Registration for Discovery Scuba Diving  │ Kayak Indemnity


Rates in effect to March 31, 2024. Heron Island reserves the right to discontinue or alter services and rates without notice.