Couple ready for snorkeling near Heron Island Resort

Heron Island Frequently Asked Questions

Find more Heron Island information here

To assist with planning your visit to Heron Island, you’ll find answers to our FAQs below. If you require further information or assistance, please contact the hotel at 1 800 875 343 (Australia toll-free) or 1 (855) 251 8261 (outside Australia toll-free) and a member of our staff will be happy to help you.

What are the hotel reception opening hours?

Monday to Sunday 7:00 am – 5:00 pm (Duty Manager on call)


What are the hotel check-in and checkout times?

Check-in is from 3.00 pm and checkout is 10.00 am. If you are departing on the Heron Islander you will be requested to have your luggage ready for collection from your room at 9.00 am. Meet at the jetty at 12:15pm


Do you serve breakfast?

Yes. A complimentary buffet breakfast at Shearwater Restaurant is included in the room rate - with the exception of barista made coffee


Is Internet service available?

Internet is offered in Baillie’s Bar, the Pandanus Lounge, Reception and Shearwater Restaurant.

WiFi is available for purchase - $25.00 per day per device for unlimited access

Do you provide airport shuttle service?

Due to reduced flight schedules the airport shuttle bus is currently not operating. Guests will be required to make their own way between the Gladstone airport and marina for their ferry transfers. Taxi bookings back to the airport can be made at reception.

Do you have an on-site pool?

Yes. There is an outdoor pool at the hotel with no life guard so children are required to be supervised.


Is parking available?

We strongly recommend you pre-book secure car lock-up facilities by calling Compleat Angler on 07 4972 7283, available for $15 AUD per day for a covered car park, or $11 AUD per day for an uncovered spot.


Do you offer an on-site guest laundry facility?

Yes they are complimentary, laundry detergent is available for purchase at the boutique for $1.00


Do you have a sundries shop?

You’ll find a wide range of locally made and inspired gifts and souvenirs in the Heron Island Shop. There’s a selection of cuddly marine themed toys. You can buy commonly required toiletries and pharmaceuticals such as sunscreen, Panadol, and remedies for seasickness. 

You can also pop in here to get a cold drink, ice cream or snacks, and if your wardrobe is a bit empty, an entirely new island-inspired look. Beach essentials such as sunglasses and thongs are sold.

There are no other shops on the island.


Is your hotel pet friendly?

Pets are not permitted.


What is the EMC Charge?

Upon arriving to Heron Island, an Environmental Management Charge (EMC) will be applied for the first three nights of your stay in accordance with the number of guests in the room. The funds received from the EMC are vitally important in the day-to-day management of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and in improving its long-term resilience.  All funds received as EMC payments are applied directly to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS).


Do rooms have cooking facilities?

Rooms are equipped with coffee and tea-making facilities, but they do not have cooking facilities.


May I bring my own alcohol?

Due to licensing regulations you cannot bring your own alcohol. Baillie's Bar is a fun, friendly and pleasant lounge to enjoy a drink. There's also an extensive wine list and range of beers available at Shearwater Restaurant.


Is there a dress code?

Pack casual clothing for your time on Heron Island. Due to health and safety regulations, shirts and footwear must be worn in the restaurant and bar.


What is the wheelchair accessibility like around the island?

The rooms and main amenities such as the restaurant and bar/pool area are accessible by wheelchair. A buggy can be arranged to transport guests to and from the jetty for the launch transfer. Please inform us of buggy needs during the reservation process. 


Does the resort have wheelchair-friendly accommodation?

There is one room that is wheelchair accessible. If you have an electric scooter remember to bring your charger and adaptor if required.


What are my options for after-hours communication with the mainland?

Phone cards are available from reception and there is a public phone near reception. The after-hours telephone number (07) 4972 9055 will reach the island and reception will advise you. One free payphone outside reception that can call Australian mobiles and landlines.


What time do I need to arrive at Gladstone Marina to catch the launch?

Check-in at the Heron Island Ferry Terminal opens at 7.45am and closes promptly at 9.00am. Please ensure you are checked-in and have your boarding pass prior to the check-in closure time. Guests not checked-in by the closure time may be denied boarding. The Heron Island Ferry Terminal is located in the Gladstone Visitor Information building, at 72 Bryan Jordan Drive, Gladstone


Are there televisions in the rooms?

Heron Island offers guests a rare chance to have 'screen-free' time. There are no televisions in the property's rooms. However, Baillie's Bar has a television on which you can request bigger sporting events to be streamed if there is guest interest.


Which rooms have air-conditioning?

The Wistari, Point Suites, Beach House and Superior Point Suite have air-conditioning. All rooms have overhead fans.


When do the turtles come onto Heron Island to lay and hatch?

Turtles come to Heron Island to lay their eggs from November to March. Turtle hatchlings can be seen making their way to the water from January to early June.


Can I snorkel right off Heron Island?

Some of the best snorkelling is directly off Heron Island 2 hours either side of high tide. You don't need to catch a boat to reach it. Always check with the experts at the Marine Centre for the best places to snorkel around the island. Good recommendations include from the Gantry to the Harbour, as well as Shark Bay.


Can I hire snorkel gear?

You can hire masks, snorkels and fins, as well as wetsuits from the Marine Centre.


What sizes of wetsuit are available?

From 4 years old and over


What are the most popular dive sites?

The Heron Bommie, Blue Pools, Coral Canyons and Gorgonia Hole  are the most popular but there are many more dive sites nearby to explore.


Can divers and snorkelers go out on the same boat?

Yes, divers and snorkelers can go out on the same boat.   However, if it is busy, we will run separate dive and snorkel boats.


Do I need to take my own beach towel/sunscreen/insect repellent?

Beach and swimming pool towels are located in the guest rooms. Wet/dirty towels can be exchanged at reception for new ones. It's advisable to bring your own sunscreen and insect repellent, though it can be purchased at the Heron Island Boutique, if necessary. The chemicals (oxybenzone) used in some sunscreens can be very harmful to the coral and the ecosystem at the Great Barrier Reef. Please ensure the sunscreen you intend to use is safe for use on the reef.

Are there stingers?

Dangerous stingers (Irukandji and box jellyfish) are not an issue in the waters around Heron Island. Nuisance stingers may be present during the summer months


What water temperature can I expect?

The water temperature ranges from 18 degrees Celsius in winter (July/August) to 29 degrees Celsius in summer.


Can I use my mobile phone on Heron Island?

There is no mobile phone coverage on the island. One free payphone outside reception that can call Australian mobiles and landlines. Phone cards are available from reception.


Can I book a spa treatment when I get there?

Due to popularity it's best to book a treatment beforehand, please email


Which rooms have dividers/separators?

The Wistari, Beachside and Reef Family rooms have sliding dividers/separators for privacy.


When is the wet season?

Heron Island's wet season runs from January to March. However, Heron Island is open year-round.


Is there a program for school-aged children?

The Heron Island Junior Ranger Program is available for kids aged 7 – 12. It is run regularly during school holidays (eastern states). Outside of these, please contact our activities team at

Do I need a credit card at time of booking to guarantee my reservation?

Yes, However, no charges are processed at time of booking. There is a 2.5% credit card surcharge on AMEX


Do we need tickets to board the transfers?

Yes, transfer tickets are issued near the points of embarkment.


What eating options are there on Heron Island?

Shearwater Restaurant is the island's only restaurant with sandwiches available from 11:15am and takeaway from 11:30am . Snacks can also be purchased throughout the day at Baillie’s Bar and the Heron Island Shop.


Are vegetarian/gluten-free/vegan diets catered for?

There are usually gluten free and vegetarian options on the menu. It is still advisable to let the island know of any allergies and dietary requirements well in advance so the chefs can better tailor the menu for you.


Can we complete a PADI course on the island?

Yes. However, students may require a dive medical. They also need to complete their theory online with PADI before arrival. Please contact the dive team at for availability and more information.


What are the restrictions with diving and flying?

Airlines, including Qantas and Virgin Australia, do not allow passengers to board if they have scuba dived in the 24-hours prior to check-in.


Are there any other dive restrictions?

Certified divers with a medical condition must have an Australian-standard medical prior to arriving. Contact the Marine Centre in advance for more information.


Are the Mutton Birds noisy?

Mutton Birds are particularly noisy during their breeding and mating season. The mating season is usually during the months of November and December whilst January is usually the time the Mutton Birds are breeding. For guests who are very sensitive to noise, earplugs are available at reception.


Will we receive a key at check-in?

Heron Island operates as a key-less property. As a keyless property guests do not need to worry about carrying a key with them while snorkelling, diving or undertaking any of the other many activities available at Heron Island. Rooms can be locked from inside the room and a safe is available at reception if needed.