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Via Gladstone, Heron Island, Queensland 4680 Australia
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COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this property is taking.Read more
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What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Payments made by partners impact the order of prices displayed. Room types may vary.
Travel safe during COVID-19
Visit our Travel Safe hub to see how we're helping you make more informed travel decisions during COVID-19.
What you can expect during your stay
  • All linens sanitised in high-temperature wash
  • Floors marked for social distancing
  • Hand sanitiser available to guests & staff
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Individually wrapped toiletries
Updated 29/06/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Heron Island
Updated 29/06/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.

About

Location
Cleanliness
Service
Value
Travellers' Choice
Heron Island is a true coral cay situated on the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Here you swim off the beach to an endless garden of coral. Activities include guided island and reef walks, semi-submersible I Spy, bird watching and beach picnics, plus a Reef Ranger program. Heron Island is famous around the world for its scuba diving and snorkeling with the mega marine life that make their home on Heron Reef.
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Property amenities
Paid internet
Pool
Free breakfast
Beach
Diving
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Airport transportation
Spa
Pool / beach towels
Outdoor pool
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Breakfast buffet
Poolside bar
Snorkelling
Billiards
Facial treatments
Massage
Gift shop
Non-smoking hotel
Shops
Sun loungers / beach chairs
Laundry service
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Room features
Private beach
Private balcony
Safe
Iron
Coffee / tea maker
Refrigerator
Bath / shower
Hair dryer
Room types
Ocean view
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
HOTEL STYLE
Great View
Languages Spoken
English

Location

Full view
Contact
Via Gladstone, Heron Island, Queensland 4680 Australia
Getting there
Gladstone Airport80 kmSee all flights
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2206Reviews64Q+A100Room tips
Traveller rating
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Popular mentions
Karenb678688 wrote a review Today
Gold Coast, Australia21 contributions11 helpful votes
Heron Island is picturesque when you arrive. But that’s where it unfortunately ends. The reef and snorkelling is 5 star as was sitting on the beach at sunset watching the turtles come to lay their eggs but the resort was atrocious. We stayed in a turtle room which is in the middle of the forest area. It is dated and there are no fly screens on the windows so you can’t have them open at night without being eaten alive. There is no air conditioning so very hot as you can’t open the windows. The resort is a keyless resort so you cannot lock your door when you leave your room so don’t take anything of any value there. There are dead birds everywhere and although I appreciate with the hundreds of birds that use this very small island to nest on you are going to get some birds dying but we sat outside and had 4 dead rotting birds right by our little deck. The smell wasn’t pleasant and I do feel that they could have been removed. We didn’t walk more than a few feet without seeing another dead bird! In saying this if this was the only issue we would still return to Heron island as it really is spectacular but unfortunately the biggest issue was the resort restaurant. The food was cold every meal was a buffet while we were there. The first night we were given a 1930 table time and there was hardly any food there. It was a seafood buffet which both myself and my husband don’t eat but there was a meat option. It was a gelatinous mess with a purple tinge to it and I have no idea what it was. I had a piece of fish which was cold and some limp asparagus and broccoli which was also cold. The potato was hard and yes cold too. They wanted $50 a head for this which we refused to pay. Apparently earlier there had been lobster and prawns but they were gone as were all of the desserts. The buffet breakfast every morning was cold. As were the next 2 evening meals. I’m sure there must be a health and safety issue here as I thought good had to be served at a certain temperature? The website states you can’t take food or drink onto the island but I highly recommend that you do. The restaurant is a disgrace and in my opinion should be closed. Looking at the flies crawling all over the food I dread to think what the kitchen is like. The queue at the bar was ridiculously slow as there wasn’t enough staff there. Heron island could be paradise but unfortunately the resort is far from it. 5 star island, 0 star resort!
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Date of stay: October 2021Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Rory O wrote a review Aug 2021
2 contributions1 helpful vote
Hotel's Favourite
Such an amazing location for a getaway. We spent a week on Heron Island with our kids (6,1) and grand parents. Everyone left with their own stories of their week in paradise. The island itself is teeming with natural wonders for all age groups and skill levels. The resort is functional, a little dated which is well compensated for by being meticulously clean. The staff are friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable about the local area. I would highly recommend visiting heron island.
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Date of stay: August 2021Trip type: Travelled with family
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Response from Karen Sweeney, Sales at Heron Island
Responded 9 Aug 2021
Thank you for your wonderful recommendation which has been shared with our team who will be very grateful. We hope to see you again, thank you
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David W wrote a review 24 Nov
Maroochydore, Australia24 contributions17 helpful votes
An amazing place- staff brilliant- friendly and knowledgeable- the wildlife incredible- snorkelling off the beach fabulous- turtles rays Reef sharks and a myriad of tropical fish, turtles laying every night in November. Reef rooms spacious comfortable and so relaxing. Reef walk and bird walk with Andres very interesting and free. BUT the restaurant should be embarrassing to Heron management. Food poor- service of meals crazily slow ' prices high- something needs to be done. We would love to return as this place has so many positives but the kitchen is a major issue- I suspect underpaid and understaffed. Such a shame.
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Date of stay: November 2021Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1 Helpful vote
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Response from Karen Sweeney, Sales at Heron Island
Responded 5 days ago
Thank you for your very positive feedback for our hardworking team and incredible wildlife that make their home on Heron Island. The Head Chef and Food and Beverage Manager are working closely with our team to improve the guest dining experience as a priority supported by our Management team. Guest numbers have been capped most of this year while we struggle with the current skilled hospitality shortage which is Australia wide. I can confirm that all of our staff are paid correctly.
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Jon W wrote a review 23 Nov
18 contributions32 helpful votes
I just finished 7 days (15-21 Nov). This was my 2nd visit in 8 years. Positives First: The marine crew were fantastic and as expected nature takes a front seat on Heron Island. The remaining Customer facing staff (bar, restaurant, housekeeping and maintenance) worked extremely hard to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse - but they are hamstrung and many are obviously long suffering. Now the Negatives: The facilities were run down 9 years ago and the transfer of ownership to ALDESTA Hotel Group has done nothing to redress the facilities issues. Whilst functional, it is a basic 3 stars. A significant shutdown period and capital injection is required if this is to become the GBR jewel it deserves to be. I understand the difficulties of operating remote camps and operations, I have lived in them and managed logistics for several all over the World. But the management staff running Heron have too much to learn for them to get ahead of the curve. They have set themselves low standards and have failed to achieve them. There should be no excuses when they know guest numbers etc Months in advance. Food and Beverage: We were told that the Chef had walked out the day before we arrived; and it was obvious from our first evening meal - a poor menu that was subsequently repeated for 5 consecutive nights. The most flavoursome choice was a Butter Chicken Curry, but is was burnt (and still served) on the third night. The Food and Beverage Manager must have been MIA at Breakfast. How else do you explain, cold bacon (it was still stuck together from the cryovac), sliced fresh mushrooms and spaghetti (it was still ‘can’ shaped) being dumped into Bain Maries in the vain hope that they would miraculously be heated in the 5 minutes before the hungry hoards descend. At least most of the eggs were cooked before they were introduced to the Bain Maries. Breakfast improved on Thursday morning. Food must be cooked BEFORE going into the service area!!! Lunch: After 2 days of waiting 1hr 15 and 1 hr 45 for lunch most gave up on the restaurant and hung around like Seagulls at the Bar awaiting the arrival of pies and toasted sandwiches. The front of house staff deserve medals for putting up with unhappy guests. It cannot be good for their mental health. I will not be returning until I hear that facilities and operations have been lifted to at least 4 star. It is unfortunate that under current travel limitations so many Australians have parted with deposits for lack of other options.
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Date of stay: November 2021
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Room Tip: Anything facing the water
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2 Helpful votes
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Skippy T wrote a review 20 Nov
1 contribution1 helpful vote
Whomever responds to these reviews clearly doesn't live on the island and hasn't experienced the problems faced by guests. The problems cross departments, and highlight major systemic deficiencies from reservations through to restaurant and reception. Reservations: Simply making a reservation required multiple emails and phone calls. All of the information required to book our travel plans was provided but not acted on. If you choose to book, do not book direct. Restaurant and bar: Staff worked hard to make the best of a bad situation. It's not enough to comp meals as an apology for 90 minute to 2 hour delays for food. Or for wrong food, cold food, raw food served to our friends. Different excuses were given but the restaurant is not producing meals in a safe, timely or reliable manner. Unfortunately there's no other option. If you choose to book, bring food. Reception: Check your bill when you leave to make sure that it's correct. Don't assume that there's no extra charges. Rooms: broken rusted outdoor furniture, plumbing broke. There's NO visible leadership. If there's a general manager, they should spend time on the island talking to guests. I've looked at the Aldesta website that states its aim of striving for the highest standards of service and quality. I suggest starting with the basics. Maintenance, cleaning, hire an experienced executive chef to reboot the restaurant, hire long term staff (not 2 week contracts), modern IT systems for a start. Previous reviews questioned the influence of foreign owners. If the ownership and decision making are by a Canadian company, why do the finance jobs currently advertised on Seek require candidate speak Mandarin? When I last checked, this is not one of the national languages of Canada. In summary, our experience and the experience of our friends who visited at the same time was that the resort has not provided a good holiday experience. You cannot explain away poor quality across several functions as caused by distance. We've stayed at far more remote locations and received exemplary service. We've also stayed at other Queensland island resorts and had great holidays. Until the owners and leadership of the resort acknowledge the serious issues and install a capable GM who lives on the island and has the resources to fix the issues, I cannot recommend this resort. I highly recommend the stunning Great Barrier Reef, but stay elsewhere.
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Date of stay: November 2021Trip type: Travelled with friends
1 Helpful vote
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PRICE RANGE
USD 197 - USD 286 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
ALSO KNOWN AS
heron island hotel heron island
LOCATION
AustraliaQueenslandHeron Island
NUMBER OF ROOMS
112
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Frequently Asked Questions about Heron Island
What are some of the property amenities at Heron Island?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
What food & drink options are available at Heron Island?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Heron Island?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Heron Island have airport transportation?
Yes, Heron Island offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Is Heron Island located near the city centre?
Yes, it is 0.4 km away from the centre of Heron Island.
Does Heron Island have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the ocean view available here.
Is Heron Island accessible?
Yes, it offers wheelchair access. For specific enquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.