Heron Island, Queensland
Type of dive: Reef
Access: Boat (5 minutes)
Minimum qualification: Open Water
Depth: 5-18 metres (15-60’)
Visibility: 10-25 metres (30-80’)
Water temperature: 22°C (72°F) – 26°C (78°F)
Best time to visit: Anytime (Can be windy in February/March)
Snorkelling: Yes, amazing!
Spectacular Heron Bommie is one of Australia’s most famous dive sites with a worldwide reputation. The father of recreational scuba diving, Jacques Cousteau, rated Heron Bommie in his Top 10 dive sites!
Heron Bommie is located on Heron Island, a coral cay in the Great Barrier Reef’s Capricornia Group, 90 kilometres (55 miles) from Gladstone. It is only accessible by boat or seaplane.
Heron Island was used as a turtle cannery until 1923 and declared a National Park in 1943. The island now comprises of a 200-guest resort, and the Heron Island Research Station; one of the world’s finest coral reef research facilities.
The wreck of the HMAS Protector can be seen on the side of the boat channel. Purchased by the South Australian government in 1884, the warship saw service in the Boxer Rebellion and both World Wars before being taken to Heron Island to act as a breakwater in 1943, after a collision with a tug boat.
Heron Island is home to over 900 of the 1500 species of fish found on the Great Barrier Reef and over 70% of the coral species. It is famous for its coral gardens and underwater pinnacles.
Heron Bommie is probably the best fish dive in Australia.
It is teeming with fish – schools of jacks and barracuda, manta rays, turtles, reef sharks, eagle rays and a huge array of reef fish, including pipe fish, harlequin fish, clouds of damsels and the Bommie’s famous giant Queensland groper – ‘Gus’.
There are also seasonal visits of egg-laying loggerhead and green Turtles, and migratory humpback whales are often seen swimming in the Wistari Channel.
All of Heron’s magic is only minutes from your bedroom!
Copyright C 2015 Steve Sinclair
Other great dive sites to visit while you are there:
Pam’s Point, Gorgonia Hole, Coral Cascades, 3 Rocks and North Bommie.