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Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Easter 2015

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:36 pm
by Phantom Menace
As part of a holiday visiting my sister-in-law and her family on the Gold Coast we also spent 3 nights on Heron Island. It was great to be diving in warm water and the resort was pretty much what I expected it to be - but it also confirmed that resort diving is not really for me. I felt like I was being shepherded round the place and wrapped in cotton wool. That being said I do understand why they do things the way they do! The problem for me is that they do not often see freedivers turning up and are therefore not geared up to cater to a freedivers diving requirements.

They ran 3 dive sessions each day: 9am, 11am and 2:30pm with most being a mix of SCUBA and snorkelers. (AUD$50 per snorkeler and $75 per SCUBA diver for each session with any gear hire in addition to this). All the dive sites would have been within 10 minutes boat ride of the Jetty (and one of them I easily swam to with my daughter early one morning) so you don't waste time in transit. "In water" time for each trip was about 1 hr. Once at the site they would get the SCUBA divers to one end of the boat for briefing, buddying up etc. and had DMs in the water as guides. The snorkelers were collected at the other end of the boat for a briefing and advised (understandably) to stick together as a group and, mostly, drift over the reef / along the reef edge with the prevailing current. (Some of the snorkelers were supported by buoyancy aids in the water - e.g. vests, life rings, surf rescue tubes). I spent some time with the snorkelers but would also head out to the "deeper" water for a look at times. The depths were all 17m or less for the SCUBA divers (or at least from the guys I chatted to and my own observation). All the dives I did were drift dives.

I played with the GoPro a little - took some pics and, following encouragement from my kids, had a crack at taking selfies with sea life (and mostly failed at this :) )

I will post some pictures once I have down-sized them to suit the forum - in the meantime attached is a little video of my attempts at sea life selfies (Some of you may recognise the Benny Hill chase scene music ... )

Re: Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Easter 2015

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:40 pm
by Phantom Menace
A few snapshots ... nothing spectacular on the photography front.




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Re: Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Easter 2015

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:28 pm
by Ali Perkins
Ahhh - that's too bad Tony. My sister manages the research station on Heron Island. Her partner Sam (a kiwi) works there too. They have their own boat and Sam is mad about freediving. I could have hooked you up! I won't tell you the sort of stuff Sam has seen, and speared, or you'll be kicking yourself extra hard... next time.

Re: Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Easter 2015

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:20 am
by Phantom Menace
Hmmmm - I guess I should have posted a question or two about Heron Island on here before I went ...

Anyway, it was a good family holiday although I don't think we will be back on the Great Barrier Reef for a while - $$ for taking 4 people over makes it a relatively expensive break.

Re: Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Easter 2015

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:25 pm
by Ali Perkins
Glad you guys had a good time. We spent a couple of weeks there a few years back and had some fantastic manta ray experiences. Like all places, some days you get amazing stuff in the water and other days it's quieter. Night diving out from the marina is really neat.