Ever dreamed of witnessing a turtle hatchling's first steps towards the ocean? Join us on Heron Island, a breathtaking natural coral cay in the Great Barrier Reef, for an adventure where nature's wonders meet the art of storytelling. Accompany Jacinta Shackleton, a seasoned marine biologist and Master Reef Guide, on this unforgettable expedition.
Immerse yourself in daily snorkelling adventures led by Jacinta. Swim with the island’s graceful sea turtles and explore a dynamic underwater world teeming with marine life. Heron Island Resort, your home during this journey, is a sanctuary of comfort seamlessly integrated with eco-conscious practices, reflecting a deep commitment to sustainability and conservation.
Be part of the heartwarming spectacle of baby turtles hatching and embarking on their maiden ocean voyage. These moments are not just seen but felt and experienced through Jacinta’s engaging Storytelling Masterclasses. Dive deeper with hands-on photography workshops and science storytelling walks that unravel the island’s ecological mysteries.
This all-inclusive experience also includes delicious meals, guided island walks, and private boat tours. Depart with more than memories; a professionally curated photo gallery by Jacinta will immortalise your Heron Island adventure.
Jacinta Shackleton is more than your typical guide; she's a marine biologist, a Master Reef Guide, and a true champion of the oceans. Adventure is in her veins, inspired by her relative, the famed explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Jacinta's days are spent unveiling the wonders beneath the waves and showing others how to protect this incredible world.
As our Lady Elliot Island expert, she doesn't just guide; she's a storyteller of the sea. Her deep bond with the Great Barrier Reef and her vast scientific knowledge make her a leading voice in marine conservation. Jacinta has a unique talent for turning complex research into engaging stories that spark curiosity and drive conservation efforts.
Joining Jacinta means it's about immersive learning and discovery. Whether you're an aspiring marine biologist or a nature enthusiast, her approach is welcoming and insightful. She customises each trip to match the interests and understanding of her guests, creating experiences that are not only enjoyable but truly memorable.
Meet-and-greet with your Storyteller Guide
The day starts in Gladstone where you’ll meet Jacinta and your fellow adventurers.
We board the ferry together, setting the course for the Eco-Certified paradise of Heron Island.
On arrival, join Jacinta and your Expedition Leader for a Q&A session and an overview of the trip. This is your chance to learn more about what's ahead.
Dive into your first guided snorkel tour. Explore the island’s vibrant reef, bustling with turtles, rays, sharks, and a kaleidoscope of colourful fish.
Evening baby turtle hatching experience.
Group dinner at Heron Island's restaurant, featuring storytelling by Jacinta.
Overnight at Heron Island Eco Resort.
Sunrise to Moonlight: Discover Heron's Underwater Worlds
Greet the day with a sunrise snorkel led by Jacinta.
Buffet breakfast at the resort.
Join Jacinta for a walk to discover secret spots on the island.
Free time to relax or explore.
Lunch, followed by guided snorkelling sessions around Heron Island's colourful and bustling reefs.
Hone your photography skills with Jacinta's exclusive Storyteller Masterclasses.
As dusk settles, enjoy a group dinner while listening to Jacinta share more insights about the underwater world.
After dinner, we'll take a guided walk along the reef, searching for turtle nests and hopefully, spotting those cute baby turtles take their first steps to the sea.
If conditions permit, we'll grab a UV torch for a night snorkel, illuminating the lagoon's glowing corals and nocturnal marine life.
Overnight at Heron Island Resort.
Capture, Edit, and Farewells
Rise and shine, it's your last day on magical Heron Island.
Join Jacinta for a sunrise snorkel to explore some of the world's most beautiful underwater spots.
Group breakfast, followed by a Photography Editing Masterclass. Learn from the master herself how to take your photos from good to breathtaking.
Board the ferry and wave farewell to Heron Island as we make our way back to Gladstone. Then, it's time to say your goodbyes.
“People say to me, 'what was the most magical thing you ever saw in your life?’ And I always say without a word of exaggeration, ‘The first time I was lucky enough to visit the Great Barrier Reef.”
*For assistance in booking your flights or if you have any other inquiries, please get in touch and we can help.
Experience the magic of Heron Island, a jewel in the Southern Great Barrier Reef. This isn't just a trip; it's a personal journey into an underwater world where colourful fish, turtles, rays, and reef sharks become part of your story. Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters and let the vibrant coral reefs enchant you. Above the waves, the island's diverse bird life, with over 200 species, invites you to explore and connect with nature. Plus, by choosing Heron Island, you're not just travelling; you're participating in a journey of sustainable discovery, helping to preserve this incredible ecosystem for future generations. We invite you on an intimate escape into the heart of nature's wonders.
Sir David Attenborough is a renowned naturalist and broadcaster who has produced numerous documentaries on wildlife and the environment. He visited Heron Island in 1957 and described it as "one of the most spectacular and exciting places" he had ever seen. He went on to say, "This little island was, for me, a glimpse of paradise. It will remain in my memory forever." His visit to Heron Island inspired his lifelong passion for conservation and nature.
Yes, Heron Island has a large range of snorkel vests and pool noodles for flotation. The in-water snorkel guides are only too happy to help with any assistance and instruction.
Many of the activities involve swimming and snorkelling so we recommend a moderate level of fitness. It is also recommended that you are comfortable in the ocean.
This is up to you! Mark Fitz is comfortable with a range of underwater camera styles. You could even use a phone camera with an underwater casing. If you want to learn about (underwater) photography editing, we recommend to bring a laptop with Adobe Lightroom installed. Contact us if you have any questions: (+61) 0402 552 918
Pack the camera gear you're most comfortable with! Whether you prefer DSLRs or a simple smartphone setup with a waterproof case, our Storyteller Guides are skilled in various underwater photography techniques. For those interested in diving deep into photo editing, we suggest bringing a laptop with Adobe Lightroom installed. If you have any specific questions or need advice on gear, feel free to reach out to us.
For our ocean adventures, a moderate level of fitness is ideal to fully enjoy water-based activities like swimming, snorkelling, or diving, often lasting several hours. Being comfortable in the ocean is essential. If you have concerns about your fitness level or abilities in the water, please don't hesitate to contact us for advice.
Your adventure will be guided by a seasoned Airguides Trip Leader, who's an experienced travel guide and your primary contact for any needs or questions during the trip. What sets our trips apart? We'll be joined by a 'Storyteller Guide,' a true expert with deep knowledge and a genuine passion for the destination, adding authentic insights and stories to your journey.
Our trips are intimate and immersive experiences, accommodating 8-12 guests. Along with a knowledgeable Storyteller Guide and an Airguides Trip Leader, you'll join a diverse group of like-minded adventurers. Our guests come from various countries and backgrounds, including solo travellers, couples, and friends. This adventure is designed for travellers aged 18 and above.
Solo travellers can opt for a private room, which incurs a single-supplement fee. Please contact us for specific pricing details. Alternatively, we may offer a roommate pairing option on a limited, first-come, first-served basis. Reach out to us for availability and more information.
Certainly! If you need help finding the best flights or planning your travel routes, we're here to help. Just reach out to us, and our team will be more than happy to provide guidance and support.
We'd love to speak with you about this trip and answer any questions you have! Feel free to call, text or WhatsApp our friendly team at +61 402 552 918. You'll be connected with a real, knowledgeable person from Airguides, ready to assist. We take great pride in our personal service, ensuring we're with you every step of the way, from planning your adventure to your journey back home.
“Thanking the stars I found Airguides and Jono's trip. We were totally taken care of! Paul answered all our questions and took care of the details so all we had to do was get there. Jono Allen is an amazing, talented photographer who created a special group experience. The WHALES were mind blowing. What a gift to be in Tonga staring into the eye of a baby whale! This trip was a lifelong dream come true. I highly recommend it so much we’ve already signed up again for next year!"
"The Airguides trip to Tonga to swim with humpback whales was the experience of a lifetime. I have traveled all over the world, and nothing compares to being in the wild, rustic, deep blue waters of the South Pacific while interacting with whales and their calves. A wonderful and caring team made our adventures stress free. Absolutely amazing, so much so, that I am doing it again this year! Thanks a million Paul, Jono, Al, Alistair, Christian and Polly!"
"Thank you for your help in putting together our trip to the Northern Territory. Everyone agreed that it was the best family holiday we'd ever had and - even better - everyone nominated something different as 'the best thing'."
"The trip with Airguides was magic. Paul was our kind and patient guide, Mark Fitz was our talented and positive photographer/storyteller. It was a perfect mix of activity and relaxation and I’m already planning my next Airguides trip."
"I recently visited Lady Musgrave Island with Airguides. They have a unique and meaningful approach to travel and travelling with and learning from a world-class photographer, who was on the trip, was incredible."
"I cannot say enough amazing things about Airguides and the amazing honeymoon they planned for us. We began our trip planning by being overwhelmed with travel blogs, not knowing what was actually the best plan for us."
“Just had an amazing trip to Heron Island organised by the Airguides team. Perfect balance of activity and relaxation, they made it so easy. Can't wait until I can do another trip!“
“ We recently organised our trip to Heron Island with Bibi and Paul as a last minute getaway. Seamlessly dealt with and an added bonus of having a world-class photographer/ free-diver as our story teller. The trip has only whet our appetite for more positive and relaxing experiences with the Airguides team- Awesome “