Off the north Queensland Coast, along the Great Barrier Reef and just south of it, are a number of tropical holiday islands, many with well-known island resorts.
There are three types of islands off the Queensland coast: vegetated sand islands such as Fraser Island north of Noosa, continental islands such as Great Keppel Island and most of the Whitsundays, and there are the true coral islands called cays.
Resort and national park
Heron Island lies along the Tropic of Capricorn 72 kilometres east of the Queensland town of Gladstone. It has fine white sand beaches, clear blue waters, colorful reefs, interesting marine creatures.
Only 1 kilometre in length and 18 hectares in area, the island is part resort, part national park.
Only those with booked accommodation at the Heron Island resort have access to the island, so daytripping is out.
You can laze away the days on the island's beaches or indulge in any number of activities, many water-related.
High on the activity list are snorkeling and scuba diving. There is a certificate diving school within the resort and for those just learning to snorkel there are free lessons in the pool.
There are reef walks, turtle nesting viewing (at peak nesting time), coral viewing cruises, surf ski tours, fishing and other related activities, including daytrips to Wilson Island.