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Heron Island

Gladstone, Australia


Today we set off on the catamaran to Heron Island. The journey didn't go to well as Sally had a nosebleed before we left, and as the sea was quite rough Chris' stomach didn't stand up too well - enough said! Apparently the sea had been so rough over the New Year the catamaran and helicopter transfers were cancelled for 5 days, the day we arrived was the first day the dive boat had ventured out to sea in a while (so Shaun was pleased).

We were out of Mobile phone and internet access for the duration of our stay in Heron Island which was HEAVEN! It was so nice to wander around and not listen to someone else's conversation!Although it did slow down the blog entries.

We went for a snorkel and saw some black and white tip sharks and loads of sea cucumbers. After a quick dip in the pool we got ready for dinner and prepared for the highlight of our trip - turtle watching!

We were very lucky to come across a Green Turtle who very kindly laid some eggs for us and we were able to watch which was truely amazing!! Unfortunately you are not able to use flash photography or lights on the beach in case you upset the turtle (and any others around) so we don't have any pictures to show. But it is definitely a sight to behold and we would strongly recommend it to anyone.

We were kept awake by some really noisy Mutton Birds who had laid eggs all around the island (and four outside our room!). The noise they make can only be compared to that of a wailing baby and they all join in with the chorus as the finale!!



permalink written by  The Wilde Family on January 4, 2008 from Gladstone, Australia
from the travel blog: Australia
tagged HeronIsland

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Heron Island

Gladstone, Australia


Shaun had received a passout for diving again today and managed to see 2 octopuses (1 on each dive, if he hadn't have manged to photo them nobody would have believed him). The children became Junior Rangers for the day and went on a Turtle track hunt. They can now tell the different tracks made by Green and Loggerhead turtles. They also learn't about the different types of birds on the island.

Karen spent the morning doing the washing; not quite her idea of tropical paradise but it was all done by lunch. She then spent time at the pool drinking beer and reading her book! In between Junior Rangers the children spent time in the pool and made a few friends with other junior rangers Ben and Josh. Shaun joined them after his dives and had a crisp stolen out of his hand by one of the cheeky restaurant birds that prey on people with food. They in turn have to protect their baby chicks from the seagulls who unfortunately have a pretty good strike rate, we saw quite a few chicks being eaten!

Tonight Shaun went for a night dive and saw a BIG octopus (3 for 3 - poor photo alas), a shark and lots and lots of turtles trying to sleep on the sea floor! Karen, Chris and Sally decided to go for a turtle hunt around the island as the sun set - the turtles must have seen us go by because we later heard that loads had come up the beach as we walked by! We did manage to see lots of baby sharks flapping their fins around in the water so that helped make up for the disappointment.

When we returned to the room Shaun had just arrived back from his dive and told us about a turtle near to the jetty. So we went to see how it was doing, unfortunately it had chosen a spot where there were lots of rocks and it didn't succeed in laying its eggs that night.

permalink written by  The Wilde Family on January 5, 2008 from Gladstone, Australia
from the travel blog: Australia
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Heron Island

Gladstone, Australia


Shaun went off diving again in the morning, whilst the children did their Junior Rangers again. Karen sat by the pool and read her book ALL day (about time too says Karen).

That evening was the seafood buffet in the restaurant and there were mountains of huge prawns, Moreton Bay bugs, crabs, salmon and almost ever seafood you could imagine.

After dinner Shaun and Chris decided to go on one last turtle hunt. Sally was TOO tired and so she and Karen retired to bed - and missed ALL the action!!!

Whilst on the beach Shaun and Chris came across a Loggerhead turtle laying its eggs and had the opportunity to help the Ranger resite the nest (as the turtle had made her nest too close to the shoreline). This meant that once the nest was uncovered Shaun had to hand out each of the eggs so that they could be transported to the new site dug by the Ranger (129 eggs and one broken one - broken when laid and did not have a yoke.) Chris was one of the lucky ones who helped to move the eggs! Because the turtle had gone back into the water Shaun was able to catch the moment on film.

On their way back to the room they also passed two Green Turtles laying eggs and came back pretty full of themselves!

permalink written by  The Wilde Family on January 6, 2008 from Gladstone, Australia
from the travel blog: Australia
tagged HeronIsland

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Heron Island back to Gladstone

Gladstone, Australia


Well this was our last few hours in paradise, the children managed to do some more junior rangers and gained two badges for all their hard work. Shaun and Karen went for one last snorkel. The cases were packed up and we had to leave, but we spent every last moment in the pool and arrived on the catamaran dripping wet!!

A few tears were shed (by Karen) and none of us wanted to leave this fantastic place. But all good things come to an end and we will have to come back another year in order to see some of the hatchlings - which apparently weren't due until at least the 9th January this year!

We drowned our sorrows on the catamaran back to Gladstone and arrived there two hours later a bit wobbly (well Karen was anyway.)

When we got back to the hotel we went for a swim and tried to persuade a family that were going ut to the Island the next day that they wouldn't enjoy it and we would be more than happy to suffer the trip for them - it didn't work!! We went for a meal at the local Thai restaurant and listened to the noisy parrots for one last time.

permalink written by  The Wilde Family on January 7, 2008 from Gladstone, Australia
from the travel blog: Australia
tagged HeronIsland

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The King of Scuba Diving Sites

Gladstone, Australia


One of the best places I have ever been to is Heron Island in Queensland, Australia. I want to refer to it as the King of scuba diving sites in the whole world.

In the coral cay, I have experienced numerous kinds of creatures and lots of colorful coral. Some of the animals that I have seen underwater are swordfish, barracuda, jellyfish, and the best of them all, the great white shark. Heron Island has at least 20 diving sites, where you can scuba dive or snorkel day and night. The best time to catch a great dive is from April to December.

I only stayed there for a few days, and I have been already dreaming of my next trip to Heron Island. Perhaps, on my next visit, I should be trying a night adventure where I would be able to see the luminous creatures swimming gracefully under the sea. That would be King.

permalink written by  On Foot on February 16, 2007 from Gladstone, Australia
from the travel blog: On Foot
tagged Diving, GreatBarrierReef, HeronIsland and Queensland

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