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Dive Review of Heron Island Resort in
Australia/Great Barrier Reef

August, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Richard Nelson, CA, USA
Report Number 1991
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Truk, Palau, PNG, Fiji, Tonga, California, Cozumel, Bahamas, Florida
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

choppy, currents  
Water Temp
68   to 70    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Both maximum depth for each dive and 1-hour bottom time were given. None of
the sites really invited deeper diving, but short bottom time was
frustrating for us.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
2 stars    
Heron Island is a lovely resort, and the reef is lovely and accessible. The
rides to dive sites are short, and because it is a marine preserve, there
are LOTS of fish and lots of *bigger* (i.e., full-grown) fish than you find
elsewhere on the Great Barrier Reef.
However, this is not a Dive Resort.  It is a resort that does some diving. 
Lots of beginners or mildly experienced divers.  Very few experienced
divers.  The diving is nice, but not very challenging.  Some of the sites
are quite pretty.  The water was cold, and many divers were wearing full
7mm wetsuits, mostly rented on the island. In fact, staff seemed quite
surprised when we showed up with our big bags of dive gear. We didn't see
any U/W cameras, though there were fine photo subjects.
We were there in winter, which is low season, but for some reason, the
resort was sold out and the diving overloaded. The resort was understaffed,
both in general and in the diver operation specifically, so they had
limited ability to add extra boats (though they did manage it for us one
day). The dive shop was pretty overwhelmed.  The first day out, I had
trouble finding a tank that was full--had to try four different ones before
finding one with more than 2000 PSI.
We were not too impressed with the dive operation, but once in the water,
the diving was quite nice.  The dive staff was nice, too, just way over
their heads.
The resort is lovely. Room service came at sort of random times each day
(probably because of the understaffing). Food and service in the restaurant
was hit-and-miss. First night, incredibly slow, and backed up out the door.
Other nights, it was fine.
Just about everyone on the boat crossing out to the island was feeling
sick, even those of us who normally don't.  Seasickness medication is
highly recommended (and sit downstairs). Many people chose to take the
helicopter back, rather than face the boat again (although it was a flat,
smooth ride going back!).
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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