Great Barrier Reef: Heron Island

DSCN1422Remember when I visited Australia, got halfway through posting photos, then disappeared for awhile all distracted by my full time job working retail over the holidays?  It’s time to get caught up.  Over the next few weeks, every Friday I’ll be sharing the rest of my travel photos from the epic Australian journey.

Heron Island is actually quite difficult to describe.  It’s one of those surreal Discovery Channel beauty type of places that just saying “It was so beautiful” doesn’t even scratch the surface of how I really felt.  The skies are the purest blue of blues and the ocean looks as if a turquoise diamond has melted over the reefs.  This island is located on the Southern end of the Great Barrier Reef so the coral is mostly browns and neutrals with a few great pops of color.  The bright colorful coral is more North where the water is warmer.

One of the fantastically fun things about Heron Island in particular is that during low tide, you can walk a good mile from shore and only be up to thigh deep water.  It’s such a remarkably unique way to visit the reef!  We were able to spot tons of sea life just during these walks alone.  Bright blue starfish, neon lipped clams, sea cucumbers everywhere, and we were even lucky enough to spot a sea turtle both times we did a reef walk.  You’re literally in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, surrounded by wildlife.  From birds to sharks, you’ll have some form of wildlife in sight at all times.

This Island is known for its sea turtle activity.  While we visited in October, the sea turtles were in mating season.  We witnessed quite a bit of sea turtle love and saw evidence of the females coming to shore for a little rest.  Apparently, the males practically drown the females while, you know, getting busy so the ladies need a break.  A sea turtle cigarette so to speak.  At other times during the year, visitors can witness the entire sea turtle life cycle.  I would have died to see the baby turtles!  Next time, I suppose.DSCN1494DSCN1579DSCN1470DSCN1407DSCN1545DSCN1359DSCN1534DSCN1502DSCN1454DSCN1393DSCN1375DSCN1361DSCN1726DSCN1356DSCN1605DSCN1432

 

Fun fact: Heron Island was named after these birds above but they’re actually Egrets!

To plan your visit to Heron Island, click here.

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Seaplane to The Great Barrier Reef

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The next step of our adventure was to visit The Great Barrier Reef.  Visiting here better be on everyone’s bucket list.  It’s an amazing surreal experience.  It’s absolutely incredible how up close and personal you can get with the wildlife.  For example, we got up to watch the sun rise one morning to witness a little sea turtle love and saw tracks where the ladies had come to shore for a nap.  Just a flat out cool experience.

I highly recommend trying to take a helicopter or seaplane out to wherever your stay takes you for another perspective of The Great Barrier Reef.  As we were flying over we saw sharks, stingrays, schools of fish, and lots of sea turtles.  Pretty much everything I wanted to see!  The seaplane experience was really awesome too.  Landing and taking off on the ocean was crazy! I’m so happy we did that.  Stay tuned Wednesday for more on my Great Barrier Reef adventure.

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Fiji: A View From Above

imageVisiting Fiji has always been a travel dream of mine.  I’m so excited to be able to check that one off the bucket list!  There are many ways to get from the main airport in Nadi to any of the outlying islands.  We chose helicopter because it seemed like the quickest and most fun option.  We were so lucky to be riding with another family that needed to be dropped off first at a separate island.  We felt like to got the full island tour!!

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