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.

stilettos

Rental Review: North Shore Beach House

Hawaiian Rental House

I won’t lie… we totally lucked out on our rentals while in Hawaii.  I mean, this place is directly on the water, there’s great snorkeling right out front, and sea turtles swimming by every few minutes.  I’d give it 5 stars if it was just a place to pitch a tent with those credentials but it was so much more.  The 4 bedroom 4 bathroom house was set to impress.  There was everything you could possibly need to cook and BBQ, lots of snorkeling gear, and water shoes/fins.  We ended up spending many nights just creating our own personal luau and playing “The Turtle Game.”  The rules are basically just shout “Turtle!” when a sea turtle pops it’s head out of the water and scramble to get a glimpse.  Yeah… it’s a totally stressful environment… Not!  I think the only negatives are, for the price, we might have expected more amenities in the bathrooms (i.e.- soap, shampoo, hair dryers) but nothing you’ll die without!  The salt water will give you the best bath anyway!

Check out more details at www.HawaiiNorthShoreBeachFront.com.

Relaxing on the beach

set in hawaii

There’s a stunning view of the sunset here!!

Here's the view from the back yard.

Here’s the view from the back yard.

We're only steps from the ocean!

We’re only steps from the ocean!

Ocean sunet