If you need an excuse to get into the water then going to Heron Island in Queensland, Australia will definitely give you one!
Last week I was lucky enough to pop up there on a swim holiday for 5 days, it was glorious, fabulous and probably one of the best holidays I have been on…..
Heron Island is a 2 hour boat trip from Gladstone, and has NO mobile phone reception and wifi has to be paid for (it was down while I was there). So to say you are escaping from everything is really true….
As soon as we arrived on Heron Island we were straight into our swimmers and headed to the beach, at low tide you can’t really swim except in the harbour as the rest of the water is only about 30cm deep because it is on the Great barrier reef. However, around high tide it is about 2-3m deep. Day one saw me in the water and within about 5 minutes there was a turtle swimming next to me… talk about cool!
Heron Island is a big turtle nesting place, each night they come up onto the sand and dig a hole (sometimes in a silly place with rocks so it takes them FOREVER). They then lay up to 100 eggs in the hole, cover it up and head back to the water. This was amazing to see….
So not only were the turtles swimming in the water they also came up onto land. I also saw a turtle eating lunch in the water, she was eating the sea grass, but to get to it she had to break off bits of coral which she flung over her shoulder! I was there for ages just watching her and taking photos.
The reason I went to Heron Island was to swim, and swim I did. The last day I did a 3.3km swim which was supposed to be around the island but due to windy conditions we did 2 laps of a triangular course. The swim was one of the best I have done, not just because of the distance, but also because the water was so shallow. I saw reef sharks, epaulette sharks (these are the only sharks that can walk on land), stingrays, fish and starfish – all pretty awesome and definitely give you a reason to swim on!
Over the 5 days I clocked up just over 10km of swimming, officially there was a 400m, 1km and 3km swim but I’m not the straightest swimmer and I did make a slight detour in the 1km swim to check out a reef shark and then chatted to the kayaker on water safety about it…. Like you do 🙂 Plus of course there was all the snorkeling/swimming to be had….
If you are looking for a tropical adventure off the grid then I really recommend Heron Island 🙂
PS I took my choppy ocean waves LOLL with me to Heron…