Photo by Erin, University of Queensland (home university: Tufts University)
Heron Island is a World Heritage-Listed Marine National Park accessible via ferry from Gladstone (about a 7-hour drive north of Brisbane). Located at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, the island is surrounded by 24 hectares of coral, so the island is famous for its 20+ snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. Named after the herons that live here, the island is also teeming with wildlife, including mutton birds, terns, and the green and loggerhead turtles.
Location: Heron Island QLD 4805, Australia
Hours: Open 24 hours (Ferries only run at certain times)
Cost: One-way ferry ticket (price varies by company)