Getting Here and Around
Once in Gladstone, passengers can board the high-speed, 34-meter Heron Islander from the city's marina. The launch makes the two-hour run to Heron Island from Gladstone, on the Queensland coast, for A$100 one-way, departing at 11 am daily and arriving at 2 pm in time for a late lunch. The return boat departs from Heron Island for the mainland at 2:30 island time (1:30 EST). This can be a rough journey: take ginger or anti-nausea medicine ½ hour before departure. A courtesy shuttle bus transfers guests from Gladstone Airport, leaving at 10:15 am daily, and meets all afternoon boats. (Fly to Gladstone from Brisbane, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville, and Cairns with Qantas or Virgin Australia.) You can also arrange transfers to and from Gladstone Station; get here on Queensland Rail's fast Tilt Train or Sunlander from the north or south (www.qr.com.au).
Australian Helicopters makes 30-minute helicopter flights to Heron Island from Gladstone for A$370 one-way, with more services October through April. The baggage restriction is 15 kilograms (33 pounds) per person. Lockup facilities for excess baggage are free (or get it brought over on the daily launch for free). You can charter a helicopter to the island from Gladstone for A$2,191 (maximum 5 adults, 1 infant).
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