Map - Heron Island

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Heron Island

Heron Island is a coral cay located near the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern Great Barrier Reef, 80 km north-east of Gladstone, Queensland, Australia, and 460 km north-north-west of the state capital Brisbane. The island is situated on the leeward (western) side of Heron Reef, a fringing platform reef of significant biodiversity, supporting around 900 of the 1,500 fish species and 72% of the coral species found on the Great Barrier Reef. Heron Island is also home to over 200,00 species of birds including Noddy Turns and Mutton Birds.

The island is about 800 m long and 300 m at its widest, giving an area of approximately 16 ha. The highest point, near the western tip, is 3.6 m above sea level. A dune ridge along the southern shore rises some 3 m above sea level, lower dunes on the north-eastern side are only about 1 m above the sea.

Heron Island and an extrapolated version of the research station are the scene of much of the first part of Arthur C. Clarke's The Deep Range.

Heron Island was discovered on 12 January 1843 by a Royal Navy expedition comprising the corvette and the cutter Bramble. The expedition, commanded by Captain Francis Blackwood, was engaged in surveying the eastern edge of the Great Barrier Reef to map out detailed plans for safe passages within the reef.

The island was named by Lieutenant Charles Bampfield Yule, the commander of Bramble.

The island did not become inhabited until the early 20th century when a turtle cannery was established. The aim was to profit from the seasonal influx of green turtles, but the venture soon found it difficult to keep the business afloat. Other attempts at establishing fisheries were abandoned.

In 1932 Captain Christian Poulsen, engaged in bringing fishing parties to the reef, realised the potential of the island as a tourist attraction. In 1936 he bought the lease of the island for £290. On 11 September 1943, the entire island was declared a National Park.


Map - Heron Island

Latitude / Longitude : 23° 26' 32" S / 151° 54' 54" E | Time zone : UTC+10 | Currency : AUD | Telephone : 61  


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Heron Island-History-Heron Island, Australia - Harbour and HIRS from helicopter
Heron Island, Australia - Harbour and HIRS from helicopter
Heron Island-Flora-Starr 990611-0869 Pisonia grandis
Starr 990611-0869 Pisonia grandis
Heron Island-Flora-Cordia subcordata, seeds, flower, leaves
Cordia subcordata, seeds, flower, leaves
Heron Island-Flora-Euphorbia cyathophora
Euphorbia cyathophora
Heron Island-Fauna-Heron Island, Australia - Black Noddys in a tree
Heron Island, Australia - Black Noddys in a tree
Heron Island-Fauna-Heron Island, Australia - Eastern Reef Egret
Heron Island, Australia - Eastern Reef Egret
Heron Island-Fauna-Baby Chelonia mydas 20060319
Baby Chelonia mydas 20060319
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Heron Island
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Heron Island
Heron Island

Country - Australia

Flag of Australia
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century. It is documented that Aborigines spoke languages that can be classified into about 250 groups. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories.
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AUD Australian dollar $ 2
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