Sir David Attenborough called it the 'most magical place on earth' and I would have to agree with him. Our family was fortunate enough to take a holiday recently to Heron Island, and we have all voted it our 'Best Holiday Ever!'.
Our journey to Heron Island was a relatively harrowing one, with lengthy traffic delays, some off road 'rally' driving to ensure we made it to the boat on time despite the highway being shut, and travel sickness thrown in for good measure - but one step on the island washed away the days tribulations and had us all declaring "let's stay another night".
Pristine white sand, crystal clear aquamarine waters and an abundance of incredible wildlife. When we first arrived we took a leisurely sunset stroll around the island at sunset spotting turtles and stingrays, and wading in shallow bays with baby shovel nose sharks swimming over our feet.
The view outside our room
The island itself is situated on the Great Barrier Reef, which means you can snorkel right off the island, which makes it perfect for snorkelers young and old. We were able to snorkel with sharks (the non-human eating variety!), giant sea turtles, majestic giant stingrays and thousands of colourful and interesting sea creatures living amongst the beauty of the coral garden. The island is a green zone, meaning the seal life are protected, plentiful, and seemly unperturbed by our intrusion into their world.
This is not a stock photo - this is our photo of our swimming buddy!
Every season offers something different from turtle hatching, whale spotting to a wide variety of breeding birdlife migrating to the island at different times of the year - there is always plenty to explore.
The nature itself is spectacular and to make it even more perfect there is no television or mobile reception, meaning no interruptions or distractions - pure bliss. If you're looking for a luxury holiday sipping expensive champagne on the beach than this probably isn't for you, but if you want to explore one of the worlds natural wonders up close with the kids then it would be impossible to beat.
If you're family is anything like ours the words "school holidays" fills you with both excitement and dread! So to help our Sandy Feet Families out we thought we'd share some of our favourite sites with cool ideas for activities with the kids.
School holidays are a great opportunity for a break from the routine and for the kids to get a rest and enjoy some much needed time outside but then the panic sets in over "what are we going to do!" Below are some links to a few great ideas to ensure you don't hear "Mum, we're bored" this school holidays.
DIY Kids Crafts & Games - Good housekeeping have provided some great ideas to keep the kids off tablets, phones etc with chalk, sponges, washi tape and other DIY ideas that won't leave you with a mega mess afterward.
Best Beach Games - We love these 21 fun and active games for kids to play at the beach from Active For Life. There is something in there for everyone, and you don't even have to get wet!
Cooking With Kids - Okay I have to admit this always ends up a bit messy in our house, but it's still a great activity in the holidays when we have a bit more time available for meal prep. BBC Good Food have some delicious and easy recipes that can be made with the kids. If you would prefer a bit of fun in the kitchen, there is an almost never ending list of ideas for cooking with kids over at kidspot.
Local Activities - we always consult with our local "Kids on the Coast" magazine for their school holiday guide. It's a great resource to find out whats happening in your local area. This link is for Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast. Check your local area guides for what is on near you.
Nature Scavanger Hunt - these are a great idea to get kids out of the house and interested in nature, and best of all they don't cost anything and are easy to organise. Check out this article a Parents.com for some inspiration.
If like us, many of your school holiday activities involve water, we're offering FREE EXPRESS POST on all orders over $50 to make sure your swimwear gets to you on time.