Voyages Resort, Heron Island

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 March, 2007, 12:00am

Where is it? The resort lies amid classically blue waters 535km north of Brisbane, on the east coast of Australia. Set just off the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, the island does not admit day-trippers, meaning the colour-splashed coral cay of the seabed is entirely for the responsible enjoyment of guests. To arrive in equally exclusive style, take a 30-minute helicopter ride with Australian Helicopters straight to the resort.

Luxurious or basic? The 109 rooms on the site are mainly luxurious. The Beach House, set in a grove of trees with its own boardwalk leading to the powdery sand, is the resort's star accommodation. It has a designated living area complete with plump sofa for home-from-home comfort. The villa-style Heron Beachside Suites (right), as their name suggests, offer direct access to the beach and stunning views of the reef.

Who should visit? Divers and snorkellers who want to immerse themselves in warm blue waters shimmering with fish and thriving coral. Less active nature lovers also have plenty to enjoy. Bird-watchers should look out for shearwater mutton-bird chicks. And anyone who wants a good suntan should park their towel here - temperatures reach a comfortable 30 degrees Celsius daily.

What's on the menu? Every Saturday, the Shearwater Restaurant serves a seafood buffet full of juicy pink langoustines, lobsters and clams. Other Australian favourites crop up on the menu, with the midweek barbie especially popular. The pull of the cocktail bar is particularly welcome in the sultry Queensland heat.

What else is there to do? Stargazing beneath the Tropic of Capricorn is not to be missed. Neither are the wildlife-rich island's walks, which are sheltered by dense rainforest. Guests can also take in a movie under the stars, unwind with a tension-zapping massage and take a dip in the pool (left). For relaxation on a grand scale try the island's Phytomer marine-based spa range.

What's the bottom line? A night in the Beach House, which includes a deluxe fruit basket on arrival, costs A$480 (HK$2,960). A night in a Heron Suite costs A$360. Heron Island is off Gladstone, Queensland, Australia; tel: 61 7 4972 9055;