- About Us
Owned and operated by the University of Queensland, HIRS is internationally renowned for coral reef research and student training in marine sciences. Facilities and equipment rarely found in an offshore facility combined with its enviable position on the world's largest reef make HIRS the ideal location for marine and climate change research.
Situated on the southern Great Barrier Reef, 80 kilometres offshore from the city of Gladstone, HIRS is the oldest and largest marine research station on the Reef. Literally metres from the reef with crystal clear water and near pristine conditions, the station provides easy and direct access to the marine environment.
The station caters to Australian and international researchers and educational groups, offering modern wet and dry laboratories, indoor and outdoor aquaria, a large animal holding tank, separate research and teaching laboratories, seminar facilities, a library, computer room and extensive boating and diving facilities. A permanent staff of ten are available to provide scientific services, boating, diving and maintenance support.
Bisected by the Tropic of Capricorn, Heron Island is located within the boundaries of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
HIRS, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) and Heron Island Resort are the only inhabitants on the island. Built on a lease of 2 hectares from QPWS, HIRS can accommodate up to 150 guests.
The University of Queensland
Ranked within the top 1% of global universities, The University of Queensland (UQ) is also recognised as one of Australia's premier learning and research institutions.
UQ's 44,000-strong student community includes 10,000 postgraduate scholars and almost 10,000 international students from 134 countries across 4 campuses.
The University has 6300 academic and professional staff and a $1.4 billion annual operating budget.
It has internationally acknowledged strengths in Marine Science; Environment, Biodiversity and Sustainability; Cellular and Molecular Bioscience; Biotechnology and Climate Change Science.
The critical mass of marine research within the Faculty of Science provides a platform for exciting interdisciplinary collaborations at both international and national levels.
To facilitate this research excellence, the Faculty administers two island research stations, Heron Island Research Station located on the southern Great Barrier Reef, and Moreton Bay Research Station, located on the southeast Queensland coast 40km east of Brisbane.
With aquaria facilities, research laboratories and attached accommodation, these stations offer unparalleled access to unique World Heritage environments, terrestrial and aquatic wildlife.
Delaware North Resort
The Delaware North Heron Island Resort shares a common boundary with HIRS http://www.heronisland.com. The Resort offers individual or small groups of visiting researchers access to some of their facilities by prior arrangement. These facilities are not usually available to school groups but limited access, in daylight hours, may be provided by advanced arrangement with the resort office. Please stop in the resort office or call them to make arrangements. +61-7-4972 9055.
Resort guests visit the research station on guided tours organised by Delaware staff. Researchers are encouraged to discuss details of their research projects with resort guests.