The dedicated education centre was completed in 2009, providing modern teaching facilities ideal for university and advanced high school educational activities. In addition to easy, direct access to the reef, the facilities include teaching laboratories, a seminar room, library and computer room, outdoor aquaria deck and a reef touch tank and display aquarium. For a layout of the facilities, please see the floor plan.

The majority of the station facilities are available 24 hours per day. However, staff hours are 8 am to 4 pm, seven days per week. If you need staff assistance outside those hours, prior arrangements must be made and charges will apply.

Room name and description Image

Teaching Laboratories

Our 2 modern teaching labs have mobile benches and sliding room dividers that can be opened to accommodate 100 students. The labs are air conditioned and equipped with fresh and salt water taps, a drying oven, audio visual equipment and white boards. 20 dissecting and 20 compound microscopes are available as well as a range of other equipment to support advanced high school and university studies.

Teaching Laboratories

Seminar Room

The air conditioned seminar room is equipped with modern audio visual equipment and white boards and seats 50. The sliding partition can be removed to expand the seating area to accommodate 70 people.

Seminar Room

Library and Computer Room

This room is communal space shared by all station visitors. The library contains some excellent field guides and identification materials which are particularly useful for education groups. Computers with internet access are also available here, as well as a comfortable place to relax and read.

Library and Computer Room

Aquaria Deck

Dedicated to education groups, this outdoor aquaria deck has ample table space for dissections, specimen preparation and aquaria. The deck is connected to the flow through sea water system which draws water directly from the reef. A range of types and sizes of aquaria are available depending on your needs.

Aquaria Deck

Reef touch tank and display aquarium

The touch tank and display aquarium contain a variety of specimens and provide an excellent forum for introductory instruction on the organisms students will encounter on Heron Reef. The tank is also popular with Resort visitors when they come for a station tour.

Reef touch tank and display aquarium

GBROOS and IMOS

The Great Barrier Reef Ocean Observing System (GBROOS) is a network of facilities providing observational data used by scientists to explore the long term effects of the Coral Sea on the Great Barrier Reef and the north-eastern Australian continental shelf. The GBROOS project is run by the Australian Institute of Marine Science on behalf of a consortium of universities and research agencies of which HIRS is an important part.

The GBROOS sensor network on Heron Reef is one of several on the Great Barrier Reef and is an integral part of the nationwide (Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS), a broader collaborative program designed to observe the oceans around Australia