Food and freight are brought to Heron on a barge. If you are self-catering, you will need to organise your own food delivery (see below in Self-catering Food Shipment). The barge generally arrives on a Thursday but public holidays and unforeseen circumstances occasionally alter the schedule. Please confirm barge dates prior to organising food or freight. Goods must arrive at the barge yard (11 Rooksby St, Gladstone, Qld, 4680) by 10:00am Tuesday, in order to be loaded onto the barge for delivery on Thursday. Please plan your deliveries carefully. If not delivered to the barge yard on time it may not make it to the Island for another week. Ensure all goods are clearly labelled with the following:

Your Details Delivered To Delivery Address
Your name
and delivered to: 11 Rooksby St
Gladstone, QLD 4680

Freight charges apply for both the barge and for excess luggage and equipment on the passenger Catamaran service. Please see the bookings and tariffs page for costs. It is recommended you send equipment on the barge and not the passenger Catamaran due to space restrictions. No guarantee can be made that freight will come across on the Catamaran. No chemicals are to be transported on the passenger Catamaran.

If the need does arise and you need to bring extra equipment on the Catamaran, it is advisable to contact HIRS via email beforehand so we can advise the Marina to expect excess luggage. 


A commercial caterer is available to handle your catering needs while at HIRS. Please make arrangements directly with the caterer. Groups wishing to self-cater may continue to do so upon approval by the University.

Good Food Solutions – John Guy – – +61 439 427 766

Sample Menu (inclusive of kitchen charge) – please note, John does not have mobile coverage while on the Station, so email is the preferred method of contact. Examples of some of John's popular dishes below.

  • An image of pineapple and coconut salad
    Pineapple & Coconut Salad BBQ
  • An image of Lemon Barramundi
    Barramundi with Lemon Potato
  • An image of Blueberry Muffins
    Fresh-baked Blueberry Muffins

Prices vary depending on group needs. Please note, minimum group numbers apply; discuss your needs with John when booking. Example costs are:

  • Schools groups - $50.00 + GST per head per day, includes kitchen fee.
  • Undergraduate groups - $55.00 + GST per head per day, includes kitchen fee.
  • Conference/Workshop groups from $75.00 + GST per head per day, includes kitchen fee (via negotiation).

Please note, minimum group numbers apply. Small Research groups and others by negotiation.

Self-catering Food Shipment

If you are self-catering you will need to organise your own food delivery. Groceries can be ordered either online or by email as indicated from the stores listed below. It pays to be specific with your order to ensure you get what you want. Food orders should be sent in by the Friday preceding the week you wish your food delivered. The supermarkets charge a make-up and packing fee which they include in their bill with your food order. Be aware that there will also be a HIRS freight charge.

IGA Supermarket
Phone: 07 4979 5700
Email orders only: (attention: Madonna or Joy)
Use this form

Woolworths Supermarket
Phone: 07 4978 1066 
Online ordering*.

Woolworths notes
*When ordering through Woolworths, please make sure you place Heron Island Research Station somewhere in the order - in the Delivery Instructions Section is a good place. It is also useful if you can incorporate your name and HIRS in the delivery address, e.g. John Smith, Heron Island Research Station, 11 Rooksby St, Gladstone. If Heron Island Research Station is not marked on the order, the food can be misplaced or delayed.

Coles Supermarket
Phone: 07 4978 4377 
Online ordering*

Coles notes
*Please enter the exact address as: Care PO, HERON RESEARCH QLD 4680. You will then be able to select a delivery time-slot of Tuesday morning, this time-slot will appear as 7:00am - 2:00pm and all other days and time slots will appear as “sold out”. All orders placed for this address and time-slot will be sent out to the barge on the Tuesday morning and shipped over to the Island. Please complete and checkout your order before the cut-off, which is 12:00pm (midday) on Monday. Please also include some delivery instructions to be marked on your boxes, e.g. Heron Island Research Station, One Tree Island Research. Coles charge a $20.00 delivery fee for orders going to Heron Island.

Food Safety

Catering for large groups of people can pose many challenges. For groups not engaging the services of our professional caterer, we recommend at least one member of the group gains some training in the safe handling and preparation of food. Safe Food Handling Courses are available online from a range of training providers. For further information on food safety we recommend visiting Queensland Health.  


All visitors are subject to compliance with the Heron Island Research Station Alcohol Guidelines. High School groups are not permitted to bring or consume alcohol while on the Station.

Some local hotels are familiar with the barge delivery service and will arrange for orders to be taken to the barge yard, charging to a credit card.

Possible hotels include:

Celebrations at Diceys Gladstone: 07 4972 7999

Young Australian Hotel: 07 4972 1200
Fax: 07 4972 6397 or email:

Alcohol orders need to be submitted by the Friday preceding the barge delivery.