The Heron Island Dive Festival is an official fringe event of the 2011 Underwater Festival.
The Heron Island Dive Festival is an official fringe event of the 2011 Underwater Festival.

Dive Festival to return to Heron

HERON Island is celebrating its status as one of Australia's top dive destinations by bringing back its International Dive Festival in September.

Delaware North's Sharon Hartley made the announcement at the Region of Choice Summit on Thursday.

The week-long festival will feature a series of speakers, an underwater photo and video competition, as well as diving opportunities.

“Jacques Cousteau's son has named Heron Island as one of the best 10 places in the world to dive,” she told delegates.

“It's an exciting initiative that we want to get the message out about. Apparently divers speak across the social media, so we've set up a Facebook page and a blog,” she said.

There are 20 dive sites within 15 minutes of the island, which was a feature in itself, Ms Hartley said.

Speakers include award-winning nature and wildlife photographer Gary Bell and marine scientist and underwater photographer Dave Harasti.

The Heron Island Dive Festival is an official fringe event of the 2011 Underwater Festival.

There is $100,000 up for grabs in the photography and video competition.

There will also be a gala dinner and presentations from the week's events on the last evening.

Diving at Heron Island is relatively shallow with an average depth of about 15 metres to 35 metres, and the reef off Heron Island is home to around 60% of the 1500 species of fish and 72% of the coral species found in the Great Barrier Reef.

The Heron Island Dive Festival runs from Monday, September 5 to Sunday, September 11.

For more information about the festival head to www.heronisland.com, the blog at www.herondiveinn.com or find Heron Island on Facebook.



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