Weekend escape series: Hervey Bay #1
Welcome to the Weekend Escape Series. If you are looking for a quick getaway and are needing some inspiration on where to visit, what to do and where to stay – then look no further!
Where is Hervey Bay?
Located in the Fraser Coast Region of Queensland. The city is situated approximately 290kms north of Brisbane. It is a natural bay between the Queensland mainland and nearby Fraser Island. Fraser Island shelters Hervey Bay from the ocean surf and the sea here is shallow and completely flat – perfect for children and summer holiday snapshots.
How to get there?
Bundaberg: 1.5 hours
Brisbane: 3.5 hours
Gold Coast: 4 hours
Sunshine Coast: 2.5 hours
There is also a regional airport 10 minutes from Hervey Bay and has flights to Brisbane and Sydney daily. Bus connections link Hervey Bay with Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. Queensland Rail operates regular services from Brisbane, Rockhampton and Cairns into Maryborough West, about 20 minutes from Hervey Bay.
Places to stay
However, you choose to explore this beautiful region, there are loads of accommodation options to suit all of your needs from world class resorts to self-contained apartments and who wouldn’t want to wake up at a camping spot with a beach side view?
Scarness Beachfront Caravan Park
Scarness is a caravan park situated on the waterfront on Charlton Esplanade. For sheer proximity to the water, it can’t be beaten. Calm waters front the park, making it safe for children and an ideal location for sailing, water skiing, swimming, snorkelling, or watching the waves
Torquay Beachfront Tourist Park
Torquay is an incredible option for beachfront camping accommodation. It’s owned and operated by the same group as Scarness, so the prices are the same.
Lazy Acres Caravan Park
Moving a little further inland, Lazy Acres is located away from the hustle and bustle, but is still comfortably within reach of everything that Hervey Bay has to offer. Lazy Acres is a pet friendly site, however pets are not welcome inside cabins.
Happy Wanderer Village
Happy Wanderer Village is situated roughly in between Torquay and Lazy Acres. Not quite on the waterside, but very closeby. The best of both worlds if budget isn’t your concern.
Otherwise my personal recommendation for campsites and caravan parks can be found through Find a Camp which includes a comprehensive list of sites, pricing, inclusions, how to book and amenities available.
What to do and see
Hervey Bay is known as the whale watching capital of the world so it should definitely be at the top of your list of things to do.
Whale Watching is seasonal and therefore you will need to time your holiday to Hervey Bay around July till October.
During the whale season, you will find loads of tour options available to choose from. Enjoy a morning or afternoon tour or maybe even a 3/4 day tour which includes a buffet lunch.
For a truly unforgettable experience, click here to find a tour to suit you.
Visit Fraser Island
Fraser Island is a unique part of the Fraser Coast region, and its unusual formation of sand and rainforest make it a special source of adventure for visitors to explore.
Although well known among fisherman and 4WD enthusiasts, it is the history and Aboriginal heritage that gives Fraser Island its individual character, expressed through wonderful coloured sand cliffs, unique fresh water lakes and diverse flora and wildlife.
In the water, Fraser Island also delivers – dolphins can be found in abundance, while both the beaches and the island’s lakes serve as home to turtles. If you’re lucky, you may even encounter the rare dugong swimming in the waters just offshore. And on land, this is one of the very few places in which you might see a dingo in it’s natural habitat.
When looking to book a tour from Hervey Bay to Fraser Island you will be spoiled for choice, as multiple quality tour operators such as Fraser Island Adventure Tours, Whalesong, Fraser Island Explorer Tours and Nomads Fraser Island all provide itineraries for exploring this slice of island beauty.
Track trevally in the flats of the Sandy Straits, fish on artificial reefs created by shipwrecks or tackle the open ocean with a deep-sea fishing charter. For more information on tours and where to throw your line in click here.
Step back in time and into the birthplace of a literary classic. Maryborough dates back to the mid-1800’s and was the birthplace of P.L Travers, author of Mary Poppins. The town hosts an annual festival dedicated to the beloved nanny each June/July.
Pier Park Family Market is on every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, from 7am – 2pm, in Pier Park
Torquay Beachside Market is on every 2nd and 4th Saturday, from 8am – 1pm, Torquay Esplanade
Nikenbah Market is on every 1st and 3rd Sunday, from 6am – 12pm, Nikenbah-Dundowran Road
Creative Showcase Artisan Market is on every 3rd Sunday at the Hervey Bay Community Centre
Koala Market is on every 2nd, 4th and 5th Sunday of the month, from 6am – 12pm at Kruger Court
Maryborough Heritage City Markets is on every Thursday from 8am – 1:30pm at Adelaide and Ellena Streets
For the Family
Wetside Water Park Hervey Bay
The very popular Hervey Bay Water Park is a favourite for local families as well as those holidaying here. This water park is so popular because entrance is absolutely free! The park features fountains, interactive play equipment, water slides, surfing, tipping buckets, a giant water screen as well as a special dedicated play area for under-5’s.
The site also has a coffee shop (great for parents to take a break), viewing decks and boardwalks as well as educational displays. This is also a top recommendation for what to do in Hervey Bay when it’s raining.
The Reef World Aquarium on the beach is one of those places that you cannot miss, if you have a young family. It is very unique! It is an all-natural aquarium, which means that uses filtered seawater and it doesn’t use any artificial lights, only natural sunlight. The aquarium is not big, but there is a pool where you can touch the turtles and feed them, besides feeding the sharks, too.
Tip: call beforehand and ask when feeding time is – 07 4128 9828
Onsite the aquarium, there is the Waterfront Restaurant (the views are spectacular). It is open for breakfast and lunch. It has a kid’s and a takeaway menu. Moreover, you can purchase a ‘combo ticket’ for only $32 that allows you to eat and visit the aquarium.
The Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary
A ‘not-for-profit organisation-wildlife sanctuary’, which means that it exists thanks to a passionate and dedicated team of volunteers and thanks to the donations and money that receive from the admission tickets as well as the merchandise that the Sanctuary sells.
The little ones can interact with the animals, feed them, howl with them, have the volunteers teach you about all of the sanctuary’s inhabitants and if you’re feeling extra brave, get up close and personal with a black headed python!
The sanctuary has a canteen, BBQ facilities and tables. Feeding times are included with the purchase of the ticket admission, but the interactive experiences with a dingo and a snake as well as the ranger packages have an extra cost.