Basking on southern Queensland’s Fraser Coast, Hervey Bay is a slightly abstract concept; a state of mind as much as it is a particular place.
So, when planning your Hervey Bay getaway, try and let go of the notion that you must be based in the ‘centre’ of Hervey Bay, because there actually is no centre. Instead, you’ll discover a string of idyllic oceanfront villages linked by a palm-fringed esplanade that runs alongside the eponymous bay. Each has something special to offer, and the others are all within easy reach.
Humans are not the only type of holidaymakers that flock to this region. From mid-July to early November, humpback whales use the bay and the tranquil stretch of water between the mainland and nearby World Heritage-listed K’gari Fraser Island (known as the Great Sandy Strait) for R&R during their annual 10,000-kilometre return migration from Antarctica to the South Pacific. The bay also serves as a nursery and training ground for their new-borns.
Each whale spends an average of five days in the bay feeding, frolicking and ‘mugging’ captivated whale watchers, before continuing on their incredible odyssey. It’s estimated that the whales bring 80,000 visitors a year to the Fraser Coast, and in light of their importance to the region and vice versa, Hervey Bay has been designated a Whale Heritage Site by the World Cetacean Alliance.
Getting to and from Hervey Bay requires much less effort than that put in by the whales. Direct flights are offered from Brisbane and Sydney. Alternatively, the region is a very pleasant three hours’ drive north of Brisbane or two hours from the Sunshine Coast, via the historic river port town of Maryborough. If you are arriving into Bundaberg, the drive south will take a leisurely hour.
Here are ten of the best things to do in Hervey Bay.