Situated approximately 300km north of Brisbane, Hervey Bay is perhaps best known as the home of the humpback whale and gateway to heritage-listed Fraser Island. While these attractions are undeniable, it offers so much more, with its calm protected waters, mild climate and quiet clean beaches.
Visitors can choose from three Choice hotels in Hervey Bay. The 4-star Comfort Inn & Suites Arlia Sands is ideally located just a block from the beach, while the 3.5-star Econo Lodge Fraser Gateway Hervey Bay is close to shopping facilities, the Cultural Centre, Discovery Sphere and Art Gallery. For visitors looking to indulge, relax and unwind, Oceans Resort, an Ascend Hotel collection member, is the perfect hotel. This hotel features 54 self-contained suites, offering uninterrupted views of the Great Sandy Strait and Fraser Island. The hotel offers a day spa, two lagoon pools, fitness centre and an onsite restaurant and bar.
Home to the Butchulla people, the first recorded sighting of Hervey Bay was in 1770 by Captain Cook who named the bay after a fellow naval officer. Settled in the 1850s, the area comprised a series of villages along the esplanade until the town of Hervey Bay was declared in 1977.
Hervey Bay has sustained high population growth over several decades and is now the largest centre in the Fraser Coast region.
As a tourist destination, it offers the best of both worlds not suffering from the frantic pace and glitzy development of some of its larger counterparts, but offering all the services and facilities you could desire.
Whale watch season (from July – October) continues to draw visitors from around the world and now you can get even more up close and personal by swimming with the whales.
The majestic Fraser Island continues to draw visitors keen to experience the crystal clear water of Lake Mackenzie, pristine beaches and rainforests. Of course there’s also the allure of fishing and four wheel driving.
The mainland also has much to offer. The 14km path along the esplanade is a popular feature, offering something for everyone. Joggers, walkers, cyclists and kids on scooters make the most of the stunning views and sea breezes. Several places rent bicycles, and for groups or families there are four-wheel cruiser bikes for hire.
If fishing’s more your style there’s the iconic Urangan Pier. Almost a century old, the 800m pier is popular with people of all ages wanting to throw in a line and try their luck. It’s also a great spot for a sunrise or sunset walk and photo or two.
If it’s old-school fun you’re after, the waters off Hervey Bay are protected by Fraser Island so calm and perfect for young children and families; and the clean beaches ideal for leisurely walks and building the odd sandcastle.
The more adventurous travellers may want to hire equipment such as kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and jet skis. Particularly popular are escorted jet ski tours of Fraser Island, hosted by Aquavue Cafe Watersports —a great way to experience secluded parts of the island.
If you’ve got little ones they’ll adore the free Wetside Water Education Park and kids of all ages will enjoy Reefworld Aquarium and Shark Swim or the Fraser Coast Discovery Sphere to learn more about the local marine environment.
A variety of cafes and restaurants are scattered along the esplanade and marina, which—along with pubs and clubs—offer everything from fish and chips to fine dining.
Hervey Bay really does offer something for everyone. It’s quiet enough to be the ideal relaxing holiday destination and has enough to keep even the fussiest of travellers busy.