Things to See & Do
The Fraser Coast is full of natural wonders with the World Heritage-listed K'gari (Fraser Island) and the Great Barrier Reef. The calm protected waters of Hervey Bay offer a natural playground for thousands of majestic humpback whales providing one of the world’s best up close and personal whale encounter experiences. There are a choice of whale watching tours to suit everyone.
The Fraser Coast is not only confined to the coast, with an inspiring heritage in Maryborough. There are national parks, native woodlands, heath and dense rainforests and the beautiful Mary River combining the best of the Fraser Coast Hinterland.
The Great Sandy Biosphere, the region’s unique and diverse natural attractions are officially recognised in the same class as the Galapagos Islands and Central Amazon.
With eco-experiences and adventure activities to thrill, history, art and culture, fantastic local food and wine and a lifestyle that is the envy of others; the Fraser Coast is the perfect holiday destination offering many experiences for you to enjoy.
Whale Watching July to October
Hervey Bay’s humpback whales are just as friendly as the locals. That’s what makes our whale watching in Hervey Bay so special as it is the only place in the world where whales actually stop and take time to play.
Every year approximately 8,000 humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to the Whitsunday Islands to breed, then in late July to early November on their return to the south they bring their calves to Hervey Bay for some time out and play in our warm waters.
Whale watching in Hervey Bay can be taken as a 1/2 or full day tour and is a truly awesome and often humbling experience that will stay with you forever.
K’gari (Fraser Island), meaning paradise with its mirrored lakes, rainforests, mesmerising sand blows and historic icons are well worth the visit.
The island is World Heritage-listed and is the largest sand island in the world. It is home to untouched freshwater lakes and creeks, including some of the world’s rarest dune lakes, wetlands, 1,000 year old rainforest trees, all of which grow in sand. Seventy Five Mile Beach is a highway complete with a shipwreck and cliffs of coloured sands and is driven on by tour buses and 4WD vechicles.
The rainforests which usually require high rainfall and rich soil to thrive call the island home and also boasts some 350 species of birds, wallabies, possums, echidnas and Australia’s purest dingoes.
Fresh water turtles, dolphins, dugongs and of course humpback whales during their migration between July and October are some of the wildlife that uses the ocean and waterways of the island as their homes. The flora and fauna on K'gari provide a natural attraction for tourists and are rich in Aboriginal history.
Lady Elliot Island
Lady Elliot Island is the start of the Great Barrier Reef. It is a 40 minute scenic flight from Hervey Bay and sits just off the tip of Fraser Island.
Lady Elliot Island was formed over 3000 years ago and you can see the marine life on a guided reef walk and then later walk through the reef education centre. The 57 species of birds keep bird watchers impressed on their visits with more than 50,000 birds nesting in summer. Sea turtles including the endangered Loggerhead Turtle also nest on Lady Elliot .This occurs during the summer months from late afternoon through until early morning from November to January. Baby turtle hatchlings run to the ocean from January to April but usually at night.
On the island there are 19 dive sites with incredible visibility ranging from 15 to 40 metres. Manta Rays are seen amongst the island’s shipwreck in the waters of the island. A fully equipped dive centre on the island caters for all. There are resort dives for beginners to advanced dives for the experienced or you may like to take a dive course.
Hervey Bay Dining
Hervey Bay offers a variety of dining options including cosmopolitan and alfresco cafes along the Esplanade. Restaurants covering all cuisines are here at Hervey Bay from casual to fine dining.
Try the famous fresh local seafood or enjoy tapas, Asian, Indian, Italian, French or lunch in one of the many relaxed atmosphere dining venues.
There are a number of fine pubs where you can sit and take it all in with friends over a glass or two.
After winning the fourth series of Australian ‘My Kitchen Rules’ in 2013, Dan and Steph followed their dreams and aspirations and opened their restaurant Eat at Dan & Steph's. They are forever experimenting and being inspired by learning more about the food industry.
See some of our favourites here, within walking distance of The Bay Apartments.
Walk, cycle, skateboard, scoot or rollerblade anywhere along the 15km of Hervey Bay's coastal pathways known as The Esplanade. Stretching from from Urangan to the northwest ending near Point Vernon, this popular pathway is easy to access, right across from our front entrance! The paths are shared and cyclists are required to give way. Photos: Fraser Coast Tourism and Events.
Along The Esplanade you will find many interesting places to visit including:
- Beaches - perfect for swimming, fishing or wait for low tide and explore. Our closest beach is Scarness Beach which is a popular and safe swimming spot for families.
- Children's playgrounds and foreshore BBQ areas.
- Exercise equipment - placed at intervals along the path.
- Jetties and piers - like our nearby Scarness Jetty and the iconic Urganan Pier further away.
- Restaurants and cafes - don't miss one of our favourites, Enzo's on the Beach.
Hervey Bay Local Attractions
There are plenty of things to do in Hervey Bay! The safe sheltered waters make it an aquatic paradise perfect for year round swimming, diving, sailing, water sports and fishing. Dotted along the Esplanade are shops, cafes, parklands, picnic areas, playgrounds, piers and a marina. In summer there is the Wetside Water Park right on the Esplanade which provides hours of fun for the family and there is no entry fee. Other sporting facilities include two golf courses, a golf driving range, waterslide and go kart track, an aquatic centre, ten pin bowling alley, three bowls clubs and various sporting fields. There are two movie theatres and Reefworld Aquarium and its wonderful staff will keep the kids entertained for hours.
Images courtesy of Tourism and Events Qld
Maryborough, Mary Poppins and more...
Take a day trip to nearby Maryborough for interesting art, murals and statues, along with memorials, museums and beautiful heritage buildings. Discover Maryborough’s unique connection with Mary Poppins as the birthplace of her author P.L Travers.
Connect with your inner child through Mary Poppins! Maryborough is the birthplace of her author P.L. Travers, and the heritage-listed building where she was born has been transformed into the Story Bank - 'a bank that trades in stories' where your imagination can run wild! Book a morning tea with Mary, or head along to the annual Mary Poppins Festival, held in the heritage precinct in the June/July school holidays.
Once Maryborough was Australia’s largest port and industrial powerhouses in the final decade of the 19th century, producing naval ships, sugar milling equipment and railway rolling stock. Learn all about our colonial past at the Bond Store and book a free 60 minute guided city walk from City Hall at 9am Monday, Wednesday & Thursday’s (weather dependent). Phone 1800 214 789 for bookings (Please note: here are no tours on public holidays).
The Fraser Coast has a rich military history, which can be experienced at the new Gallipoli to Armistice Memorial in Queens Park, featuring a sculpture of Lieutenant Duncan Chapman – the first Australian ashore at Gallipoli. The Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum houses the largest collection of military artifacts outside of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
Artistic gems cover many buildings in Maryborough's CBD, with over 30 murals and instalments on the Maryborough Mural Trail, starting at the Maryborough Visitor Information Centre. While you are out and about, catch the Time Cannon being fired by the Town Crier every Thursday at 11am at Customs House Residence Lawn, Wharf Street and at 1pm at City Hall Green.
Images courtesy of Tourism and Events Qld