I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published February 3rd 2015
A popular tourist destination, Hervey Bay draws over a million visitors a year and has a permanent population of over 75,000. If you were to ever fall into either category, you would want to see what the town has to offer, wouldn't you? The following is as list of some of the top activities in the area.
Whale-watching If this activity wasn't top of the list, my article wouldn't have much credibility. Hervey Bay is one of the best places you'll ever find for spotting whales as they'er pretty much a guaranteed sighting between late July and November (it's more a case of how many pods you'll see). But not only that, you get up quite close to them.
If we're getting the obvious attractions out of the way, then Fraser Island, a World Heritage site and the largest sand island in the world, has to come next, even if it's not technically in Hervey Bay. But one of the two ferries that gets you over there does depart from this area and tours visit the island every day, usually lasting 1 or 2 days. I did a day trip with Fraser Explorer Tours which visited all the main attractions.
Urangan Pier This very long pier (at over 800 metres it's long enough people use it for their daily run) offers a great place for a scenic stroll or some fishing. The water can get very shallow underneath.
It's a long way back
The Beach The main beach at Hervey Bay is very long and the water is permanently calm. When I visited it was very rocky in places however, after storms had caused the sand to be washed away (but not in the main sections). If you head to the eastern section at sunset you'll almost feel like you're watching the sun go down over the water, with just a little bit of land on the horizon over the other side of the bay. For the rest of the time, there's plenty of parks to enjoy along the back of the sand, including The Pines.
Another one of the jetties
Participate in Paddle Out for Whales The Hervey Bay Whale Festival is an annual event held every August. It includes a street parade and the Paddle Out for Whales event, when hundreds of people paddle out into the bay on a board or some other flotation device in support of whales (it falls on National Whale Day).
Participants get ready to paddle out
A show of solidarity out on the water
WetSide Water Education Park A free attraction, this water park is located on the esplanade, though it is only open for half the year (August to May).
Bike Ride along the Esplanade Hervey Bay's extensive esplanade provides a 15 kilometre path that extends from the Boat Club at Urangan almost all the way to Point Vernon. Bikes can be hired at local hostels and other sites.
Arkarra Lagoons A short drive away, these lagoons are a tranquil place to have something to eat at the cafe and enjoy the scenery. They're not as extensive as they sound and the walks aren't much but the water was full of turtles when I visited.
Ducks are another inhabitant of the lagoons
Botanic Gardens A 26 hectare space displaying plants of the local area, the botanic gardens has natural bushes, formal gardens and wetlands, and includes an Orchard House and Chinese Gardens. There are plenty of facilities like toilets, shelters and barbecues.