Whether you’re a solo traveller, loved-up couple or full-blown family, exploring nature on your holidays is awesome. One of the best destinations to do it in? Queensland’s gorgeous Hervey Bay region.
Located in the state’s balmy north, this beautiful coastal area is perfect for an outdoor trip away from the crowds, and ties in perfectly with a road-trip to Far North Queensland. Slop on some sunscreen, charge up your camera, and get ready to discover the Fraser Coast.
Without further ado, these are our top five ways to explore the natural attractions of Hervey Bay.
1. Go whale watching
Humpback whales love Hervey Bay. It’s one of the biggest hotspots in the world for these magnificent mammals. During the humpback’s annual migration between April and October, the calm waters in and around the bay are a prime location for whale-watching. Since the whales are usually in a playful, relaxed mindset when they’re here, it’s common for curious specimens to approach vessels for a closer look.
It doesn’t get more exciting than watching these goliaths splashing around in such close proximity. If you do only one thing in Hervey Bay, make sure it’s this! Most tour providers even offer a guarantee that you’ll see the gorgeous giants of the sea, so you know you won’t be disappointed.
2. Explore Fraser Island
Another awesome Hervey attraction is Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island. Stretching 120 kilometres, Fraser is hugely popular with both locals and tourists, for its pristine natural environments and for its great fishing, swimming and 4×4 driving.
Because Fraser Island’s natural areas are protected, any tourism activity is organised with the environment in mind. The birdlife at Fraser Island is one of its most notable features, along with the presence of dingoes!
These beautiful, golden-furred animals are the most purebred in Australia, and, if you’re lucky enough to see one, make sure you get a photo. Just remember that they are wild creatures, so treat them with respect – don’t try to approach them, and don’t leave food out for them.
3. Visit the Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum
If you thought Hervey Bay lacked history, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. The Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum dates back to the 1870s, and visiting is a requisite for any antiquarian. With 19 period-specific buildings on site, the diverse variety of memorabilia, farm/household items and exhibits lets you get a sense of what life was like back in the day.
Each building has its own story, highlighting a different part of the 19th century; there are also interactive live displays available. Both the village and the museum are open every afternoon, with easy access off the esplanade.
4. Walk along Urangan Pier
If you like fishing, history or stunning photos for the ’gram, Urangan Pier is a must-visit. This impressive wooden structure was built between 1913 and 1917 for shipping coal, and, at 868 metres, it’s one of the longest piers in Australia.
Walk out to its terminus to see schools of dolphins and stingrays, or hire fishing gear from Urangan Rod Hire – one of the most popular types of fish to catch off the pier is whiting. Of course, you can’t go past a classic shot of those antique wooden boards stretching away into the distance. Grab your camera, wait for sunrise or sunset, then snap a gorgeous long-exposure shot.
5. Camp on Big Woody Island (Tooliewah)
Woody Island (sometimes known as ‘Big Woody Island’ to differentiate it from the nearby Little Woody Island) is a remote sanctuary about twenty minutes by boat from Urangan. Both Tooliewah and its smaller sibling are only accessible via private boat, so you’ll need to hire watercraft from somewhere like Blue Sky Boat Hire.
The good news is that you can camp on Woody Island, making it perfect for a two-day outdoor adventure. Pitch your tent on Jeffries Beach and start exploring – you can hike through the forested hills, check out the Middle Bluff Lighthouse, or relax on hidden beaches scattered around the island’s perimeter.
The Big and Little Woodies are surrounded by beautiful coastal waters, but be careful about taking a dip, especially in summer – stingers and crocodiles both call the area home.
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