Sponsored by Events and Tourism Queensland
When you first drive into Hervey Bay you’re struck by how perfectly manicured everyone’s lawns are. So much pride is taken in this seaside town. And then when you walk down to the harbour, it’s the blue of the ocean which imprints forever in your mind.
Hervey Bay, on the Fraser Coast opposite Fraser Island, is just over a three hour drive from Brisbane. Or you can fly there in less than an hour. It is a classic Australian seaside town – relaxed, friendly and stunningly beautiful. For such a perfect tourist destination it is also free from the glitz and tourist-driven shallowness of some other beach townships and for that it is perfection. Caravan parks sit proudly along the shore, fish and chip shops filled with locals, cafes on the sand double as paddle board hire places, play grounds with the best views of the piercingly turquoise ocean and people from all backgrounds are united in a common aim to chill out in this quiet paradise. For those looking for a culinary experience, the restaurants are fabulous – namely the divine Coast, EAT @ Dan and Steph’s, Enzo’s on the Beach and Wild Lotus which were all fabulous. And you can not go past a Hervey Bay scallop.
The biggest drawcard, aside from the simplicity and beauty of Hervey Bay, is the whale watching. Each year between June and November about 10,000 humpback whales travel through the bay as part of their annual migration to the Great Barrier Reef. They stop in the calm waters near Fraser Island and it’s here you can get up close with these majestic and inquisitive animals. On the day we went out, the water was so calm and we got to see about over one dozen whales. Many swam right up to the boat and circled around and around us, often lifting their heads out to look at our amazed faces. They twisted and turned and breached and slapped their huge fins in the water, almost like they were waving to us. And when they felt they’d displayed all their tricks they would dive under the water and swim out to sea. The entire experience was one of the top 10 travel moments of my life. I urge you all to put it on your must-do list.
Hervey Bay is now firmly in my sights as a destination to take the entire family for an extended break – lolling about by the ocean, eating ice creams, lazy walks along the esplanade, rides on the bike trail, hours in the water swimming and simply reconnecting with each other. The perfect pick-me up.
*This is Queensland: Hervey Bay is the first of two posts for Events and Tourism Queensland and Fraser Coast Tourism who funded my trip, after the Problogger Conference. For more information on whale watching go to www.whalesherveybay.com