It has been many years since I last holidayed in Hervey Bay. But with two clear days up my sleeve – and craving a mini getaway – I figured there was no time like the present to explore this beachside favourite.
With my mother and five-year-old son in tow, I hit the road early one sunny Saturday morning. Two-and-a-half hours – and endless games of I Spy – later, we navigated through the busy CBD towards the southern end of the Bay. Here you will find the immensely popular marina – home of whale watching tours and The Hervey Bay Boat Club, with its spectacular views and family-style food. The club’s expansive deck offers views of the blue sky and the dozens of boats bobbing on the water. The excited squeals of children, scrambling on to the luxurious Spirit of Hervey Bay vessel in anticipation of whale spotting, waft in the background. The region, which is bordered by the Great Sandy Straits and world-famous Fraser Island, is a humpback whale’s playground from July to November when the creatures migrate north to warmer water. Cruising alongside these majestic whales is a special experience.
However, even without hitting the ocean, there is still plenty to do in the Bay. Whether you choose to try your luck and throw in a line from the 868-metre historic Urangan Pier, splash with the kids at the eco-friendly WetSide Water Park or sprawl out on a picnic mat in one of the waterfront green parks (we like the area opposite Planet 72 Icecreamery), Hervey Bay is the quiet place where colourful memories are made.
If you go
GETTING THERE: Hervey Bay is a two-and-a-half hour drive from the Sunshine Coast, and is located east of the heritage town of Maryborough.
STAYING THERE: The hub of this beachside town stretches from Point Vernon in the north to Urangan in the south. The esplanade and surrounding areas are home to a variety of accommodation options ranging from motels to holiday lettings, and international resorts.
We stayed at the four-and-a-half star Akama Resort, which is perched opposite the popular marina. The contemporary resort offers one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments with open-plan living, sunny balconies, modern furnishings and views across to Fraser Island and the Great Sandy Strait. The pool is heated and there is a lovely barbecue area for the family to enjoy. Prices start from $225 in the low season for a two-bedroom pool view apartment. Visit akamaresort.com.au
EATING THERE: Fans of My Kitchen Rules – or good food – won’t want to miss a visit to Eat at Dan and Steph’s. Located on the esplanade and owned by the MKR season four winners, local ingredients and fresh produce are key to this cafe’s success. The all-day menu dishes up everything from bacon and egg gnocchi to barramundi po boy and chocolate hotcakes – yum! Lovers of Mexican food will enjoy the Tacos & Tequila Friday and Saturday night events. Visit danandsteph.com.au
Another favourite is the Hervey Bay Boat Club, which dishes up family-friendly fare with a side of ocean views. Visit boatclub.com.au