In amongst the Hervey Bay suburbs are a series of Lakes. I frequented two as they were close to where we were staying.
The first one was surrounded by bush, and this is where I heard the sounds of many small Birds in the bush, I never did see what they were!
The lake itself was home to Ducks, Water fowl, Herons and Cormorants.
I went and stood on the edge, and next thing there were a heap of heads heading for me! These were freshwater Tortoises that I guess were used to people feeding them from the bank. A young Dutch couple were there, they were lost, so I pointed them in the right direction and showed them the Tortoises - they were very pleased to see them!
The Hervey Bay Botanic gardens cover quite a large area, so allow a little bit of time for a walk around.
I found they were mainly a "green" garden, with lots of lawns and lots of Trees.
It's a chance to see native bushes, wetlands, formal gardens, a Japanese bridge, Bush Tucker & Aboriginal bush tucker gardens and a Chinese garden.
The Chinese garden in my opinion, was the nicest area in the park. The rest of the garden I thought to be average, perhaps because I am Australian it wasn't quite as interesting! I was disappointed to see the waterways covered in green duckweed, a pest! I thought it would have been clean.
There is a Bush Chapel that is quite popular for marriages.
Around the gardens are plenty of seating, tables, shelters and BBQs.
FREE Toilets are located in the gardens.
Another attraction is the Orchid House which is full of 20,000 orchids, kindly donated to the gardens by a local resident. The best time to see them flowering is September to October and February to March. Through-out the year there are smaller displays of flowers.
There is an small entry fee for the Orchid house which includes coffee/tea.
Open Mondays and Fridays from 8.30am to 3.45pm and Tuesdays to Thursdays from 10am to 3.30pm.
Hervey Bay stretches along 40kms of beach incorporating many suburbs. Most of the beaches are great and best of all STINGER FREE.
See this website. http://www.qldbeaches.com/stingers.html
The coastal area of Point Vernon differs as the beach is mixture of sand, shells and pebbles. Further along are Cliffs, Mangroves and a type of rock platform in the water We did see fishermen trying their luck here. The sea was rougher, I guess because this is the tip [point] of Hervey Bay.
There is a good park in this area, with an excellent playground, bbq facilities, tables/chairs, toilets and free parking. It was quite popular the day we were here, even so, the beach was deserted!
On the Hervey Bay Marina sea wall, is a bronze statue of St. Peter. It was officially unveiled and blessed beginning of August 3rd, 2013. The statue is of St. Peter, there to watch over Hervey Bay boaties and to pay tribute to those lost at sea. Saint Peter was one of 12 apostles chosen by Jesus from his first disciples and was originally a fisherman.
There is a list of the people who have been lost and never found, and another list of those that were found drowned.
You can drive along the sea wall to the statue. There is a small parking area, or you can park your car and walk.
In the daytime, a toll of $1 applies to drive on the sea wall, after hours - nil.
The Hervey Bay Whale Festival is held for the full month of August every year.
We went to the 2013 Festival, of which if you look at the website, you can see the program.
On the Saturday night, was a street parade, starting at 7 pm. All types of floats, bands and local organisations were in the parade. It wasn't anything great, would be more so if you lived there, then you would have known people in the Parade. I guess it went on for about 1 hour.
Afterwards, we wandered around some stalls, bought some food, then went home.
Live entertainment was included for FREE and at the end was a fireworks display.
Hervey Bay is pretty quiet at night, so it was something to do. Approx 10,000 people turned out for the evening, and it was broadcast by the local Television station.
Whale watching is what the majority of people come to Hervey Bay to see between the months of July till the end of November. It is mainly the humpback whale, who comes to Hervey Bay.
I haven't done the whale watching tour here, but according to my friend who lives in Hervey Bay, seeing the Whales here is an amazing experience. We were going out in his boat to see them, but the weather turned too rough, so another time for us! He said he's had a giant Humpback Whale dive under his boat, and he is not the only one this has happened too! He said the Whales in Hervey Bay are very used to the Boats, and are so inquisitive, they swim right up beside them, great viewing for all the tourist's. No wonder they say a Whale tour in Hervey Bay is "an experience of a lifetime".
About 12 operators offer whale watching tours, all vessels leaving from the Urangan Boat Harbour. There are big & small boats, Catamarans and Sailing vessels.
Some vessels have sound systems to enable passengers to hear the whales sing and offer educational videos on the journey to the Hervey Bay Marine Park, some include morning tea, afternoon tea and lunch, and there are full and half day tours available.
Not only Whales but other marine life including dolphins, turtles, and sometimes a dugong may be sighted on the Cruise. You may be lucky and see "Migaloo' the famous White Whale.
Prices are over the $100 and vary with each operator.
I have listed some operators if you would like to check them out
Awesome Adventure-that Awesome http://www.about-australia.com/tours/awesome-adventure-thats-awesome/
Spirit of Hervey Bay http://www.spiritofherveybay.com/
Blue Dolphin Marine Tours http://www.bluedolphintours.com.au/
Kingfisher 1 Whale watching http://www.kingfisherbay.com/tours-and-cruises/fraser-island-cruises/whale-watching.html
Krystal Klear http://www.krystalkleer.com.au/
Mikat Whale Cruises http://www.discoverherveybay.com/M.VMikat/
Shayla cruises http://shaylacruises.com.au/
Whalesong cruises http://www.whalesong.com.au/
The first few things I noticed on entering Hervey Bay, were the many new houses and the lovely council gardens. The council has beautiful gardens on the roadsides, the round-abouts and also a Botanic Gardens.
Hervey Bay is know for the Whales that migrate to the warm waters to give birth. To promote this, we found many Whale sculptures on our drives around Hervey Bay, even a Dolphin, as they are found in these waters. A large Whale's tail was in the middle of a round-about, a couple of large sculptures were at shopping centres, there was a large sculpture at the Cultural centre, Whales in playgrounds, a Dolphin in a garden, and probably a lot more we didn't find!
The Urangan Pier is an historic pier located in Urangan, Hervey Bay. In former years, it was used as a deep-water, cargo-handling facility for the export of sugar, timber and coal. A railway line from Pialba was used for the transfer of cargo between rail and ships. It was built between1 913 and 1917 and was originally 1107 metres in length. The Pier was closed in 1985 and 239 metres was demolished, no more as the general public were very upset about this!. The Public won, and the Pier remained, and today is used by many fishermen and families. We have fished from it and done quite well!
Types of fish that are caught from Urangan Pier are: .... Summer Whiting. Best time to catch these is between September & March. These are an excellent fish for eating.
Bream or Tarwhine:.... close to the pylons on the Pier.
Garfish: ... Caught all year round
Flathead:....They can be found almost everywhere and often caught from the sandbanks and first gutter at the Urangan Pier.
Mackerel:.... Usually caught between September and May
Golden Trevally:... Urangan Pier is a good place to catch Trevally but beware of getting tangled around the pylons.
There is a Pier Festival, which is a fishing competition, is held every year in September
The Pier to Pub Ocean Swim Classic is an annual swimming competition held in April since 1999.
As we walked to the Pier, we passed a sculpture known as the "Young Boy and Fish Singing the Happy Fisherman's Song."
Saturday morning, and there is another market advertised at Urangan.
We head there by car and find this quite a busy market, and quite hard to find a car park close by.
The advertisement said approx. 80 stalls, I didn't count them, though I did think it fell short of that number.
This market was quite good, especially if you were looking for gifts. There were plenty of craft stalls, a lady selling her oil paintings, leather, lavender, Jams, sauces, honey, nuts and fruit & vegetables for sale just to name a few
One stall I hadn't seen elsewhere, was selling Aussie Rules Mascots, knitted in the team colours - these were fantastic! What a clever lady! A must see if your an Australian footy follower!
There was even a weird attraction there, if I can call it that!
In a cage, was a man smothered in mud, with his hair in dreadlocks. A sign on the cage said "$1 for 3 pats!" Two older ladies were looking at him....I wondered if they paid the $1. Rather funny, and definitely the first of these I have seen. If you watch the video on the website, he pulls the bars apart and attempts to chase somebody!
Live music is on until the Market closes.
Toilets are located at the park.
Markets are on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month from 7.00am – 2.00pm at Pier Park in Urangan.
I didn't go into here as I didn't want to!
Vic Hislop is a well known Australian professional Shark Hunter. He was often in Australian papers because of his kill first, ask questions later approach. These days, it is all about saving the Sharks not killing the Shark.
I have mentioned the museum so you know its here. I have read reviews on it, and most have been negative, that may be different now, as in 2013, the whole Museum had a make-over.
There's an 18ft, two-tonne great white shark to view.
ADMISSION Adults $17
Open daily 8:30am – 5:00pm
I happened to see these markets advertised in the local paper. Advertised as Twilight Markets, it sounded quite appealing, so after dinner on a Friday evening we headed to the markets by car. Parking was FREE and there was plenty available.
The question was, where were all the stalls? I saw the advertised Tarot reader, a few craft stalls, a woman selling jewellery and a few other stalls, probably a dozen at the most.
We saw everything in half an hour. What a disappointment this market was, one I would say to you DON'T BE BOTHERED COMING, there are plenty of other markets in Hervey Bay.
The best part of the evening, was walking along the boardwalk to view the yachts and boats anchored here for the night!
Every Friday 06:00 pm - 10:00 pm
A picnic by the beach, what a great way to spend a day. There are picnic places all the way along the Hervey Bay Esplanade from basic with just tables & chairs to the parks with "the works."
"The Works" is what I call a picnic area with FREE BBQ'S, Benches, Toilets and some include a playground. Some have shelter sheds, most are in the shade of the trees.
One I found had all of this, plus an outdoor shower to wash the sand and seawater off, and an outdoor gym! There is plenty of parking all along the Esplanade.
If your holidaying here, do like us and buy meat from the Butcher, then head to the supermarket for salad, bread & butter and the other bits and pieces. Then its back to the free bbq to cook a very cheap and good meal. Sit back and enjoy the sea breeze or go for a swim in the calm warm waters of the bay.
What day could be better than that?
This is located in the Fraser Coast Cultural Centre, a new building with plenty to offer.
I went into the building but didn't go through the centre as I already know quite a bit about the area, and are here frequently.
I do think if your from overseas or somewhere further away in Australia, then it would be worth visiting to find out about the natural wonders of the Fraser Coast. It states there are "Interpretive panels and interactive displays exploring everything from Fraser Island and Humpback whales to the origins of the Macadamia nut," sounds good!
In 2009 the Great Sandy region was awarded Biosphere Reserve status by UNESCO, giving world wide recognition to the Fraser Coast region.
The centre has a Kiosk and a Gift shop, information for the Tourist and Free wifi for guests.
Regular Events held are wildlife encounters and nature talks - Every weekend between 11am and 2.30pm.
Meet Harvey the Whale every Sunday between 10am and 1pm!
Outside the building is a wonderful 12 metre sculpture of "Nala" the Humpback Whale, the icon of Hervey bay. There is seating and some fish sculptures of the type of fish caught in the area.
OPEN.. 7 days from 10am to 4pm (closed Christmas Day and other public holidays with notice).
There is parking off Charles Street.
ADMISSION IN 2013
Adult $7.50 Concession/Senior $6.00 Child under 5yr FREE Child 5- 12yrs $5.50
Family ticket is available
WetSide IS a Water Education Park that looks like fun for children.
I thought this was a great idea for teaching children water safety, whilst having fun at the same time.
In the Water park are heaps of spouts and jets, fountains, interactive play equipment, water slides, wave pool, special play area for under-5’s called Tot-Side, tipping buckets, music and a giant water screen. I loved the Whale and wondered what that did when the water was running!
The only paid attraction is the Flipside Board River, which costs $5 for a 10min session.
Other than that, IT IS ALL COMPLETELY FREE.
WetSide is smoke and alcohol-free. No bikes, scooters, skateboards, running in the park or pets are allowed. There was plenty of free car-parking and there is a café on site.
It would be best to check the website for opening times as they vary.
It is open from August to May, usually from 10 -5pm. In summer 10 - 6pm.
In the middle of summer, it's open all week, but earlier please check to see if open.
Night shows are lights and music from 7pm on a Saturday night.
So you have some dirty clothes to wash after your week in the camping area or on the way back from your Fraser Island visit.
Clean Clothes - marvellous!!
There is a coin operated Laundromat in the Whale Watch Tourist Terminal at the Hervey Bay Boat Harbour. Look for the whale outside and Laundromat sign on the façade.
The Laundromat at Hervey Bay Marina
Open: 7 days a week. Closes at 2100 (9pm)
Machine: $4.00 per wash. Takes one dollar coins only.
Drying: 45 minute cycle $4.00. Takes one dollar coins only