Hervey Bay is renowned for being the whale watching capital of Australia.
Humpback whales swim into the bay for a relaxing time in the calm waters with their babies before making their way back south.
Hervey Bay, Queensland
In peak season boats by the fleet full head out each day to watch them swimming and breaching and having a whale of a time (sorry couldn’t resist!)
We pulled out of the marina into the bay and sailed straight past their playground. Sadly, we arrived in Hervey Bay a little too far ahead of the humpback whales and would not be watching them play.
Instead we watched turtles popping their heads in and out of the water and dolphins racing ahead of the bow. We all peered over the edge watching it speed along and turn its head to look at us watching it. I swear we saw a gleeful smile.
“I’ve never seen a dolphin in the wild before Mumma” Kalyra squealed. And Savannah kept pushing people aside so she could see more dolphins.
It was the best control strategy I could use for the remainder of the full-day cruise.
“Savannah stop running to the edge of the boat. Should we look out the window for dolphins?”
“No there is no more dessert. Oh look is that dolphins I see out there!”
She’d stop screaming and running and take the safe spot inside the cabin to eagerly peer out the window. (I do the same thing with cows and kangaroos in the car!)
We didn’t realize when jumping on the boat that we’d be returning to the place we fell in love the day before – Fraser Island.
Whalesong Cruises offer a range of tours and the chance to get up close with the migrating humpback whales. They also run day tours out to Coongul Point on the North Western side of Fraser, a part we didn’t see during our two night stay there.
It was equally as beautiful as the rest.
Turquoise water, crystal clear, white powdery sand and no one around except us. We went for a walk to collect shells and play games.
We dug castles in the sand and Kalyra and Craig took the kayak out for a paddle, which are complimentary with the cruise.
The weather turned bad so we raced back on the boat for a yummy BBQ lunch of sausages, King Prawns and salad.
It didn’t matter that we didn’t see any whales as we had a relaxing day cruising off the coast to our favourite Aussie Island. And Kalyra was excited she got to play skipper on the way home.
The Fraser Island Beach and BBQ tour costs $80.
Other Things to Do in Hervey Bay
Enjoy sunset at Enzos on the Beach
Enzos is the place to be for sunset. Grab yourself a beanbag under the umbrella and your drink of choice and enjoy. If you have kids, there is a playground next door that will entertain them while you zone out.
If you’re feeling adventurous hire a kayak or stand up paddle board or book a kite boarding lesson.
Return in the morning to enjoy breakfast as well. My meal at Enzos wasn’t that great, but the coffee and views made it worth it.
Take a walk along the Esplanade
Or you might even like to try and run it. Just be careful – if you are as unfit as I am and had not long had a coffee, you might have to stop 5 minutes in, gasp for air and stop yourself from vomiting.
The 14km long shared pathway stretches from the Urangan Harbour at the eastern end of the city to Gatakers Bay in the west.
It’s also a great spot for BBQ’s and fishing off any one of the small jetties along the way.
Hervey Bay Restaurants
I really liked Badger and Brown’s. The burgers were delicious and there were gluten free options – the bread being pretty delicious, which is hard to do with burger buns.
I had a Mexican standoff – black bean and quinoa patty, with corn and tomato salsa A winner! There sweet potato fries were pretty good too!
Eat at Dan and Stephs
We came to Eat at Dan and Stephs a couple of times for some good coffee. We didn’t get to eat here though as we arrived after kitchen closed at 3pm.
It’s only newly opened and is pretty popular with Dan and Steph being the local celebs so you can expect to find some contemporary dishes.
Relish Food and Wine festival
We were lucky to be in town during the Relish Food and Wine Festival held in Maryborough.
Maryborough’s magnificent Portside precinct – incorporating Queens Park, Mary River Parklands, heritage streetscapes and the Mary River is full of historical buildings that were once part of Australia’s largest and busiest ports.
Pamela Lyndon Travers, the author of Mary Poppins, was born above a bank building in Maryborough in 1899. I had no idea she was Australian.
It was a beautiful backdrop to this celebration of regional food and wine.
Relish is a festival created to promote and celebrate Fraser Coast regional produce. Apart from the great food and wine to taste, there was also a steam train for the kids to enjoy with some cookie making activities and live music.
Celebrity and local chefs gave cooking demonstrations and My Kitchen Rules winners (MKR) of 2013 and locals, Dan and Steph, were the main event.
We finally had a chance to try Dan’s famous sausages and we must say they were pretty delicious.
Hervey Bay update:
Brisbane to Hervey Bay
Getting there – Hervey Bay is a 3.5 hour drive north of Brisbane
Hervey Bay Accommodation – Big 4 Fraser Lodge Holiday Park have self-contained cabins, villas and powered sites in the town of Torquay, around the corner from the Esplanade and Eat at Dan and Stephs and Badger and Brown’s. Villas start at $115 a night and powered sites at $37.
Our visit was in partnership with Tourism Queensland. To plan your next trip check out Queensland Holidays.
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