30 November 2012

Hervey Bay - Township

Hervey Bay is situated approximately 290 kilometres north of Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland. It lies on the coast of a natural bay between the Queensland mainland and nearby Fraser Island.

It is this township geographical location that has two attractions that draw us to this region of Queensland, also known as the Fraser Coast Region. The bay for the Humpback whales and Fraser Island.

Hervey Bay is the whale watching capital of Australia, with humpback whales migrating along the coast between April and October every year. Fraser Island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world and it was inscribed as a World Heritage site in 1992.

Primarily for these attractions, Hervey Bay is served by its very own Hervey Bay Airport, with direct flights from Brisbane (QantasLink) and Sydney (Virgin Australia).

The whale watching tours centre is located at the Hervey Bay Marina. Tours to Fraser Island can also be arranged here, packaged with whale watching or as a separate activity.

Apart for the above, the township has a few other attractions. One in particular is very much a family orientated park with a message. The WetSide Water Education Park is a fun, free, eco-friendly public asset designed around water 'infotainment'. It features hundreds of spouts and jets, fountains interactive play equipment, water slides, surfing, special play area for under-5’s called TotSide, tipping buckets, music and a giant water screen.

The site also includes a coffee shop, viewing decks and boardwalks, educational displays, amenities blocks and the pay-per-use Board Rider wave machine.

Obviously, the FlipSide BoardRider wave machine is the main attraction for the over 5's year old. The wave is generated by two pumps that each delivers three cubic metres of water per second. The water recirculates through the FlipSide system and is kept clean with Chlorine and a pool-grade filter.

If you ever want to "safely" learn how to surf but not want to do it at the beach, this is one place to consider. However, it will cost you $5 and you do so at your own risk.

Of course, the other attractions of Hervey Bay have to include it beaches. Perfect for all sorts of water activities like kayaking, water and jet skiing, wind surfing, diving, snorkelling and fishing, from the beach, jetty or out to the reef for reef and game fishing.

Dotted along the Hervey Bay Esplanade are cosmopolitan and alfresco cafes, shops, parklands, picnic areas, playgrounds, piers and a vibrant marina.

For some history, there is The Urangan Pier, a timber pier, 868 meters long. Worth a walk to the very end of the pier. , if nothing else, for its photo opportunities. It was once used to take rail freight to boats at the end of the pier. Now it is a popular place for fishing.

Another place of interest is the Vic Hislop's Shark Show. We were too early for the show when we got there, which was on our last day at Hervey Bay before we head back to the Gold Coast.

If you Google the place, it has got mixed reviews of the place, however, here is a short video of the Shark Show taken by World Travel Geeks. To read more about their time in Hervey Bay, click here.

Map of Hervey Bay and the location of the Shark Show at Urangan. The Wet Side is further up the esplanade towards Pialba.

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