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Step into our Paradise

Great icons of Queensland are on our doorstep – World Heritage-listed Fraser Island and the exclusive coral cay of Lady Elliot Island at the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. Hervey Bay, at the heart of the region  and centrally located within the UNESCO recognised Great Sandy Biosphere, rightly claims the title as whale watching capital of Australia, if not the world.

The Fraser Coast stands out  in a tourist-rich State where sunshine, the beach and surf are synonymous with the relaxed lifestyle of one. This is the home of big nature experiences – where you can stand dwarfed by centuries old trees with three-metre girths in the rainforests or paddle in cool perched lakes on Fraser Island and swim with giant humpbacks as they play along the Hervey Bay coast or in the company of hundreds of manta rays off Lady Elliot Island. It is also a place of simple pleasures, offering families a wide choice of relaxing activities, without the stress of crowds often present at larger tourist centres.

Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay has an abundance of riches outshining many other tourist destinations in Australia. It is the stepping off point to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, the location of some of the world’s best whale watching encounters … and it has arguably the safest, family-friendly beaches on the Queensland coast.

Hervey Bay has five great beaches along its 16km Esplanade foreshore … each with tracts of beautiful sand looking out to calm, protected waters sheltered by Fraser Island.

Kick off your shoes and relax. If you want to unwind, Hervey Bay has a laid-back lifestyle that welcomes barefoot walks along the beach, bicycle rides beside the ocean and eating fish and chips out of the paper wrapping with your fingers.

In the Bay, life is built around the stunning esplanade dotted with parks, playgrounds, piers, picnic areas, barbecues, alfresco cafés, restaurants and shops.

This water lover’s paradise is made for swimming, fishing, water sports and fun beach activities, no matter what the season.

Our top Hervey Bay adventures

  • Get up close and personal with the humpbacks in the bay, the difference here is that the whales are not merely passing through, they come to Hervey Bay to relax, play and socialise in the sheltered waters off Western Side of Fraser Island.
  • Dive the HMAS Tobruk situated midway between Burrum Heads and Fraser Island's Rooney Point. 
  • Go for a stand-up paddle board in the calm and protected waters along the beaches of Hervey Bay.
  • Get immersed in learning all about the history of flora and fauna of Hervey Bay at the Fraser Coast Discovery Centre.
  • Take a walk through the Botanical Gardens or have a picnic.
  • Visit the Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum to see how tough and resourceful early settlers needed to be to survive. Explore 21 buildings from those days, examine 12,000 items and take part in interactive displays.

Click here to see what you can do.

Maryborough

A town steeped in history, Maryborough tells the tales of its captivating colonial past mixed with an artistic vibe everywhere you go. You can explore its stories from the past through striking art, statues, heritage buildings, memorials and museums surrounding what was once one of Australia's largest ports.

Stories of loss, triumph and unbreakable spirit from its captivating colonial past up until modern times are dispersed throughout Maryborough via its heritage buildings, striking public art, statues, memorials and museums

Whether its striking art, military history or heritage building - there is plenty to explore in Maryborough on the Fraser Coast!

Our top Maryborough adventures

  • Mary Poppins: Don't forget to jump into the magical world of Mary Poppins in the birthplace of author P.L Travers. A short stroll through heritage-listed Queens Park will lead you to Cherry Tree Lane and the statue of Mary Poppins perched next to the 136-year-old building where P.L Travers was born in 1889. Discover where the Mary Poppins magic all started on a self-guided Magical Mary Trail starting in Richmond Street, or take a private tour with your very own Mary Poppins-inspired character. 
  • Bond Store: Journey back into Queensland's colonial past with a tour of museums, military and heritage, including a sound and light show and cellar door port tasting among rum barrels left over from the 1860s at the Maryborough Bond Store.
  • Mural Trail: Be enchanted by the history of Maryborough represented by murals on the walls of building around the central business district. Pick up a map at the Maryborough Visitor Information Centre or click here.
  • Military Trial: Discover the Fraser Coast Military Trail, where you can visit Maryborough’s famous Military Museum and explore the many points of interest and monuments across the Fraser Coast region that tell the stories of the brave men and women who went to war and their connection to this beautiful area of Queensland. The “Walk with the Anzacs” Gallipoli to Armistice Memorial in Queens Park, the wreck of the former hospital ship TSS Maheno and remnants of the Z Special Unit training camp on Fraser Island, a rare memorial bridge at Brooweena and a dramatic life-size statue of an Australian Light Horseman in Hervey Bay are among more than 20 stops you can visit.
  • Maryborough Markets: Find trinkets, treasures and fresh produce at Maryborough’s weekly CBD markets, held each Thursday for the past 30 years.
  • Free Guided City Walks: Join a free guiding walking tour of the city's rich history, leaving daily from Maryborough's City Hall at 9am (except Sunday).
  • The Mary Ann: Discover the delights of steam with a ride on the Mary Ann, a working replica of Queensland’s first steam engine built in Maryborough in 1873 (every Thursday and last Sunday of the month).

Click here to see more

Fraser Island

Follow in the footsteps of the royals and visit Fraser Island to be dwarfed by the ancient, gravity defying rainforests growing out of only sand and to explore the freshwater lakes and spectaculars and formations of one of the most incredible islands on earth.

World Heritage-listed Fraser Island has the absolute best that one island can offer – cool towering rainforests to walk through; over 100 freshwater lakes to swim including the iconic Lake McKenzie and Lake Wabby, huge sand blows to climb, and an amazing 120km beach highway, complete with the Maheno shipwreck and cliffs of stunning coloured sands.

Lying off the coast of Hervey Bay and just south of the last of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral cays, Fraser is the world’s largest sand island and stretches for 123km and spans 166,000 hectares.

Our top Fraser Island adventures

  • Take a boat cruise to the untouched beauty of the western side of Fraser Island where you can go bushwalking, snorkelling, kayaking and swimming.
  • Float down Eli Creek, a freshwater stream pouring 4.2 million litres of water into the ocean each hour.
  • Relax in the frothy bubbles of the Champagne Pools – naturally formed pools of volcanic rock.
  • Take a scenic flight in a plane that takes off and lands on the beach – one of the few places in the world where you can.
  • Snap amazing shots for your photo album at Fraser Island’s most popular spots in just one day on a bus or four-wheel-drive tour or book a personalised expedition.

Unforgettable island eco-adventures include cruises to discover the untouched beauty of the remote western side and guided or self-drive tours. Click here to check out our favourite spots to explore.

Fraser Coast Hinterland

Discover wonderful bushland, quaint towns, hotels from bygone eras and even the ancestral home of the Australian macadamia nut.

The Fraser Coast hinterland is the place for adventure with quirky, hidden gems well off the beaten track. The mighty Mary River defines the southern hinterland and provides many ideal spots for picnics, camping, fishing and canoeing.

Keen to get some fishing in? The Mary River is the southernmost natural habitat of barramundi and also hosts Australian bass, bream, mullet and more.

Tiaro

Settled in 1867, Tiaro is the perfect place to stock up on local knowledge. A trip to Tiaro would not be complete without sampling old fashioned pub far at one of its historic hotels, built in the late 1800s.

Bauple: Stop in at nearby Bauple and savour the rare experience of eating macadamia nuts where they were first discovered by the Butchulla People an estimated 30,000 years ago. This small village is nestled in the foothills of the mountain and its wonderful museum offers the opportunity to delve into the origins of the nut as well as learn about the history of the whole hinterland.

Utopia Rock Pools

About an hour's drive west of Maryborough are the Waterfall Creek Rock Pools, known locals as Utopia Rock Pools, in the Mount Walsh National Park. Grab your walking shoes...there's a 1.5km hike to the pools which are best seen after rainfall.

Tip: Free overnight camping is allowed for self-contained caravans and RVs at Bauple, Rossendale Parl, Petrie Park and in the heart of Tiaro.

To find out more on the Fraser Coast Hinterland click here

Lady Elliot Island

Uncovering the mystery of Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef is within a short 40-minute scenic flight from the Fraser Coast to magical Lady Elliot Island.

Experiencing the wonders of healthy coral reefs and an abundance of turtles, dolphins, manta rays and reef sharks is as simple as stepping off the beach and into the ocean with an average visibility of about 25m-plus all year round.
Lady Elliot Island is a 45 hectare coral cay at the southern tip of the reef, 130km northeast of Hervey Bay. The flight over the Fraser Coast, the Great Sandy Strait and Fraser Island is a mini-adventure in itself.

Lady Elliot Island is in a highly protected Green Zone and is a sanctuary for more than 1200 species of marine life. The island is known as home of the manta ray with more than 1000 recorded in the vicinity.

Lady Elliot Island has also been named as one of the top five destinations in the world to scuba dive with manta rays and is among the best locations on the Great Barrier Reef to dive and snorkel. The manta rays are more active between May and August but can be seen all year round. The island has the second-highest diversity of bird species on the Great Barrier Reef with up to 95 different species of seabirds, land birds and shorebirds. Perfect for
twitchers!

Divers can enjoy the surrounding reef with a fascinating mix of hard and soft corals and more than 18 different dive sites, including wreck dives and a blow hole.  And recently introduced clear-bottom kayak tours give visitors a different perspective on the reef.

Click here to find out more.

Great Sandy Strait

Welcome to calm, clear turquoise waters and a boat-lovers dream on the Great Sandy Strait. Belonging to the UNESCO Great Sandy Biosphere, these waters are sheltered by Fraser Island and Hervey Bay, and rival the Whitsundays for unique sailing conditions and stunning scenery.

Whales aren't the only incredible marine life you'll find around here. On any given day you can come across dugongs, turtles and rare Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. Make sure you grab the boat because you can sail this marine sanctuary and explore the remote western side of Fraser Island, explore many fishing hot spots or explore Woody Island, home to a number of heritage-listed lighthouses.

Don't forget! When exploring this marine mecca, a stopover at Pelican Bank is a highlight.

For more information on the Great Sandy Strait click here.

Burrum Coast

Stretching from Toogoom and Torbanlea to Burrum Heads and Howard, the Burrum Coast takes its names from the Burrum River, where coal was discovered in 1863.

Just a short 17km drive along the coast from Hervey Bay is the township of Toogoom which boasts incredible fishing and boating, plus a restaurant located right on the water. Looking for an adventure? Check out the Toogoom Mountain Bike Trails or if you're wanting to chill out, just relax on the beach.

You can venture further up to coast to discover the fishing village of Burrum, where the Burrum River meets the ocean. Make sure you keep an eye out for the turtles and dugongs that like to pop up and say hello in the area.  Anglers can take advantage of incredible fishing conditions all year round.

Further inland check out the Wongi Waterholes - a great camping and picnic spot - and Lake Lenthall.

The former coal mining towns of Howard and Torbanlea are about 30km north of Maryborough with their old-fashioned pubs and a number of historical building. The Burrum District Museum at Howard houses an impressive collection of memorabilia and the annual Coalfest celebrates the area's early history.

Click here for more information on the Burrum Coast. 

Artwork by Burralangi
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