Hervey Bay

Humpback whale, Darren Jew / Courtesy of Tourism Queensland

Population 56427

Hervey (pronounced 'Harvey') Bay is a natural bay located 290 kilometres north of Brisbane between Maryborough and Bundaberg. The urban centre which spreads out along the bay's southern shore is the thriving City of Hervey Bay. The region's climate is ideal, with hot days cooled by trade winds during the summer. An influx of people visit during winter for a chance to see the migrating humpback whales that frolic in the bay's warm waters between July and November. Hervey Bay is promoted as 'Australia's family aquatic playground' – waters are calm and swimming is safe, even for children. Fishing is another popular recreational activity, especially off the town's kilometre-long pier.

Visitor Information

227 Maryborough–Hervey Bay Rd, cnr Urraween Rd; (07) 4125 9855


Nearby national parks

  • Great Sandy National Park

    Great Sandy National Park encompasses World Heritage–listed Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world; nearby Woody Island;...more

  • Noosa National Park

    The natural delights of Noosa National Park include spectacular coastal scenery, wildlife and wildflowers. Rocky headlands protect quiet...more

  • Kondalilla National Park

    Kondalilla, an Aboriginal word meaning ‘rushing waters’, is an apt name for this national park in the Sunshine Coast hinterland,...more

Nearby towns

  • Maryborough

    Maryborough is an attractive city on the banks of the Mary River. Its fine heritage buildings and famous timber Queenslander architecture...more

  • Childers

    Childers is a picturesque National Trust town south of Bundaberg, part of the state's sugarcane belt. With leafy streets and a lovely...more

  • Tin Can Bay

    Tin Can Bay is a well-known fishing and prawning region north- east of Gympie. It was originally known as Tuncanbar to the local Aboriginal...more

In Town

Botanic Gardens: peaceful vistas and orchid conservatory; Elizabeth St.

Historical Village & Museum: recalls pioneer days in 20 historic buildings, including Acutt Cottage, the old church and sugar machinery; open Fri–Sun; Zephyr St.

Sea Shell Museum: shell creations and displays, including 100-million-year-old shell; Esplanade.

Neptune's Reefworld: natural aquarium with Great Barrier Reef's coral and sea life plus performing seals; Pulgul St.

M & K Model Railways: award-winning miniature village and model trains. Ride the replica diesel train; open Tues–Fri; Old Maryborough Rd.

Thrillseekers Amusement Park: rides include the Bungee Rocket; Hervey Bay Rd.

Dayman Park: memorial commemorates landing of Matthew Flinders in 1799 and the Z-Force commandos who trained there on the Krait in WW II. 

Regional Gallery: includes rotating exhibitions of local artists plus touring exhibitions from state and national galleries; open Mon–Sat; Old Maryborough Rd. 

Scenic walkway: cycle or walk 15 km along the waterfront.

Whale-watching tours: half- and full-day tours to see the migratory whales off the coast, departing from Boat Harbour; contact visitor centre for details.


Fraser Island World Heritage–listed Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. It is an ecological wonder with lakes and forests existing purely on sand. Protected within Great Sandy National Park, the island is an oasis of beaches, beautifully coloured sand cliffs, more than 40 freshwater lakes and spectacular rainforests. Idyllic Lake McKenzie is definitely one of the most beautiful of these freshwater lakes – its shallow water is dazzling aquamarine and ringed by white sandy beaches backed by paperbark trees.The island is also home to a variety of wildlife, including migratory birds and rare animals such as the ground parrot and Illidge's ant-blue butterfly. Offshore, see the turtles, dugong and dolphins soak up the warm waters and, between Aug and Nov, look out for migrating humpback whales. There are a variety of walks around the island, as well as swimming spots and scenic drives. The island's surf coast, on the east, takes in the beautiful Seventy Five Mile Beach; the Cathedrals, 15 m sheer cliffs composed of different-coloured sands; the wreck of the Maheno, a trans-Tasman luxury liner; and Eli Creek, a freshwater creek filtered through the dunes, where visitors can float beneath the pandanus trees. Care should be taken around the island's dingo population. Stay with children, walk in groups, never feed or coax the dingoes and keep all food and rubbish in vehicles or campground lockers. They are thought to be the purest strain of dingoes in eastern Australia. By the time these native dogs arrived on the mainland – they came with Asian seafarers around 5000 years ago – Fraser Island was already disconnected from the continent, and the dingoes swam across Great Sandy Strait. Unlike most mainland dingoes, they have not been hybridised by contact with domestic dogs. Vehicle and camping permits from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, 13 1304; 23 km E.

Great Sandy Strait: the Mary and Susan rivers to the south of Hervey Bay run into this strait where visitors can see spectacular migratory birds, including the comb-crested jacana. Look out for dugongs, the world’s only plant-eating marine mammals, and fish at the mouth of the Mary River, around River Heads. Hire a houseboat to travel down the strait; contact visitor centre for details.

Toogoom: quiet seaside resort town. Feed the pelicans on the boardwalk; 15 km W.

Burrum Heads: pleasant holiday resort at the mouth of the Burrum River with excellent beaches and fishing. Visit at Easter for the Amateur Fishing Classic; 20 km NW.

Burrum Coast National Park: 34 km NW; see Bundaberg.

Brooklyn House: historic Queenslander pioneer house; Howard; 36 km W

Scenic flights: over Hervey Bay and Fraser Island in a Tiger Moth or other small plane; contact visitor centre for details.

Fishing spots near town

Hervey Bay 4 km

Hervey Bay and Fraser Island are inseparably linked to each other and to fishing. Variety and quality of species is a true measure of a fishing destination and here you can catch longtails (northern bluefin tuna),... Find out more

Lake Lenthall 37 km

Anyone who has read about the barramundi boom in Queensland’s impoundments will know about lakes like Awoonga, Faust and Callide. But there are many, less- known waters that also offer excellent fishing, and one of... Find out more

Fraser Island 50 km

The world’s biggest sand island, Fraser Island is 123 km long and has become Australia’s most famous beach-fishing venue, albeit one that also offers rock- and offshore fishing. The list of inshore species... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Hiking on Fraser Island 40 km

Fraser Island, with its 1653 square kilometres encompassing 200-metre-high sand dunes, 80 beautiful lakes and pockets of rainforest, is a delight for those prepared to put on a pack. Hikers can camp beside some of the... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Bayswater Bistro & Bar

Located at Peppers Pier Resort, the Bayswater Bistro concentrates on seafood. Specialties of the house include salt and Sichuan pepper squid with lime aioli, and grilled Hervey Bay scallops with coconut, kaffir lime and... Find out more

Enzo’s on the Beach

This is the kind of seaside cafe you can often only dream of finding in these days of big resorts claiming much of the waterfront. At Scarness, the quiet end of the bay, Enzo’s feels almost European with its... Find out more

Gatakers Landing Restaurant

The emphasis here is on the sea and its produce, although meat eaters are also well served. Signature dishes include salt-and-pepper squid served with avocado and coriander salsa. Or for the best of everything, try a... Find out more

Kingfisher Bay Resort Cruises

Take a moonlight cruise to Kingfisher Bay Resort and stay for dinner at the Maheno Restaurant. Or book a Day Away Cruise that includes morning or afternoon tea, a ranger guided walk and lunch at the Sand Bar. Moonlight... Find out more

Campsites around town

Jeffries Beach camping area (boat-based camping) 10 km

This bush campground with no facilities is the only camping area on Woody Island. You’ll find Jeffries Beach on the south-east side of the island, about 5 min south of the gas shed. Experienced sea kayakers... Find out more

Lake McKenzie camping area (walk-in camping) 25 km

This basic clearing with few facilities is 6.6 km from Central Station camping area and 11.9 km from Lake Wabby camping area. The maximum stay is 2 nights and groups should be no bigger than 8. Boil or treat water before... Find out more

Ungowa camping area 25 km

Expect plenty of open, shady spots for tents, and defined camper trailer sites, at Ungowa, 12 km south-west of Central Station on the south-west coast of Fraser Island. The facilities are relatively basic but include a... Find out more

Valley of the Giants camping area (walk-in camping) 28 km

This walkers’ camp, 13.1 km from Lake Garawongera and 16.2 km from Lake Wabby, has a toilet and tap water (treat or boil water before drinking). A 2-night maximum stay applies. Bring a gas/fuel stove as fires are... Find out more

Central Station camping area 28 km

Much less congested than your typical Central Station, this one is set in a rainforest and can only be reached by four-wheel drive. It is located 10 km west of Eurong, 16.6 km north of Lake Boomanjin and just 300 m from... Find out more

Central Station camping area 28 km

This fenced family campground in central Fraser Island’s rainforest setting has 44 tent sites, 16 camper trailer sites and a group area for 20–40 people. Accessible by 4WD or hiking trails only, it is 13 km... Find out more

Fraser Island Great Walk (walk-in camping) 28 km

The 90 km Fraser Island Great Walk from Hook Point to Lake Garawongera takes 6–8 days to complete. Walkers’ camps and beach camping are available at numerous locations. There are no facilities at most... Find out more

Lake Garawongera camping area (walk-in camping) 29 km

This site is 13.1 km from Valley of the Giants camping area and about 6.6 km from the Fraser Island Great Walk trailhead at Happy Valley. Treat or boil water before drinking and use gas/fuel stoves only (no open fires... Find out more

Burrum Point camping area 29 km

Whether you prefer swimming at the beach or boating on a river, you’re blessed with the choice of both at Burrum Coast National Park. The sandy camping area is just a short walk from the beach at Burrum Point, and... Find out more

Lake Benaroon camping area (walk-in camping) 32 km

There is a maximum stay of 2 nights and groups should number no more than 8 at this hikers’ campsite. Lake Benaroon camping area is 6.3 km from Dilli Village and 7.2 km from Lake Boomanjin camping area. Water from... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Fraser Lodge Holiday Park

Explore Hervey Bay, go whale-watching or relax and enjoy the pool, barbecues, and the ducks in the lake or have a game of tennis at this great park. Set in a quiet street, it is just a short walk to the beach and close... Find out more

Happy Wanderer Village Caravan Park 1 km

With more ensuite sites than anything else, this is a large quality park with plenty of shade and excellent facilities to make your Hervey Bay holiday something to remember. It is not far to the waters edge and the boat... Find out more

Harbour View Caravan Park 3 km

Hervey Bay is a major tourist destination and this owner-operated waterfront park is close to the large marina complex where the whale-watching cruises depart during the season. This is a good park with basic facilities,... Find out more

Burrum River Caravan Park 30 km

In a quiet location on the banks of the Burrum River, on the south side of Howard, and less than 1 km from the Bruce Highway this is an ideal park for a quiet rest away from the traffic and the beach bustle. There are... Find out more

Wallace Motel & Caravan Park 33 km

This is a good quality park close to the city centre and on the banks of the Mary River. Access is easy from the southern approaches – just across the bridge. It is good value here and there is space for larger... Find out more

Woodgate Beach Tourist Park 37 km

In the centre of a small beachfront community and just across the road from a wonderful beach, this is a convenient and popular park with a relaxing coffee shop. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length... Find out more

Glenlodge Caravan Village 67 km

This owner-operated park is 6 km south of the town centre and easily accessible, ideal for an overnight stay or as a base for a few days exploring the region. It has very good amenities. Bookings are required in peak... Find out more

Bargara Beach Caravan Park 68 km

This large, quality beachside tourist park is in a popular holiday destination. Snorkelling, diving and fishing are popular in the surrounding waters. Bargara is a small coastal community not far from Bundaberg. The Mon... Find out more

Tin Can Bay Tourist Park 71 km

In a quiet area of Tin Can Bay, this is a good quality park with facilities to suit the discerning tourist. Good value here. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies at Christmas and... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Breakfree Great Sandy 

Prices for this resort right on the water’s edge start low for studio rooms with limited kitchen facilities, and increase considerably for three-bedroom penthouse apartments. All options have balconies and you can... Find out more

Emeraldene Inn & Eco-Lodge

This tranquil family-owned-and-operated eco-resort has 14 motel-style rooms set in a hectare of bushland and landscaped gardens. It is in the peaceful Pialba region of Hervey Bay, and its tour desk will provide... Find out more

Peppers Pier Resort

Thanks to its location off the Charlton Esplanade opposite Urangan Pier, this Peppers resort has excellent water views of the bay and Fraser Island from its six levels of accommodation. There are 129 units, ranging from... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Emeraldene Inn and Eco-Lodge, Hervey Bay 6 km

The 14 hotel-style rooms here, including two disabled rooms, have solar hot water and an envirocycle treatment system so that all sewage and greywater is treated and reused on site. The lodge has a solid environmental... Find out more

Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island 20 km

With 1000 beds, and a choice of pools, restaurants and bars, this is the largest accommodation place mentioned in this book, but it has a longstanding reputation as being a positive role model for large ecotourism... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Wongi camping area 37 km

T/O 36km N of Tiaro (L) or 42km S of Childers (R)

Secluded bush setting 10km (unsealed) west of the highway in Wongi State Forest.

Petrie rest area 56 km

T/O 1km N of Tiaro (L) or 81km S of Childers (R)

Small secluded area 1km west of the highway on a riverbank.

Tiaro camping area 57 km

At Tiaro

Just off the highway via Inman St. Facilities at adjacent town park.

Apple Tree Creek rest area 65 km

At Apple Tree Creek

Just off the highway under shady trees. On the south side of town.

Wallum rest area 70 km

T/O to Bundaberg

Just off the road among shady trees 18km north-east of the highway or 28km south-west of Bundaberg.

Sharon rest area 78 km

T/O to Bundaberg

Just off the road among shady trees 34km east of the highway or 15km west of Bundaberg.

Gunalda rest area 83 km

29km N of Gympie (R) or 32km S of Tiaro (L)

Well off the highway among a few trees.

Chatsworth rest area 98 km

6km N of Gympie (L) or 55km S of Tiaro (R)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Gin Gin rest area 100 km

2km N of Gin Gin (R) or 97km S of Miriam Vale (L)

Well off the highway under shady trees.

What's on around town

Nikenbah Markets: Nikenbah Animal Refuge; 1st and 3rd Sun each month.

Koala Markets: Elizabeth St; 2nd, 4th and 5th Sun each month.

Fraser Coast Multicultural Festival: Mar.

Fraser Coast Show: May.

World's Biggest Pub Crawl: June.

Mary Poppins Festival: July 

Whale Festival: Aug.

Seafood Festival: Aug.

Hervey Bay Jazz and Blues Festival: Nov.  

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