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Toowoomba

Eat, Stay, Play: Fraser Coast

It’s been called the jewel in Queensland’s crown, but Hervey Bay on Queensland’s Fraser Coast is also a gateway to the equally impressive Fraser Island. Together, they make for a stunning duo.


HERVEY BAY


Why

Its subtropical waters are safe, sheltered and stinger-free, making swimming, sailing, water sports and fishing a-year-round possibility; and watch out for the gentle giants. Humpback whales stop here in their tens of thousands on their journey south to Antarctica.

Getting there

From Brisbane, Hervey Bay is a three hour drive north along the Bruce Highway, or just a 40 minute direct flight with Qantas Link. Virgin Australia operates direct flights from Sydney to Hervey Bay Airport, with connections from most Australian capital cities.

When to visit

It’s an ideal 26 degrees year-round, however if you time your visit between July and November, you’ll increase your chances of whale spotting. A perfect winter escape!

Stay

Families are spoilt for choice in Hervey Bay. Fraser Lodge Holiday Park is a 4.5 star site offering camping and caravanning sites, units and villas, while you can secure a waterfront apartment at Mantra Hervey Bay. Two- and Three-Bedroom Suites are ideal for families.

See

Walk the length of the historic Urangan Pier almost one kilometre into the ocean. Cast a line in off the edge and if the kids don’t reel one in, there’s no need to fret. You can settle for fish and chips from the Urangan precinct and its multiple dining options.

Do

Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens is set on 26 hectares and contains the Orchid House, home to 20,000 of the delicate florals and you make use of the barbeques too. For local arts, crafts and baked goodies, the Koala Markets run on the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of every month at Kruger Court in Urangan. Before you continue on to Fraser Island, be sure to make a stop at the Fraser Coast Discovery Sphere, where an underwater encounter with humpback whales prepares the kids for the real thing. Here, the dreamtime legends and artworks of the Butchulla People provide a fascinating education outside of the classroom. For the main event, embark on a half-day whale watching cruise with Spirit of Hervey Bay during school holidays in either the morning or afternoon. Six viewing decks, the largest underwater viewing rooms, free Wi-Fi and activities for kids make this a family-friendly cruise like no other.

Eat

Hervey Bay Boat Club: Alfresco and indoor dining and a kids’ menu with all the essentials.
Enzo’s on the Beach: Water views, beanbags in the sand and lots of choices. The ultimate summer vibe.
Maddigan’s Seafood: Good old fashioned fish ’n’ chips.


Toowoomba



Park Life


FRASER ISLAND


Why

It’s the world’s largest sand island (stretching for 123 kilometres) and lies just south of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral cays. You can expect towering rainforests erupting from the sand, 100 freshwater lakes, and a natural playground for the kids to explore over and over again.

Getting there

Fraser Island is considered 4WD territory, and if you’d like to take your own, Hervey Bay is the best place to hire one. Fraser Island Barges can transport you and your vehicle to Fraser Island. Alternatively the Kingfisher Bay Resort Passenger Ferry provides a scenic option, operating multiple times a day. On the 50 minute journey sightings of dolphins and turtles are not uncommon, so keep your eyes peeled!

When to visit

Like Hervey Bay, Fraser Island is a year-round delight. The months between April and October are optimal, bearing in mind that school holidays can make this island fairly populated.

Stay

Kingfisher Bay Resort effortlessly synchronises with the natural surrounds of the Island. A Two-Bedroom Loft Villa ensures plenty of room for the family or extended family, and a Resort Beach House makes the most of the beach and bushland surrounds with a veranda and barbecue. Segway adventures, walks, and a range of water sports are available and there are even weekend and holiday Junior Eco Ranger sessions to get little ones stargazing, sharing campfire stories and taking on the low ropes.

See

75 mile beach is exactly as picturesque as it sounds, and a wonderfully scenic photo opportunity, but its currents and shark population mean there are far safer places for swimming on the island. That said, the Maheno shipwreck and volcanic Indian Head can be spotted from its pure white sands.

Do

The beach highway on Fraser Island has a magnetic pull for lovers of 4WD. Hire your own or leave it up to an expert on a guided tour. Kingfisher Bay Resort runs a ‘Beauty Spots Tour’ to the major attractions on the island, or a full day personalised itinerary. Lake Mackenzie is one of the most admired sites on the island and with its body of pure rainwater it’s little wonder. The white, soft-under-foot silica sand makes it the ideal place for a midday picnic, but you can also camp overnight with its toilet and shower facilities and incredible stargazing. A remnant from the days of logging, Central Station features a display on the flora and fauna of the island and a boardwalk that skirts Wanggoolba Creek on its way through the rainforest. You can continue the leisurely pace at Eli Creek, which delivers four million litres of freshwater into the ocean every hour. Float on your back from the bridge at the far end of the boardwalk for a true slice of tranquility. Just one of many.

Eat

Maheno Restaurant:Casual breakfasts and lunches to fuel your explorers.
Seabelle Restaurant: A kids’ menu that’s just the right amount of fancy.
Bush tucker talk and taste: Sample Australia’s naturally found ingredients on the Seabelle Deck at Kingfisher Bay Resort.

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