How to get to Hervey Bay – Planes, Trains and Automobiles!

We are often asked what is the easiest / cheapest way to get to Hervey Bay – so here is the inside info and best tips … access is easy and cheap (if you plan ahead!) …

Hervey Bay is located approx a 2 hour drive north of Noosa and the Sunshine Coast, and approx 3 ¼ hours drive from Brisbane Airport. Access is available by train (Queensland Rail Tilt Train), air (Qantas and Virgin Australia), or by road.


Qantas flies to Hervey Bay from Brisbane with 4 convenient flights a day during the week and 3 on weekends. If you are coming from other destinations, be sure to search for flights from your originating port to Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast), as the through pricing will be cheaper than booking separate legs.

Sydney to Hervey Bay flights (via Brisbane) start at around $150 and offer the best arrival times (first flight from Sydney departs 6am arriving at 9am).

Brisbane to Hervey Bay flights start at $106. (4 flights a day)

Melbourne to Hervey Bay (via Brisbane) start at $220, with the first flights departing 6am and arriving 9am (good connection for Lady Elliot).

Virgin Australia flies direct from Sydney to Hervey Bay. There is only 1 flight a day which arrives and departs in the middle of the day (11:55 arrival in winter, 10:55 in summer). Flights start at $110.

Melbourne to Hervey Bay starts at $224 (via Sydney).

It is also worth considering flights to the Sunshine Coast, particularly if you are planning on a visit to Noosa as well as Hervey Bay. Virgin has flights from Sydney to Sunshine Coast from $89 and from Melbourne to Sunshine Coast for $125. Then hire a car for the trip to Hervey Bay.

Hire Cars

I usually recommend looking at hiring a car if you are originating in, or coming via, Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast. It is an easy 3 1/4 hr drive from Brisbane or 2 hrs from Sunshine Coast. Australia Zoo is about half way and is a must-see stop if you are driving from Brisbane.

Hervey Bay itself is a big, spread out town, being 18km from one end to the other. There is no real CBD or centre of town, so it is difficult to explore and navigate without a vehicle. Car hire these days is very reasonable. You can hire a car for between $40 and $50 per day with unlimited kilometres. I use to compare prices and book (and escape the one way delivery charge rental companies will try to hit you with if you are not returning to the same place). Make sure to let me know if you are coming by car so I can give you some cool sites to see on the way!

Tilt Train

The Tilt Train is a great option for heading north. If you are arriving by plane to Brisbane you can get the airport link train to Roma Street Station where the Tilt Train departs.

There are 2 trips a day from Roma Street Station in Brisbane (except on Saturdays). The departure at 11:00am arrives in Hervey Bay at 3:30pm, and the 4:55pm arrives at 9:30pm. On Saturdays there is only 1 service which departs at 1:10pm and arrives at 6:45pm. One-way price for an adult is $86.50 (which includes the train-link bus from Maryborough to Hervey Bay). You can often save 20% on this with an advance purchase discount. The tilt train has very comfortable (allocated) seating with a shop where you can buy food, drinks, newspapers etc … very civilized!

The Emeraldene Inn are agents for Queensland Rail so can help you with ticketing travel on the train. Airlines and rental cars you are best to book direct.

by Rob Lennon        Emeraldene Inn & Eco-Lodge, Hervey Bay

Please stay with us in Hervey Bay   Emeraldene Inn & Eco-Lodge   Book Online

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14 thoughts on “How to get to Hervey Bay – Planes, Trains and Automobiles!

  1. I f our plane gets into Brisbane from NZ at 8.45 am, by the time we get thru customs, will that allow enough time to get the airport link train to Roma Street Station to catch our TILT train to Maryborough and then bus to Hervey Bay? Also would it be cheaper to get a return trip via the same way back to Brisbane Airport?? I was talking about the train leaving at 11.00 am??

    • Hi Karin,

      Assuming your flight is on time and you have no problems with customs / immigration there should be plenty of time. If you get held up (or just miss a train) grab a taxi instead of the airport link train. The train tickets are no cheaper for a return trip. There is also an efficient direct shuttle service from Brisbane Airport to Hervey Bay for $165 return ($92.50 one way). If this is of interest please email me direct.



  2. What should we see if we’re planning to drive from Brisbane to Hervey Bay? How much time (outside the 3 hr. drive time) should we allow?

    • Hi Jennifer,

      Yes there is a train that runs from Brisbane (via Maryborough / Hervey Bay) to Cairns. Queensland Rail’s “Spirit of Queensland” offers both seats and sleeper berths on this service daily. If you google “Queensland Rail” you can check out timetables and prices.


  3. Hi, i wanna know if i can get a shuttle from Hervey Bay to Brisbane. Trains and bus don’t have the best schedule. Which do you recomend?

    • Hi there,

      Yes, the tilt train only has 2 services a day (and the times are not all that great), and the bus journey is a long one! You might try Atkinson’s Shuttles and see if their services line up with your preferred travel times (google them!) … alternatively, check Qantas for flights … often they work out cheaper than other alternatives and it is only a 40 minute flight. At present you can fly Brisbane to Hervey Bay for $85 with Qantas!


  4. Hi, I am in Brisbane ,If I want to hervey bay to whale watch ,how many day we need ? And where I can join the tour ?

    • Hi Jerry,

      You would be best with a minimum of 2 nights. You can see all our great Whale Watch Packages on our website by following this link Whale Watch Packages.

      Of course whilst you are here it would be remiss to not see Fraser Island as well!! So perhaps one of our 3 night packages with Whales and Fraser is the way to go.



  5. Hi Rob,
    compliment to your website. so far I found it most informative of all I have studied so far. I am sitting here in Thailand and try to preorganize my onward jorney on Febr.20th, arriving with Quantas from Alice Sprgs. at 12:25hr at Brisban Intl Airpt and wonder if Ican reach Greyhound Bus,leaving at 01.05 from Coachplatform outside arrival?
    I loked quite a bit, but could not find a busservice departing from Brisb. at 1:30pm or later, allowing me to get there in time.
    Any suggestions? Thanks in advance,

    • Hi Walter,

      There is no later bus. You would be best to hire a car, fly Qantas from Brisbane to Hervey Bay (4 flights a day), or try Atkinson Shuttles.



  6. Hi Rob
    Are you able to suggest themes efficient way that we (family of 5) can get from Hervey Bay to Noosa? It is just a one way trip so hire cars are very expensive.


    • Hi Kate,

      Hire cars will be the most efficient. Other than that you might try Greyhound buses or Bay2Dore Shuttle buses.



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