Great FREE things To Do In Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay is best known for its access to Fraser Island, Lady Elliot Island (Great Barrier Reef), and for its renowned status as the “Whale Watching Capital of the World”.

There is also a lot to recommend Hervey Bay as a destination in itself, with so much to see and do in Hervey Bay and it’s surrounding villages. 


Whether you are an international visitor on an east coast adventure, or an “Aussie local” looking for a great beachside holiday, you can’t go wrong planning an extra couple of days in Hervey Bay to unwind, relax, and enjoy the serenity of this beautiful coastal town.

Urangan Pier

Hervey Bay’s iconic pier was built in 1913 to take sugar, coal and timber from Maryborough and surrounds. It was originally 1107m in length prior to being decommissioned as a commercial pier in 1985 and shortened to a still impressive 870m.

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The Pier in the afternoon at low tide with a cloudy sky

The pier is a lovely walk at any time of day, with a myriad of fisherman and “colourful characters” to entertain you on the way.

Enjoy the great views of the western side of Fraser Island, some great photo opportunities at sunset, or hire some fishing gear and throw in a line!

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Under the Urangan Pier at low tide


The 14km bike and walking track that extends the length of the Esplanade and runs along the beach / foreshore is great for a walk, jog or even better – hire some bikes (shop diagonally opposite the pier or from Aquavue Cafe half-way along the Esplanade).

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The Esplanade viewing the pier

There are community BBQs in the parks to enjoy a day on the beach or a picnic in the park!

Swimming / Beaches

Hervey Bay sits in the lee of Fraser Island, and hence has a calm and protected 12km long north-facing beach. The stinger-free waters are safe for swimming all year round, with an average water temperature between 21 and 26 degrees – often warmer in than out!!

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Family on the beach

To enjoy miles of almost deserted beach, head 10 minutes out of town up the Burrum Heads Road to Dundowran Beach – take the camera for some awesome sunset pics!

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The calm ocean viewed from the Esplanade

Wetside Water Park

The Water Park is fantastic for families with kids of all ages. Best of all – its free!!!

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The Wetside Water Park with it’s water pumping

For the slightly older kids there is the Watersliders right next door which has a small charge for the ride ($6.50 for 10 rides).

Don’t miss the laser light show at sunset on Saturday nights (summer months).

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Wetside Water Park

Fishing on the Pier

With over 1000km2 of protected waters in Platypus Bay, the Fraser Coast offers some of the best and varied fishing experiences of any destination in Australia!

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The pier with the tide coming in

Estuary, beach, reef, jetty, pier, fly (fresh and saltwater) and game fishing is on offer all year round. When the whales are here in August – October, the tailor are running off Fraser Island, offering some exciting beach fishing, and then shortly after in the early summer, black marlin are plentiful around the top of the island.

For the weekend fisherman, try the end of the pier, the rock wall at the marina, or the end of the jetty at Toogum.

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On top of the pier on a sunny day

Check out the Fraser Fishing Guide for all the info you need.

Birdwatching / Gardens / Photography

There are over 290 species of birds in the Fraser Coast region and over 350 on Fraser Island – a birdwatchers paradise!

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Two beautiful pelicans resting

Check out the Botanic Gardens, Arkarra Lagoons and Dundowran Beach. Whilst at the Botanic Gardens it is worth a visit to the Orchid House which has over 20,000 orchids! You should also check out the traditional Chinese Garden, built with co-operation from our Chinese sister city Leshan.

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You can do Birdwatching at the Botanic Gardens

For the photographer, in addition to these locations, it is worth a drive out to Toogum which sits at the mouth of the Beelbi Creek.

Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens Chinese Garden
Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens Chinese Garden

A little pub / restaurant (Goodeys) is a great place on a Sunday afternoon with live music and a stunning outlook.

Weekend Markets

On each Saturday, Urangan Pier Park Community Markets opens between 7am and 1pm. Goods from local artists, crafts, souvenir, jewellery, fashion clothes, handmade stuff for pappies, local fruits and vegetables. Grab a hot dog and enjoy a live music performance.

The Sunday market opens at Nikenbah-Dundowran Road (every 1st and 3rs Sunday) and Kruger Court (Koala Market, every 2nd and 4th Sunday). Goods are from local artists, crafts, souvenir, jewellery, fashion clothes, handmade stuff for pappies, local fruits and vegetables, 2nd hand tools, great arrange of plants from locals, and many more.

The local bird club also have their collection of birds for sale (only at Koala Market).

Bamboo Land Nursery & Parkland

Bamboo Land is a well established bamboo, ginger and heliconia specialised nursery featuring a collection of the world’s finest non-invasive bamboos.

This family owned and operated 50 acre parkland allows customers, enthusiasts and general public to view the mature plants.

The parkland is located at 77-87 Old Coach Road, Torbanlea QLD 4662.

How to get there: You can drive via either Torbanlea Pialba Road or Pialba Burrum Heads Road, which will take approx. 30 minutes to get to the parkland.   

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Bamboo Nursery & Parkland

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