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 are plenty things to do all year around. Below are top 10 things you must do at Hervey Bay when you visit.
Hervey Bay is widely regarded as the best place to watch humpback whales in the world. In 2019, Hervey Bay was named World’s First Whale Heritage Sites.
From July to November each year, Hervey Bay has whales everywhere, resting and playing in the calm waters sheltered by World Heritage listed Fraser Island. The whales are so relaxed here and in such great numbers that it is simply the best place to watch whales in Australia, if not the world.
There are at least 8 whale watching cruises depart from Marina at Hervey Bay each day during the whale watching season. The chooses are from 3 hours cruise (Pacific Whale Foundation), the half day cruise (WhaleSong, Tasman Venture, Spirit of Hervey Bay), ¾ day cruise (Freedom III), or a full day cruise (Blue Dolphin). The senior discount and family pass are available for all cruises.
Whale watching and accommodation packages are available at Emeraldene Inn & Eco-Lodge. You can book between 1 and 2 nights accommodation plus a whale watching of your choice. You can even add some extra activities, such as Fraser Island day trip or Lady Elliot Island day trip.
Get up close to the whales
The world largest sand island, Fraser Island, only a step away from Hervey Bay.
With seventy-five miles beach highway, rainforest that grows entirely out of sand, and perched freshwater lakes, this world heritage listed island is the perfect place to go wild. The wildlife, seabirds, birds of prey, dingos, magnificent sand dunes, a must-see on any itinerary along the east coast of Australia.
A four-wheel drive is essential to tour the island, either on the 75 miles beach highway, or cross the island on the all-sand tracks. You can either take your own 4WD to the island, or hire one from us, including return ferries, national park access, and the accommodation or camping on the island at your own choice. See our package deals.
If the four-wheel self-driving seems daunting to you, we can organise a tour, either a day trip or an island overnight trip. This way you can be sure you see all the amazing sights at their very best without the stress of organising a vehicle, permits and barges. Ask us for details.
Alternatively, we have an amazing Fly / Drive package which allows you to experience the thrill of a self-drive adventure, but eliminates the difficult, dangerous and time-consuming island crossing. Check out the details of this fantastic new Fly & Drive Package!
Lady Elliot Island is located within the 'Green Zone' of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, is a sanctuary for over 1,200 species of marine life, including manta rays and turtles. The excellent water clarity makes Lady Elliot Island a great place for scuba diving and snorkelling all year round.
There are various holiday packages on the island, including eco-resort accommodation for a short and extended stay or the day trip. To find out the package information and special offers, check out our packages.
Cruise the calm waters of the Great Sandy Straits, simply sit back, relax and enjoy the panoramic views of Hervey Bay and World Heritage-listed Fraser Island.
There are a number of sunset cruises each day, between 1.5 hours to 2 hours, the cost is between $59 and $80 per adults. The family pass is available.
Our Hervey Bay Colourful Sunsets
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! 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. Check out the Fraser Fishing Guide for all the info you need or ask us about organised fishing trips / tours. We have some of the best and well known fishing guides in Australia at your disposal!
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). There are community BBQs in the parks to enjoy a day on the beach or a picnic in the park!
The Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens is situated on 26 hectares of land, offering bird & wildlife viewing, plus an orchid house & a small pond.
It is located in Elizabeth Street Urangan, plenty on and off-street parking. The gardens are open every day from 6.30am to 8:00pm and they are a perfect spot for picnics and BBQs. Admission is free.
Step back in time and see what growing up in regional Australia in the “good old days” was really like! This hidden gem features volunteers dressed in period costumes, over 21 buildings with displays and lots of live demonstrations including rope making, blacksmithing, corn shelling, wood turning etc.
Open Sat, Sun and public and school holidays. You should allow at least 2 hours. Admission is $10 per adult and $3 for children under 14. It is free for under school children.
Located at Urangan, Reefworld Aquarium is an all nature aquarium with sand flited water and sunlight. Visitor, either adults or children of all ages, can participate in feeding marine life, like green turtles, sharks, and large reef fish. You can even take the plunge and have a swim with them.
It opens daily from 9:30am until 4:00pm. The ticket is $20 per adult and $10 for children 3-14.
Looking for something exciting? Take this 10mins helicopter ride from Great Ocean Helicopters, see a range of stunning natural wonders and locations, magical photo opportunities from unique perspective. This unforgettable experience in the sky will be one of the highlights when you visit Hervey Bay.