Kick off your shoes and relax. If you want to unwind, the Fraser Coast region, three hours drive north of Brisbane, has a laid-back lifestyle that has its own niche in a tourism rich state.
Here you can enjoy a holiday with a totally carefree spirit, taking barefoot walks along the beach, bicycle rides beside the ocean, eating fish and chips with your fingers, strolls around historical districts, sunset cruises with Butchulla guides in Hervey Bay and encounters with kangaroos, dingoes, dugongs, turtles, dolphins, rainbow lorikeets and other native animals.
When you’re rested and ready for some action, try sailing, swimming, riding a jet-ski to a pristine sandbank, stand-up paddle boarding or horse-riding under the stars after a meal around a campfire.
Dotted along Hervey Bay’s 16km Esplanade are alfresco cafés and restaurants, shops, parklands, picnic areas, playgrounds, piers and a vibrant marina — all with stunning ocean views. Drop in a line to catch a diverse variety of both warm and cool water species and take your pick of game, deep sea, beach or river fishing.
Unforgettable Fraser Island is the region’s must-see attraction. The planet’s biggest sand island can be explored on foot, by bus, in a four-wheel drive or even on a Segway! Discover for yourself why the original inhabitants of the World Heritage listed island named it K’gari which means Paradise in Butchulla language.
Swim in the stunning waters of Lake McKenzie or the Champagne Pools, tempt your taste buds with a bush tucker dining experience, be awed by the massive trees in the Valley of the Giants, marvel at the crystal clear stream running through Central Station, see the rusting skeleton of the wrecked former wartime hospital ship SS Maheno, zoom along the gazetted highway of Seventy-Five Mile Beach or get a bird’s eye view of the island from a plane.
If you’re happy for some more airtime, hop on a flight to Lady Elliot Island on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel off the beach with turtles, manta rays, dolphins and reef fish while checking out the mix of hard and soft corals.
Between July and November, experience amazing up-close interactions with humpback whales in the first region on the planet to be designated a World Whale Heritage Site. During the five-month season, sightings are just about guaranteed on the Fraser Coast, where whales stop to rest and play for an average of 10 days on their annual migration—the only place on Australia’s east coast where this phenomenon occurs.