Most people overlook the diving around Hervey Bay and Fraser Island but it’s worth doing a couple dives to see what the area has to offer. The wrecks and artificial reefs are in good condition and although it’s not the Great Barrier Reef (actually it’s just the start of it), there is still some cool stuff to see.
There are a few dive centres in Hervey Bay town and about 20 sites in the area to explore. Sea life is abundant and you can expect to see blue parrotfish, schools of trevally, snapper, cod, coral trout, sweetlips, jacks, turtles, sharks, rays and maybe even a sea snake.
The Roy Rufus site is the largest artificial reef in the southern hemisphere, made up of old ships, car bodies and concrete blocks and started in 1968, the reef is teaming with life and macro photographers will love searching in the rubble for little critters. There are 6 sites on this reef and you might even see a dugong if you’re very lucky.
Moon Ledge has a few caves to explore and large schools of cod are often seen here and Steel Barge S4 is a good training dive or wreck enthusiasts. A couple of hours drive from Hervey Bay is the Cochrane Reef which is the wreck of an aircraft and pretty interesting.
If you’re on the Fraser Coast then do a couple of dives and see the artificial reef at its best. You never know what you might find.
(By Kelly Luckman)
Known as the whale watching capital of the world, Hervey Bay is a popular tourist destination to see these amazing animals and it’s also the gateway to the World Heritage Listed Fraser Island and Lady Elliot Island. The town is located 290km north of Brisbane.
There are daily flights from Brisbane and Sydney to Hervey Bay ’s airport. Buses and train frequent the Fraser Coast as well but to really enjoy the area you should hire a 4WD to explore the beaches and Fraser Island . You can also take a tour if you’d prefer someone else drive for you.
Hervey Bay is a popular backpacker town, dorm beds start at $25 and double rooms from $50 a night. 5 star accommodation is pretty cheap starting at only $110. If you head over to Fraser Island then camping is a great option or hire a 4WD and you can throw a mattress in the back or if you have funds there are some lovely resorts for $110-$130 a night.
The area is a plethora of incredible natural beauty and you’ll be wowed by how amazing it is. Between August and November people flock to Hervey Bay for the whales so if you’re in the area at this time then it’s the number one thing to do. If you like sharks then a visit to Vic Hislop’s Shark World is pretty cool. You can go fishing or horse riding, visit one of galleries or museums in the town and chilling on the beaches is a great way to spend a day.
A 4WD trip to the biggest sand island in the world, Fraser Island , is a fabulous adventure. You can hire a 4WD from Hervey Bay and jump on the car ferry to the island or join a tour from one of the hostels. On the island you can visit Lake Wabby and Lake MacKenzie , the Champagne Pools or Eli Creek are a nice place for dip and Indian Heads has some excellent landscape and views. Be sure to visit the Maheno Shipwreck.
Be aware of the Dingoes on Fraser as they can get very aggressive so do not approach or feed them. Always secure your food at camping sites so as to not attract the dogs. Do not swim in the ocean in dangerous surf conditions, it’s best to enjoy the lakes and creeks instead. Be sure to drive safely on the sand and obey speed limits. There are police doing checks and also breathalysing people so definitely don’t drink and drive.
There are some great restaurants in Hervey Bay along the esplanade and you’ll find a selection of Asian and steak and seafood places. Be sure to have a fish and chips feast from one of the beachfront shops. Stock up on your shopping before heading to Fraser Island as the food is pretty expensive over there.
It’s a superb place to spend a few days so enjoy the wonders of the Fraser Coast.
(By Kelly Luckman)