Australia, Queensland

Reasons to visit Hervey Bay with your family

Reasons to visit Hervey Bay with your family

I am somewhat obsessed with travelling and exploring new places.  Lucky for me, my husband and two young kids don’t complain about me dragging them overseas and around Australia every chance I get.

Even though a lot of these places are truly amazing and some are downright spectacular (I’m looking at you Bora-Bora); we always miss home after a few weeks and happily return to our home town of Hervey Bay in Queensland, Australia.

Hervey Bay is truly a wonderful, relaxing place for a holiday.  With it’s mild weather and long coastline of calm ocean, it’s particularly suitable for families.

So… If I haven’t convinced you already, here are 10 reasons to visit Hervey Bay with your family!

Reason # 1 – The beach is great for kids

The beach stretches for kilometers and the ocean waters are sheltered and calm.  The water is stinger free and there is heaps of soft sand for the kids to play in (or the adults to relax on).  If your kids aren’t confident swimmers yet, low tide brings shallow puddles to splash around in at some of the beaches.

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Trillian (aged 2) enjoying a particularly calm winters day at a beach in Urangan (next to the marina rock wall) in Hervey Bay

Reason # 2 – The esplanade is awesome

The esplanade stretches for 14 km alongside the ocean from Urangan to Point Vernon. Walk, skate or ride your bike either the whole length or sections at a time…the choice is yours!  Free parks and exercise equipment are spread along the length of the esplanade as well as plenty of opportunities to stop for a coffee or ice-cream.

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Biking a section of the Esplanade in Hervey Bay

Reason # 3 – Fraser Island is right next door

Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and is home to some very unique and beautiful features.  This heritage listed island is a ‘must see‘ and will no doubt, be one of the highlights of a family trip to Hervey Bay.  You can head over with your own 4WD and camping gear, stay in one of the resorts or join a tour so you don’t miss out on any of the highlights.

I will go so far as to confidently say that Fraser Island is not only a highlight of this area, but one of the highlights of Australia!  I will be writing up some in-depth information on Fraser Island early next year.  Sign up to my fortnightly newsletter here if you don’t want to miss out!

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Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island

Reason # 4 – Whale spotting opportunities

There is a good reason Hervey Bay is known as the whale watch capital of Australia!  If you visit between late July and early November, you will get the opportunity to see whales up close and personal from one of the regular tour operators in the bay.  Unlike other coastal towns where the whales pass by, the whales use Hervey Bay’s sheltered bay as a stopover for a few days to rest, play and socialise before continuing their migration.

Book your whale watching tour here:

Reason # 5 – It’s not crowded

With a population of just under 60,000, Hervey Bay is large enough to have both a decent public and private hospital as well as plenty of shops for all of your needs. However, it’s also small enough that although busy in peak times (for e.g. the school run), you won’t have to deal with the frustration of traffic jams.  Parking is free and even in the height of summer, you still won’t have to share your stretch of sand on the beach.

Reason # 6 – Accommodation options to suit all budgets

From camping on the esplanade in a caravan park to five star resorts; there really is something to suit all budgets. Check out some great accommodation deals in Hervey Bay below:

Reason # 7 – The weather

The weather is pretty mild with an average high of 21 degrees in Winter and an average high of 30 degrees in Summer.  It’s not uncommon for Hervey Bay to get seasonal visitors escaping either the heat from up north or the cold from down south.

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It’s not cold enough to say no to the beach in Winter. The water is a bit cold though!

Reason # 8 – The iconic Urangan Pier

The Urangan Pier is pretty great.  It stretches for nearly 1km and as a result, is one of the longest in Australia.  A family stroll to the end gives great views of the Hervey Bay coast line and you may even spot pods of dolphins, stingrays and schools of fish.

Bring your fishing gear (or buy some here) and try your hand at catching some whiting from the pier.  The kids will love learning to fish from here!

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View from the Urangan Pier looking back towards Hervey Bay

Reason # 9 – Free waterpark

Wetside Water Park is a FREE waterpark on the Esplanade.  Yes…that’s right.  Free. No gold coin donation.  Nothing. The park has a special area called Totside for under five’s and a larger area with jets of water spraying out of the ground for older kids.  There is a busy fish and chip shop on site as well as Bean Beat; one of the best coffee/cafe shops in Hervey Bay.

The park closes for maintenance over Winter and usually re-opens again in September. My only gripe is that it doesn’t open until 10 am which is about the time when little Miss Two starts getting tired and grumpy.  I can’t really complain for such a great free activity though!

Check out the Fraser Coast City Council’s website here for opening hours and information.

Reason # 10 – Lots of free or cheap ways to occupy the kids

The beach, the pier, the esplanade, the waterpark….it’s all free.  You can also visit the botanical gardens, walk along one of the smaller jetty’s or visit the Arkarra Tea Gardens. I’ll be writing a post soon on free and cheap things to do in Hervey Bay so If you haven’t already, sign up to my fortnightly newsletter here so you don’t miss out!

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The entrance to the Urangan Pier. There is actually a great cafe right next door that has a little area full of kids toys that are free to use if you are dining there

Other home town stories

This blog post was written in collaboration with a few other family travel bloggers.  We have all written a ‘home town story’, whether its a personal story or like me, just sharing how awesome their home town is.  Here are the links to their stories:

Lots of planets have a north‘s story can be viewed here.

Click here to read World schooler exchange‘s hometown story

Going where the wind blows‘s story can be viewed here.

Click here to read a home story from Magnets from everywhere

You can read a home story from The Little Den here

Border Free Adventures home story can be found here

Want To Learn About More Awesome Places?

For more information on all of the places I have visited, check out this page: My travel destinations

Resources for planning and booking your next getaway

Get your guidebooks here:

Lonely Planet

Find the best flight deals below:

Get a great deal on accommodation below:

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7 thoughts on “Reasons to visit Hervey Bay with your family

  1. Oh Hervey Bay does look like a lovely area to raise your children. We lived in Gladstone for 3 years but sadly did not venture that far down the coast during our exploring. Looking at your fabulous photos I wish we had now!

  2. Wow. Just wow- the water, the fun activities, the free waterpark!!! This is definitely going on my list of places we have to visit! What an awesome place to spend time
    With your children.

  3. Oh Hervey Bay! This is a kind of home for me, given that we lived just down the road in Maryborough for the year before and for a fear after we were married! Many many drives were had down to Hervey Bay!

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