Hervey Bay is located on the Fraser Coast a region that is famous for its natural wonders including whales, dolphins and Fraser Island; which is the world's largest sand island and Heritage Listed.
We flew into Brisbane and drove the 3.5 hours to Hervey Bay along the Bruce Highway. But you can also fly into the Sunshine Coast or Hervey Bay itself.
On the beach at Hervey Bay
Hervey Bay has a wide range of accommodation ranging from backpackers, apartments, resorts, caravan parks and house for rent. We chose to stay at White Crest Luxury Apartments as it was close to shops, restaurants and across the road from the beach.
After checking into our apartment we booked a whale watching cruise for the next day, as this was to be a highlight of our visit to the area. We then set out to explore the local area and took a long walk along the beach.
Fishing at Hervey Bay
Like most beach side suburbs the town radiates out from the beach with accommodation, restaurants and shops lining the nearby streets. Hervey Bay has a number of suburbs which have grown over the years to cover quite a large area. So don't be confused when you see names such as Torquay, Pialba and Point Vernon as these are all located along the coastline at Hervey Bay.
The next morning we were collected outside our accommodation and taken to the Marina for our whale watching cruise with Whalesong, who are one of the many whale watching companies in Hervey Bay. We did a morning cruise but you can also choose an afternoon or full day cruise.
Smooth sailing even into a storm
We enjoyed a breakfast of quiche, bacon, sausages, salads and bread which was served shortly after we departed the Marina. The weather wasn't looking great as we headed out of the bay in search of whales. We went through some small rain storms but it was still very smooth sailing and we continued to enjoy staying out on the deck.
Our first experience of a whale breaching
After about an hour of cruising we came across our first whales which caused a lot of excitement and everyone moved outside onto the decks. We observed a number of pods as the boat cruised from one area to another looking for more active whales.
A whale swims underneath our boat
The whales mainly travelled in pairs, some mothers and calves, we saw them waving with their fins, swimming up and down and breaching as they played in the ocean nearby.
Swimming close to the boat
Just before we headed towards home a whale decided to come so close to the boat that it swam beneath us and then popped up on the other side. It was an amazing experience being so close to this gentle but gigantic creature.
A final breaching before we head for home
Watching the whales breach was one of the best experiences of the morning. I found it hard to catch them on the camera but we did manage to some great acrobatics on video.
Best meal was at Maddigans Fish and Chips in Torquay, its a take away, but the range of fish and other seafood was fantastic.
Tin Can Bay
We left the highway and dropped in to see this quaint fishing and boating haven whilst travelling south to the Sunshine Coast. Tin Can Bay is also renowned for dolphin sighting at Norman Point, normally between 7.30 and 8 a.m.
Tin Can Bay Harbour
Prawns, scallops and spanner crabs are all caught in this area with many destined for the overseas market. We also saw a number of houseboats moored in the Bay demonstrating the range of water activities that draw people to the live and holiday in the area.
View from Les Lee Park, Tin Can Bay
We took another diversion to Rainbow Beach another lovely seaside village known for fishing, boating, surfing. prawning and crabbing.
Rainbow Beach is also known as the main entry point to Fraser Island due to the short ferry ride from Inskip Point. Its where we crossed a number of years ago to spend 5 days on this amazing Island.
The town of Rainbow Beach has grown substantially since we last visited and there is now a range of shops, accommodation and activities to enjoy.
Fishing at Inskip Point, Rainbow Beach
We were surprised at the extent of camping areas that line the road as you drive to Inskip Point. These looked like amazing camping sites shaded by cypress pines and other trees and shrubs in walking distance to the beach and close to the town of Rainbow Beach.
The coloured sands at Inskip Point (once known as Black Beach) are explained in the Kaby Dreaming story of Yiningie, the spirit of the gods, who often took the form of a rainbow. Yiningie was killed in a fight when he crashed into cliffs and his spirit coloured the sands.
Ferry crossing from Fraser Island to Inskip Point
A glimpse of Fraser Island