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School Holiday Guide

Posted on 7 January 2019
School Holiday Guide

If you are planning a family holiday on the Fraser Coast, there are heaps of great things to see and do for all age groups. And the Pialba/Hervey Bay region, in particular, has a ton of school holiday fun, with plenty of attractions and activities at any time of the year.

Autumn School Holidays (March - April)

Autumn on the Fraser Coast is a great time for a family visit, with good weather, fewer crowds and plenty to see and do. Attractions include:

  • The Esplanade - this is a highly popular coastal path with walkers, joggers, skaters and riders that meanders 16 kilometres from Urangan Boat Harbour all the way to Point Vernon. Along the way, it takes in parks, playgrounds and piers and an array of beautiful beaches including Urangan, Shelly Beach, Torquay, Scarness, Pialba, Hervey Bay and Point Vernon.
  • Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary - pat a kangaroo, talk to a corella, laugh with a kookaburra, hold a diamond python or kiss a camel; just some of the great wildlife encounters for kids at this not-for-profit wildlife sanctuary in Maryborough. Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary also has a canteen and bbq facilities, so you can enjoy a relaxing picnic and a great family day out.
  • Arkarra Lagoons - meaning "place of many ducks" in the local Aboriginal dialect, this is a cool place to relax with the family and get in touch with nature. The lagoons are home to more than 170 species of wildlife from wallabies and goannas to turtles and eels and it's just an easy ten minute drive from Pialba.
  • Hervey Bay Go Kart Track - this is a 650 metre long fully sealed race track in Pialba where kids of all ages can get in touch with their inner racing car driver. It has an observation deck for parents who'd rather watch than participate, tandem karts so you can teach the little ones to drive and refreshments are available onsite.
  • Hervey Bay Scenic Flights - for the ultimate way to see the beautiful Fraser Coast, why not treat the whole family to a 10-minute scenic flight. You'll have some memorable photo opportunities as you fly over Hervey Bay, the Great Sandy Straights, the Mary River and the stunning coastline of Fraser Island.

For more ideas and inspiration, check out our Guide to Autumn School Holidays in Hervey Bay.

Winter School Holidays (June - July)

With its mild, subtropical climate, the Pialba/Hervey Bay region is a top winter school holiday destination. And if the weather happens to get a little cool for swimming some days, there are plenty of land-based attractions to enjoy including:

  • Reefworld Aquarium - situated on the Urangan foreshore, this natural aquarium is home to a wide variety of marine life including sharks, green sea turtles, tropical fish, large reef fish, crabs and tube worms. It has daily shark feeding session, a turtle touch pond and an onsite Waterfront Restaurant that's open for breakfast and lunch.
  • Nikenbah Markets - held on the first and third Sundays of the month at the Hervey Bay Animal Shelter, this is a fun family market that raises much-needed funds for the animal shelter. Here you'll find everything from arts and crafts and fresh local produce to trash and treasure and lots of great street food, all in a relaxed, pet-friendly atmosphere. 
  • Winter fishing - there are plenty of good catches to be had here in winter including mud crabs, prawns, squid and a variety of river, estuarine and reef fish. Favourite kid-friendly winter fishing spots include Urangan Pier, Toogoom Beach, Kingfisher Jetty and Great Sandy Strait, where you can catch garfish, pike, whiting, flathead, bream, trevally and even the odd bluefin tuna.
  • Jump Park - this is Hervey Bay's highly popular indoor trampolining centre, where you can enjoy a good bounce with the family in a variety of different jump zones, separated according to age, skill level and preference. These include Free Jump, Dodgeball, Airbag, Pro Zone and Inflatables, where parents are encouraged to take off their shoes and join in.
  • Game Lab Cyber Cafe - located at Pialba Place shopping centre, this is a gamer's paradise where the kids can spend hours playing the latest PC games and virtual reality stations while you enjoy some well-earned retail therapy in Pialba Place.

For more ideas and inspiration, check out our Guide to Winter School Holidays in Hervey Bay.

Spring School Holidays (September - October)

The spring school holiday season in Pialba is the best time of year, with clear skies and mild temperatures, making it perfect weather for anything and everything fun. Top spring school holiday attractions include:

  • Whale watching - this is an absolute must-do in springtime and Hervey Bay is the ultimate playground for the majestic humpback whale. They love the calm, protected waters and migrate here every year to have their calves. Take a whale watching excursion with one of the many tour operators in the region and get up close to these amazing creatures as they put on a display that you and your kids will remember forever.
  • Fraser Island Jet Ski Tours - choose from three different guided tours departing from Hervey Bay and explore the beautiful beaches and forest-clad coastline of Fraser Island on a guided Jet Ski tour. This is a breathtaking family excursion with a choice to ride solo or double up with the kids.
  • Fraser Island - why not take a longer excursion to Fraser Island and see beautiful Lake McKenzie (one of the seven wonders of the world), Lake Birrabeen, Eli Creek, Champagne Rock Pools and Lake Wabby. Whether you take a guided 4WD tour or take your own car across on the ferry, don't miss this must-see destination during your time on the Fraser Coast.
  • Dolphin feeding - head for Tin Can Bay in the morning, about one hour's drive south of Hervey Bay, where you can hand feed dolphins in their natural habitat. Barnacles Dolphin Centre offers a rare opportunity to interact with a pod of wild Australian Humpback dolphins, which turn up most mornings for a feed in Snapper Creek.
  • Anzac Park and Ululah Lagoon - just a half hour drive south of Pialba, this peaceful lagoon in Maryborough was once a favourite place for Aboriginal corroborees. The lagoon is surrounded by a walk and cycle path and there's a skate bowl, children's fort, flying fox and other play equipment for the kids. And with the wildflowers in full bloom, this is the perfect time of year for a visit.

For more ideas and inspiration, check out our Guide to Spring School Holidays in Hervey Bay.

Summer School Holidays (December - January)

The Fraser Coast comes alive in the summer school holidays, with a lot more visitors around and even more great school holiday attractions to enjoy. Summer fun in the Pialba region includes:

  • The Beach - protected from the big swells by Fraser Island, the Pialba/Hervey Bay region has some of the safest family swimming beaches in Australia. So pack your fishing rod and a picnic lunch and head for any one of these popular stretches including Scarness, Hervey Bay, Pialba. Urangan. Gables Point, Point Vernon, Eli Creek and Gatakers Bay.
  • Moonraker Dolphin Swims - fancy swimming with dolphins and seals? If you're a family of strong swimmers, your kids are going to love this opportunity to get up close and personal with these amazing sea creatures. Moonraker Dolphin Swims is an ecotourism company based in Torquay that will take you to where the action is and let you view and even swim with wild seals and dolphins in their natural environment.
  • Botanic Gardens - set in 26 hectares of land, Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens are a beautiful oasis of peace and tranquillity and the perfect place for a family picnic or lazy day out. There are lots of shady spots to set up camp with gas BBQs provided and plenty of wildlife to keep the kids entertained including ducks, turtles and goldfish.
  • Wetside Water Park - this is the ultimate way to beat the heat and if your kids love getting wet, they'll love Wetside Water Park. A cheap, fun day out, the park is located on the Esplanade at the Pialba foreshore. It offers free parking, free entry and something wet for kids of all ages including a giant tipping bucket (free), two large slides ($5 for 10 slides) and a Flipside Boardride wave machine for older kids ($6 a ride).
  • Pialba Place - if your holiday involves some retail therapy, then this is the place to head on a hot summer day. Pialba Place offers a large shaded playground for the kids featuring an array of fun activities that promote learning and creativity including a pirate fort, climbing wall, several slides, ocean see-saw, two bay swings and much more. While for mum and dad, there's a big range of shopping and dining experiences all in air-conditioned comfort and with free wi-fi throughout the centre.

For more ideas and inspiration, check out our Guide to Summer School Holidays in Hervey Bay

Bring the kids shopping to Pialba Place

And remember, whatever time of year you're in town, Pialba Place shopping centre has lots of free fun for the kids every school holidays. So bring them along on your next shopping trip and find out what's happening here any time of year.


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