Hervey Bay’s sheltered waterways and white sandy beaches make it an irresistible destination for all ages, where you can partake in a number of water-based activities such as fishing, diving and windsurfing all year round.
For those that would prefer to stay on land, Hervey Bay also offers a number of incredible walks and hikes. From short bush walks to sprawling coastal trails and urban discovery tours, there are plenty of places to discover by foot around Hervey Bay no matter your age or fitness level.
This 17km urban walk stretches from the Boat Club at Urangan Harbour to the east to Gatakers Bay in the west. Avid walkers can do that whole walk in one day, but more casual strollers might want to break it up into several small walks and enjoy everything the Hervey Bay esplanade has to offer. You’ll find walkers, runners and cyclists along the path, and possibly some friendly dogs too. The great thing is that the path is pretty level the entire way so it’s also suitable for wheelchairs and pram-friendly. There are some shady points as well to escape the sun and plenty of places to stop, take a seat and enjoy the view.
1. Esplanade Walk, Hervey Bay
Points of interest
Make sure to stop at Hervey Bay Visitor Information Centre
on 227 Old Maryborough Road before you head off on your walk. Collect a free map and booklet to guide you on your way.
Begin your hike at Point Vernon with spectacular views across Gatakers Bay, there's also dining and boat ramp access.
Located within Col. Gardner Memorial Park, take in the view from Gables Point and keep an eye out for Ospreys soaring overhead.
A fun place for the whole family, Sandy White Memorial Park features a big playground, picnic areas and barbecue facilities.
Located near Seafront Oval, this popular waterpark is fun for kids of all ages. You'll also find a playground at the oval and amenities.
- Sandy White Memorial Park
Handmade plinths and seashells decorate this dance circle commemorating the original inhabitants of the land.
- Butchulla Aboriginal Monument
Discover thousands of black and grey headed flying foxes.
A popular swimming spot with a foreshore playground and jetty, there's so much to do for the whole family including a caravan park, cafes, restaurants, accommodation and shopping.
From dining and shopping to the Hervey Bay Sailing Club, Torquay has it all. You'll also find fitness stations, the Moha Moha sculpture, and discover playgrounds at Ernie Organ Park and Bill Fraser Park.
- Tooan Tooan Creek Flying Fox Colony
As you continue towards Urangan you’ll see the sculpture of Ariadne, an historic ship that transported thousands of migrants to Australia through the Port of Maryborough. Urangan Pier is a popular fishing spot and the start of the Urangan Precinct.
- Urangan Pier and the Sea Wall
Grab a photo of the Great Sandy Strait and Fraser Island amidst public art, memorials and picnic areas. You’ll also discover the Hervey Bay Aquarium.
- Matthew Flinders Lookout / Dayman Point
The end of the walk rewards trekkers with a bustling precinct of dining, boutiques, fresh seafood and tours.
- Urangan Boat Harbour / Hervey Bay marina / Great Sandy Strait Marina
Only created in 2015 by conservationist Alan Peebles
2. Booral Walking Paths
and several volunteers, the Booral walking tracks complement other trails through the Akarra Wetlands and Greig Dry Vine Forest. The Booral walking paths start on the corner of Sandrabarbara Drive and Mathieson Road in Booral. It took five years to create the 6km bushwalking path, where walkers can learn about the local flora and fauna as they travel the path. It offers trails of various distances, depending on your fitness and how much time you have.
About an hour’s drive from Hervey Bay, this walk offers up beautiful unspoilt beaches perfect for wandering, dipping your toes or a spot of fishing. Along the trail, you’ll experience some of the most peaceful and picturesque seaside villages of the Fraser Coast.
From the Hervey Bay Visitors Centre take Pialba Burrum Heads Road to the A1 and follow the signs to Woodgate.
3. Burrum Coast Discovery Walk
Points of interest
A peaceful, dog friendly beach with gentle waves at high tide, Dundowran beach is the perfect spot to escape and relax. You can also check out Ted and Maud Mungomery Vine Forest Reserve on Sempfs Road, home of the last littoral vine forest in Hervey Bay. While you’re here, head up Panorama Drive to Arkarra Lagoons, the self sustaining ecosystem which is home to turtles, waterbirds, fish, eels, ducks and more.
Excellent fishing is only the start of what's on offer at this pleasant beachside community full of windsurfers, birdwatchers and boating. Goody's is the place to grab a bite to eat or bring your own catch and enjoy a barbecue by the seaside.
Kilometers of sandy beaches make Burrum Heads a walk of its own. Collect shells, fish the waterways or spot over 90 species of birds among the foreshore scrublands. The village is also home to a skate park, picnic areas, and the gateway of the Burrum Coast National Park.
Discover the architectural marvels and historic houses of Maryborough in a guided walking tour around the city of Maryborough. Urban walks are a great option when the weather is uncertain or for groups not ready to brave the great outdoors. Local guides will even dress in period costumes so you can really discover the region’s colourful past
4. Maryborough Heritage Guided Walk Tour
. Maryborough used to be a thriving port. In fact, about 22,000 new settlers took their first steps on Australian soil in this very town. Walks start every Monday to Saturday at 9am from City Hall, Kent Street, Maryborough.
Explore the world’s largest sandy beach island by foot. Though most might see Fraser Island as a 4WD lover’s paradise
5. Fraser Island Great Walk
, it’s only when you slow down to walking pace that you can truly understand the unique and diverse attractions of this popular and beautiful island. The unique, ever-changing landscape and stunning scenery really make this walk a treat. The entire walk is 90km and can take up to eight days to complete. But there are easier strolls and short walks along the trail
Make sure to be prepared
Parts of Fraser Island can be quite remote. If you plan on an overnight or multiday hike you’ll need to be totally self-sufficient and have all the right equipment. Sun protection, insect repellent and plenty of water are all a must.
Make sure people know where you're going and the route you’re taking and you’re bound to have an exciting adventure. You’ll also want to book your permits early and be sure to follow these guidelines to stay safe from dingos
The entire hike is comprised of many smaller trails, which can be great if you just want to check out part of Fraser island in one morning.
- Beerillbee Trail: 4km each way (about 90 minutes) offering incredible views of the Great Sandy Strait.
- Central Station to Wanggoolba Creek: 0.9km return, it’s an easy, scenic stroll.
- Central Station to Basin Lake: 5.6km return walk, it’s a popular groups and tours hike with a great overview of the island.
Just over two hours south of Hervey Bay, the Kondalilla Falls circuit
6. Kondalilla Falls
is just under 5km long. But there is an option for a short 1.7km walk to Picnic Creek. The circuit starts and finishes with an open area so you can have a quick bite to eat before you head off or have a refreshing drink in the shade when you’re done. The full circuit takes you past rock pools as you walk through the rainforest to the cascading waterfall.
We will point out though that the return trip up the ridge does include a considerable amount of stairs so some fitness is required.
Again, this one involves a bit of a drive but the view from the top sure is worth it, especially on a clear day. It’s a challenging trek and not for the faint hearted, but for the average person, it’s still a quick 30 minutes up. For those runners out there, it can take mere minutes, as they race to the top like the climb is absolutely nothing. It’s best done early in the morning or late in the evening when the weather is a tad cooler.
When you reach the top, you’ll enjoy 360 degree views of the coastal area from Point Cartwright to the south and Noosa Heads to the north.
Note though, there are no toilet facilities at the park so make a pit stop before you get here.
7. Mount Coolum
A rocky coastline and sheltered coves, Noosa National Park is accessed right from Hastings Street in the heart of Noosa. There are four varied tracks so no matter what your fitness level, you can enjoy at least part of the trail.
8. Noosa National Park
- Palm Grove Circuit: 1km long
- Tanglewood Track: 6.9km long – this one goes to Hell’s Gates
- Noosa Hill Track: 3.4km long
- Coastal Track: 10.8km long
Just south of Hervey Bay lies the Cooloola Wilderness Trail
9. Cooloola Wilderness Trail
, a 50km trek along the sandy beaches. There are sand dunes around the upper Noosa River, you can watch the migrating whales along the coast and then head to Rainbow Beach – the direct access point to Fraser Island. The best thing about it is that you can literally visit this area any time of year and still enjoy the beauty.
An hour north of Hervey Bay lies the Melaleuca Track, passing through vegetation, and around saltpans, swamps, and mangroves. As you wander through the trail, you’ll enjoy the beautiful calls of birds and the butterflies fluttering around you. It’s also fantastic for bird watching
10. Woodgate – Melaleuca Track
. The track is a four-hour round trip through the native landscape accompanied by the soft sound of water lapping against the shore. Experience the flowering wattle blossoms and other native plants as you head towards the Melaleuca which signifies the end of the trail.
Put your best foot forward on any of these trails and walking tracks, and enjoy the spectacular views that Hervey Bay and its surrounds have to offer.
09 / 03 / 2017