Fraser Coast

Whether you've got serious sea legs or prefer to keep your feet on dry sand, the Fraser Coast offers the best of both worlds. Reel in a fresh fish for dinner on Fraser Island, or head out on the water to watch whales play just off Hervey Bay. 

There's no need to rush, the only pace required is laid-back and relaxed. 

Island life

Whether you’re a rugged camping type or prefer barefoot luxury in a resort, a stint on World Heritage Listed Fraser Island will steal a piece of your heart.

  • Swim in crystal-clear Lake McKenzie surrounded by 1000-year-old native trees and the call of kookaburras.
  • Drive up the sandy highway of 75 Mile Beach and spot rare native dingoes.
  • Explore the bush heart of the island and stop for a selfie at the Maheno Wreck.

The whale watching capital

Nowhere else in the world can you have such close encounters of the humpback kind. You may have heard of whale watching, but here, the whales go people watching.

  • Hop aboard a whale watching tour during the season from July to November each year for guaranteed sightings of the gentle giants at play.
  • Learn how to speak whale (among other things) at the Fraser Coast Discovery Sphere and join in the annual Whale Festival.

Famous neighbours

From heritage houses to deserted beaches and fields of macadamia nut trees, the Fraser Coast has a few surprises over the back fence. 

  • Celebrate Mary Poppins’ author P.L. Travers in her hometown of Maryborough every year when the Mary Poppins Festival rolls (or should that be flies?) into town.
  • Hand feed wild dolphins in Tin Can Bay.
  • See the coloured sands of Rainbow Beach on the Great Cooloola Walk.


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Coonarr

Burrum Coast, Fraser Coast Area
Free Entry
Coonarr Beach is a 4.2 kilometre long, east facing beach that begins amongst the tidal shoals of the Elliott River mouth, then runs straight down to the smaller mouth of Coonarr Creek. There is a gravel road out to the small beachfront settlement of Coonarr, located toward the southern end of the beach. The beach receives waves averaging over 0.5 metres, which maintain a relatively steep and narrow high tide beach fronted by a continuous low tide bar, up to 100 metres wide. Coonarr is a dog friendly beach, so feel free to take your pooch along too. There is carparking, a table area (but no tables or doggy poop bags so please ensure you have your own supplies and take them with you when you leave). Fires are allowed on the beach (as long as there are no fire warnings or bans). Coonarr is a s long stretch of sandy white beach which to the left you can see Elliott Heads and to the right you can see Woodgate Beach.

Port of Maryborough

Maryborough, Fraser Coast Area
Free Entry
A deeper site was selected to replace the first shallow port of Maryborough which was located upriver at the original township. Wool, tallow, hides and timber were exported through the busy port and many coastal vessels brought supplies for the settlers. At one time the wharves stretched from the far end of Queens Park to beyond the Granville Bridge. At the marina you can see the last remnants of the original wharfs. Between 1859 when Maryborough was declared an official Port of Entry and 1901, more than 22,000 immigrants from Great Britain and Europe entered Australia through the port. Ships also brought Kanaka labour from the South Sea Islands to work on local sugar plantations. Ship building and repair industries added to the liveliness of the port. The derelict sheds behind the marina are remnants from the site of the Walker Shipyards which closed in 1974.

Mary River

Maryborough, Fraser Coast Area
Free Entry
The Mary River has been known by many names, with the Aborigines calling the river Booie, Moonaboola, Numabulla or Mooraboocoola. It was named the Wide Bay River until September 1848, when Governor Fitzroy renamed the river in honour of his wife, Lady Mary Fitzroy. The Mary River is unique in that it flows from south to north with its headwaters near the Sunshine Coast hinterland and its mouth at River Heads just south of Hervey Bay.

Roy Rufus Artificial Reef Dive Site

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
Free Entry
Explore 'Roy Rufus' in Hervey Bay, the largest artificial reef in the southern hemisphere created through the sinking of old ships, concrete blocks and car bodies since 1968. Located off the coast between Hervey Bay & Fraser Island, the reef is home to masses of fish such as gropers, coral trout, kingfish and scorpionfish that congregate amongst the wreckage. Other marine life observed on the reef include, wobbegongs, sea snakes, turtles and the occasional dugong.

Queens Park Waterfall

Maryborough, Fraser Coast Area
Free Entry
The waterfall area of Maryborough's Queens Park was originally a quarry, which was later converted into a pond, that is regularly home to several ducks swimming on its surface or even catching some sun on the edges. The waterfall feature was constructed in the 1970s. It is a popular spot for picnics and frequently used as a backdrop for weddings.

Birdwatching on the Fraser Coast

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
Free Entry
Hervey Bay and its environs offer abundant and diverse birdwatching opportunities with over 250 species identified. Every year thousands of migratory shorebirds visit Hervey Bay and the Great Sandy Strait from destinations as far away as Japan, Alaska and Siberia. The sand and mudflats are important feeding grounds for nearly twenty different species of long distance fliers. In fact, the Great Sandy Strait is recognised as a Wetland of International Important (Ramsar site). The range of habitats within close proximity of Hervey Bay will ensure that even the keenest birdwatcher will be amazed at the variety of bird life in the area. Their waterways are home to many species, from the striking black and white jabiru, and the graceful silver-grey brolga, to the distinctive brahminy kite with its deep chestnut wings and white head, neck and breast of the amazing comb-crested jacana that seemingly walks on water thanks to its incredibly long toes. While the shrieking of the rainbow lorikeet as it feeds in the eucalypts and flowering street trees may be commonplace to Hervey Bay residents, our international visitors are bewitched with its vivid blue, green and orange-red plumage. The crazy antics of the galah with its pale grey and rose pink colouring are sure to illustrate the origin of that common Australian expression 'the silly galah'. The undergrowth below trees can be protection for so many of those little jewels of nature that live on insects, small fruit and grass-seeds, and are always an enjoyment to observe. The people of Hervey Bay are indeed fortunate to have such diverse habitats suitable for different bird species in their locality.

Maryboroughs Glory Hole

Maryborough, Fraser Coast Area
Free Entry
Maryborough's Glory Hole is now a featured part of the Ululah Lagoon. It is believed to have been built as early as the 1880s. The Glory Hole is of a rare design and outdates any other work in Australia by 80 years, making it historically significant as an engineering work of art.

Urangan Pier

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
Free Entry
A must see attraction at Queensland's Fraser Coast is Hervey Bay's famous and historic Urangan Pier - it's one of the longest in Australia and stretches for almost one kilometre into the ocean. A walk to the end will reward with spectacular views of Hervey Bay and the chance to see schools of fish, stingrays or pods of dolphin just metres out to sea. Another must do is fishing off the Pier. It is one of the best fishing experiences around for people of all ages, and is the perfect spot to catch whiting; one of Hervey Bay's most sought after fish. Picnic or enjoy fish and chips by the beach in the parkland around the pier and explore the Urangan precinct with its boutique shops, alfresco dining, resorts and clubs. Pier Park is a starting point for the links corridor, a landscaped environmental walk and cycle corridor along the former rail line which once connected the Pier with Pialba's Central Business District. The water next to the pier is one of the Bay's best locations for windsurfing or kite surfing with surfing conditions suitable for beginners to experts.

Teddington Weir and Picnic Reserve

Maryborough, Fraser Coast Area
Free Entry
Enjoy the wonders of nature on the Teddington Weir Vineforest Trail taking you through some of the interesting features in a patch of remnant vineforest scrub. Points of interest are highlighted with numbered posts. Facilities at Teddington Weir Picnic Reserve include small swimming pool, picnic tables, barbecues with wood supplied, playground, walking tracks and public toilets. The Teddington Weir Vineforest Trail is a joint project of World Wide Fund for Nature Australia, Wide Bay Burnett Electricity Corporation, Queensland Department of Environment, Maryborough City Council, Maryborough Environment Group and Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers.

Whale Watching

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
Free Entry
From mid July to early November, Hervey Bay has become famous as the playground of the majestic humpback whales on their return to the Antarctic. Hervey Bay is preferred for its calm and safe whale watching conditions, where the whales put on a spectacular display for their admirers. A variety of vessels offer whale watching trips during the season and visitors can choose from either a dawn, morning, afternoon or full-day cruise. Celebrating the return of the humpback whales each year; Hervey Bay stages a Whale Festival each year including an aquatic carnival, an illuminated procession of floats and the Blessing of the Fleet are highlights of this fun filled week. The Bay's calm waters provide shelter for humpback whales and their calves as they pass through Hervey Bay on their migration to Antarctica, after giving birth in the waters of northern Queensland. Humpbacks are the most acrobatic of all whales and are renowned for their 'singing'. They are the fifth largest of all whales, growing up to 15 metres and weighing up to 40 tonnes. Each year, whale watchers are regularly treated to magnificent displays of tail and pectoral slapping as well as breaching. Many thousands of people have possibly the best opportunity in the world of seeing this magnificent creature in its natural environment. Other marine life such as dolphins, turtles and dugongs are also sighted regularly. More than 12 operators offer whale watching tours with vessels departing the Hervey Bay Boat Harbour daily. Of course, tour operators adhere to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service guidelines, which ensure the whales are protected and keep returning to Hervey Bay. The fleet offers half-day, three-quarter-day, full-day and dawn tours on a variety of vessels, each hosted by professional and experienced crew members, who provide an informative commentary.
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