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.

Burrum Heads

Burrum Coast, Fraser Coast Area
Everything moves at a different pace in the picturesque fishing village of Burrum Heads, a short drive from Hervey Bay on Queensland's beautiful Fraser Coast. Burrum Heads offers the ultimate in beachfront tranquillity while its calm blue waters provide excellent opportunities for fishing, canoeing, boating and safe swimming. Burrum Heads is nestled in the southern entrance of the mouth of the Burrum River with views across to Hervey Bay and the top end of Fraser Island. Pitch the tent or park the caravan at one of two waterfront caravan parks or rent one of the many holiday houses. The waterways are teaming with marine life, while more than 90 species of birds inhabit the area. Fishing is Burrum Heads' main attraction. The Burrum River's extensive sand flats, channels and mangrove-lined banks create perfect conditions for fishing, crabbing and prawning Find adventure for all your family and friends at an African-themed adventure and caravan park on the banks of the Burrum River, with activities such as canoeing, fishing, sky diving, laser skirmish and commando courses. You can follow the Burrum Coast Discovery Drive to nearby Toogoom, another picturesque coastal village. The trail will also take you to the beautiful Arkarra Lagoons; a haven for turtles, eels, fish, ducks, and waterbirds,, and the Ted and Maud Mungomery Vine Forest Reserve with walking tracks taking you through the last littoral vine forest in Hervey Bay. Golfers can tee off on either the Craignish Golf and Country Club or Fraser Lakes Golf Course, both located on the left off the Pialba-Burrum Heads Road. Bordering Burrum Heads is the Burrum Coast National Park, with mangrove-lined riverbanks, wallum heath with spectacular wildflowers and tea tree-dominated swamps. The southern section of the park, the Burrum River Section, is located on both sides of the Burrum Heads Road just before Burrum Head's township.

Bauple

Maryborough, Fraser Coast Area
Discover the ancestral home of the Macadamia Nut with a visit to the charming village of Bauple in Queensland's Fraser Coast. Bauple sits in the foothills of Bauple Mountain and offers the chance to relive the pioneering past, discover incredible nut facts and enjoy locally grown nuts products. The nut was discovered thousands of years ago on the Mountain by the Butchulla and Kabi Kabi People who would meet in large gatherings to feast upon the prized delicacy. At Bauple's Macadamia House, visit a working nut sorting and drying facility and see displays of macadamia products. Crack nuts on the 'cracka pad' and take a seat in "Nosh", the iconic Nutmobile whose celebrity passengers have included Prince Charles and Lady Di. At the Bauple and District Museum, which opens daily, delve into the area's impressive history through photographs, early faming tools, antiques and rare coins and telephones. There is even a 3.3 metre skin from a crocodile shot in the Mary River in the 1960s. Picnic in the Museum's gardens next to a restored 1907 locomotive, similar to the one used by the Bauple Sugar Mill. Ask at the museum about the Bauple Historic Walk - which is a self-guided walk to discover the town's key historical sites. While the Bauple (or Bopple) nut trees once grew prolifically in the area, today the original trees are kept safe in a scientific reserve on the mountain. You can still see four examples of original varieties directly across from the Museum as well as large commercial plantings around Bauple. Camp for free in the heart of Bauple with overnight stays available for self-contained caravans and RVs. There is another free RV site at Rossendale Park, just outside of Bauple. During your visit, join in community events at the Bauple Community Shed and Band Hall. Hinterland markets are held every fourth Saturday. The Bauple Nut Bash is held every September. Explore the wider area by following the Fraser Coast Country Drive, which takes in the historic Dickabram Bridge and small towns oozing country charm such as Tiaro and Theebine.

Fraser Coast Region

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
Queensland's Fraser Coast unites two World Heritage icons - Fraser Island and the Great Barrier Reef - and offers some of the best natural experiences on earth including amazing encounters with humpback whales. Walk through untouched ancient rainforests growing out of sand and swim in pristine freshwater lakes on World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world. Take a scenic flight to the start of the Great Barrier Reef and step off the beach into an unrivalled, magical world of coral and marine life as you snorkel alongside giant manta rays and turtles. The calm, protected waters of Hervey Bay are a natural playground for thousands of majestic Humpback Whales - providing the world's best , and closest, whale encounters. Hervey Bay is also an aquatic paradise - perfect for year round swimming, diving, water sports and fishing. Soak up the wonderfully vintage feel of Maryborough where fascinating heritage comes to life in stunning architecture, museums, costumed guides, quirky tours, boutique cafes and antique stores. Experience the diverse marine life and beauty of the Great Sandy Strait, with a stunning coastline of pristine, white sandy beaches and charming seaside villages stretching from Burrum Heads to Rainbow Beach. Discovery the tranquil natural beauty of the Fraser Coast hinterland with its national parks, rainforests and the beautiful Mary River. Visit quaint townships such as Howard, Tiaro and Bauple - the original home of the Macadamia Nut. As part of the UNESCO recognised Great Sandy Biosphere, the Fraser Coast's unique and diverse natural attractions are officially recognised in the same class as the Galapagos Islands and Central Amazon. With incredible eco-experiences, heart racing adventures, fascinating history, inspiring art and culture, and tantalising local food and wine - the Fraser Coast truly is where nature comes alive.

Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
With whale encounters, Fraser Island and the Great Barrier Reef on its doorstop, Hervey is Queensland's best nature-based playground. Hervey Bay is also the perfect beach holiday destination for families, backpackers, couples and grey nomads with it's endless stretches of white, sandy beach and calm, clear waters providing year round swimming, kayaking, boating and fishing. Dotted along Hervey Bay's picturesque esplanade are alfresco cafes and restaurants, shops, parks, piers and a vibrant marina - all with stunning views of the Pacific coastline and Fraser Island. From mid-July to early November every year, Hervey Bay offers the world's most engaging encounters with Humpback Whales, when thousands of whales stop to rest and play in its sheltered waters during their annual migration. A half day or full day cruise allows you to experience the incredible magic of getting so close to a humpback whale the you can almost touch it. Hervey Bay is the gateway to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island, with towering ancient rainforests, pure fresh water lakes and creek and coloured sands. Barges depart from the charming coastal hamlet of River Heads, a short scenic drive from Hervey Bay. Find aquatic action with a range of water sports and at the Wetside Waterpark. At any time of year, take an eco-tour to see dolphins, turtles and other marine creatures and cruise or sail the stunning waters. Go snorkelling or diving off the beach and off Hervey Bay's sheltered artificial reef, the largest man made reef in the Southern Hemisphere. Discover more about the incredible world of whales and other marine creatures and learn about Fraser Island and the Great Sandy Biosphere at the Fraser Coast Discovery Sphere. Hervey Bay is also an access point for Lady Elliot Island, the first of the islands of the Great Barrier Reef. Holiday right on the beach with million dollar water views in beachfront tourist parks or choose from a range of options including top end resorts, self-contained units and holiday homes, B & B's, motels and some of Queensland's best backpacker accommodation.
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