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Arkarra Lagoons and Tea Gardens

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area

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Arkarra is an aboriginal word meaning "place of many ducks" and was so named by the local Aboriginal tribe of the Fraser Coast Region. Arkarra's melaleuca wetlands, covering a substantial part of the original 200 acre freehold property, were first identified as "swamp" in 1880. Owned by Hervey Bay pioneer Lars Jacobsen, the property was sold and became a sugar cane, pineapple and small crops with some dairy and beef cattle. During the 1960s with Hervey Bay growing, sand was extracted and sold and used in the laying of waster mains and sewer pipes. Over several years a considerable amount of sand was extracted and huge lagoons dotted with islands were subsequently formed as the excavation holes filled with water.

A levee bank was built to prevent surrounding areas draining the lagoons of its precious water, the tracks were raised and today it is a great place to picnic and visit. There are numerous signed tracks and is home to over 170 species of birds, goannas, echidnas, wallabies, and in the water ducks, turtles, eels and fish species survive.

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Public Holiday: Open all hours ......
Sempfs Road
Corner of Panorama Drive
Dundowran, Hervey Bay
Queensland
Australia

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Birdwatching on the Fraser Coast

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
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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.

Toogoom

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
The charming seaside village of Toogoom, only 15 minutes from Hervey Bay on the beautiful Fraser Coast, boasts unspoilt beaches, great fishing, wildlife and bird watching. Toogoom is the perfect spot for those looking for a tranquil beach retreat with a range of holiday homes for rent. Dine at the village's popular waterfront restaurant or picnic on the foreshore while taking in amazing water views. Toogoom's calm waters are popular with windsurfers and kayakers. From the Toogoom Boat ramp you can access Beelbi Creek for fishing and crabbing, or venture out to sea for some great ocean fishing. Follow the Burrum Coast Discovery Drive to nearby Burrum Heads, 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 either the Craignish Golf and Country Club or Fraser Lakes Golf Course, both located on the left off the Pialba-Burrum Heads Road.

Pialba

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
The first attempt to create a central business district for Hervey Bay was at Pialba. It is the original part of the city and business enterprises were established, but no wit shares commerce with the Boat Harbour Drive business sector. It's also home of the local university campus. There's a library and an art gallery too. Check out the original post office and also the railway station, both of which have been retained, although the former no longer hosts rolling stock. Freedom Park houses the region's war memorial. You may have noticed that Hervey Bay has strong connections with caravan enthusiasts, and this is clearly evidenced by the number of caravan parks strategically located along Hervey Bay's beachfront. Pialba is just one of them. Just out from the caravan park is one of a number of coral reefs in the region. This one features some really vibrant coloured coral.

Nikenbah

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
Nikenbah, at Hervey Bay, is best known for its very good markets which are scheduled on the first and third Sundays of each month. Items for sale at these popular markets include arts and crafts, fresh produce, trash and treasure, cakes and jams and much more. Come early to score a bargain. You could even pick up man's best friend whilst shopping, as the market stands are set up near an animal refuge.

Urangan

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
Sure, Hervey Bay is renowned for its great long stretches of beaches, 40 kilometres in fact. There's boat access points, picnic and barbecue areas, and of course easy access to Fraser Island. Urangan features all of these attributes, plus some surprises. There is a wonderful marina, at the eastern end of the Bay. This is the departure point for whale watching tours and ferries to Fraser Island as well as a very long pier, measuring just under a kilometre. It is ideal for a brisk pre-breakfast walk. Slightly inland, just up from Kondari Resort, is one of the 10 best botanic gardens in the State. This is the Great Sandy Region Botanic Garden. It features a landscaped garden area, plus a relatively raw (natural) walking area along with an orchid house. The latter opens at 10.00am. At the end of the Esplanade, south of the marina, are the remains of an Aboriginal fish trap. It isn't in pristine condition, but its 'bones' can still be identified. The Urangan markets are popular. These are held on the sencond, fourth (and if five weekends) fifth Sunday of each month. Historically, it was in this area where Matthew Flinders proved that Fraser Island was just that, an island, separated from the mainland by a bay. There is a memorial to Flinders.

Scarness

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
Get active on the water at Scarness, Hervey Bay - with its calm, stinger-free waters ideals for swimming and water sports including jet skiing, sailing and kayaking. Go fishing from the Scarness Jetty or from the beach. Play on a "sea monster" in the ocean-themed playground in Scarness Park. Explore the Scarness precinct with it's boutique shops, alfresco dining, hotels and resorts. Off Scarness Beach is a section of rocky reef with amazing coral said to rival sites on the Great Barrier Reef. The reef can be explored at high or low tide. Two good access points are out directly from Scarness Park where you can walk straight out on to the reef in low tide, and left of the Scarness Jetty. Step back in time at the award-winning Hervey Bay Historical Village in Zephyr Street, where 21 historical buildings house over 12,000 exhibits from the Fraser Coast and Wide Bay area. Exhibits include a fully-furnished slab cottage, built in 1898, a Railway Station, and a fully equipped blacksmith shop, with working demonstrations. From Scarness, walk or cycle ride along the Hervey Bay Esplanade, which hugs the city's stunning coastline for over 16km between Gatakers Bay and the Urangan Boat Harbour. Follow the trail and discover interesting facts about whales, sea creatures and heritage through interpretive signage dotted along the esplanade.

Point Vernon

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
Take in wonderful views across the Pacific Ocean at Hervey Bay's Point Vernon - the largest rocky promontory on the coast between Noosa and Bundaberg. Visit Point Vernon's beautiful Gatakers Bay and explore its esplanade to discover a number of picnic and swimming areas. At The Gables, learn about Hervey Bay's sandy dunes, vegetation and shorebirds from interpretive signs in the park. Spot the resident Ospreys as these stunning birds of prey nest on a dedicated platform. Just off the shoreline at the Gables is a coral reef, popular with snorkellers, where it is possible to see an interesting mix of subtropical and temperate species of hard and soft corals as well as many marine creatures, including stingrays, turtles, squid and several fish species. The best time to enter is one hour either side of low tide. Point Vernon's ESA Park, between Aplin and Flinders streets, has easy access to the beach and exciting tidal rock pools. The playground is protected from the road so it is a great place for parents, and grandparents, to relax as their children play. The park has toilet and barbecue facilities and plenty of off-street parking. Point Vernon is a good starting point for the Hervey Bay Esplanade Trail, which hugs the stunning coastline for over 16km between Gatakers Bay and the Urangan Boat Harbour. Follow the trail and discover interesting facts about our whales, sea creatures and heritage through interpretive signage along the way.

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.

Torquay

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
Boardwalks, playgrounds, and jetties make Torquay's Esplanade the perfect place for aquatic adventures, picnics and relaxation in Hervey Bay. Stroll along the boardwalk and out on to the Torquay Jetty for great views of the Bay and beyond. The jetty is also a popular fishing spot at all tides. Get active out on the water with the calm stinger-free waters ideal for water sports including skiing, sailing and canoeing. Explore the Torquay precinct with its boutique shops, alfresco dining, hotels and resorts. Play or picnic at Torquay's beachside parks. Referred to by the locals as the 'train' park, Organ Park lets younger kids can have fun on the play train and other playground equipment while the adults can relax in the shaded grassed areas. See a sculpture of the Moha Moha - a mysterious sea creature spoken of in Aboriginal legend. Exercise on the foreshore by following the walk and cycle trail and by using fitness equipment spaced along the pathway through Torquay. Discover an underwater wonderland and dive with the resident dugongs at Torquay Reef. This section of reef is best accessed off the beach from Nielsen Park. From Torquay, walk or cycle along the Hervey Bay Esplanade, which hugs the city's stunning coastline for over 16 kilometres between Gatakers Bay and the Urangan Boat Harbour. Follow the trail and discover interesting facts about our whales, sea creatures and heritage through interpretive signage dotted along the esplanade.

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.
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