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Arkarra Lagoons and Tea Gardens

Dundowran, Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area

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.

28 Panorama Road
Dundowran, Hervey Bay
Queensland
Australia

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Whale Watching

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
Free Entry
When it comes to soul-stirring, up close interactions with Humpback Whales, there's no place like Hervey Bay. The stunning intimacy of these gentle giants will truly take your breath away, leaving you with amazing memories and even better pictures. The Fraser Coast is one of the few places in the world that is now also offering an immersive Humpback Whale experience. 20 years of research has recently confirmed that the Fraser Coast is the only genuine stopover along the migration route where up to 10000 whales deviate from their annual journey back to Antarctica. Unlike Whale Watching in the open ocean, where the whales simply pass by en route north or south, the whales stay for up to 10 days in Hervey Bay, using time to rest, play and socialise. You can experience the incredible Humpbacks up close and personal from July to November each year.

Birdwatching on the Fraser Coast

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
Free Entry
The Fraser Coast offers a great range of 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 20 different species of long distance flyers. 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. 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. Those who visit Hervey Bay are indeed fortunate to experience such diverse habitats suitable for a range of different bird species.

Pialba

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
Pialba is the shopping, cultural and sporting heart of Hervey Bay with a Water Park, golf course, art gallery, interpretive discovery centre and a range of shopping, from major centres to boutiques. Make a splash at WetSide, a zero-depth Water Park on the seafront at Pialba that both educates and thrills with water spouts, a giant bucket, fountains, slides, surfing as well as interpretive and hands-on displays. Play at the Pines, a popular foreshore park located near WetSide and see the remains of Aboriginal fish traps which are visible at low tide. Get active at Seafront Oval's sea-inspired all abilities playground, which features a wheelchair accessible carousel, custom-built shipwreck, swirling maze and skate park. Visit the Tooan Tooan flying fox colony on the Pialba foreshore where three species of flying fox hang in the trees at the mouth of the creek until the sun goes down and they take to the sky in search of food - an incredible sight. Interpretive signage explains their role in regenerating native forest. Pialba was once the site of Hervey Bay's first settlement and its history can still be seen in remaining heritage buildings along its original Main Street, where Hervey Bay's major commercial and retail district had its early beginnings. Pialba is also Hervey Bay's educational heart - home to the University of Southern Queensland's Fraser Coast Campus and the city Library. From Pialba, follow the links Corridor, a landscaped environmental walk and cycle corridor along the former rail line which once connected Pialba's Central Business District with this historic Urangan Pier.

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.

Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
  • Free WiFi
There is nothing quite like seeing a humpback whale jump out of the ocean a few metres away - and that's the experience you are guaranteed to have if you travel to Hervey Bay during whale season. Each year thousands of these gentle giants rest, play and nurture their young in the sheltered waters of Hervey Bay. The season runs from mid-July to early November and there are many whale watching vessels that head out daily and offer the chance to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures. With a range of accommodation from backpacker hostels to five-star resorts, Hervey Bay is a popular holiday destination particularly for those on their way to Fraser Island or Lady Elliot Island. The town is a great place for water activities like fishing, sailing, swimming and kayaking. Take an eco-tour to see dolphins, turtles and other marine life - or go diving at Hervey Bay's sheltered artificial reef, the largest man made reef in the Southern Hemisphere.

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.

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.

Urangan

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
One of the best kept secrets on the Fraser Coast, Urangan boasts long stretches of beautiful beaches, plenty of picnic and barbecue areas, superb fishing spots and a bunch of very friendly locals. On the east end of the bay you'll find a wonderful marina with a long pier where you can go for a stroll at sunrise...or sit and watch the stars at night. The marina is also the departure point for whale watching cruises and the ferry to Fraser Island. If you're around on the second, fourth or fifth Sunday of the month then you'll be able to take in the sights and sounds of the vibrant Urangan Markets. And while you're in town be sure to check out the Great Sandy Region Botanic Garden - a short drive inland and considered one of the best in Queensland.

Toogoom

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
Looking for a tranquil beach destination with affordable accommodation and great fishing? The seaside village of Toogoom is just 15 minutes drive from Hervey Bay on the Fraser Coast. It is a popular spot for birdwatchers due to the variety of feathered creatures that nest and breed in the area. You can also enjoy windsurfing or kayaking. If you want to try your luck at fishing and crabbing, head to Beelbi Creek. Golfers can tee off at Craignish Golf and Country Club or Fraser Lakes Golf Course. Finish your day with a picnic by the foreshore or dinner at Toogoom's waterfront restaurant - a popular spot for both visitors and locals.
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