The main visitor activity in Hervey Bay is whale watching. But the whales are only there between July and November. Plus, you probably won’t go out for whale watching twice in a row. So it’s always helpful to have a list of other things to do in Hervey Bay.
So, what are the best activities in Hervey Bay apart from whale watching?
As usual, my list focuses mostly on outdoor activities for nature lovers.
1. Explore Urangan Pier
Every time we plan to walk along the Urangan Pier, it takes us longer than expected. The pier is famous for being quite long, but that’s not it. We always end up stopping to watch birds hunting, and sometimes even dolphins, and lose track of time.
2. Go sailing
We loved sailing along the east coast of Fraser Island. It’s one of the best sailing holidays we’ve had in Australia. You can hire a sailing boat for a few days and explore the area at your own pace. But not everyone is or knows a skipper. Good news: there are also a few sailing tours in Hervey Bay such as:
- A wildlife watching sailing tour*
- A sunset cruise* – however, we were worried it would be more focused on sipping bubbles and eating dips than the sailing adventure we were hoping for so we didn’t give it a go.
Have a look at these tours for example:
3. Hire a motorboat
If sailing isn’t your thing, you can also find a motorboat to hire for a small adventure in Hervey Bay. Without a licence, your choices will be limited but you should be able to hire a Tinnies from Blue Ky Boat Hire. For those with a boat licence who wish to go offshore, they should find an adequate vessel with Boab Boats.
4. Walk or bike on the Esplanade
The Charlton Esplanade in Hervey Bay stretches along the water for more than 17km. If you’re on foot, you will be able to walk on or near the beach for a while with uninterrupted views. Don’t let the distance scare you. You will find on your way many cafes and restaurants to have a break with a view all along the esplanade.
Although the cycling path doesn’t always have the best views, it’s perfect to cover the long distance. You can hire bikes at Hervey Bay Bike and Scooter Hire.
5. Watch the sunset at Point Vernon
It’s not always easy to find a good spot to watch the sunset on the East Coast of Australia. Point Vernon, about 10km away from the pier, provides a rare opportunity to watch the sunset from the beach.
If you have time, try to arrive before sunset. You will then be able to walk around the headland. It was a great time for bird spotting.
6. Kayak on the bay
The best way to kayak in Hervey Bay is to join a tour with Hervey Bay Dive Centre. They will take you and the kayak on a boat so you can explore further and always with the best conditions.
You can also hire a kayak at Aquavue. However, you will be limited to kayaking between Point Vernon and Shelly Beach.
If you have your own kayak, you can easily spend the day around Hervey Bay. Make sure you plan your trip according to the tide (and boat traffic during the peak season!). From the marina, you could explore Round Island and the jetty in half a day.
7. Go fishing
Hervey Bay offers different opportunities for fishing. The Urangan Pier is famous for it, and we also saw fishermen at Point Vernon. Many boats also go out in the bay for fishing – you can hire your own if you have a licence or join a tour.
8. Explore Fraser Island/K’gari
K’gari (Fraser Island) is one of my favourite places in Australia. The world’s bigger sand island is full of surprises.
There are Fraser Island tours leaving from Hervey Bay to explore the most popular sites (check out this one*). But a trip to Hervey Bay can be the opportunity to explore the less-visited west side of the island. You will need a boat or a jet ski to get to the east side of Fraser Island from Hervey Bay. The easiest option is to join a tour. If you like the idea of being on a deserted long beach, you’ll love this side of Fraser Island.
Have a look at these tours for example:
9. Sign up for a jet ski adventure
I’m not a big fan of jet skis, but I would have signed up for a jet ski adventure in Hervey Bay if they hadn’t been booked up when we visited. The tour takes you for a few hours to the southwest coast of Fraser Island. A rare opportunity to explore this beautiful part of Australia.
If you’re only after the sensation of driving a jet ski, you can also hire one from Aquavue. But you won’t be able to take it far unless you join one of their tours.
10. Taste the famous scallops
The Hervey Bay scallops are one of the two main species of scallops in Australia. Of course, you don’t have to go to Hervey Bay to buy them, but being there is a good excuse to treat yourself with a delicious seafood meal.
Most restaurants in Hervey Bay will have scallops on their menu. Unfortunately, I was surprised to have them into a creamy sauce both times I ordered them. My French palate prefers seafood as plain as possible. Good news: we could buy scallops and also bugs at the Urangan Fisheries. Delicious!
11. Scuba diving
Last, but not least, you can easily organise a scuba diving trip from Hervey Bay. If you’re interested in diving wrecks, you’re in luck. You can dive the famous HMAS Tobruk from Hervey Bay. And they also have smaller wrecks in the bay. You don’t need to have a wreck certification to go into the HMAS Tobruk wreck with a guide. It’s an easy wreck to dive as it’s been sunk on purpose to create a scuba diving site between Hervey Bay and Bundaberg.
Do you find scuba diving scary? I know the feeling. I have now done more than 200 dives, so I’ve shared my experience about overcoming my fear of scuba diving in this article; I hope it can help!
Where to stay in Hervey Bay
One of my favourite things about Hervey Bay is the list of accommodation options with sea views or marina views. Elsewhere, it’s rare to find available accommodations at an affordable place that are available at short notice. But in Hervey Bay, we always find a nice place. We have often picked the Mantra*, with a balcony over the marina and a spa.
Some may prefer ocean views and the beach. In this case, the BreakFree Great Sandy Straits* could be the perfect option for you. We stayed there once and could not get enough of the views. However, if you want to stay closer to the famous Urangan Pier, then you’ll probably prefer Oaks Resort and Spa* and Santalina*.
Where is Hervey Bay?
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