Last weekend we travelled to Hervey Bay so as Miss Oz could attend an Australian Air League training camp. As Brenden was away working, we didn’t take the Camper Trailer. Instead Ben and I chose to stay in a small cabin at what is now an Ingenia Holidays park in Torquay.
The park was well maintained and set out and the studio cabins have recently been refurbished. We had a studio cabin so it was only small but had everything in it that we required for the weekend. Walking around the park I was impressed with the number of en suite sites available. There were also plenty of large grassed areas for camping. There were also larger cabins and villas as well as three BBQ areas and a swimming pool.
Just a short stroll away is Shelly Beach which is where we headed as soon as we arrived so as the kids could have a swim. The beaches in Hervey Bay are very sheltered so there are were no waves. Fantastic for anyone not experienced in the surf. The water temperature was also quite pleasant for this time of the year.
Following our swim, we decided to do a bit of exploring so jumped in the car and headed south along the Esplanade to Urangan Pier. Urangan Pier was constructed between 1913 and 1917 and was used to move cargo out to ships moored in the deep channel of the Bay. It originally extended 1.1 kilometres out to sea but after it was closed part of this was demolished. Due to public outcry at its closure, the rest was preserved and now remains standing at a length of 868 metres.
It is a popular spot for fisherman and it was lovely to walk down to the end and take in the view. The view is expansive and extends across the bay to Fraser Island. Hervey Bay is the ‘gateway’ to Fraser Island and there are two places where you can catch a ferry across to the island. In the winter months Hervey Bay is famous for whale watching as the water temperature is warmer for mothers and their calves.
Saturday morning, dawned clear and bright – and warm. Hervey Bay has 16 kilometres of bike path along the Esplanade. Happy Wanderer had pushbikes for hire for $16 for a half day so Ben and I thought we would go for a ride.
The pathways are largely flat so someone with a moderate level of fitness would be able to ride them. I was certainly happy with how far I managed to ride. We rode about 12 kilometres all up although we did stop a couple of times. There are plenty of cafe’s along the way if you need a cool drink. We stopped off at the Black Dog Cafe – turns out they make a pretty tasty Iced Coffee!
After a quick swim to cool down we decided to check out the markets at Urangan Pier. Although only small, they had some nice stalls. I met a lovely man from Childers who owns Essentially Avocado . He makes his own lip balms, moisturisers and other skin products all from avocado. He started the business so as he wasn’t wasting fruit that he couldn’t sell. I was really impressed with his products and love my lip balm. Lip balm is a must have for me, especially when camping as wind and sun can leave our lips cracked and dry.
After a bite to eat at Jetty Seafoods, we headed to the local Botanic Gardens. Although the gardens are only small they are lovely. We were amazed to discover that the dam in the middle was full of turtles. There were so many we couldn’t count them all. I have never seen so many turtles in one spot before.
We finished off our afternoon with another swim in the pool before heading to the Hervey Bay RSL for dinner. If you are on a budget an RSL or Bowling Club usually offer good food at a reasonable price. The club offers a courtesy bus, although it was only a 10 minute drive for us. We like a good meal but are by no means ‘fine diners’ so the menu at the RSL suited us fine. Master Oz had a huge Chicken Parmigiana (his favourite) and I had a steak with a garlic and prawn sauce.
We made sure we got up early and went for a walk along the Esplanade. We wanted to walk on the beach but as it was high tide there was no beach to walk on. While I packed up Ben had time for another quick dip in the pool before we had to leave.
As we still had a little bit of time to kill we decided to go for a drive further north. As you often do when driving about we came across a little hidden spot at Point Vernon called Gatakers Landing Restaurant. Situated right on the water it was the perfect spot for morning tea. They also operate Paradise Seaplanes – something that I would love a flight in one day.
We really enjoyed our stay at Hervey Bay. There is not a lot to do so it would be ideal if you were looking for somewhere to relax for a few days.