Put the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast in your rearview mirror and head north to another beachside haven, Fraser Coast. Just 250 kilometres north of Brisbane, this part of Queensland is unhurried, with mellow fishing villages and old-fashioned rural towns. Fraser Coast is a place to slow things down a little and enjoy sandy feet, gentle waters and cold beers at sunset.
Sound like the kind of place you could disappear to for a weekend? Here are a few places to explore.
The sheltered waters of Hervey Bay make it an aquatic playground where you can swim, dive, fish and sail.
This coastal city is also a popular place for observing humpback whales as they make their annual winter migration to warmer waters from July to November. During these months you can spot them from the shore or join a boat tour that will take you closer to the giants as they frolic their way up the coast.
Cruise down the Hervey Bay Esplanade to discover buzzing cafes, picnic areas and the marina. Pick a spot and settle in for a sunny afternoon – and to fully appreciate the languid pace of life, we recommend turning off your phone!
Apr 5, 2017 at 3:49pm PDT
Fraser Coast Hinterland
If you can bear to leave the beach behind, the hinterland is a fabulous place to explore Small towns dotted across the area have plenty of boutique wineries, small cafes and markets tucked away in their quiet streets. Keep an eye out for the townships of Childers, Kilkivan and Moffatdale.
Venture away from the townships to find freshwater swimming spots where you can cool down. The Mary River runs through most of the hinterland and provides a home for turtles and lungfish.
Jun 26, 2016 at 4:50pm PDT
Nestled in the crook of the Mary River, Maryborough is a chance to see a different side of Queensland. With a laid-back vibe, the colonial streets feature heritage architecture to admire. Wander through museums and art galleries, or grab a drink and a bite to eat in one of the vintage pubs and restaurants in the wharf district.
You can visit the home of Pamela Lyndon Travers (you might know her better as the creator of Mary Poppins) and check out the artwork around town that reflects her novels.
Apr 1, 2017 at 11:59am PDT
Great Barrier Reef
The largest reef system in the world needs no introduction. Fewer people choose to explore Great Barrier Reef from Fraser Coast than places further north, so you won't have to contend with crowds.
The best way to see the reef is to take a flight from Hervey Bay, to get a seagull's eye view [noice]of the reef and nearby islands. These tours typically touch down on Lady Elliot Island, so you can see the reef from below the water as well as above.
Visit between November and March and you might just see green turtles nesting and hatching.
Apr 3, 2017 at 1:55pm PDT
Great Sandy Strait
Lying between the mainland and Fraser Island, the Great Sandy Strait is a stretch of marine and coastal wetlands.
The sheltered bays and sand flats create calm swimming, sailing and fishing conditions. As well as scenery defined by white sand and clear blue water, the area stands out for the diversity of the wildlife found there.
The Great Sandy Region is recognised by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve, the same status given to the Galapagos Islands. Rare shorebirds breed in the strait, dolphins frequently pass through and dugongs graze the seabeds.
On the shore, the former sand mining town of Rainbow Beach is a great entry point to the Great Sandy National Park and the ideal place to spend a lazy afternoon.
Oct 1, 2016 at 7:05pm PDT
You might spend most of your time strolling on the beach, but you will still need a car to get around Fraser Coast. Check out our range of vehicles to put your getaway into motion.