How to spend a perfect long weekend in Hervey Bay
Just four hours from Brisbane, a long weekend in Hervey Bay is the perfect coastal getaway. When you want a beach holiday without the crowds, fresh produce without the price tag, and landscapes worthy of a National Geographic cover, Hervey Bay’s got your back.
If you’ve a long weekend up your sleeve, get yourself to Hervey Bay for a serve of sun, sand, seafood and soulfulness.
7am: Road trip to Hervey Bay
If you’re coming from Brisbane, make your way north up the Pacific Coast Way.
The drive itself is incredibly therapeutic. Pass through stretches of dense pine forests and pineapple fields, and make a pit stop at SoMa SoMa Espresso in the quaint country town of Gympie for coffee and cake.
11am: Feel the magic in Maryborough
Literature lovers will know that while Mary Poppins is a fictional British character, Maryborough is her birthplace. Take a walk around the city that inspired PL Travers to pen the infamous nanny’s story.
There are a number of themed cafes, murals and regular Poppins tours, but it’s the town’s architecture—City Hall’s bell tower and the miniature railway that cuts through Queens Park in particular—that brings PL Travers’ magic to life.
1pm: Head beachside for a lunch with a side of ocean views
First things first on a long weekend in Hervey Bay; fuel up at Enzo’s on the Beach. Boasting uninterrupted views (courtesy of an enviable beachfront location), find a spot on the back deck and take a load off with a long lunch.
2pm: Check into your accommodation
For a room with a view, check into Mantra Hervey Bay. Overlooking the marina and Great Sandy Strait, the sizeable balcony makes the most of the birds-eye-view of the yacht hardware moored in the marina below. BreakFree Great Sandy Straits is another great option if you’re hunting for accommodation around the marina.
If you’re spending most of your long weekend in Hervey Bay at the beach, rest your head at Aqua Aqua Luxury Apartments (this penthouse -style accommodation is right above the Vinyard Wine Bar and Restaurant) in Urangan or Grand Mecure Allegra Apartments in Torquay.
5pm: Take a sunset stroll along a historical pier
Built in the early 1900s, Hervey Bay’s historic Urangan Pier is 1km of breeze-catching, vantage-point viewing pleasure. Tread the boards for breathtaking vistas of the esplanade and one of the region’s best spots for fishing. BYO rod and drop a line at any point along the pier for guaranteed bites.
Those in the mood for a longer leg stretch should make their way to Pier Park, adjacent to the pier. The starting point for Hervey Bay’s environmental walk and cycle way, it runs all the way from the esplanade to Point Vernon and is bursting with ocean views.
7:30pm: Indulge in an award-winning feast at Coast
Make reservations at Coast for a taste of the region’s cuisine. A Hervey Bay local and visitor favourite alike, this elegant restaurant ticks all the boxes with an award-winning menu and sweeping views of the bay.
Come for the elegant bar snacks (the Coast bao buns are postcard-worthy). Stay for the Hervey Bay scallops with miso butter and the charred local green prawns.
Hot tip: come hungry.
6:00am: Get an early start at Eat at Dan & Steph’s
When on a long weekend in Hervey Bay, do like the locals and break the fast My Kitchen Rules winners Dan & Steph’s aptly named café, Eat at Dan & Steph’s.
A mix of breakfast classics using the region’s incredible regional produce and old favourites with a twist. Dan’s house-made Italian sausages and mash are an all-day favourite, and the mushroom ragu pizza is a must-try.
If you’re keen to hit up another local favourite with all-day breakfast options, grab a table at Bayorama in Torquay. Because breakfast beachside is what long weekends are for.
7.30am: Day trip to Fraser Island
No long weekend to Hervey Bay is complete without a visit to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island. While there’re plenty of ways to see Fraser in a day, Tasman Venture’s Remote Island Tours takes it up a notch; exploring the remote western side of the island and sands, its crystal-clear creeks and national park walks.
6pm: Get creative at Villa Cavour with an Italian cooking class
Fancy brushing up on your cooking skills and your carb-loading skills? Italian husband and wife duo, Mara and Rocco have traded the hills of Piemonte for Hervey Bay, creating a series of cooking classes in the traditional woodfire kitchen of their gorgeous B&B, Villa Cavour.
Teaching the key techniques of Italian cooking and using local ingredients like Hervey Bay scallops and prawns, this hands-on cooking course is a great way to meet the locals, learn new skills and eat your body weight in pasta and pizza.
7am: Get mugged by humpback whales*
Each year 7,000 humpback whales visit the Fraser Coast during their migration from Antarctica, making this stretch of ocean the whale-watching capital of Australia. If your visit to Hervey Bay falls between June-November* you’ll likely be sharing the seas. Lucky you!
The best way to get up close with these graceful giants is with a tour guide; there are dozens of whale-watching operators in the area offering half and full day trips into the Bay.
While there are dozens of vantage points on land to see whales leaping out of the ocean (which is a breathtaking experience in itself), there is nothing more exhilarating than getting ‘mugged’ by a humpback whale. Trust us. Brave the seas.
3pm: Take one last beach walk and sea dip
Before wrapping up a perfect long weekend in Hervey Bay, put sand between your toes and salt water in your hair at Scarness Beach. The sheltered conditions in the bay make for ideal ocean dips and walks along the sand.