Hervey Bay, “a place for the newly wed and nearly dead”. A local, who’d lived in Hervey Bay all her life, told me this. I’d certainly observed a preponderance of mobility scooters around the bay, especially along the foreshore cycleways. And at many places, Robert and I felt we were at the lower range of the age demographic!
I must say, our two months in Hervey Bay (March and April) certainly flew by. When we arrived, the weather was very hot so we enjoyed swimming at the local beaches, but by the time we left, we were starting to wear jeans and we were ready to head north to the tropics.
And don’t even talk about the weather over Easter! It was terrible and unfortunately the visit from our Sydney friends, Sandra and Lloyd, was somewhat spoilt. But nevertheless, we enjoyed their company, even if we did end up at the cinema instead of cruising or sightseeing as originally planned.
In thinking back, we did quite a bit while we were in Hervey Bay and I thought I’d provide some updates and share some photos, especially for people who’ve never been to this area of Australia before. And if you don’t want to read the entire blog, just use the links below to go to a section of interest.
Hervey Bay waterfront
I thoroughly enjoyed cycling along the waterfront, and occasionally, Robert borrowed a bike and we cycled together. We also used to take the local bus to some of the restaurants and to the shops, the two main shopping centres being Stockland Hervey Bay Shopping Centre (in Pialba) and Urangan Central. But mostly I preferred to cycle to Urangan Central since it was only about 2.2km away from the marina.
Reefworld Aquarium is an all-natural aquarium, using only sand filtered sea water and natural sunlight. There are very few all natural aquariums in the world, making it quite unique. We were also able to feed the turtles some lettuce and what amused me was how when they ate the lettuce, water squirted out their nose! Here’s more information about Reefworld Aquarium.
Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens
I rode my bike to the botanic gardens, but didn’t take too many photos! They’re definitely worth wandering through. I regret not exploring the gardens further, but can add it to my list of places to visit when we head south!
Fisherman's Wharf Marina
There are three marinas in Hervey Bay, in the area known as Urangan. We stayed at Fisherman’s Wharf marina, furthest from the entrance, and met some lovely people. The other marinas are the Great Sandy Straits Marina and the Boat Club Marina. We enjoyed the Boat Club facilities, including the cinema and restaurants, as well as the other restaurants at the marina.
Video of cats excited by birds.
Video of fishing boat trying to berth on windy afternoon.
When we arrived at Hervey Bay and knowing we were going to be there for a while, we created a list of boat projects – because there’s always something to do. And some projects we actually completed, but it seems that the list is even longer now!
- Two main projects we completed, that I’ve already written about, were installing the Coursemaster CM950 intelligent autopilot system and the Flopper Stoppers to reduce roll when on anchor.
- Robert replaced our fuel filters. While the existing Racor filters are generally well regarded, he decided to implement a successive filtration approach using ‘spin-on’ filters. This would also allow him to provide some priming capabilities as well as redo the fuel lines to allow him to bypass various filters in some situations. For example, if one of the filters needed to be drained of some water while the engine was running. I must say, he researches things thoroughly and decided to install a “double-double” filter arrangement, for each engine, that he purchased from Seaboard Marine. This kit comes with two Fleetguard filters (both water separators). The first is an FS19513, which provides a 20-micron filter, followed by an FS1000, which filters to 10 microns. The fuel flows to the existing onboard engine filter, which provides a final 2-micron filtration. Each filter includes a dedicated vacuum gauge providing some monitoring capability that we previously didn’t have.
- I got stuck into some of my own projects. I made new window and door screens for the pilot house. The new screens allow us to see out, provide privacy, and protect the woodwork from the sun. The door screens allow airflow but keep the cats in! Screens also all roll up or down and can be secured in situ. All our fenders are now covered uniformly and the marine carpet means the cats can climb out easier should they fall into the water!
We decided to hire a car so we could do some sight-seeing in some of the areas a little further afield. Maryborough is about 25 minutes by car from Hervey Bay and is known as the birthplace of Pamela L Travers, author of the Mary Poppins series of books. But what impressed us the most was the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum. Their displays were exceptional and I’d recommend a visit. We also enjoyed wandering through Queen’s Park, a heritage-listed botanic garden.
Toogoom and Burrum Heads
We decided to hire a car so we could do some sight-seeing in some of the areas a little further afield. Toogoom is a coastal town, about 15 minutes by car from Hervey Bay. We’ve visited Toogoom before, about 26 years ago, and it’s certainly seen a lot of development since then but is still a pleasant town.
On the same day, we also went up to Burrum Heads, 15 minutes north of Toogoom. We were also planning to drive to an area further up the river by following a route provided by our maps app, but we got slightly lost!
Point Vernon is the largest rocky promontory on the coast between Noosa and Bundaberg. And there’s a bike path that goes all the way there. I had planned to ride their regularly, but I only managed once!! We also drove there when we had a car. The views are lovely and it’s clearly a popular spot for weddings.
Where to next?
We’ll be heading north to Townsville, with first stop Bundaberg.