Hervey Bay is mostly known for two things; whale watching tours and the starting point of a Fraser Island tour. Neither of which are cheap. However, there is more to this lovely coastal city in southern Queensland than just those two activities.
There is plenty for you to see and do in Hervey Bay that is free!
I lived and worked in Hervey Bay for 4 months, spending my spare time exploring. I came across some brilliant things that you can do with your time there and I’m going to share them with you.
Free Things to Do in Hervey Bay
1. Spend A Day At The Beach
I’ll start with the obvious choice – spend a day at the beach.
Hervey Bay is home to a gorgeous golden beach that runs the whole length of the city from Point Vernon to Urangan. If you spend the full day there, you’ll get to see the tide come and go. It doesn’t sound that exciting but it’s a beach like no other. During low tide, you can walk at least 50-100 meters out to sea! Possibly even further! I don’t know about you but I’ve never seen the tide go out so far and I found it quite fascinating.
There are public barbecues located at various different locations all along the trail between the beach and the Esplanade so make sure you take something for lunch or dinner to make a proper day of it. Nothing says Australia like a barbie and the beach!
2. Take A Walk Through The Botanic Gardens
Next up on the list of free things to do in Hervey Bay is the Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens.
Hervey Bay is home to a 26-hectare botanic garden in Urangan. If I’m honest, quite a large portion is overgrown but that adds to the adventure of making your way around! If you don’t fancy making your way through the jungle-like part, there is a well maintained Chinese garden, orchid house and even a nice little pond area.
It’s an excellent place to spot some wildlife as there’s a large variety of birds that call the botanic gardens home, along with some turtles that live in the pond.
3. Visit The Kangaroos At Point Vernon
At the opposite end of Hervey Bay, at Point Vernon, you can see a different kind of wildlife – kangaroos.
These marsupials, who are the national animal of Australia, can be found in large open areas where the houses stop. We must have seen at least twenty when we went to visit! The best spot, I would say, is either North Street or Dougan Street.
Be careful not to get too close when you go though. I know they look cute but they can attack if they feel threatened.
4. Point Vernon Coastal Walk
There is a beautiful coastal walk that starts near Parraweena Park in Point Vernon and it runs all the way around the peninsula and joins up with the Esplanade.
The walk is roughly 5km (3.1 miles) long (give or take 1km) but the view is definitely worth the walk. The view is absolutely beautiful!
You can make your way down to the waterfront at numerous locations, and don’t be afraid to go for a wee swim to cool off! I would personally recommend Gatakers Bay, it’s a stunning area.
Along with beautiful views, there’s a chance to spot some wildlife too! There is an osprey nest built on a dedicated platform located near to Esa Park.
5. Watch The Fruit Bats Take Off For The Night
Hervey Bay is home to literally millions of fruit bats. If you want to have your own Batman moment, look up to the sky at dusk and you’ll see the fruit bats take off for the night.
There are 3 different species of fruit bats residing at Hervey Bay and some of them have a wingspan that measures up to one meter (3.3 feet)! During the day, they can be found sleeping in the canopy of trees all over Hervey Bay. The largest colony that I saw was at the Tooan Tooan Creek, just in between Pialba and Scarness.
I highly recommend watching these magnificent creatures take flight for the night, it’s truly a spectacle! I must warn you though, the smell can be pretty unpleasant…
6. Follow The Esplanade’s Fitness Trail
If you’re into your health and fitness, there’s a massive fitness trail that runs the full length of the Esplanade. Now it’s up to you if you want to run, jog, walk or even cycle between each section but the challenge is to complete the full trail! Regrettably, I never managed to.
Every section has a different selection of bodyweight exercises so that by the end you will have had a proper full body workout! However, if you’re not up to covering the full 10km or so (6.2 miles), there is a larger section with
exercises to work almost every muscle. This part of the trail can be found in Torquay, near the Aquavue Cafe.
7. Whale Watch From The Urangan Pier
The Urangan Pier is 868 meters long (2850 feet). It’s an impressive architectural feat in itself!
If you’re visiting Hervey Bay during the whale season (July – November), there is a small chance that you could see
some whales breaching in the distance at high-tide! Now I’m not going to promise you that you’ll see one… you’ll have to be pretty lucky but there have been reports of whale sightings from the pier. If you’re unlucky (like me) and don’t see any whales, you’ll still probably catch a glimpse of pelicans and ospreys out hunting above the sea which is an amazing experience as well!
When Is the Best Time to Visit Hervey Bay?
So, that’s a few things that you can do for free in Hervey Bay. If you’re wondering when the best time to visit is… I would definitely recommend going between the start of August and the end of October. The whale watching season starts in July and ends in November but there isn’t always a guarantee to see these beautiful creatures in those months. Also, the weather is great at that time of year, it’s not too cold but it’s not overly hot either!
Thanks for reading! If you’re visiting Hervey Bay, I hope you have an amazing time! Let us know if you do any of the things on this list in the comment section, we’d love to hear all about your adventures in Hervey Bay!
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