Visit the world’s largest sand island and see humpback whales from just metres away on the Fraser Coast. Centred around the relaxed holiday town of Hervey Bay, it’s a place for nature lovers looking for a quieter slice of Queensland.
The world’s largest sand island is a World Heritage-listed wonder. There are endless beaches, vast sand dunes, lush rainforest, more than 100 lakes (including the brilliantly clear Lake McKenzie) and freshwater creeks. It’s also one of the best places in Australia to spot native dingoes in the wild. Choose from a range of accommodation options, from resorts to camping sites.
Ferries and vehicle barges to Fraser Island depart daily from River Heads, 20 minutes south of Hervey Bay, and Inskip Point, just over an hour south from Maryborough. Crossings take between 30 and 50 minutes. Note that you’ll need a 4WD to get around, as all roads on the island are sand tracks.
Embrace the relaxed coastal culture of Hervey Bay. It’s one of the world’s top whale-watching destinations, where you can get breathtakingly close to migrating humpbacks from June to November. You’ll also discover a great food scene, with fresh produce markets, seaside restaurants featuring freshly caught sea scallops and al fresco dining under the Queensland sun.
Hervey Bay is a 3.5-hour drive from Brisbane. You can also fly into Hervey Bay Airport, about 20 minutes outside the town, with direct flight to Sydney, Brisbane and other regional centres.
A sunrise paddle board near Pelican Bank, off Fraser Island, makes you feel like the world is yours. Alana Ingold