Hervey Bay


A little over 300km from Brisbane CBD, and approximately 203km north of my home in Buderim, lies a place called Hervey Bay. Those who are familiar to Madhatterpress, will remember last years visit. 

Renowned for its whale watching and its access to Fraser Island, it is well worth a visit. 

July to November is whale watching season and after a great trip last year, I was ready for another go!


Monday – Day 1

We left home around 9 after breakfast and hit the Highway. We kept to motorway, no scenic deviations for us today. We arrived in Hervey Bay just before 1pm. While the traffic was fairly light, the roadworks that we encompassed made the travel speed changeable. Coupled of course with the fact that when the Bruce Highway runs out of road at Gympie, it becomes the A1, or The Pacific Coast Way. The A1 is one lane each way with the occasional overtaking lane. Naturally you get the idiots behind you that are itching to get around you!

We found our holiday cottage and well, we are delighted with it. We are staying at 545 Esplanade, Urangan. Whenever we book something, wherever it is, 2 bedrooms are obviously a necessity. I found this property online, and liked what I saw. 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, bay-view. That’s three big ticks without anything else! 

This property had other things that ticked boxes, the little touches that made it just right, almost as good as home.

  • Shower gel, conditioner and shampoo in pumps in the shower.
  • More towels that you would ever need, even darker face washers for removing make-up.
  • A photo on the fridge with your name, welcoming you to your stay.
  • Cereals and other condiments provided.
  • Oil for cooking.
  • Chocolate!
  • Tea and coffee provided.
  • Torch available in case of power cut and for your possible needs.
  • Washing powder for clothes.
  • Extra of everything – extra bin bags. Extra toilet rolls. You name it, we had it.

The property was beautifully maintained. It was clean, even sanitiser provided in consideration of covid. The bedrooms were a good size, one queen and one with two large singles. Enough room for the two of us quite comfortably. Extremely pleased with this find and will be rebooking it for return trips.

It is beautifully quiet where we are and we are a pleasant 1k walk from Urangan Pier (that’s 850m long). We settled in and after a brief respite, took ourselves off for a walk. We racked up 3.4km on the iPhone app.

Tonight’s dinner is booked and we are testing Bayswater Tavern. It is about 5-6 minutes walk from where we’re staying so no need to get the car out. The rack of ribs that I had eyed up on the menu landed on the table in-front of me and were very nice. A glass of rose too, and dinner was done.

Day 2 – Tuesday

Woke to a glorious Hervey Bay day. Barely a breath of wind and the sun shining down. You couldn’t ask for better weather. When I’m  away, I could be having coffee, breakfast, answering emails, freelancing, anything really, but the change of scenery just makes it that little bit better. I sit here today at 10.40 in the morning, writing my travel blog, while I am sitting outside. Does it get better than this?

It’s whale watching day today. I am really looking forward to it. We have a 1330-1730 trip booked on the Tasman Venture. The Tasman Venture was suggested by Dad. I’d had a ‘poor’ whale watching experience many years ago, and due to the location of Tasman Ventures whale spotting, I was reliably Informed that this trip would be better. This was to be  my second trip with them.

Thank you Tasman Venture for having us. The boat was full this year. Last year there were much less due to covid restrictions. We found ourselves a seat at the back of the boat and off we went. We saw several pods of whales. Beside the boat, under the boat, they were everywhere. A very lovely afternoon.

We had planned for the Hervey Bay boat club for dinner but with only pasta and pizza on the menu….the odds weren’t good. Back in our holiday home now, chilling out for the rest of the evening.

Day 3 – Wednesday

The 3rd day started at a chilly 13 degrees but then I have to remind myself, that despite the sun I see, we are still in Winter. I’m a little achy today as I know Dad is. It’s from the trip yesterday. Running around a moving boat while whale spotting. Trying to brace yourself against the side of the boat as you take photos. Keeping yourself and the camera still. The last hour of the trip is getting back to the bay, and the seats we had were a little ‘uncomfortable’. The majority of the passengers took up all the comfy sofa seats inside, so we had to make do with bench seats out in the cold air. I suspect all those things combined are my ‘aches’.

After a shower this morning, and throwing on a new shirt that had been in my wardrobe a while, we headed back to the Bayswater Tavern for lunch. Chicken schnitzel today with a mushroom sauce. It’s been a chill out day today. I finally got some writing done after a few weeks of struggling to pull something together. The piece I was working on finally came to fruition and was posted tonight.

Day 4 – Thursday

The last day. The final hoorah! It was another chill out day. Its always that last day where you wonder what the trip has given you. Did you do what you wanted? Did you see what you wanted? Did the trip give you anything personally? 

Well…I did the whale watching trip. Dad and I found somewhere to stay in Hervey Bay that we loved and we know we will be rebooking. Thank you 545 Esplanade. We loved it. But one thing this trip gave me, was my inspiration back. For a few weeks, I had been trying to work on a piece of writing and it was not coming together. Finally, one evening while I was here at Hervey Bay, it did. Whether it was the change of scenery, or whether it was simply my mindset, who knows. 

What it also gave both of us, was the inclination to plan more breaks. By the time we had left Hervey Bay, a break had been planned and booked for September. Tannum Sands…we`re coming for you!

Day 5 – Friday

Every trip comes to an end. That checkout you need to do by 10am. There is always a feeling that you don’t want to leave, but nevertheless, there is an underlying wish to be in your own bed. No matter how great the place you are staying. No matter how wonderful the scenery is. No matter how marvellous your company is, home is always best.

Social Media Links

545 Esplanade – Facebook Page

Tasman Venture Website

Links to my previous related work. 

Whale Watching – Tasman Venture Review

Motorway service station – Audio visual poetry of the whales.