Hitting the road in an Apollo from Brisbane between July and November? Get the Fraser Coast on your travel itinerary – trust us, you won’t be sorry. With everything from one-on-one whale time to TV-star cuisine, the Fraser Coast is one of our favourite must-do destinations.
Day 1 – Depart Brisbane in your 2-berth, 4-berth or 6-berth from Apollo. You’ve got plenty of places to stow away your luggage, be sure to lock all the cupboards and secure everything, then hit the road.
It’s an easy four hour drive from Brisbane to Hervey Bay, heart of your Fraser Coast adventures, but the towns of Gympie and Maryborough make interesting stop off points if you’ve got a little extra time.
As you enter Hervey Bay make Discovery Sphere your first stop. This unique tourist information attraction is bursting with visual, audio and tactile experiences for all ages to immerse themselves into the history, natural wonders and unique experiences of the region.
Kids will love a chance to touch and feel marine life, say hi to ‘Nemo’ fish and watch baby turtles hatch on the big screen. We won’t give the rest away – but don’t miss it.
On arrival in Hervey Bay, check into your holiday park. Apollo recommends the Big 4 Fraser Lodge Holiday Park, a superbly managed secure park with its own lagoon, two sparkling swimming pools, a jumping pillow (for the kids of course) and beautiful facilities for campervan and motorhome travellers to enjoy as they explore the local area.
Other nearby holiday park options include Fraser Coast Top Tourist Park and the Happy Wanderer Village. All parks offer discounts for Apollo’s customers, enquire when you book your site.
Once you’ve checked in, plugged in and settled in, take a walk straight up to the Esplanade, where the sound of waves lapping the bay provides a beautiful backdrop for a dinnertime splurge. We heart award-winning COAST – winner of the exclusive Diners Choice Awards in the Queensland Good Food Guide.
Sensational local seafood stars here, paired with exotically flavoured sangria’s available by the litre jug (relax, chances are you’re in walking distance back to your holiday park). On the menu – chargrilled tiger prawns with chilli and lemongrass, delicate scallop ceviche and butter-soft whiting, along with steak, lamb and chicken meals to share. Oh stop.
Day 2 – It’s time to hang out with the whales. The Fraser Coast has at least six operators running a variety of full, half or three-quarter day tours and they’ll pick you up at the gates of your holiday park lodge. Note: there is plenty of parking if you decide to drive your own vehicle over to the marina at Urangan.
Prepare yourself for a mugging! Whale muggings are the best sort – up they swim to the side of the boat, ‘spy hopping’ straight up and down in the water to get a good look, rolling around, performing and generally giving tourists the best experience of their holiday.
It’s important to recognise that Hervey Bay is THE whale’s playground – there is nowhere else in the Southern Hemisphere where you will see them at play, instead of simply ‘passing through’.
This means you’re guaranteed to sight a whale or ten during their ‘holiday season’ between July and November, and chances are they’ll be happy to hang around the boat, perhaps even performing the infamous whale song (only grown males do this) which your boat will pick up with their underwater microphone.
It’ll be cameras at the ready and plenty of sighs and cheers as you share in the peaceful journey these incredible creatures take each year.
Estimates place the current East Coast group of humpback whale population at around 17,000, which is a far cry from the tiny number of 200 the group shrank to at the height of whaling in the 1950’s – 1970’s. Good news for the whales, and for their fans.
As of August 2014, Hervey Bay whale watching has been taken to the next level with the release of Whale Watching 2.0 allowing watchers to slip over the sides of the boat and swim with the Humpback Whales in calm protective waters. Hervey Bay whale watch operators are working with Queensland Parks and Wildlife to ensure the experience is safe and respectful for humpbacks and humans.
Quick Cat II, Blue Dolphin, Tasman Venture and Amaroo Cruises are all offering the interactive experience to travellers who can book and confirm a place on the day of their tour if weather conditions and whale behaviour allow. Bring your swimmers just in case!
Salt crusted and windswept, with beaming smiles and beautiful memories, bid the whale’s goodbye and head back to the mainland.
Tonight you can choose from more of Hervey Bay’s delicious restaurants, such as Bistro Aubergine, with its peaceful harbour waterfront setting and modern menu, or the fun and friendly Badger & Brown’s Burgerie or Paolo’s Pizza Bar back on the Esplanade.
Sleep tight adventurers, you’ve got more ahead…
Day 3 – Take off to ‘The Island’, otherwise known as Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island, a World Heritage listed site and the hub of as much history, indigenous culture, natural wonder and beauty as any traveller could possibly desire.
We recommend travel with Fraser Explorer tours, who will pick you up right from your holiday park doorstep.
In one unbelievable day you will travel to Fraser Island by ferry (accompanied by Flinders, the ferry cat) and take off in a fantastically comfortable 4WD tour bus capable of tackling the sandy roads which criss cross between Central Station, a former forestry camp, the artistically rusting wreck of the Maheno, Wanggoolba Creek, and the absolute jewel in the crown – Lake McKenzie – a freshwater feat of natural magic perched high in the sand dunes.
The huge satinay, scribbly gum, brush box and kauri trees on Fraser soar hundreds of feet into the clear blue sky, crystal clear water flows through Eli Creek out to sea, occasional dingos are spotted, and for only $75, Air Fraser Island will treat you to a soaring experience over this amazing island, taking off and landing from the world’s only beach highway on 75 Mile Beach.
It’s understandable if you don’t want to leave – why not stay a night or three at award-winning eco-friendly Kingfisher Bay Resort? If you do have to get back to your little home on wheels on the mainland, at least you’ll take a camera full of memories back with you.
For dinner tonight, try out the BBQ’s at your holiday park or try the onboard kitchen in your campervan and motorhome – Hervey Bay has a well-stocked IGA and they even deliver right to your holiday park! Try their locally produced sauces and marinades to spice things up.
Day 4 – Start the day the way the locals do – at Enzo’s on the Beach, a sparkling setting featuring coffee made with love and a classic holiday breakfast menu. Mid-morning, pack up and roll out.
Before you leave, pack a picnic for the road courtesy of 2013’s My Kitchen Rules winners at EAT @ Dan & Steph’s – their baked goods and semolina rolls are the perfect way to say goodbye to the Fraser Coast.
Want to go? Visit www.visitfrasercoast.com
Book your home on wheels at www.apollocamper.com