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Queensland’s Hervey Bay: Best Places to Eat, Stay and Play

ANGELA SAURINE reveals the best things to see and do and family-friendly restaurants to check out during a stay at Mantra Hervey Bay

Whalesong Cruises Hervey Bay Image Tourism and Events Queensland desktop
Whalesong Cruises Hervey Bay. Image: Tourism and Events Queensland

Things to do in Hervey Bay with kids

a girl and her dad spot whales on a tour in hervey bay

Hervey Bay: the whale watching capital of Australia

Hervey Bay is known as the whale watching capital of Australia. Protected by Fraser Island, the bay’s warm shallow waters are the perfect stopover point for humpbacks during their annual migration from their feeding grounds in Antarctica to breeding grounds in tropical waters to the north. The bay acts as a temporary whale nursery where newborn calves practice behaviours such as breaching, spy hopping and tail slapping, with some staying for up to two weeks. Numerous tour operators offer whale watching tours between July and November, with mother humpbacks known to lead their calves close to boats, seemingly to introduce their inquisitive offspring. 

Exploring Fraser Island, Queensland

A family exploring with Fraser Island Boat Charters from Hervey Bay
A family exploring with Fraser Island Boat Charters from Hervey Bay

You can also do day trips to Fraser Island to see pristine Lake McKenzie, UNESCO World Heritage-listed rainforest, and the Maheno Shipwreck. 

The Esplanade and beyond

Urangan Pier in Hervey Bay
Urangan Pier in Hervey Bay

Walk or ride bikes along The Esplanade, which passes parks, Urangan Pier and Wetside Water Park, which has a colourful light show on Saturday nights from October to April. See turtles, sharks and other marine life at the all-natural Reefworld Aquarium, which uses sand-filtered sea water and sunlight instead of artificial light. Step back in time at Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum, where exhibits include a furnished 1890s cottage, a blacksmith shop and a school.

Mantra Hervey Bay, QLD

Mantra Hervey Bay
Mantra Hervey Bay

Convenient location

A one bedroom apartment at Mantra Hervey Bay
A one bedroom apartment at Mantra Hervey Bay

Overlooking Great Sandy Straits Marina, where boat tours depart, Mantra Hervey Bay makes a convenient, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing base. It has both hotel rooms and one, two and three-bedroom apartments which are ideal for families as they have all the mod cons of home.

Family-friendly amenities

The pool area at Mantra Hervey Bay
The pool area at Mantra Hervey Bay

Think kitchen with microwave and dishwasher, and washing machine and dryer in the bathroom – as well as the all-important bathtub for those with little kids! All have balconies, many with views over Urangan Harbour, and some have spa baths. The hotel also has a heated outdoor pool and a children’s pool, a gym and sauna.

Fun and entertainment

The view from a balcony at Mantra Hervey Bay
The view from a balcony at Mantra Hervey Bay

There’s a small playground across the road and a larger, more colourful one at Dayman Point, a few minutes’ walk along the coast. Everything you need is just next door at Whale Bay Marina, including a chemist, tour agency and several eateries.

Family-friendly Hervey Bay restaurants

Eat at Dan and Stephs in Hervey Bay
Eat at Dan and Stephs in Hervey Bay

Dining options in Whale Bay Marina

Creative conconctions for kids at Eat at Dan and Stephs in Hervey Bay

Whale Bay Marina is home to Whale Bay Asian Cuisine and the eclectic Bella’s Chit Chat Cafe, where the décor includes pictures of turtles, fishing nets, and fairy lights hanging from the roof. It is open for breakfast and lunch. Nearby Café Balaena also has great views over the marina, and a few kids’ meals. My Kitchen Rules fans shouldn’t miss a visit to EAT at Dan and Steph’s, which the couple opened after winning series four of the hit show. Kids can colour in on their menus and their meals are always a priority.

Family-friendly Restaurants in Hervey Bay

Enzos on the Beach at Hervey Bay
Enzos on the Beach at Hervey Bay

Enzo’s on the Beach is also in a great location next to an awesome playground. It has live music in the afternoon on weekends and a great ‘mini me’s’ menu for kids, including a pancake stack for breakfast and a ‘happy pop’ ice-cream with topping and hundreds and thousands. Planet 72 Icecreamery is another excellent option for sweet treats, serving both ice-cream and gelato on the esplanade opposite Nielsens Park.

More Information

The writer was a guest of Mantra Hervey Bay

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