Named after an English Casanova, it’s no wonder that Hervey Bay’s seductive charms are difficult to resist. Its warm subtropical climate, long sandy beaches, calm blue ocean and a relaxed and unpretentious local community lure all sorts of travellers to its shores – from backpacking travellers to families and sea-changing retirees.
The local Butchulla people call it K’Gari or ‘paradise’, and not for no reason. Sculpted from wind, sand and surf, the striking blue freshwater lakes, crystalline creeks, giant dunes and lush rainforests of this gigantic sandbar form an enigmatic island paradise unlike any other in the world.
Despite boasting a sublime climate, coral-fringed beaches and waving fields of sugarcane, ‘Bundy’ is still overlooked by most travellers. Hordes of backpackers flock here for fruit-picking and farm work; other visitors quickly pass through on their way to family summer holidays at the nearby seaside villages.
Born in 1847, Maryborough is one of Queensland’s oldest towns, and its port was the first shaky step ashore for thousands of 19th-century free settlers looking for a better life in the new country. Heritage and history are Maryborough’s specialities, the pace of yesteryear reflected in its beautifully restored colonial-era buildings and gracious Queenslander homes.
Surrounded by lush green fields and rich red soil, Childers is a charming little town, its main street lined with tall, shady trees and lattice-trimmed historical buildings. Backpackers flock here for fruit-picking and farm work. Sadly, Childers is best known for the 15 backpackers who perished in a fire in the Palace Backpackers Hostel in June 2000.