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, unpretentious local community lure all sorts of travellers to its shores – from backpackers to families and retirees.
The local Butchulla people call it K’Gari – paradise – and for good 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 anywhere else.
Despite boasting a sublime climate, coral-fringed beaches and waving fields of sugar cane, ‘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 saw 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 is 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.
Burrum Coast National Park
The Burrum Coast National Park covers two sections of coastline on either side of the little holiday community of Woodgate, 37km east of Childers. The Woodgate section of the park begins at the southern end of The Esplanade, and has attractive beaches, abundant fishing and the NPRSR camping ground at Burrum Point, reached by a 4WD-only track.