The Fraser Coast is a tapestry of natural wonders. Whales frolic in the calm protected waters of Hervey Bay. Dolphins feed and play in Tin Can Bay. Sea turtles nest just east of Bundaberg. While vacationers and adventurers snorkel the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef and four-wheel drive Fraser Island – the world’s largest sand island.
Awarded Biosphere Reserve status by UNESCO, the Great Sandy Strait – the sand passage estuary that separates mainland Queensland and Fraser Island – is revered in the same class as, and protected in the same way as, the Galapagos Islands and Central Amazon.
Blessed with some of Australia's most spectacular natural attractions, the Fraser Coast has a booming tourism trade and thriving dining scene. The region prospers with a number of regional and cosmopolitan eateries – spanning country pubs, boutique coffee haunts, alfresco cafes, wineries, fine dining restaurants and traditional fish and chip shops – catering for all types of palates and persuasions.
Make the most of Hervey Bay’s scenic setting; head to one of several cafes or restaurants on the Esplanade. Coast Bar and Restaurant is a local favourite, enjoying stunning views of the Bay, ocean breezes, al fresco dining, and a menu designed for sharing – comprised of fresh local and seasonal produce. Bayaroma makes for a great casual dining experience, serving a vast array of healthy foods and drinks for breakfast and lunch across the road from Torquay beach. Removed from the bustle of Hervey Bay's tourist strip, Enzo's on the Beach offers great coffee and cafe cuisine in a relaxed and casual atmosphere with uninterrupted views of Scarness Beach, Hervey Bay and Fraser Island.
Regional produce is rife on the Fraser Coast – lending the area a great reputation for local specialities. Sticky-Beaks and The Exotic Jam Factory at Apple Tree Creek is one of Australia’s most renowned gourmet jam, chutney and relish producers. Mammino's Gourmet Ice-cream at Childers offers a unique on-farm experience, specialising in 100 per cent home and hand-made award-winning gourmet ice-creams. Bauple’s Macadamia House enjoys country views, tours, freshly ground coffee and home-made macadamia treats. While boutique vineyard, Vintner's Secret – nestled in the fertile Isis District – grows both red and white grape varieties to create award wines.
Seafood is the centrepiece of the Fraser Coast food scene. Hervey Bay scallops and locally harvested prawns, fish and calamari can be bought cooked or fresh at retail outlets, or enjoyed at local restaurants. Maddigan's Seafood is where the locals go for their fish and seafood bits – their fish and chips are touted to be the best in Hervey Bay. The Waterfront Restaurant celebrates exclusive views of Fraser Island Urangan Pier and Hervey Bay with fresh local seafood and a wine list of Australian favourites. Held at Fishermen’s Park, at the Urangan Boat Harbour on the second Sunday in August every year, The Hervey Bay Seafood Festival showcases wild catch seafood harvested by the local commercial fishing industry from the Fraser Coast’s pristine waters.
The Fraser Coast has a number of national retailers, contemporary stores, boutiques, shopping malls, arcades and markets.
Station Square Shopping Centre in Maryborough is the region’s largest shopping centre; a one stop shopping location, boasting major retailers, more than 40 specialty stores and a 200 seat food court. Stockland Hervey Bay is a convenient single level centre, with more than 40 specialty stores and services. Pialba Place located in the heart of Hervey Bay has something for everyone, stocking a diverse ranger of retailers, specialising in everything from electronics to clothing, and beauty products to beach accessories.
The Fraser Coast’s shows its personality at its regional markets. The two main markets in the area are the Maryborough Heritage City Markets and the Nikenbah Markets. The Maryborough Heritage City Markets, held every Thursday along Adelaide and Ellena Streets in the CBD of Maryborough, feature stalls brimming with fresh fruit and vegetables, crafts and plants. The Nikenbah Markets, held on the first and third Sunday of every month, bulge with fresh produce, art, crafts and cakes.
The Fraser Coasts enjoys a rich artistic culture, with a wide range work including painting, carving, ceramics, photography, printmaking, sculpture and much more on show at local galleries. Experience the region’s cultural heart at the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery – browse the exhibitions and ask for a sale list. Gallery 5 is Hervey Bay’s largest art gallery, continuously displaying fine artworks for sale. Maryborough's artistic community displays its talents at The Maryborough Art Society; exhibiting arts, crafts and works by local and travelling artists.