If you love seafood as much as you love whale watching, then the Hervey Bay Seafood Festival is the event for you.
Most people come to Hervey Bay to experience the most incredible whale encounters on offer anywhere in the world. As part of their 5000km migration, humpback whales come here anytime from June to later October (or even early November in a good season).
They tend to rest and play in Platypus Bay, just off the west coast of UNESCO World Heritage listed site, Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world.
The bay is unique in being shallow and sheltered, and so the whales congregate here, for up to 10 days or more, before continuing their migration south back to Antarctica.
Hervey Bay Seafood Festival
But if you love your food as much as you love your whales, then Hervey Bay is the place for you. Every year for nine days in the month of August, Hervey Bay holds the Hervey Bay Ocean Festival.
The festival celebrates Hervey Bay’s connection with the whales to honour the ocean and promote marine conservation.
Part of those celebrations is the fabulous Hervey Bay Seafood Festival, where families and friends can get together and enjoy a day in the glorious Fraser Coast winter sun. For a small notional entrance fee, there is so much on offer with something for everyone.
Fun for the kids
For the small ones, amusement rides, a bouncy castle and tunnel slide, face painting and of course, ice cream, to keep them occupied for hours.
Budding young environmentalists can learn the history of fishing, or talk to the boys from Marine Rescue or eco-warriors from Fraser Island Save The Dingoes.
All things marine is celebrated in the form of souvenirs or crafts. Choose from sea shells, bright zippered beach bags, UV protective clothing for fishers and even the coolest of reef walking shoes and ‘orthotic’ thongs. And of course, the whale watching tours have a presence too.
But let’s not forget the reason why we are really here. The serious business of the day, to enjoy the best tucker the region can offer. Fresh local seafood washed down with wine.
Take the opportunity to meet and greet local chefs and wine buffs, or watch seafood cooking classes taught by local experts.
As for food, there is plenty of variety to choose from. Freshly shucked oysters, salt and pepper calamari, prawn balls or even bbq tiger prawns marinated in chimichurri sauce (yum!) can entertain most palates.
And if seafood or alcohol is not your thing, bubble waffles (google them, I dare you!) or freshly made juices may tickle your fancy.
And for the true seafood ‘foodies’, booking ahead can get you a seat in the Tastes of the Bay tent where you can gorge in relative privacy and comfort over a prolonged lunch.
Hervey Bay in August is known for its beautiful sunny days, with temperatures in the low to mid 20’s. The Festival is at Fisherman’s Park on The Esplanade, right by the Great Sandy Straits Marina and commercial Urangan Boat Harbour.
It’s a perfect spot, with the warm sun sheltered by tall Australian eucalypts and cooled by a gentle sea breeze.
The venue offers live music from local bands and buskers, with the main stage area being a great spot to set up a picnic rug or chairs, sit back, relax and enjoy the ambience.
Aaahhh, Hervey Bay, so much on offer, what a great place to be.
So, where are you?
Discover Hervey Bay
Mark the Hervey Bay Seafood Festival on your calendar for next year. You’ll find more information here. There’s still time to go to the Hervey Bay Ocean Festival, which ends on Sunday 20 August 2017, with the Paddle Out For Whales. If you’re at a loose end this weekend, head to Hervey Bay for the Whale Parade and Concert on Saturday 19 August.
If you’re looking for a fun event, the Blessing of the Fleet at the Hervey Bay Ocean Festival is fabulous to see.