The Fraser Coast – Fraser Island & The Great Sandy Strait

The Fraser Coast and Hervey Bay is our charter yacht playground. Easily accessible by road, train or plane, the Fraser Coast is located approximately 300 kilometres north of Brisbane and includes the townships of Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and Maryborough, the adjacent coast to the landward side of Fraser Island and as far south as Tin Can Bay, as well as Fraser Island itself.

World famous for some of the most interactive natural experiences on earth, the Fraser Coast is truly where nature comes alive and the best place to experience it all is on the water, with a Fraser Escapes Bareboat Charters sailing holiday. The clear blue waters of the Fraser Coast are teeming with marine life, including dolphins, dugongs, turtles and manta rays. So precious is this environment, that in 2009 UNESCO awarded the Great Sandy Region Biosphere Reserve Status, recognising it in the same class as the Galapagos Islands, Central Amazon, the Everglades and Uluru.

Indeed, it has been said that ‘if you are searching for one of the best destinations to experience the fun, the beauty and the magic of the ocean then you’ll find it at Hervey Bay’.

This stunning destination has something for everyone. Our pace is laid back and relaxed. Our landscape is rich with natural beauty, its palette a vibrant combination of azure blues, verdant greens, golden sandy beaches and rich red sunsets.

The Whitsundays may be a famous sailing destination, but for those in the know, sailing the waters off Hervey Bay, the Great Sandy Straits and Fraser Island offers a memorable holiday like no other.

 

Fraser Island

The largest sand island in the world, Fraser is home to crystal clear freshwater lakes, ancient rainforests, beautiful meandering creeks and miles of fabulous beaches. Water and sand are the most abundant elements on Fraser Island and this combination has created the towering rainforests and the mirror-surface lakes throughout the island. Explore this World Heritage island from the comfort of your own private yacht chartered with us. Dine at some of Australia’s leading resort restaurants or sail along the sheltered inside stretches of this magnificent island.

Over 325 species of birds and several species of wallaby, possums, flying foxes, echidnas and eastern Australia’s purest population of dingo can be found on Fraser Island. A unique species of tortoise can be found in many of the freshwater lakes. The warm waters surrounding the island attract dugong, dolphins and turtles. The magnificent humpback whales, with their young, pass on the western side of the island between late July and early November.

Fishing, snorkeling, beach walking … these are just some of the many, many relaxing activities ready for you on the long wide white beaches on Fraser Island.

Hervey Bay

Bordered by 40 kilometres of pristine beaches, Hervey Bay offers access to islands, adventure, wildlife and a beautiful safe aquatic playground for visitors to the Fraser Coast.

Hervey Bay City, boasting one of the fastest growing populations in Australia, is renowned for its Whale Watching and as the gateway to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island. The foreshore of the City offers fourteen kilometres of shared pedestrian, wheelchair and bicycle pathways. Along the length of the foreshore are numerous areas for picnics and barbecues, as well as children’s play areas, beach hire and public shower and toilet facilities.

The north-facing sheltered waters of Hervey Bay are protected by Fraser Island and offer visitors a perfect swimming and fishing environment.

Lazy days cruising the calm, blue waters of Hervey Bay, cool drink in hand, going….well, nowhere in particular really! Holidays don’t get much better than this…while most of our guests come with full itineraries for their trip, most are quickly abandoned for a good amount of jus’ cruisin’ time! The stresses and worries of work and city life are left far behind in the tranquil waters and spectacular scenery of our cruising area.

 

The Great Sandy Strait

In and along the tranquil waterways of the Great Sandy Strait nature abounds. Fish, dugong, turtles, dolphins, mangroves, sea grass pastures, wild flowers and bird life are plentiful.

Dotted along the mainland of the Great Sandy Strait lie the seaside townships of Rainbow Beach, Tin Can Bay, Tinnanbar, Poona, Tuan, Boonooroo and Maaroom. Providing a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere, the Great Sandy Strait offers holidaymakers a great place to ‘take time out’.

These townships are a fisherman’s paradise, either on shore or from a small motorboat, explore the mangrove lined creeks or the sheltered waters of the Great Sandy Strait. A great variety of fish including bream, whiting, flathead, mackerel, tailor and mangrove jack inhabit the waters, along with sand and mud crabs.

Bush walking not only provides a great form of excercise, but also allows you to enjoy the splendour of the wildflowers in season. The Great Sandy Strait is a declared wetland of International importance. Here shorebirds from as far as Siberia and Japan rest and feed over summer. The fantastic variety of bird life will keep the keenest ornithologist busy for hours. When fishing and boating in this area, take care not to disturb these birds or their roosting sites and ensure dogs do not chase them.

Whale Watching: (July-Oct)

Renowned as the Whale Watching capital of the world, the sheltered waters of Hervey Bay offer your family and friends the unique opportunity to see these magnificent creatures at play…giant humpbacks taking a ‘breather’ on their annual migration south after calving in the warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef. For 4 months each year from July to October they stop here to feed and play with their calves.

Fraser Island Escape offer you the opportunity to experience this unforgetable sight from your ‘own’ spacious and luxurious yacht. These pictures were taken from our boats on a recent trip to the whales winter home in Hervey Bay.

The Oceania project is one of Australia’s foremost ocean research organisations, we would recommend a detour to their site for fascinating information about their work with whales, dolphins and ocean research.

Our yacht, Moon Dancer, is the charter boat of choice for the Oceania project who rent her each year during whale watching season as their live-aboard base for the scientific research expeditions in the Hervey Bay area.

If you are looking for just a day trip to see the whales, we highly recommend the friendly people at Shayla Cruises, a great way to get ‘up close and personal’ if you are only here for the day.

Getting Here

Flying: Fly to Fraser Coast airport at Hervey Bay, just 5 minutes from Great Sandy Straits Marina. Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Blue have direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne with connections from all other airports. Flights are often very cheap so it’s well worth investigating. Regional carrier Qantaslink has daily flights from Brisbane with connections from all other centres. The Hervey Bay Airport Shuttle meets all flights and provides quick, cheap and frendly service for local transfers.

Driving: Follow the main highway north from Brisbane to the historic city of Maryborough (about 2 hours) then head to Hervey Bay…easy to find and well signposted. Hervey Bay is on the Fraser Coast with Fraser Island directly across the bay. Our Great Sandy Straights marina is at Urangan, the southern township of Hervey Bay city.

Accommodation

Obviously you won’t need to bother with accommodation while you’re chartering one of our wonderful yachts, but perhaps you’re looking for a hotel, resort or apartment for the night before your departure, or to spend a few days sightseeing in our great region after you return.

The Fraser Coast has a wide choice of accommodation ranging from self-contained family accommodation and backpacker hostels to private bed and breakfasts and heritage cottages, luxury waterfront apartments and international-class resorts.

No matter what your preferred style and budget is, you’re sure to find something to suit.

If you would like some help deciding, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Skipper Yourself

You don’t require a licence to charter one of our cruisers. We brief you completely before you set out and are on hand to help you with all aspects of skippering during your time with us.

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Sailing the Fraser Coast

The Fraser Coast is only 3 hours drive north of Brisbane, while Virgin Blue, Jetstar and Qantas have direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne into Fraser Coast airport, just 5 minutes from our Hervey Bay marina.

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Charter Rates

We have a wide range of cruisers available for an unforgettable sailing holiday from $83 per person per night.

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Whale Watching

The sheltered waters of Hervey Bay offer a unique opportunity to see the magnificent humpback whales and their calves taking a ‘breather’ from July to October each year on their annual migration south after calving in the warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

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