After a wonderful and inspirational few days at the ProBlogger Conference on the Gold Coast, I was mentally and physically drained and very much looking forward to some R&R. And Hervey Bay was the perfect answer. Located just 3½ hours drive (or a 45 minute flight) north of Brisbane, I was thrilled to be selected by Tourism and Events Queensland and Fraser Coast Tourism to participate in one of their famils trips.
We arrived in Hervey Bay to impossibly blue skies and mid-twenties weather (a welcome reprieve from Sydney’s wintery and wet efforts). Naturally my first thought was eating, so we headed straight to EAT @ Dan and Steph’s, a new restaurant opened by My Kitchen Rules winners Dan and Steph Mulheron.
I started off the meal with a much-needed Macchiato ($4) and snuck a few sips of Sara’s House Blend Chocolate Milk ($5).
While the other 2 ladies went for sensible salads, naturally I went for the most over-the-top and decadent thing on the menu. This is called the Showstopper ($16) and it had Dan & Steph’s Italian sausage on herbed baguette, house kimchi slaw, sharp cheddar, fried shallots and wasabi aioli.
I feel like whale watching should be referred to as “whale stalking” as there was an entire boatload of people, frowning at the water in anticipation for something, anything. I’ve been on a failed whale watching mission before that resulted in no whales and only seasickness, but Hervey Bay’s location combined with clear and still waters make it an excellent place for viewing these magnificent beasts.
Cameras at the ready everyone, they are getting playful!
Over the next few hours we encountered several different pods of whales, all enjoying a bit of tail-flipping and showing off. I had an amazing time!
We headed back to shore as dusk settled in, viewing Fraser Island in the distance. For more information on whale watching go to www.whalesherveybay.com.
We check into our hotel for the next few nights, at Mantra Hervey Bay.
We head to Coast, which recently was the winner of the exclusive Diners Choice Awards in the Queensland Good Food Guide, and knew we were in for a treat.
Potato Gnocchi, Mushrooms, Chilli, Garlic, Oregano ($23) and Hervey Bay Scallop Ceviche, Avocado, Corn, Bacon Jam ($23.50)
COAST Banana Split- Lady Finger, Peanut Cream, Peanut Crunch, Banana Ice Cream, Milk Chocolate Mousse, Caramel Peanut Popcorn ($16) and Treacle Tart, Roasted Macadamias, Rhubarb, Gayndah Citrus Crème Fraiche ($13.50).
Wild Lotus, located on the Esplanade of Hervey Bay, is a great example of the fresh and local products they use to produce Modern Australian food.
Highlights included a dozen scallops ($32.50), calamari and tiger prawn pesto salad ($17.50), eye fillet steak with root mash ($32.50) and the fish of the day served with chips (market price).
I was eagerly eyeing off the dessert menu and loved that they have a dessert tasting plate (why choose one when you can sample them all?) Each item was delicious, with my favourite being the coconut and passionfruit panna cotta.
Our last meal in Hervey Bay is a scenic one – breakfast at Enzo’s on the beach.
We eagerly wolfed down eggs benedict; two poached eggs with hollandaise sauce on pasta dura bread ($12) and a Mexicana omelette; chorizo, red onions, tomato and jalepenos served with cheese and toasted sour dough ($18.50).