Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay 2Day 7 of the research trip for my new novel. I visited the beautiful town of Hervey Bay, known as the whale-watching capital of the world. It boasts kilometres of pristine sandy beaches and is part of Great Sandy Marine Park. The park covers 6,000 square kilometres and includes rocky shores, fringing reefs and the waters of world heritage-listed Fraser Island. This island protects Hervey Bay, leading to the formation of shallow bays and sheltered channels, which blend into sea-grass meadows, mudflats and mangroves. These habitats are home to species such as humpback whales, sea turtles, dugongs, dolphins and endangered grey nurse sharks.

Hervey Bay 1Reefworld is a small, family-run aquarium located right on the foreshore of Hervey Bay. Using only sand-filtered sea water and natural light, it has been operating for over thirty years, captivating locals and visitors alike with unique displays of marine life. I spent some time picking the brains of the highly knowledgeable staff who are great conservationists and regularly rehabilitate sea turtles.

Hervey Bay 3Afterwards I took a walk to the end of historic Urangan Pier – one of the longest in Australia, stretching for almost one kilometre into the ocean. I was rewarded with spectacular views of Hervey Bay, but was also disturbed by the amount of litter left behind by fishermen. Here’s a selection of the rubbish I collected on my pier walk. Lots of discarded fishing line, cans, cigarette butts, plastic … all deadly to marine life, and just minutes away from being blown into the water. How on earth can people be so ignorant and/or reckless, especially in a place renowned for its beauty and biodiversity? It left a bitter taste in my mouth after what had been a perfect day.

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6 thoughts on “Hervey Bay

  1. Why is it that we always seem to kill the very things we love? I’m sure those fishermen love the area, and it just never occurs to them that the odd cigarette butt or bit of plastic can have such devastating impacts. I think part of the reason the climate change debate has become so bogged down is because we find it hard to believe that humans can have a bad effect on something as huge as the global climate – or the ocean.

    I can’t remember the name, but there is an area of the Pacific ocean that has become a rubbish dump. The various currents bring all our discarded junk to this one area. 😦

    As individuals we are well meaning, but as a species we are the most destructive force on our planet.

    • You’re thinking about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a nightmare for sea creatures. No, sorry – in this day and age with so much information available there’s no excuse for such behaviour and nothing well-meaning about those fishermen. It’s a strict liability offence as far as I’m concerned!

      • Sorry, I wasn’t excusing them, just pointing out that a hell of a lot of people still don’t have a clue, or don’t think it’s real, or think to themselves ‘this little bit won’t matter’. I’ll bet you watch the ABC the same as I do. But how many other aussies do?

        One thing we totally agree upon is that the penalties should be MUCH higher. Even those who don’t care about the environment do care about their wallets. Hit ’em where it hurts until the message finally gets through.

  2. Oh no. Im devastated to hear about this. I used to go to Hervey Bay every year for the big sailing regatta. While the dads went out sailing we used to swim with the wild dolphins at the boat ramp (which I’ve heard is no longer allowed and they charge you to do so). It’s a beautiful area and I’m saddened to hear about the excess population 😦

    • What a wonderful memory of Hervey Bay! I’m quite jealous. It’s still a beautiful area, but when I walked to the end of that pier I was hoping I wouldn’t see dolphins. They’re much better off away from such a populated area.

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