|Hervey Bay - Rockhampton|
|The Fraser & Capricorn Coasts|
This drive features spectacular Fraser Island, the rum town of Bundaberg, and Rockhampton, located on the Tropic of Capricorn. Highlights include beautiful coral islands right on the Great Barrier Reef.
From Maryborough, head out to Hervey Bay, an access point for Fraser Island, but a holiday centre in its own right: there are protected beaches and the area is ideal for fishing. Boats depart for whale-watching trips, and vehicle ferries travel to World Heritage listed Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island.
Back on the Bruce Highway you’ll travel past sugar cane farms around Childers and Gin Gin. From here, take the road to Bundaberg, home of the famous ‘Bundy’ rum, and the birthplace of aviator Bert Hinkler - tour the rum distillery (and sample the produce!) and visit the Mon Repos turtle rookery. Bundaberg is also the departure point for two exquisite islands - Lady Elliot and Lady Musgrave, at the southernmost limit of the Great Barrier Reef.
To the north, a detour to Town of 1770 - so-named because Captain Cook landed here in that year - and Agnes Water is recommended: this quiet area has some wonderful beaches and great fishing. The highway then passes through the agricultural centre of Bororen and on to the busy port of Gladstone, of interest mainly for its southern beaches and boat trips to Heron Island.
You’ll then arrive in Rockhampton, on the ‘Capricorn Coast’. Known as the ‘Beef Capital of Australia’, this substantial city offers many attractions, including the Dreamtime Cultural Centre. From Rockhampton, you can take a scenic drive to the coast at Yeppoon (for beaches and boat trips to Great Keppel Island), and a longer trip inland to the gem fields around Emerald to fossick for precious stones.
Where to Stay
Time required: 2-3 days, longer if you stay on Fraser Island.