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The Fraser Coast South Burnett region is rich in diversity and natural beauty. Fraser Island, Australia is the largest sand island in the world being 124Km long and covering an area of 163,000 hectares. Now listed as an Australian World Heritage site, Fraser Island joins the ranks of the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and Kakadu National Parks as being of universal significance as the largest coastal dune system and sand island in the world and for its special environments.

Consisting of five suburbs, Hervey Bay, four hours drive north of Brisbane is one of Queensland's largest towns. Its two major draw cards are Fraser Island (the majority of ferries heading for Fraser depart from here) and whale watching. Over 3000 humpback whales enter the waters around Hervey Bay each year. If you are doing neither, it is still a nice town to relax for a couple of days.

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'.

Maryborough is one of Queensland's oldest and largest provincial cities. Maryborough was a major immigration port into Australia and the city retains many reminders of this period. Inland from Maryborough is the South Burnett region, an area rich in history, agriculture, wineries and welcoming country towns.

Protected by Fraser Island, Hervey Bay is an ideal spot for diving, with coral reefs and sunken ships teeming with fish life providing lots of interest. Hervey Bay beach is one of the safest swimming beaches in Queensland with no stingers, mild temperatures, and calm waters protected by Fraser Island.

There are museums galore...in fact, it's hard to beat the history of what was once the second-largest immigration port into Australia. To experience the early settlement of Hervey Bay and Fraser Island, visit the Hervey Bay Historical Museum at Scarness or hire a boat and explore Woody Island National Park, halfway between Urangan (Hervey Bay) and Fraser Island, with its disused lighthouse and graves.

Hervey Bay's Dayman Point offers sweeping views of the Great Sandy Strait, family picnic facilities and memorials to early explorers Matthew Flinders and Joseph Dayman, and to the men of "Z" force who trained on Fraser Island Australia for a daring World War operation in Singapore.

There are art galleries, craft shops, markets, local plays and visiting artists all year round. Alfresco waterfront dining is a specialty on the Fraser Coast, with fresh produce in abundance.

By Air

Virgin Blue operate direct jet services from Sydney to the Fraser Coast, with convenient connections from most Australian capital cities. QantasLink has several daily flights from Brisbane to Hervey Bay.

By Car

Maryborough is just 3 hours drive (255 km) north of Brisbane along the Bruce Highway. Hervey Bay is a further 34 km northeast via Maryborough.

By Bus

Several operators offer services each day through Maryborough, Hervey Bay and Childers from Cairns and Agnes Water and everywhere in between. There are also daily services direct from Brisbane with some pick ups at Brisbane Airport. Some oparators have daily services from the Sunshine Coast with a pick up from Maroochydore (Sunshine Coast) Airport. There are also pick ups at Noosa and Rainbow Beach on some services.

By Train

Traveltrain Holidays operate regular services from Brisbane, Rockhampton and Cairns to Maryborough West. Coach connection transfers to Hervey Bay connect with the Bundaberg and Rockhampton Tilt Trains. The Bundaberg and Rockhampton Tilt Trains will also stop at Howard for pre-booked passengers. For prices and times visist www.traveltrain.com.au