A few weeks ago my family and I were invited by Tourism Queensland to visit Hervey Bay. I’d been to Hervey Bay previously (around 6 years ago) however although the whale watching was an unforgettable experience, unfortunately on that particular trip I didn’t really have time to take a good look around the entire area. When the invitation presented itself to visit again, I was definitely intrigued to discover what else the Bay had to offer and wow, what I surprise I got! 

Over our 2 1/2 days in Hervey Bay it dished out surprise after surprise. I can’t believe this area with such an abundance of activities, sensational food and beautiful scenery has been only a few hours drive away from me all this time and I hadn’t taken advantage of it!

So food always plays a pretty significant part in my assessment of any good trip, and my review of Hervey Bay has predominately ended up more of a food story than anything else, so before I go on (and on) about what I ate, I will say that the whale watching was absolutely breathtaking, the general atmosphere of the entire area is friendly and relaxed, but most importantly, the meals we consumed over our weekend would have to be some of the most heavenly delights I’ve treated my taste buds to in a long time. So, if you like to explore culinary delights and have yet to visit Hervey Bay, here’s my guide to treating your taste buds to their own gourmet adventure.

My taste bud tour begins with COAST, and gosh, where do I start! As soon as we stepped through the front doors of COAST we were excited. With a relaxed ambiance perfectly suited to the seaside town of Hervey Bay, there is also a contemporary city feel to the restaurant. I was instantly relaxed the moment I sat down. We were greeted by gorgeous owner Julia who chatted to us about her inspiration behind the restaurant and how she teamed up with award winning chefs Nick and Krista.  As we sat and enjoyed pre-dinner drinks, we were quickly overwhelmed by the delicious aroma of the food and couldn’t wait to sit down for our meal!
The menu is based on modern Australian cuisine and focuses on dishes that can be shared which I loved. I personally prefer all my dining experiences to involve tasting a variety of different flavours, luckily my husband Michael and my daughters all have the same attitude toward food so whenever we eat out together we all make sure we taste each other’s meals!So, the 7 courses of pure exquisite flavour we shared over the next few hours were outstanding. There were 9 people in our group and it was so funny seeing everyone’s expressions of pure bliss, as they tasted each dish.  Being with a group of experienced foodies and travel writers, the conversation basically revolved around dissecting the flavours of each mouth-watering meal. The Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with relish was one of the favourites among us all, and, I would have to say one of the most divine things I think I’ve ever tasted, that was until I tasted the Pumpkin Cheesecake for desert! We all spent about 3 hours in foodie heaven. Upon leaving Coast Michael and I agreed that even though we live 3 hours away from Hervey Bay, we would definitely drive the distance just to eat out at Coast.

The next treat to our taste buds was at Enzo’s on the Beach.  Situated waterside of the Esplanade, the cafe is literally steps away from the water.  At Enzo’s you can simply relax and soak up the sun while enjoying sensational food and coffee, or, if you like your holiday with some adventure mixed in, you can hire a kayak, a stand up paddle board, or book a kite surf lesson.
What I oredered: TheGrilled Chicken Burger with brie cheese, avocado and salad finished with a garlic aioli… SO GOOD!Bonus: Every third Sunday night there is an outdoor cinema on the grass right next to the café!A taste of Italy in Hervey Bay at Villa Cavour...

Next on our Hervey Bay food adventure was Villa Cavour. A Bed & Breakfast with a difference, hosts Mara and Rocco Turina were originally from a small town in Italy however moved to Australia nine years ago, bringing with them their Italian passion for good food, wine and hospitality.

Turning their traditional Queenslander into stylish home style accommodation situated just 50 meters from the Esplanade. Upon request, Rocco who is a gourmet chef with over forty year’s experience offers personalised Italian cooking classes. We not only learned how to make an assortment of pasta, ravioli and gnocchi, afterward we enjoyed a mouth-watering degustation dinner with matching Italian wines.  Mara and Rocco had us all feeling like we were actually staying in a villa in Italy enjoying a family get-together.

So on top of Hervey Bay dishing out some of THE most fabulous food ever, we also went whale watching aboard The Tasman Venture. The whales arrived one after one literally meters from our boat. It’s hard to describe the emotion that overwhelms you being so close to such magnificent creatures, I would honestly say it’s one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had. Vicki who is one of the hosts on the Tasman Venture has been taking guests whale watching for over 14 years and has a wealth of knowledge to share. I also loved that The Tasman Venture was equipped with under water microphones so that we were able to actually hear the whales singing.

Just one of our close encounters with the whales…

Our last mini adventure for the weekend took place at the Susan River Homestead Resort where were taken on a 2 hour horse ride. It was my first time on a horse and the experience was definitely not what I expected. A little daunting at first, it wasn’t long until I started to relax and get to know my horse. Riding through the Australian bushland on a horse was an unexpected mix of adrenalin and relaxation. The sense of openness and tranquility is quite overpowering as you take in the sounds of the native wildlife and beautiful scenery. The Susan River Homestead is family owned and run with a number of different ‘Aussie’ activities for you to take part in.

For more info about holidaying in Hervey Bay and Queensland visit www.queensland.com