The beach at Hervey Bay is a great place to walk but if it’s high tide or you’re looking for a new experience, there’s always the pier. It juts out into the Great Sandy Strait for about 850 metres to reach deep water. Finished in 1917, it was an important piece of infrastructure in times gone by when a railway line carried cane, timber, and other goods out to the end of the pier where ships tied up in deep water. It fell into disuse in the 1960s and disrepair in the ’80s. It used to be over a kilometre long, but about 240 metres was demolished from the end before a public outcry saved the rest.
These days it’s a terrific spot to go fishing. The shallow water teems with small fry and in deeper water there are flathead, bream, whiting, sharks etc etc. People are not the only ones who enjoy fishing or cadging for a free feed at the pier. You’ll often see seagulls, terns, brown boobies (it’s a bird – honest), pelicans, cormorants, osprey, brahmani kites and so on.
On the day in question we parked and walked up through the parkland to the pier itself. I’d taken along my phone but also my Canon camera with a 70-300 zoom. I was expecting to see birds and came prepared.
But when we arrived at the start of the pier I was disappointed. Not a bird in sight. Hey – it happens. Never mind. We headed on down threading our way between the fisherfolk lined up with their fishing rods. You get all ages and skill sets here – kids on their bikes, retirees with their expensive kit, teenagers with their phones.
And then the birds turned up.
The pier is worth a visit since it gives great views across the Great Sandy Strait to Fraser Island and Big Woody Island. You might catch the wind surfers doing their stuff at low tide.
When you’ve had your fill of birds, fishing, and/or wind surfers you can walk back down to dry land and browse through arts and crafts in the local shops, then get a coffee or some lunch at one of the cafes.