When I decided to make my seachange two years ago I worried about how I’d fit back into life on the Fraser Coast. I was a very different creature to the 17 year old who left home for Uni almost thirty years before. I’d lived in a range of cities and countries and worked in a myriad of different professions.
My decision to live in Hervey Bay was a very conscious one based on lifestyle. I’d been back a lot over the years and thought I knew what to expect. And… in all honesty my biggest fear was that I’d struggle with what was on offer.
- Could I really live in regional Queensland (particularly in one of the poorest regions in the State and country)?
- Would I find myself in a cultural wasteland?
- Would I find any kindred spirits?
Almost exactly two years later and when I noted the anniversary on Facebook last weekend a friend asked if I was happy with my decision.
My response? Abso-bloody-lutely. (Or similar!)
And in case you’re wondering I thought I’d share:
My Top Five Reasons I’m loving the Fraser Coast
5. The region’s one of contrasts
In Maryborough (my childhood hometown) you have stunning old Queenslander houses and the lovely heritage (Portside) precinct. The area around the Bond Store Museum and Gataker’s Artspace is charming and I hope that area continues to grow. Unfortunately the town itself feels like it’s stalled but I like to think that will change again some day.
In Hervey Bay the esplanade stretches its length. A fabulous walking / cycle track allows the energetic to exercise (or get from A to B) with an almost-constant view of the ocean. And although there are a few high rise buildings, the esplanade still retains some of its older properties. (I have to admit I hope the bay continues to – vaguely – resemble the ‘fishing village’ of my childhood!)
4. The whales
Hervey Bay became famous for winter/spring-time whale watching over twenty years ago. The industry has flourished over the years and – despite competition from down south – continues to draw crowds every year. Bizarrely I haven’t been since I’ve been back in the area but I keep promising I will.
3. Fraser Island
The largest sand island in the world is on our doorstep (indeed I can see it from my verandah). Again I haven’t been for a while but as a youngster we were regular visitors. My relatives had (and some still have) two ‘huts’ on the eastern side of the island at Yidney Rocks. It can get busy during holidays, but there’s something to be said for the vastness of the place. Of course once upon a time getting there was traumatic but although ‘development’ has been thankfully minimal, there are now heaps of transport and accommodation options including the lovely Kingfisher Bay Resort.
2. The cultural activities
When I first arrived I had a local FB page and blog and so I tried to go to everything and was bloody exhausted. I had festival and social activity fatigue.
Which is why I get grumpy when people say there’s nothing to do cos many I know don’t bother to try what’s out there. There are Council-run events (Relish Food Festival, Whale Festival, Mary Poppins Festival plus a heap of other regular activities), art galleries, local theatre and a 900-seat theatre in Maryborough which attracts larger acts. We get everything from the ballet to comedians and the stuff in between. And there are an increasing number of decent cafes and restaurants (though more so in Hervey Bay) which offer a range of quality dining options.
1. The lifestyle and tranquility
My view every day.This has obviously been instagrammed. It’s blue but not always this blue. Sometimes it’s overcast. Just the other night lightning was thrashing about on the horizon. The next day there was a rainbow. Sometimes there are even dolphins. But THIS is the reason I moved (well, this and my mum!).
I was so astounded by the lack of hubbub on the day of my arrival I joked about a zombie apocalypse. It’s true I’ve cut back and only work part-time and so forth, but there’s something to be said for the pace of life outside larger cities.
So, there you have it. Why I’m loving the Fraser Coast.
Have you visited the area?
Are you tempted?
Linking up with Trish and My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.
PS. Not sponsored in any way obviously…