FUN TIMES AHEAD: Get ready for weeks of fun during the school holidays on the Fraser Coast.
FUN TIMES AHEAD: Get ready for weeks of fun during the school holidays on the Fraser Coast. Jordan Philp

40 things to do on the Fraser Coast these school holidays

FREE SANTA PHOTOS AT PIALBA PLACE

When: From now until December 22. Monday to Friday, 10am to 3pm. Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 2pm.

Where: Pialba Place Shopping Centre, Pialba.

What: Santa will be sitting in his grotto during these times, just outside Big W. Take your own device and snap away.

Cost: Free.

GET ON BOARD THE NOTORIOUS PIRATE SHIP

Notorious pirate boat replica
Notorious pirate boat replica Alicia smoothy

When: December 13 to January 14. The ship will be open for on-board viewings from Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm, and closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Where: Urangan Marina, Hervey Bay.

What: The Notorious pirate ship is coming to Hervey Bay during the summer school break. Here's your chance to climb aboard and explore below decks. Be drawn back in time and marvel at the craftsmanship.

Cost: Adults $5, children $2.

HERVEY BAY RSL CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT

Hervey Bay RSL Carols by Candlelight, Seafront Oval -
Hervey Bay RSL Carols by Candlelight, Seafront Oval - Valerie Horton

When: Saturday, December 16, 5.30pm to 8.30pm.

Where: Seafront Oval, Pialba.

What: This annual event attracts thousands of visitors to Seafront Oval each year. Come along and sing your favourite Christmas carols and finish off the night by watching some spectacular fireworks.

Cost: Free.

HERVEY BAY LOCAL AMBULANCE GOODS WHEEL

When: Starting on Saturday, December 16 and running until Saturday, January 6.

Where: Scarness Stage, Esplanade.

What: The annual Ambulance Goods Wheel will be held nightly at 7pm for three weeks over Christmas and New Year (except Christmas Day) on 'The Stage' at the Scarness foreshore.

It has become a local tradition after more than 50 years and is great fun for the whole family.

Tickets are 50 cents each with 100 tickets sold per spin. Winning ticket holders get to choose their own prize form hundreds on display.

Cost: Only the cost of the tickets.

CHRISTMAS COMMUNITY FAMILY FUN DAY

When: Sunday, December 17, 10am to 3pm.

Where: Scarness Park, stage area, Scarness.

What: Held by Fraser Coast Artslink, the family-orientated event will have activities, rides, market stalls, live entertainment and a visit from Santa Claus at 1.30pm.

Cost: Free.

PICNIC IN THE GARDEN

When: Monday, December 25 (Christmas Day).

Where: Botanic Gardens, Elizabeth St, Urangan.

What: If you don't have plans or family to celebrate with this Christmas, you're invited to attend Picnic in the Gardens at the Urangan Community Centre.

Established in 2008 and attended by hundreds of locals each year, Picnic in the Gardens provides lunch and a small gift free of charge.

Cost: Free.

CHRISTMAS TREE EXHIBITION

When: From now until December 21.

Where: Gatakers Artspace, Maryborough.

What: check out an exhibition of Christmas trees created by local artists, creatives and groups at Gatakers Artspace. Local artists, creative individuals and community groups were invited to design and exhibit their creations in this special exhibition to celebrate the festive season.

Cost: Free.

AUSTRALIAN ADVENTURE PARK

Hit the water in one of the kayaks.
Hit the water in one of the kayaks. Alistair Brightman

When: During the school holidays until January 21

Where: Australian Adventure Park, Burrum Heads.

What: The park is hosting a range of children's outdoor activities every second day during the school break. Laser skirmish, archery, flying fox, canoeing, abseiling, obstacle course, kayaking and mountain bike riding. Bookings are essential on 41867606. Choose your own adventure.

Cost: Starting at $5.

WETSIDE WATER PARK

Boxing Day at WetSide Water Park - Twins Nash and Adam Hindmarsh.
Boxing Day at WetSide Water Park - Twins Nash and Adam Hindmarsh. Annie Perets

When: Every day during the school holidays, 10am to 5pm.

Where: WetSide Water Park, Esplanade, Pialba.

What: WetSide in Hervey Bay is an awesome place to hang out during the school holidays. Located on the Esplanade, you get the best of both worlds with the beach also only metres away. The park is open every day in the school break except for Christmas Day.

Waterslides are also available at the part at a cost of $5 for 10 rides. Adults and children can use the slides.

Cost: Free.

HERVEY BAY HISTORICAL VILLAGE AND MUSEUM

When: Every day during the school holidays, except Christmas Day. Monday to Saturday from 1pm to 4.30pm, and Sundays 10.30am to 4pm.

Where: 13 Zephyr St, Scarness.

What: The Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum boasts 21historical buildings, is home to more than 12,000 items and often hosts interactive displays and demonstrations.

Visit herveybaymuseum.com.au.

Cost: Adults $10, children 14 and under $3, children below school age enter free.

FRASER COAST CULTURAL CENTRE HOLIDAY FUN

When: Fraser Coast Cultural Centre, Old Maryborough Rd, Pialba.

Where: Over the school holidays.

What: Fraser Coast Cultural Centre Holiday Events and Activities. There are some awesome events and activities on these school holidays. The centre consists of the Hervey Bay Gallery and the Fraser Coast Discovery Sphere all under the one roof. The Discovery Sphere is very popular with kids, they especially love the hands-on interactive challenges and activities. Our WBKs love having their photo taken alongside the magnificent twelve-metre-high sculpture of Hervey Bay's iconic whale, Nala.

Here's what's on at the Discover Sphere over the Summer School Break.

Explore the Discovery Sphere: Our WBKs love the interactive nature of the discovery sphere. Set aside a good 45 minutes. Favourite parts include the puzzles and looking through the microscope. The discovery sphere is open daily but closed on public holidays. Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm. Wednesdays from 10am to 1pm.

Christmas Themed Workshop: The workshop will be held on December 14 from 10am to noon. Suitable for five to 14 year olds. Bookings are essential on 4197 4206. Free entry.

Kids Painting Workshop: The workshops will be held on January 4 and 11 from 10am to 11am. Suitable for five to 14 year olds. Cost is $15. Bookings are essential on 4197 4206.

WHAT'S ON AT MARYBOROUGH LIBRARY

Acting Mayor George Seymour is shown some of the resources available at the Maryborough Toy Library by assistant Rhonda Noyes.
Acting Mayor George Seymour is shown some of the resources available at the Maryborough Toy Library by assistant Rhonda Noyes. Contributed

When: Friday, December 15, 9am to noon.

Where: Maryborough Library.

What: Join in the First5Forever Kids Morning In with free face painting craft and children's activities for under 5s. Big brothers and sisters are welcome too.

Cost: Free.

CHRISTMAS CRAFTS

When: Tiaro Library on December 11 from 10am to 11am. Maryborough Library on December 14, 2pm to 3pm. Howard Library on December 14, from 2pm to 3pm.

Cost: Free

HERVEY BAY TENPIN BOWLING AND ICE SKATING

When: Open every day, from 9am to late.

Where: Hervey Bay Tenpin Bowl, 60-62 Boat Harbour Dr, Pialba.

What: Tenpin bowling: Whether you just want to play for fun or you want to get serious and join a league to compete against others then tenpin bowling is the game for you and Hervey Bay Ten Pin Bowl is the place to be.

Cost: Adults $12 for one game, under 18s $10.50 for 1 game. Shoe hire $1.50.

ICE SKATING

When: Open every day, from 9am to late.

Where: Hervey Bay Tenpin Bowl, 60-62 Boat Harbour Dr, Pialba.

What: : You can have all the fun of ice skating without getting cold or wet thanks to the synthetic ice skating rink that's now part of Hervey Bay Ten Pin Bowl and Zone 3.

Cost: Adult $17, teens $15, children $13 and toddlers $5. Each session runs for one hour and 45 minutes.

JUMP PARK HERVEY BAY

When: Open daily over the school holidays from 9am to 6pm.

Where: Jump Park, 229 Maryborough Hervey Bay Rd, Urraween.

What: Jump Park Hervey Bay is the premier Indoor Trampoline Park of Fraser Coast. Featuring multiple zones and olympic trampolines, it won't disappoint even the most hardcore.

Cost: Phone 4191 4051 for prices.

SUSAN RIVER HOMESTEAD

(L) Lachlan,7, and Hunter,9, McLean on the edge of a muddy pond - all that is left of a large swamp area at Susan River Homestead.
(L) Lachlan,7, and Hunter,9, McLean on the edge of a muddy pond - all that is left of a large swamp area at Susan River Homestead. Alistair Brightman

When: Every day.

Where: Susan River Homestead

What: You can make an entire holiday at Susan River Homestead. But even if you're not staying on the property, you can get involved in their family-friendly activities and most notably horse riding for anyone over the age of four.

The property prides itself on providing a range of ponies and horses so that even a young first-timer will feel safe and enjoy the ride. If horses aren't your thing, they also have a private lake with jet-skiing, water skiing and wakeboarding available as well as BBQ picnic areas, a resort pool, and tennis courts.

Cost: Visit www.susanriver.com or phone 4121 6846.

HERVEY BAY GO KART TRACK

When: Every day, 9.30am to 5pm.

Where: 245 Scrub Hill Rd, Nikenbah (off the Maryborough-Hervey Bay Rd).

What: For a fun half-day outing, race around Hervey Bay Go Kart track then cool off for a few hours slip-sliding your way down the 120-metre water slide.

Children must be two years old to ride in a tandem go-kart with an over-18 driver, but nine-year-olds+ can drive their own. Kids and tots of all ages can ride the water slide.

Cost: Phone 4128 1180 for price details.

VISIT REEFWORLD AQUARIUM

Swimming with sharks and turtles at Reefworld - 16 yr old Blake Houston with Sam the 45 yr old green turtle.
Swimming with sharks and turtles at Reefworld - 16 yr old Blake Houston with Sam the 45 yr old green turtle. Alistair Brightman

When: 9.30am to 4pm every day.

Where: Dayman Park, Cnr Kent St and Pulgul St, Urangan.

What: Observe the sea life in their natural habitat at Reefworld Aquarium.

Home to many different marine animals including colourful tropical fish, sharks and large reef fish, along with tubeworms, crabs and many more. Feed the turtles at 11am or the sharks at 2.30pm daily.

Cost: $20 Adult $10 Children three to 13 years.

FRASER COAST WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

When: Open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm. .

Where: 31 Mungar Rd, Maryborough.

What: Home to many dingos, including an albino! That's not all you'll see there either wallabies, echidnas, birds, snakes and other critters will welcome your crew with open paws. Feeding time for the kangaroos, wallabies and emus is at 2pm each day. The sanctuary also hosts a country market on the third and fifth Sunday of the month.

Cost: Adults $12, children $7.50 and children under two are free.

JUMP ON BOARD THE MARYANNE STEAM TRAIN

When: Every Thursday.

Where: Queens Park, Maryborough.

What: The Mary Ann Steam Engine is a replica of the first steam engine built in Queensland and chugs her visitors around Maryborough's Queens Park.

Timed to coincide with the Maryborough Heritage Markets, you can make a day out of it by grabbing a bite at a local cafe or browsing the 120 stalls of local produce, original hand-made crafts, artwork and other unique items. (Also takes place on the last Sunday of each month.)

Cost: $3 per person.

BOTANIC GARDENS AND ORCHID HOUSE

Fraser Coast Regional Council horticulturalist Darryl Coombes will be sharing his knowledge at an orchid potting workshop on October 3.
Fraser Coast Regional Council horticulturalist Darryl Coombes will be sharing his knowledge at an orchid potting workshop on October 3. Contributed

When: Every day.

Where: Elizabeth St, Urangan.

What: If you're looking for a change of scenery from the beach, grab a picnic blanket, pick a shady spot at the lagoon and relax while the kids spot fish, dragonflies, ducks and turtles at the Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens. Explore the tranquil garden walkways and then take a peek in the Orchid House.

Cost: Entrance to the gardens are free, but the Orchid House requires a small fee of $2.50 (includes a cup of tea or coffee).

BUNNINGS KIDS' WORKSHOPS

When: Every Saturday and Sunday during December, as well as Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays during school breaks from 10am to 11am.

Where: Bunnings Hervey Bay, Boat Harbour Dr, Pialba.

What: Children take part in a variety of themed workshops such as canvas art, woodwork, make your own slime or hula hoop. The workshops are hosted by the awesome Bunnings workshop fairies.

All workshops are free to attend but spaces are limited and bookings are essential. Visit www.bunnings.com.au See the link below and go to Kids Activities to see the program for your local store and to make a booking to reserve your child's spot.

Cost: Free.

HIT THE BEACH

When: Every day.

Where: Hervey Bay foreshore.

What: With the calm waters of Hervey Bay at your feet, now is the perfect time to try some water sports, kite surfing, paddle boarding, and kayaking are all popular activities.

The shallow, surf-free water makes it less intimidating for the young ones to give something new a go. If you don't have your own gear, try Enzo's on the Beach cafe (on the Esplanade at Scarness) for rentals.

Cost: Free.

AQUATIC CENTRES

When: Every day.

Where: Boundary Rd, Torquay (Hervey Bay) and Kent St (Maryborough)

What: The Fraser Coast's Aquatic Centres are open Monday to Friday from 5.30am to 7pm, Saturday from 8am to 6pm and Sunday from 9am to 6pm. Closed Christmas Day.

Cost: Visit www.frasercoast.qld.gov.au for entry prices.

INFLATABLE DAYS

When: Every day

Where: Boundary Rd, Torquay (Hervey Bay) and Kent St (Maryborough)

What: Inflatable Days are also back operating each Saturday, from 11.30am to 2.30pm. Only $2 extra on top of your pool entry. Each child must conduct a swimming assessment prior to being allowed on the inflatables. For further information contact Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre on 4125 9722.

Cost: $2 on top of pool entry.

BMEE SPIN SESSION

When: Every Thursday from 5.15am-6.15am

Scarness foreshore stage

A great way to improve your cycling efficiency, strength and fitness these school holidays. The class is open for all abilities and ages. Bring a windtrainer and bike. Windtrainers are available for hire at $2.

Members $10, non-members $12.

CHRISTMAS ON ROUND ISLAND

BIRDS EYE VIEW- Picturesque Round Island as seen from the comfort of Shawn Kelly's Seaplane.
 Photo: Robyne Cuerel / Fraser Coast Chronicle
BIRDS EYE VIEW- Picturesque Round Island as seen from the comfort of Shawn Kelly's Seaplane. Photo: Robyne Cuerel / Fraser Coast Chronicle Robyne Cuerel

When: 9am-1pm on Christmas Day

Where: Boat leaves the Great Sandy Straits Marina at 9am.

What: Treat yourself to a lovely tour of Round Island this Christmas Day. The Milbi will depart from the marina at 9am for a day trip to the island. Take whatever you need, and don't forget the cricket set!

Cost: Adults $55, children $45.

PICNIC IN THE GARDENS

When: Christmas Day from 12pm-3pm

Where: Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens

What: A day in the gardens for those who'd like some company on Christmas. Families are welcome to this free event. Bring your own picnic chair or blanket. Contact the Fraser Coast Regional Council on 4197 4389 to register.

Cost: Free

NIGHT HORSE RIDE AND DINNER

When: December 30

Where: Noble Rd, Susan River

What: Experience the award winning trail ride in the late afternoon, followed by piping hot soup and bread being served beside a bonfire. Returning to the homestead by the light of the moon or the stars where a two-course meal will be served in the dining area. Bookings essential, so contact 4121 6846.

Cost: Riding - Adults $130, children $105, not riding - adults $45, children $35

NEW YEARS AT THE BROLGA

When: New Years Eve (December 31) from 6pm-11.30pm

Where: Brolga Theatre

What: Live music from Soul City, fireworks and entertainment to welcome the new year on the Fraser Coast. Licensed bar and food stalls also available.

Cost: Free entry.

NEW YEARS EVE ON THE FORESHORE

Glass ball fountain. Joyce Caines makes a  New Years wish at Water Park, Pialba Hervey Bay .
Photo Steve Caines    - User Contributed
Glass ball fountain. Joyce Caines makes a New Years wish at Water Park, Pialba Hervey Bay . Photo Steve Caines - User Contributed

When: New Years Eve (December 31) from 4pm-8pm

Where: Torquay foreshore

What: Family-friendly New Years Eve celebrations along the foreshore. Market stalls, live entertainment from Forbidden Road and fireworks at 8pm will feature.

Cost: Free

FISHING

When: Every day.

Where: All around Hervey Bay.

What: Take your little anglers to fish off one of the small jetties along Hervey Bay's Esplanade or walk out to the end of Urangan Pier, where fishermenanglers catch garfish, whiting, bream, flathead up to big fish likesuch as trevally and blue fin tuna. Even if you don't reel anything in, your kids will be entertained peering into the water and watching what others catch.

Cost: Free

WALK THE ESPLANADE

When: Every day.

Where: From Urangan to Point Vernon

What: Hervey Bay is blessed with kilometres and kilometres of parkland, bike paths and sandy shores overlooking the still waters of the bay.

Rent bikes and take in the whole length of the 14km long pathway from Urangan to Gatakers Bay or break it up into smaller sections and discover piers, views, parks and playgrounds along the way.

Cost: Free

WALK BURRUM COAST PARK

When: Every day.

Where: Burrum Coast National Park.

What: North of the Hervey Bay and Maryborough area you will find Burrum Heads, home to Burrum Coast National Park. While you wouldn't want to try all of the walking trails at this park with kids, several of the boardwalks are perfect for little feet and inquisitive minds.

Cost: Free

VISIT ARKARRA LAGOONS

When: Monday to Friday 8.30am to 3pm. Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 4pm.

Where: 28-34 Panorama Dr, Dundowran Beach.

What: Arkarra is an Aboriginal word meaning a place of many ducks. It's a great spot to bring your picnic lunch and walk any of the signed tracks around the lagoon.

The area is home to over 170 species of birds, goannas, echidnas, wallabies, turtles, eels, fish species and of course, ducks!

The restaurant has some lovely food and drinks available and plenty of seats under shady huts.

Cost: Free, unless you get a bite to eat.

VISIT MARY POPPINS

When: Every day.

Where: Maryborough City Hall and surrounds.

What: It won't take a spoonful of sugar to get your kids excited to do this! Visit the heritage listed bank building where the author of Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers, was born in 1899.

Take a photo with the life-sized statue of the original Supernanny and have the kids bring a crayon and notebook to make rubbings of the ten Mary Poppins characters that are etched on the brick plinths, located at the Town Hall Green.

Cost: Free

VISIT FRASER ISLAND

Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island.
Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island. Contributed

When: Every day.

Where: The Kingfisher Ferry will take you from River Heads over to Kingfisher Bay or Wanggoolba Creek.

What: Fraser Island, just a 45-minute ferry ride from Hervey Bay, is one of five World Heritage-listed natural playgrounds in Queensland. For families who like the great outdoors, pack your camping gear and head off the grid for some 4x4-ing and epic stargazing.

Cost: All Fraser Island bookings and permits can be made at the Hervey Bay Information Centre, 227 Maryborough Hervey Bay Rd, Urraween. Or, book your Kingfisher Bay Resort or Eurong Resort stay and ferry by phoning 1800 227 437. Visit the website at www.fraserislandferry.com.au.

VISIT FRASER COAST WATERHOLES

When: Every day

Where: Check out the Fraser Coast's hidden waterholes at these locations:

Wongi: Only a short 12.5km drive north of Maryborough the Wongi Waterholes are nestled within the Wongi National Park. A great place to cool off, the stunning waterholes are surrounded by eucalypt forest and pine plantations. To get to the Wongi Waterholes follow the signs and turn left at the Wongi Waterhole signpost. It is a 10km drive into the picnic and camping areas. If you're interested in the history Wongi is an Aboriginal word meaning 'deep water.

Uptopia: The Utopia Rock Pools can be found in the Waterfall Creek section of Mt Walsh National Park near Biggenden, west of Maryborough. It is about a 1.5km hike from the carpark along a dirt track to reach the beautiful rock pools to cool off. The rock pools are better after some rainfall.

Woodgate Beach and Theodolite Creek: If you're up for a day trip pack a picnic and head to Woodgate Beach, east of Childers. The beach boasts beautiful clear water. You can also take a short drive heading north along the Esplanade to the stunning Theodolite Creek where you can swim in shallow waters and go for a fish.

Searys Creek: If you're up for a day trip or want a weekend away that's close by head to Rainbow Beach and discover the refreshing swimming holes at Searys Creek, about seven kilometres south of Rainbow Beach. A timber boardwalk leads the short distance through forest to Searys Creek.

HERITAGE WALK TOUR

When: Every day from 9am

Where: Tours depart from Maryborough City Hall.

What: Get to know the in-depth history of Maryborough with a guided walking tour around some of the city's most iconic spots. Tours depart Monday to Saturday. Closed on Sundays and Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Eve and Day. Contact the council on 1800 214 789 for more information.

Cost: Free



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