Hervey Bay is famous for its whale watching cruises and because mothers with their calves have a protected environment in the bay and often rest there for a few days on their migration north or south (depending on the season). As the migration season ends end of October, Ilinca and I managed to basically book the last tour available and we drove early in the morning from Noosa towards Hervey Bay. Half way at Hervey Bay, we however received a phone call from the tour agency that our cruise had to be cancelled due to strong winds. We were both very disappointed, but in the end, going out on the sea and not spotting any whales would have been even more frustrating.
Improvising a Day at Hervey Bay
So we arrived at 10:00 at Hervey Bay without any plans, and we had a full day there as we only leave for Fraser Island the day after. We went first to the tour agency to get our tour refunded and collected some advice from another tour agency what could be done. As we have not seen any kangaroos so far, we visited Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary, a not very touristic and non-profit organization near Maryborough that takes care of injured wildlife.
Rescued Wildlife at Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary
As the sanctuary is not primarily aimed at tourists, there were no animal shows or other attractions from which animals suffer. The only events that occur were the feedings of the animals. We attended the feeding of the kangaroos and emus, which were in a very large fenced area where visitors could walk in. As Ilinca and I were the only visitors, we basically could feed dozens of kangaroos and emus ourselves with sweet potatoes, apples, and other fresh food. It was a very nice way of getting close to some of Australia’s most famous inhabitants.
Due to its large beak, I was first a bit skeptical about letting emus eating directly from my hand, but it turned out they pick up the food very gently and it would not hurt at all. The same applied for the kangaroos. Ilinca and I really had a lot of fun feeding them.
Other animals in the park were a rescued camel, which we fed with three apples, some reptiles, birds, and dingoes, which are wild dogs.
I really loved this sanctuary because they care most about the animals and not about the tourist dollars, and the animals I met seemed to have good living conditions.
Preparing for Fraser Island
Once we had returned to Hervey Bay, we picked up our 4wd car that we need the next two days on Fraser Island, bought all the food necessary for the remote island, and had dinner at an Italian place.