Author: Mark Lambert
1st September 2020
Located right on the waterfront at Scarness Beach, Hervey Bay, this one is textbook location, location, location.
Image: View of the beach at low tide from the Scarness Beachfront Tourist Park.
There are three ‘Fraser Coast Beachfront Tourist Parks’ along the Esplanade at Hervey Bay (being Pialba, Scarness and Torquay). All are council owned, fairly similarly laid out and similar in terms of general presentation. All are right on the water but this one at Scarness is the pick of the three in my view. The location and park amenities at this one at Scarness are arguably better than the others, with Torquay being a close second place taker in the three horse race.
Where the park at Pialba lags behind the others is mostly in the perception of relative security and general presentation being completely open, unfenced and showing some evidence of hardship presumably at the hands of passers-by.
Although the park is council owned, it isn’t council operated with the operator currently being the facilities management group Belgravia. On site managers Jess and Ross with their off-siders Pam and John are doing a great job of freshening the place up and giving the facilities a bit of a birthday which helps with the overall feel of the place too. The little veggie garden for guests to use is a great touch and I know personally, our kids loved it and wanted to check it out every day.
The key to this park is a combination of location and simplicity and it does them both very well. If you’re after a park with all of the bells and whistles with jumping pillows, playgrounds, entertainment areas, flash amenities, pools and the like then this one isn’t for you. Fortunately though, Hervey Bay is the home to a significant number of parks with about 14 being the current number of operational parks in the immediate area and there are a few around that can fit that bill too if that is what you’re after. The locations aren’t as prime for these ones but of course the facilities are the draw card instead if that’s what you’re looking for.
The waterfront area along the Esplanade at Hervey Bay is amazing for it's ease of outside living with walking tracks and parklands for km's along the waterfront with it's adjacent shops and cafe's.
The park at Scarness has a few classes of site to choose from with beachfront powered sites being the premium sites as the first row directly along the beach. The sites are generally feel fairly roomy with a reserve area running along the front of the beachfront sites between the sites and the boundary making it feel that bit more open. Makes a great area for the kids too.
Image: Scarness beachfront site number 7.
The rest of the park is basically all standard, powered slab sites with a pretty open and easy to navigate and park up layout. There are some unpowered camping sites also however the vast majority here are powered slab sites. All of the sites (and the park as a whole) are ‘separated’ from the sand by a small wire fence and narrow, low height corridor of vegetation with a few trees around the place but most of the beachfront sites have direct line of sight out over the beach. The sunsets and views over the beach here are pretty impressive, up with the very best of the East Coast sunsets it’s fair to say.
Image: Scarness sunset walks.
Direct access to the beach is through a few designated walkways down to what is arguably one of the very best stretches of beach in the area. Whether you're in to running on the beach, taking a stroll or wading or just about anything in bewtween this one has plenty for you. The run from Scarness jetty up to Torquay jetty and back is around a 3.5km round tripThe beach here is long, flat and shallow and swimming at high tide is amazing. For the kiddos, swimming is even better once the tide starts to go out a little or on the later end of the run-in tide when the water level comes down just a little to be an almost constant depth with the beach flattening to a shallow depth in some areas out for 100m or more. There is a healthy reef system that runs parallel to the beach between the Scarness and Torquay jetties around 100-200m off the shore that can be walked most of the way to on the bottom of the low tides to fish or just check out the fish life generally and in some cases on the very low tides can be easily seen out of the water.
Image: View of the reef out of the water on low tide straight out from the walkway.
It's worth mentioning that there are a number of trees along the beachfront and also throughout the park, particularly the back or road side of the park offering shade in the afternoons but these don’t come without their challenges in this case. The usual dropped leaves and nuts create a bit of a mess as you would generally expect but these ones support a massive population of Lorrikeets and Cockatoos. Every afternoon from around 4pm through to 6.30pm or so the sound can be pretty full on. The birds get excited and do laps around the park dropping branches, nuts and other bird related projectiles as they go. It’s beautiful and is great to see, but the noise and mess they leave every afternoon might not be for everyone. On more than one occasion when trying to make a phone call outside, we had to head inside the van due to the receiver on the other end of the line being unable to hear us over the sound of the birds in the background. It’s a first world problem absolutely and not necessarily even a ‘problem’ for many, but worth mentioning all the same as it is a bit more than you would ordinarily expect.
All in all though, this park is a nice and relaxed destination in an amazing location with a whole lot going for it. The Fraser Coast and Hervey Bay area is an awesome spot well worth your effort in getting there.
Keep your eyes peeled for a ‘Fraser Coast, Hervey Bay’ article coming soon at Seikka.com.