Fraser Coast offers a trifecta of experiences, making it the perfect destination for every traveller. Whether you’re captivated by coastal beauty, enchanted by natural wonders, or intrigued by historical tales, Fraser Coast invites you to embark on a journey where Hervey Bay, Maryborough, and K’gari offer remarkable adventures.

Discover the Wide Bay on a Croquet Road Trip

Croquet-lover's guide: On a road trip in the Wide Bay area of Queensland.

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LOOKING for a unique way to venture through Queensland’s Wide Bay region during the cooler months of the year (May to August)?

Why not plan a self-drive adventure around the genteel sport with this croquet-lover’s guide? It’s a delightful twist that promises to provide local insights into must-see tourist destinations beyond the glossy brochures.

Whether you’re a croquet novice or a seasoned player, the focus is on fun and exploration. Picture yourself amidst stunning coastal landscapes, where every mallet swing is a step towards uncovering the area’s rich heritage.

Within the Wide Bay region, you will find welcoming croquet communities at Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Bundaberg, and Childers.

This itinerary lets you customise your route based on your preferences, whether you fly or take a train, then hire a car, or drive. It also ensures plenty of time to explore must-visit tourist spots in the stunning Wide Bay region during your winter croquet holiday.


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Road, Rail, Air: Your Gateways to Wide Bay Adventures

  • If you’re driving along the Bruce Highway from the south, your Wide Bay winter holiday begins in Maryborough. You continue to Hervey Bay and then head to Childers and Bundaberg. Conversely, if you’re arriving from the north, your route starts in Bundaberg. Explore the Burnett area before driving south to Maryborough and Hervey Bay.
  • Queensland Rail’s regular services connect you to stations at Maryborough West and/or Bundaberg. At Maryborough West, hop on a Rail Bus that takes you into the heart of the city, where car hire options await. For details, visit Queensland Rail Travel.
  • Hervey Bay Airport has regular Jetstar and Qantas flights connecting Hervey Bay to Brisbane and Sydney. Jetstar is also introducing a Melbourne route starting on June 20, 2024. For details, visit Hervey Bay Airport Airlines.
  • Bundaberg Regional Airport is serviced by Qantaslink, Link Airways, and Bonza Airline. Qantaslink provides 38 weekly services connecting Bundaberg to Brisbane, while Link Airways offers six services per week on the same route. For details, visit Bundaberg Regional Airport.


The route you choose will vary based on your starting point, while the duration of your stay at each destination will hinge on your croquet schedule and sightseeing preferences. To streamline your trip-planning process, consider using helpful tools like the RACQ Trip Planner online. With its user-friendly interface, RACQ Trip Planner is an ideal starting point among the trip-planning options available.

Read on to learn about the Wide Bay croquet clubs where visitors can enjoy games and discover some highlights of the region’s top attractions.

Heads-up: While we outline an ideal day at each spot, you might consider extending your stay at each location for a richer holiday experience! It’s also advisable to reach out to the croquet clubs in advance to check your visit aligns with their schedule, which may include local, regional, state, and national tournaments.


Croquet & Beyond: Discover the Wide Bay’s Best

Hervey Bay


Venture further: Hervey Bay is the gateway to the World Heritage-listed K’gari (Fraser Island). Join a guided tour or rent a 4WD to explore the world’s largest sand island. Spend the next days exploring the island’s wonders, including Lake McKenzie, Eli Creek, and the Maheno shipwreck. Camping options are available for those seeking an immersive experience in nature. For details, visit K’gari. To book a barge, visit Sealink.

Hervey Bay Whale Festival: Experience unparalleled whale watching from July to October as thousands of humpback whales pause in its tranquil waters during migration. Unlike other stops, these majestic creatures linger, allowing for intimate encounters. The annual Hervey Bay Whale Festival celebrates this unique bond, emphasizing ocean conservation and the region’s diverse marine life. Click the link above for details.




Venture further: The Fraser Coast hinterland offers an escape from the beaten path. Explore historic hotels and towns, including the birthplace of the macadamia nut. At the heart of the southern hinterland lies the Mary River, offering breathtaking scenery, serene picnic spots, and ideal conditions for kayaking, camping, and fishing. Don’t miss Tiaro’s old-fashioned pub fare or for history buffs, a visit to Tiaro and Bauple is a must. Cap off your adventure with a visit to Utopia Rock Pools and the Brooweena Museum and Historical Village.

Festivals: The annual Mary Poppins Festival in June/July celebrates the magic of storytelling. Set in the beautiful Queens Park and heritage streetscapes, reminiscent of the Mary Poppins stories, this event delights people of all ages with Poppins-inspired activities. Meanwhile, the Relish Food & Wine Festival in June offers a culinary adventure in the Portside Precinct and Queen’s Park, featuring local cuisine, celebrity chefs, gourmet tastings, and live music. Visitors can also explore regional wineries and indulge in the finest seasonal produce of the Fraser Coast.



Venture further: Explore the eco-paradise of Lady Elliot Island, renowned for its plentiful manta rays, turtles, and pristine coral reefs. Nestled 80 kilometres from Bundaberg, this coral cay offers a wildlife-rich retreat sans spa treatments or phone signals. Dive into an immersive eco-experience focused on snorkelling, scuba diving, and relaxation. You’ll need an airfare to get there, but it’s worth exploring.

Taste Bundaberg Festival: Don’t miss the 10-day culinary extravaganza of the Taste Bundaberg Festival in late August. Indulge in authentic flavours sourced from the region’s bountiful farmlands and pristine coastline, celebrating the dedication of local farmers, distillers, brewers, fishermen, and graziers. With a tasty menu of events to suit every palate, from banquets to barbecues, this festival promises to delight food enthusiasts. For details, visit Taste Bundaberg Festival.



Venture further: Embark on a self-drive winery tour where you can sample a variety of wines, learn about the winemaking process, and enjoy the scenic surroundings of the Childers region.

  • Hill of Promise Winery: Visitors are invited to savour handcrafted wines made from locally grown fruit in a charming family-owned vineyard setting.
  • Ohana Winery & Exotic Fruits: This family-owned winery specializes in producing wines from a variety of exotic fruits grown on their property, offering visitors a unique tasting experience.
  • Vintner’s Secret Vineyard: Situated in Childers, Vintner’s Secret Vineyard produces a range of wines from grapes grown on their estate, with a focus on crafting high-quality, handcrafted wines.

Childers Multicultural Festival: This annual event on the last weekend in July celebrates the cultural diversity of the region and typically features live music and performances, market stalls selling arts and crafts, delicious food from around the world, and family-friendly activities. The festival attracts visitors from near and far and is a celebration of community spirit and cultural exchange in Childers. For details visit Childers Multicultural Festival.


Wrapping up your Croquet-Lover’s Guide to the Wide Bay

As your self-drive adventure through Queensland’s Wide Bay region comes to an end, take a moment to reflect on the memories made and the experiences shared.

From the historic streets of Maryborough, Childers, and Bundaberg to the pristine beaches of Lady Elliot Island, and K’gari, this journey has offered a glimpse into the diverse beauty and rich culture of Australia’s Sunshine State.

And who could forget the delightful detours for croquet games, adding a touch of elegance to your exploration? Until next time, happy travels!

Croquet-lover's Guide: On a road trip in the Wide Bay area of Queensland.

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Where to next?

Don’t miss out on discovering your next destination with With countless amazing deals on accommodation and more, you’re bound to find what you’re searching for. So, why wait? Click the links here to explore BOOKING.COM today and plan your next trip.


***Jocelyn Magazine is affiliated with the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet and When you make purchases through links on the website, we receive a small commission, which helps us provide you with more great content.***

Maryborough, Qld, To Host 2025 National Citroën Cit-In!

GET revved up! Maryborough, Queensland, has been announced as the backdrop for the much-anticipated 2025 national Citroën club gathering, affectionately dubbed Cit-In.

In a grand unveiling at the 2024 national gathering in Devonport, Tasmania, last night (24 March 2024), the President of the Citroën Car Club of Queensland, Adrian Chatterton, revealed plans that are bound to set automotive lovers, the city of Maryborough, and the wider Fraser Coast region abuzz.

“In May 2025, Citroën club members from across the nation will converge upon Maryborough, Queensland, bringing at least 70 Citroën cars from every corner of Australia for their annual celebration,” Mr Chatterton said.

“This gathering is more than just a congregation of cars; it’s a celebration of heritage, innovation, and the enduring legacy of Citroën in Australia.”

“Maryborough’s Brolga Theatre and Convention Centre will serve as the backdrop for this spectacular event, offering ample space and facilities to accommodate enthusiasts and spectators.”

Affiliate Disclosure: Jocelyn Magazine is affiliated with Clicking on links on this website and making purchases may earn us a small commission, supporting our mission to provide you with great content.

Citroen cars lined up.

Citroën aficionados show their vehicles ahead of the 2024 national Cit-in gathering in Devonport, Tasmania.


2025 Cit-in to Showcase Citroën’s Legacy

Citroëns from throughout Australia will be in Maryborough from Friday, May 2, to Monday, May 5, 2025, with cars that span the breadth of the brand’s illustrious history.

From classic models like the DS, marking its 70th anniversary, to iconic vehicles such as the 2CV, each car tells a story—a testament to Citroën’s revolutionary impact on the automotive industry.

On Saturday, May 3, 2025, admirers will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of Citroën at a Show and Shine event—a dazzling showcase of craftsmanship, innovation, and the rich heritage synonymous with the brand.

Adding a touch of elegance and nostalgia to the proceedings, the Cit-In formal dinner on Sunday evening will transport club members back to the glamour of Paris 1955, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the legendary DS. It’s an evening of fine dining, entertainment, and camaraderie—a fitting tribute to the timeless allure of Citroën.

However, the significance of this event extends beyond the confines of Citroën owners.

Next year, 2025, marks the 100th anniversary of the Australian circumnavigation by a car—an achievement made possible by none other than a Citroën 5CV. This historic milestone emphasises the pioneering spirit and enduring legacy of Citroën vehicles, a legacy that continues to inspire generations of automotive enthusiasts to this day.


Citroen lovers check out the range of cars as members of the Citroen Car Club of Queensland make their way to Tasmania for the 2024 Cit-In.


Fraser Coast Set to Shine with 2025 Cit-in

As anticipation builds for the 2025 national Cit-In gathering in Maryborough, I can’t help but reflect on the impact this event will have, not only on Maryborough itself, but also on the wider Fraser Coast community.

Beyond the gleaming cars, this gathering promises to breathe excitement into Maryborough, inviting visitors to explore its historic streets, charming cafes, and vibrant culture.

The event also serves as a gateway to the wonders of the Fraser Coast, beckoning travellers to discover the breathtaking beauty of Hervey Bay’s picturesque beaches and historic piers where they can relax and soak up the sun.

Just a short ferry ride away lies K’gari (Fraser Island), a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its stunning natural landscapes and unique wildlife. From ancient rainforests to crystal-clear lakes, K’gari offers an unforgettable wilderness experience for nature enthusiasts and adventurers.

So, as we eagerly anticipate the Cit-In gathering in 2025, let us celebrate the opportunity it brings to showcase the unparalleled beauty and diverse attractions of the Fraser Coast to visitors from near and far.

Citroen cars lined up.

As they journey to Tasmania for the 2024 Cit-in, Citroën Car Club of Queensland members showcase their love for the brand.


Countdown to 2025 Cit-in: Mark Your Calendar Now

For Citroën enthusiasts and automotive fans, the 2025 national Cit-in gathering is an event not to be missed.

It’s a celebration of heritage, innovation, and camaraderie—a chance to come together and pay homage to a brand that has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions around the world.

As we eagerly await the arrival of May 2025, I invite you to start counting down the days until Citroën lovers gather in Maryborough, Qld, where memories will be made, friendships forged, and a legacy celebrated for generations to come.

For more information and updates on the event, please visit the official Cit-in website here. This site will be live following the announcement evening on March 24, 2024.

– Jocelyn Watts, JM Editor.

About Citroën Car Club of Queensland

The Citroën Car Club of Queensland is dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of Citroën vehicles in Australia. With a passionate community of enthusiasts, the club hosts events, gatherings, and activities to celebrate the unique charm and innovation of Citroën automobiles.

Citroen owners on their way to Cit-In 2024.

Citroën enthusiasts take in the sights en route to the 2024 Cit-in gathering in Tasmania. In 2025, their journey will lead them to Maryborough, Queensland.


If you enjoyed this story, you might also enjoy reading:

A Croquet-lover’s Guide to Exploring the Wide Bay


Where to next?

Don’t miss out on discovering your next destination with With countless amazing deals on accommodation and more, you’re bound to find what you’re searching for. So, why wait? Click the links here to explore BOOKING.COM today and plan your next trip.


***Jocelyn Magazine is affiliated with the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet and When you make purchases through links on the website, we receive a small commission, which helps us provide you with more great content.***

A Taste of Italy and the Sea: Barrel n Vine Unveiled

EXPERIENCE the flavours of Italy without leaving Hervey Bay at Barrel n Vine, the city’s newest hotspot for dining delights. On Charlton Esplanade in Torquay, this new restaurant and wine bar blends Italian flavours and seafood in a European-inspired ambience.

The new venue is the creation of Joe and Rachael Nocera who bring a wealth of hospitality experience to the table. Barrel n Vine follows their successful ventures at Ignite by Dockside, Seasar’s Seafood on Bribie Island, and Dock n Dine on the Sunshine Coast.

Next to the Beach Motel, the new restaurant occupies the premises previously tenanted by various establishments, including Playa Concha, Seaside Cafe and Restaurant, the Tangy Pickle, and most recently, Soprano’s Restaurant and Bar.

Barrel n Vine - Exterior view

Savouring Coastal Charm at Barrel n Vine on the Esplanade in Torquay.


***Affiliate Disclosure: Jocelyn Magazine is affiliated with Clicking on links on this website and making purchases may earn us a small commission, supporting our mission to provide you with great content.***

A Taste of Tradition at Hervey Bay’s New Dining Spot

During our Monday evening visit, the restaurant buzzed with activity, having already successfully established itself as a favourite among locals and tourists. The welcoming staff greeted us with a friendly smile, and “Poppa Bear,” a family patriarch, kindly shared anecdotes about the restaurant’s history.

As we entered the modern interior furnished with elegant black dining tables and chairs, our attention was captured by the vintage black and white photographs gracing the walls. Among them were fascinating scenes such as a Venetian canal, an Italian kitchen, and a vintage car winding through an alpine road. We speculated that the latter photograph might have been captured in the northern regions of Italy, known for their picturesque alpine landscapes and scenic routes.

Classic hits from Fleetwood Mac, Rod Stewart, and Olivia Newton-John enhanced the nostalgic tone, giving the ambience a comforting familiarity. This playlist added warmth and relaxation to the atmosphere, making for an inviting experience.

Perusing the menu, we were enticed by the diverse array of offerings, showcasing the best of Italian cuisine, seafood, and drinks. The selection of cocktails, including the Mediterranean Margarita and Lemoncello Spritz, promised a delightful start to our dining experience.

One highlight that caught our attention was the Seafood Plate for 2, featuring a combination of Black Garlic Bug, Saltwater Barramundi, Calamari Fritti, and more, accompanied by house-made Tartare and Boozy Seafood Sauce. The option to elevate the experience with Gin & Shiraz Salmon Caviar intrigued us further.

As we delved deeper into the menu, we discovered a tempting variety of dishes, ranging from traditional Italian pizzas to sumptuous seafood delights. The Prawn Fritti and Porchetta stood out as must-try options. Additionally, the Coconut Chilli Crab Linguini sounded like an irresistible fusion of flavours, offering a unique twist on a classic pasta dish. With options like Diavola Pizza, Rib Fillet Steak, and Tiramisu rounding out the menu, there was something to satisfy every craving.

Our Culinary Journey at Barrel n Vine

We decided on Chicken Milanese and Veal Scaloppine AI Funghi for our main courses. The Chicken Milanese offered a delightful twist on the classic schnitzel, originating from northern Italy. It was perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The Veal Scaloppine AI Funghi, a timeless Italian favourite, featured tender veal smothered in a creamy mushroom sauce that was rich and indulgent.

As we perused Barrel n Vine’s wine and beverage list, we were impressed by the extensive selection. After much deliberation, we settled on glasses of Pino Grigio Delle Venezie Capitolo 06 from Veneto, Italy, and a refreshing Kaapzicht Pinotage Rose from South Africa. Both wines proved to be excellent companions to our meals, enhancing the flavours of our dishes.

To conclude our Italian culinary adventure at Barrel n Vine, we couldn’t resist indulging in dessert. We opted for the velvety smoothness of Panna Cotta, topped with luscious honey and passionfruit. Each spoonful was a perfect blend of sweetness and creaminess, providing a satisfying finale to our meal.

As we savoured the last bites, we reflected on the exceptional dining experience we had enjoyed and looked forward to our next visit to this culinary gem in Hervey Bay. For anyone seeking a trip down memory lane paired with exquisite cuisine and wines, this new restaurant is an unmissable destination.

Barrel n Vine in Hervey Bay is open Thursday to Monday for dinner, and Friday to Sunday for lunch.


Barrel n Vine - a collage of photos

If you go:

Barrel n Vine
Italian | Seafood | Wine Bar
473 Charlton Esplanade
Hervey Bay, QLD,
P: +61 (07) 4334 0892


If you enjoyed this story, you might also enjoy reading:

A Croquet-lover’s Guide to Exploring the Wide Bay


Where to next?

Don’t miss out on discovering your next destination with With countless amazing deals on accommodation and more, you’re bound to find what you’re searching for. So, why wait? Click the links here to explore BOOKING.COM today and plan your next trip.


***Jocelyn Magazine is affiliated with the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet and When you make purchases through links on the website, we receive a small commission, which helps us provide you with more great content.***

Explore Maryborough’s Food Culture

MARYBOROUGH, Queensland, has a foodie scene that has me hooked! Here’s the scoop: I’m part of a Maryborough dining group that meets for a Girls’ Night Out every month, visiting different spots around the city to show some love to local venues.

Our annual grand finale in December? That’s reserved for the Portside Café & Restaurant. Trust me, it’s more than just a meal—it’s an experience. The setting, the history, the service, and let’s not forget the unique cuisine—they’ve got it all.

But there’s more to my Maryborough dining adventures. I’m also part of the Wide Bay Beefsteak and Burgundy Club. We meet at the Old Sydney Hotel every month to sip on wine and dive into some seriously good food.

When people ask me about my favourite spots to dine in Maryborough, it’s like asking me to pick a favourite child—I just can’t! From cosy cafes to lively pubs, each spot has its vibe that keeps me coming back for more. So, I’ve put together a list of our top picks, covering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in no particular order.

Oh, and Maryborough has more than restaurants, cafes, and pubs—there are also bakeries, coffee shops, and clubs—you name it. But for now, let’s focus on our favourite places where you can relax at breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and treat your taste buds to something special. Click the links for more about each venue, including the menu, address, and phone number.

Affiliate Disclosure: Jocelyn Magazine is affiliated with Clicking on links on this website and making purchases may earn us a small commission, supporting our mission to provide you with great content.

Portside Café & Restaurant

Maryborough dining - Portside Cafe & Restaurant

With accolades like the Fraser Coast Business & Tourism Award’s Best Restaurant or Cafe in 2021, Best Restaurant in 2022 and 2023, and TripAdvisor’s 2022 Travellers’ Choice Award, Portside Café & Restaurant is a real winner—and it’s no surprise why.

Tucked inside the original Customs House Residence of Maryborough, dating back to the 1800s, Portside oozes history and charm. From its prime location overlooking the Mary River and Queens Park to its intricate architecture, this spot is a real gem.

During the mid to late 1800s, this precinct served as one of Maryborough’s bustling ports, welcoming over 30,000 new settlers and South Sea Islanders as a primary arrival point.

With Portside’s menu blending modern Australian flair with Southern Californian/Mexican influences, there’s something for everyone. Their chicken tinga tacos, nicoise salad with Tasmanian salmon, and pina colada crème brûlée are among my favourite dishes.

Let’s not forget the quality service and friendly staff who cater to everyone’s dietary needs. So, whether you’re a local or just passing through, dining at Portside isn’t just a meal—it’s an experience.

Location: 103 Wharf Street, Maryborough, Qld, 4650.


Sails at McNevins Maryborough Motel

Maryborough dining venue

At Sails, I experienced some of the most mouthwatering dishes I’ve ever tasted. The smoked barramundi stood out, boasting a delicate flavour with just the right hint of sweetness. The smoking process elevated the natural taste of the fish, adding a subtle yet delightful smokiness that perfectly complemented its flavours. And, let’s not forget about those lamb shanks on another occasion—tender, succulent, and melting in my mouth with every bite.

While menus may change over time, if you happen to come across the smoked barramundi and lamb shanks at Sails, trust me, they’re worth a try. Sails isn’t just about the food though—it’s the whole experience. With a fully licensed 100-seat fine-dining restaurant and a welcoming bar, it’s perfect for any special occasion, whether it’s a wedding, corporate event, or just a night out with friends. Plus, their friendly staff is available to ensure everything runs smoothly, leaving you free to enjoy the culinary delights.

Location: 188 John Street, Maryborough, Qld, 4650.

La Familia Pizzeria

Maryborough dining venue

La Familia Pizzeria, a fresh addition to the Maryborough dining scene, has quickly become a favourite eatery in town. After our first visit to this Great Gatsby-inspired spot, we were hooked. So much so, that we broke our usual routine and went back the very next month!

Winning the Fraser Coast Business & Tourism People’s Choice Awards in 2023 was the cherry on top for La Familia Maryborough, and it’s no surprise with the glowing TripAdvisor reviews pouring in.

Just take it from Johnnyrocket2013, who raved about the authentic vibe, stellar service from Kimberly and Blaine, and mouthwatering dishes served piping hot. Brad R. couldn’t get enough of their Greek lamb Calzone and Gambino Pizza, while Melissa B. gave top marks across the board for location, venue, service, and, of course, the food—deliziosa!

With feedback like that, it’s clear La Familia is a must-visit spot in Maryborough, whether you’re dining in or grabbing a takeaway pizza for a cosy night in. The reviews speak volumes.

Location: 8/373 Kent Street, Maryborough, Qld, 4650.


White Lion Hotel

Maryborough dining venue

During the Covid pandemic in 2020, the White Lion Hotel seized the opportunity for a complete makeover, breathing new life into this historic pub. Now, it not only welcomes its loyal regulars spanning decades, but also draws in a fresh crowd seeking modern dining experiences. Conveniently located within walking distance from the Brolga Theatre, it’s a popular pre-show dining spot too.

Established back in 1864, the White Lion Hotel is steeped in history, adding to its charm for both locals and visitors alike. From delicious seasonal dishes to classics like wood-fired pizzas and traditional pub fare, there’s something to please everyone’s palate. With a dedicated chef and team pouring their passion into every dish, satisfaction is practically guaranteed. Whether it’s a hearty steak, fresh seafood, or indulgent desserts, you’re in for a treat at the White Lion Hotel.

Location: 37 Walker Street, Maryborough, Qld, 4650.

Indian Diamond Maryborough

Maryborough dining venue

Indian Diamond is our go-to spot for indulging in authentic North Indian cuisine. Since its establishment in 2012, this family-owned venue has been serving up mouthwatering Indian dishes that keep us coming back for more. Whether dining in, grabbing a takeaway, or opting for delivery, the options are vast. Plus, it’s BYO wine, so you can sip on your favourite bottle while savouring the flavours.

And we’re not the only ones singing its praises—TripAdvisor reviewers can’t get enough either. Eleise8100 raves about the perfect balance of spice, with the Lamb Korma stealing the show, while ZinnyandFi hail it as their favourite Indian spot across Wide Bay.

With glowing reviews like these, it’s no wonder Indian Diamond remains a top choice for locals and visitors alike. Whether you’re craving a flavourful curry or some crispy samosas, this place delivers every time.

Location: 3/133 Lennox Street, Maryborough, Qld, 4650.


Cocky’s Grill at the Lamington Hotel

Maryborough dining venue

At the Lamington Hotel’s grill restaurant, choosing a favourite dish is a tough call—the menu is bursting with options!

Fun fact: the venue got its name from a feisty cockatoo who lived behind the hotel for over 25 years, and was known for its colourful language after dark.

Cocky’s Grill is a hit with hungry guests, and the bar/lounge is the perfect spot to unwind with a drink. Situated on Ferry Street on the northern side of the Mary River, next to the iconic Lamington Bridge, this historic hotel has been serving since 1864.

Originally named the Ariadne after the ship that brought the first settlers in 1862, it was rebuilt and renamed to honour Governor Lord Lamington and the new bridge post-flood in 1893.

If you’re eyeing a meal at Cocky’s Grill, better book ahead—it’s a hotspot, and seats fill up fast!

Location: 33 Ferry Street, Maryborough, Qld, 4650.

Granville Tavern

Maryborough dining venue

While I haven’t made it to any of our Girls’ Night Out gatherings at the Granville Tavern yet, the other ladies have all given it rave reviews and can’t wait to go back. They say it’s a warm and welcoming spot with the chicken schnitzel stealing the show.

And the full menu? Well, it’s got everything from calamari to steaks, fish, and seafood baskets—a feast for sure! The portions are generous, prices reasonable, and the chips? Apparently, unbeatable.

Fun fact: When the record flood of 1893 hit Maryborough, the original Granville Arms and Fig Tree Hotel were washed away. But, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the hotel was rebuilt on higher ground at its current location. It’s weathered a few rebuilds since then but remains a bustling social hub, especially during floods when the Granville Bridge is cut off and the suburb turns into an island.

Location: 23 Odessa St, Granville QLD 4650


Alowishus Delicious

Maryborough dining venue

While recently exploring Maryborough for photo opportunities, I popped into Alowishus Delicious for a quick lunch and ended up spending an hour catching up with long-time friends. That’s the kind of welcoming atmosphere you can expect at Alowishus.

In the city’s heart, it’s the perfect spot for a light meal or snack while reconnecting with friends. A two-time winner of the Countrywide Cafe of the Year in 2019 and 2020, Alowishus has been a staple in the community since its establishment in 2011.

With a commitment to local connections and exceptional service, they strive to provide great value to every customer.

Their full-service kitchen offers a range of breakfast and lunch options, from classic brunch dishes to indulgent burgers and salads. Don’t forget to treat yourself to one of their delicious gelato flavours while you’re there.

Location: 232 – 244 Adelaide Street, Maryborough, Qld, 4650.

Harry’s Thai Food

Maryborough dining venue

Nestled among the shops at Tinana Shopping Centre on Gympie Road, just south of the Lamington Bridge, is a gem perfect for group gatherings like ours. Say hello to Harry’s Thai Food. With a cosy atmosphere and authentic Thai flavours, it’s a winner every time.

Their menu is a treasure trove of Thai delights, from barbecue pork and satay chicken skewers to mouthwatering curries, pad Khing, and more. Plus, their chef’s passion for food and top-notch service ensures a memorable dining experience with every visit.

Dine-in or takeaway—whatever suits your fancy. Harry welcomes you to kick back, relax, and savour the delicious flavours of Thailand right here in Maryborough. And here’s a tip: why not grab an extra dish to enjoy at home later?

Location: shop 4/26-34 Gympie Rd, Tinana, 4660.


Old Sydney Hotel

Maryborough dining venue

The Old Sydney Hotel, where the Wide Bay Beefsteak and Burgundy Club holds its monthly dinners, boasts quality cuisine tailored to the club’s discerning palates. While these menus are exclusive to club members, there’s still plenty for you to enjoy.

Situated just a stone’s throw from Queen’s Park and the Mary River, the Old Sydney Hotel is a Maryborough staple. From a cosy front bar to a vibrant sports bar, it’s got all the makings of your favourite local pub. Its menu celebrates the best of Queensland produce, with modern dishes and classic pub favourites to satisfy every craving.

Whether you’re grabbing a quick bite with your mates or settling in for a family lunch, the spacious bistro has you covered. As you dine, take in the rich history of Maryborough through the black and white photos adorning the walls.

So, whether it’s a casual catch-up or a special occasion, the Old Sydney Hotel is the perfect spot to kick back and enjoy quality pub dining in a relaxed atmosphere.

Location: Cnr Ellena & Richmond Street, Maryborough, Qld, 4650.

Happy Days Diner

Maryborough dining venue

Would you believe it? Happy Days Diner, an American eatery in Maryborough, Qld! Stepping inside feels like a journey back to the fabulous 50s, with classic tunes, retro vibes, and of course, American fare.

And it’s not just me who’s impressed—TripAdvisor reviewers can’t stop singing its praises. Glen B. loves the retro-style burgers, shakes, and loaded hot dogs, while Jarrad recommends the Mars Bar Milkshake for a real treat. Brad A. sums it up perfectly: cool vibes, amazing food, and friendly staff.

So, if you’re in town or just passing through, do yourself a favour and swing by Happy Days Diner. You won’t regret it—it’s an awesome experience you won’t soon forget!

Location: 1/92 Ferry Street, Maryborough, Qld, 4650.


Carriers Arms Hotel

Maryborough dining venue

The Carriers Arms Hotel, a Maryborough landmark since 1882, holds a special place in the town’s history. Back in the day, it was a hub for bullock wagons travelling westward, offering respite for both weary travellers and their trusty steeds at the nearby Ululah Lagoon. Today, it’s a cherished family-owned establishment, under the same ownership since 1980.

Renovations over the years, including major updates in 2019, have kept the Carriers Arms fresh and inviting. With a menu boasting well-priced options and tempting specials for both lunch and dinner, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re dining as a couple, with family, or in a large group, there’s plenty of seating to accommodate.

For families, the dedicated kids’ entertainment room guarantees a hassle-free dining experience, with PlayStations and games to keep the little ones entertained while you enjoy your meal. With its blend of classic pub favourites and modern dishes, the Carriers Arms Hotel is a must-visit for food lovers of all ages.

Location: 405 Alice Street, Maryborough, Qld, 4650.

Federal Hotel

Maryborough dining venue

Good news! After a temporary setback due to Covid, the Federal Hotel is back. Now offering dine-in and take-away options Monday to Friday for breakfast, lunch, and everything in between, there’s no excuse not to visit them.

Established in 1884 and built to stand the test of time, the Federal Hotel has long been a favourite among local foodies. With its rich history and recent reinvention, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a meal in Maryborough.

For updates on their offerings, check out their Facebook page or swing by 270 Kent Street to see what’s cooking. With a reputation for excellent food, you won’t want to miss out on what the Federal Hotel has in store!

Location: 270 Kent Street, Maryborough, Qld, 4650.


Maryborough Clubs

If you’re keen to explore what the clubs in Maryborough offer foodies, follow these links:

From Pubs to Pizzerias: Maryborough Dining Gems

Maryborough, Qld, offers a vibrant dining scene that caters to a diverse range of tastes and preferences. From cosy cafes to historic pubs, and authentic Asian cuisine to classic American diners, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether it’s a Girls’ Night Out at a local favourite like Portside Café & Restaurant or discovering hidden gems like Happy Days Diner, residents and visitors alike are spoilt for choice.

The rich history and unique character of each venue add to the charm of dining out in Maryborough.

So, whether you’re indulging in delicious Thai dishes at Harry’s Thai Food or savouring classic pub fare at the Carriers Arms Hotel, one thing’s for sure—every meal is an experience to remember in this quaint Queensland town.

All information was correct at the time of publishing – 13 February 2024. If you know of anything that’s no longer relevant or correct, please leave a comment below. Stay tuned, too, because venues currently under renovation are expected to open in late 2024.


If you enjoyed this story, you might also enjoy reading:

A Croquet-lover’s Guide to Exploring the Wide Bay


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Exclusive insights into He Loves Me Not filming

SET against the breathtaking backdrop of K’gari, amidst the logistical challenges of island filming and the collaborative spirit of a close-knit crew, Jeremy Stanford, film writer and producer, shares exclusive insights into the making of He Loves Me Not with Jocelyn Magazine.

Stanford, renowned for his previous work, performing in many lead roles in musicals, plays, and most Australian TV staples, sheds light on the unique challenges and advantages that come with filming on this island paradise.

As the production continues, Stanford also discusses the film’s integration of local culture, the response from the Fraser Coast community, and the initiatives undertaken to give back to the very community that supports Fraser Coast Film’s cinematic endeavours.

What emerges is a tale of resilience, creativity, and community spirit, woven intricately into the fabric of film-making on K’gari island. Read on to find out what Stanford has to say.

K'gari island - He Loves Me Not cast

The talented lineup of renowned Australian actors include Rhiannon Fish, famous for her roles in Home and Away and The 100, as the lead character, Holiday. Lincoln Lewis, known for his appearances in Tomorrow, When the War Began, and Home and Away, stars as Adam. Other outstanding stars include Georgie Parker as Marissa, Sean Perez as Mikey, Naomi Sequeira as Jemma, Bonnie Sveen as Tracey, and Candice Hill (photo unavailable) as Bella. Photos: Contributed.

Q & A Spotlight

What are the challenges and advantages of filming on K’gari island?

Let’s start with the challenges. Because it’s being filmed on an island, everything we have, we have to bring over with us.

We had a lot of cars to bring, plus camera equipment, lighting equipment, sound equipment, costumes, and the art department; all of that had to come over on the barges and we had to find somewhere to put it.

So, at the moment, it’s in everybody’s villas or hotel rooms being sorted through. We’re cramped and living in each other’s pockets.

Another challenge is that if we don’t have something we need, we have to go to the mainland to get it.

Those are the logistical challenges where we have to think ahead. A lot of pre-planning went into putting this shoot together.

The advantages are that we’re all staying and living in the same place, and working in the same place.

So, at night we’ll come back and we’ll finish the day, have dinner, and we can start talking about what is going to happen the next day; pre-planning.

People are getting to know each other and having dinner. It’s a really collegiate kind of environment to make a film.

Usually, people will just get in their cars and go home, but for us, we just go back to our hotel rooms.

Has the local environment influenced any creative decisions?

When we conceived this film, we came over to K’gari and spoke with the managing director of Kingfisher Bay Resort, to make sure they were happy to partner with us, and for us to come here and make this film.

We didn’t put pen to paper before we got their okay. Once they said they were interested and they wanted to be part of it, we created the script literally around the resort.

So, Tam (Sainsbury) and I were literally by the pool talking about story ideas and where we could set each scene. We walked around the resort and we went to Lake McKenzie and Pile Valley.

We drove around the island and the film came out of it. As a result, we want K’gari itself to be a character in the film. So, we’ve put some of the history of the island into it, and the locations, plus we wanted to put some indigenous story into it as well.

So, we partnered with the Butchulla people and there’s a planned to be a Welcome to Country in the film that talks a little about their story and the indigenous history of the island too. That way, we create a really rounded picture of what this place is.

K'gari Island

Several scenes in He Loves Me Not are being shot at K’gari’s iconic freshwater Lake McKenzie. Photo: Shutterstock.

How many extras are there involved in the filming of He Loves Me Not?

There are about 25 extras. Of those, there are three people who are regulars coming over from Hervey Bay. They’re playing part of the reality TV film crew, so they’ll be standing around with clipboards and that kind of thing.

As much as possible, we’ve tried to use local people for extra work, but we’ve also got one guy coming up from the Sunshine Coast. That’s a longer story because he’s also helping the crew.

Other than that, all of our extras are Fraser Coast people.

If anyone is interested in becoming part of the film, they can just go to the Fraser Coast Films website. We’ve got an Engage tab, so people can click on that and say they’d like to be an extra.

We put their names on a spreadsheet and if there’s a day where we need extras, they’ll get a phone call and a time to show up, and they can come and be part of the film.

What can audiences expect in terms of visuals or special effects?

Because it’s a romantic comedy, there aren’t a lot of special effects, but what they can expect is a beautiful love story, a bit of comedy and some very beautiful backdrops.

How has your previous work influenced your approach to this project?

I have been a writer for many years now, and I wrote the last film, 13 Summers, quite a few years ago. When I finished that film, I went off and worked as a novelist.

I’ve written three novels now, and that really influenced the way I write. I think when you write novels, your grasp of language and the way to express it on the page really skyrockets.

So, with writing this film, I could write it quickly because I felt like I had quite a bit of experience with the pen in hand. I think that’s what’s happened for me in the last couple of years.

How has the local community responded to this movie being filmed on K’gari?

We’ve really had a lot of support from Hervey Bay, from the Fraser Coast.

I think the idea there’s a film company on the Fraser Coast now is quite exciting to many people.

They’re eager to get involved and we’ve had many people sponsor us and get involved with putting product placements, using their clothing or the products they want put into the film.

It’s really heartening because we really couldn’t do it without the community. At the moment, we’re just a start-up company, so we need that help and they’ve been incredible.

Are there any initiatives to give back to the community from this production?

As much as possible. We want to include local businesses in the film.

So that was why we reached out for sponsorship and we thought if we can partner with local businesses, we can put them in the film and we can really showcase the Fraser Coast.

Also, we’ve been engaging with TAFE. We’d like to train some students with make-up, hair styling, catering, and set construction. There are a lot of skills we need as a film company.

Will He Loves Me Not be marketed in the same way as 13 Summers?

Yes, it’s made for a similar market. Because it’s a romantic comedy, it will have a different audience, but it is being made for the streaming market too.

He Loves Me Not - Kingfisher Bay Resort

Kingfisher Bay Resort is featured in Fraser Coast Film’s production He Loves Me Not. Photo: Shutterstock.

Celebrating community, collaboration, and creativity

In the realm of filmmaking, where challenges spark innovation and communities rally around creative ventures, He Loves Me Not stands as a testament to the collaborative spirit that defines the Fraser Coast Film community.

Jeremy Stanford and the Fraser Coast Films team, buoyed by their experiences and inspired by the scenic wonders of K’gari, embark on a journey that transcends the screen.

With an enthusiastic local response and an inclusive approach, this film not only captures the essence of romantic comedy, but also embodies the essence of community-driven artistry.

As the production continues to unfold, there remains an open invitation for enthusiasts to join the cinematic voyage as extras, ensuring that the very community that inspired this film remains an integral part of its narrative.

He Loves Me Not is not merely a movie; it’s a shared story, a testament to the beauty of collaboration, and a celebration of the rich tapestry of talent and passion that defines the Fraser Coast Film’s legacy.

It’s the third production for Fraser Coast Films; the second – 13 Summers – is expected to reach our screens later in 2023.




Feature Photo: Writer and co-producer Jeremy Stanford relaxes at the Sunset Bar on K’gari, by Jocelyn Watts.

Published 14 October 2023.


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He Loves Me Not: Cameras roll in October

He Loves Me Not - Rhiannon Fish

Rhiannon Fish. Photo by Eva Rinaldi, Creative Commons.

PREPARE to immerse yourself in a world of love and beauty on K’gari as Fraser Coast Films embarks on the production of a new romantic comedy set to start production in early October 2023.

Titled He Loves Me Not, the film promises to enchant audiences not only with the talent of Australian actress Rhiannon Fish but also with the breathtaking scenery of K’gari itself, which serves not just as a backdrop but also as a “character” in the movie.

Fish is best known for her role in the Australian television series Neighbours and Home and Away.

Director and co-producer Tam Sainsbury said the decision to cast Rhiannon Fish as the lead in He Loves Me Not was not taken lightly.

Sainsbury praised Fish’s acting prowess and her rise as a rom-com lead, which includes her involvement with Hallmark, a major player in the rom-com genre in the United States.

“I’ve known her as an actress from back in a Home and Away days,” Sainsbury said.

“She’s really good; really beautiful. I’ve seen the journey she’s been on and know she’s becoming well-known as a rom-com lead. She’s the perfect choice; she fits the character perfectly.”

Writer and co-producer Jeremy Stanford emphasised the international appeal of Fish.

“She’s great for the character, but we also know that to have an actor with an international star that’s rising will help sell the film around the world,” Stanford said.

He Loves Me Not - K'gari island

Beautiful K’gari will star alongside Rhiannon Fish in He Loves Me Not, a romantic comedy that’s to start production in October 2023. Photo: Cam Laird, Shutterstock.

Love, dreams, and surprises on K’gari

He Loves Me Not explores the story of an American actress working and living on K’gari at Kingfisher Bay Resort.

Her dream is to secure enough money to attend a prestigious acting course in Los Angeles. However, her life takes an unexpected turn when a dating show comes to the island, offering her a wild card entry.

She seizes the opportunity, hoping to win the cash prize, but along the way, she falls in love with the film’s male lead.

K’gari: more than a backdrop

K’gari, the film’s distinctive setting, isn’t merely a backdrop but a vital “character” intricately woven into the story’s fabric, Stanford said.

“K’gari is beautiful. We want to portray the beauty elements of K’gari because the show is about falling in love. All of those beautiful feelings you have (watching the film), come from K’gari as well.

“The essence we want to capture with this film is that of beauty. But also, we want to tell some of the Indigenous story as well.

“So, it’s not just us coming to the island and saying, this is beautiful!

“K’gari has a much deeper history than that, so we wanted to add some of those elements as well. It really feels like K’gari’s not just a backdrop, but it’s a character in the film.”

Beyond showcasing K’gari’s natural splendor, the creators aim to ensure sure the island’s depth and significance are portrayed authentically on screen.

Film delves into love, growth, and reality show realities

He Loves Me Not isn’t just another love story; it also delves into themes of personal growth, self-discovery, and moral integrity.

The protagonist, a strong-willed woman, embarks on a journey of self-love and growth while navigating the complexities of romance.

Her willingness to right a wrong, even if it means sacrificing her own happiness, adds depth to her character and the film’s overall message.

The film also sheds light on the darker side of reality shows, a topic close to the creators’ hearts.

Sainsbury and Stanford expressed their dislike for such programs, which have affected the film industry by diverting resources from traditional drama.

In He Loves Me Not, they integrate a critique of reality TV’s impact on careers and artistic expression, reflecting their genuine concerns about the industry.

Production for He Loves Me Not is scheduled to run from October 9 to 28, 2023, with over two weeks of filming on K’gari and nearly a week in Hervey Bay. It will have a production crew of about 30 people, including a cast of 10.

He Loves Me Not - Kingfisher Bay Resort

He Loves Me Not explores the story of an American actress working and living at Kingfisher Bay Resort (pictured). Photo: Unknown Author, Creative Commons.

He Loves Me Not sparks sponsorship opportunities

He Loves Me Not

Executive Producer Glen Winney. Photo: JW

Local sponsorship and involvement will play vital roles in Fraser Coast Films’ productions, with several local businesses already offering to support the project.

Executive Producer Glen Winney said several businesses had already come on board as sponsors and more were welcome to take part through product placement and other avenues.

“Fraser Coast Films aims to build a sustainable filmmaking ecosystem in the Fraser Coast region for future projects,” Winney said.

“For those interested in becoming part of this cinematic journey, Fraser Coast Films has a website where people can register to be extras in the movie, provide background support, or even become sponsors.”

For more information, visit

Fraser Coast Films is dedicated not only to bringing He Loves Me Not to life but also to nurturing the local film industry, making it a win-win for the community and film enthusiasts alike.

With a compelling cast, a stunning natural backdrop, and a heartfelt narrative, He Loves Me Not promises to be a romantic comedy that captures the beauty and essence of K’gari Island while delivering a message of love, growth, and self-discovery.

As production gears up, it’s an exciting time for both filmmakers and the community to come together and create something special on the shores of the Fraser Coast’s K’gari and Hervey Bay.

He Loves Me Not is the second production for Fraser Coast Films; the first – 13 Summers – is expected to reach our screens later this year.



Feature Photo: Writer and co-producer Jeremy Stanford and Director and co-producer Tam Sainsbury, by Jocelyn Watts.

Published 21 September 2023.


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Don’t miss out on discovering your next destination with With countless amazing deals on accommodation and more, you’re bound to find what you’re searching for. So, why wait? Click the links here to explore BOOKING.COM today and plan your next trip.


***Jocelyn Magazine is affiliated with the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet and When you make purchases through links on the website, we receive a small commission, which helps us provide you with more great content.***

Ultimate Adventure: Explore Australia & New Zealand!

ARE you planning an adventure in Australia and New Zealand? Get ready to explore the best places these stunning countries offer!

From iconic city landmarks to breathtaking landscapes and adrenaline-pumping activities, there is something for every type of traveller.

Here we have curated 10 must-visit destinations that will make your holiday unforgettable.

Read on to discover the highlights of each location and start planning your dream getaway now.

1. Sydney, Australia

A cityscape of the Sydney Opera House, harbour and bridge at sunrise. Photo: Shutterstock.

Experience the Iconic Opera House and Breathtaking Harbour Views

Spend your holiday in the vibrant city of Sydney, Australia, and immerse yourself in its iconic sights. The Sydney Opera House, a world-famous architectural masterpiece, awaits your exploration. Take a guided tour or catch a performance to truly appreciate its grandeur. Don’t forget to stroll along Circular Quay and indulge in stunning views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.


***Jocelyn Magazine is a proud affiliate of Purchases made by clicking on their links on this website may reward us with a small finder’s fee. It’s an easy way to show support for our team and our mission to provide you with more awesome content to enjoy! ***

2. Melbourne, Australia

Australia and New Zealand -Melboure

A dusk view of Melbourne’s famous skyline and cricket ground stadium. Photo: Shutterstock.

Explore the City’s Vibrant Street Art and Cultural Attractions

Discover the artistic heart of Australia in Melbourne. You can explore the thriving street art scene in areas like Hosier Lane in this cosmopolitan city. Dive into Melbourne’s cultural side by visiting its many galleries and museums, such as the National Gallery of Victoria and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. Enjoy the city’s vibrant neighbourhoods, world-class restaurants, and buzzing nightlife.


3. Perth, Australia

Australia and New Zealand - Quokka on Rottnest Island, Perth.

A quokka is enjoying a swing on Rottnest Island, Perth, Australia. Photo: Hideaki Edo Photography, Shutterstock.

Visit Rottnest Island for its Stunning Beaches and Wildlife

Escape to Perth and embark on a day trip to Rottnest Island. This idyllic island paradise, located just off the coast, is a haven of pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and unique wildlife. Be sure to keep an eye out for the friendly quokkas, small marsupials that have become a symbol of the island. Explore the island by bike or hop on a guided bus tour to make the most of your visit.


4. Auckland, New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand - Auckland cityscape.

A cityscape of Auckland’s skyline, New Zealand, at sunrise. Photo: Rudy Balasko, Shutterstock.

Take in the Picturesque Landscapes of the North Island

Head to beautiful Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island and let its stunning landscapes captivate you. Take a trip up the iconic Sky Tower for panoramic views of the city and its surrounding volcanic cones. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the nearby Waiheke Island, known for its vineyards and breathtaking beaches. Immerse yourself in Maori culture and explore the vibrant art scene in this remarkable city.


5. Queenstown, New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand - Queenstown.

A majestic mountain and lake landscape of Queenstown, New Zealand. Photo: Naruedom Yaempongsa, Shutterstock.

Enjoy Adventure Activities Such as Bungy Jumping and Skydiving

For adrenaline junkies seeking excitement, Queenstown is the place to be. Nestled amidst New Zealand’s breathtaking Southern Alps, this adventure capital offers a plethora of thrilling activities. Take a leap of faith with bungy jumping off the Kawarau Bridge or experience the exhilaration of skydiving above awe-inspiring landscapes. Queenstown’s stunning scenery and heart-pumping adventures will make for an unforgettable adventure.



6. Christchurch, New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand - Christchurch

The restored Peacock Fountain in Christchurch Botanic Gardens at twilight with the Arts Centre in the background. Photo: Travellight, Shutterstock.

Explore the Historic City Centre and Gardens

Discover the charm of Christchurch, a city that perfectly blends history with natural beauty. Wander through the tranquil Christchurch Botanic Gardens and admire the vibrant flora. Don’t miss the incredible street art and innovative architecture that has emerged in the city following the devastating earthquakes. Experience the resilience and spirit of this remarkable place as it continues to rebuild itself.


7. Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand - Bay of Islands

An aerial shot of Urapukapuka Island, Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Photo: Ruth Lawton, Shutterstock.

Soak up Some of the Country’s Most Beautiful Scenery

Escape to the Bay of Islands, a breathtakingly beautiful region in New Zealand. With over 140 subtropical islands, this paradise is perfect for beach lovers and water enthusiasts. Explore secluded bays, snorkel or dive in crystal-clear waters, and cruise around islands teeming with wildlife. Immerse yourself in nature and unwind amidst stunning landscapes that showcase New Zealand’s natural splendour.


8. Gold Coast, Australia

Australia and New Zealand -Gold Coast.

A view from the water of Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, Australia. Photo: Shutterstock.

Hit Up Some of the World’s Best Beaches for Surfers and Sunbathers Alike

Head to the Gold Coast, renowned for its pristine sandy beaches and sunny weather. Surfers Paradise is a must-visit for wave enthusiasts, offering excellent surfing conditions. If relaxation is what you seek, lounge on the golden shores, soak up the sun, and enjoy the lively beach atmosphere. Explore the coastal hinterland for lush rainforests, stunning waterfalls, and vibrant wildlife.


9. K’gari, Australia

Australia and New Zealand - K'gari

Tourists flock to Lake Mackenzie on K’gari year-round to enjoy the cool fresh water. Photo: Cam Laird, Shutterstock.

Visit this Untouched Paradise off the Coast of Queensland

Discover the untouched beauty of K’gari (formerly Fraser Island), an exquisite gem off the coast of Queensland. This World Heritage-listed site boasts pristine beaches, crystal-clear lakes, and ancient rainforests. Explore the island’s unique attractions, such as the stunning Lake McKenzie and the vibrant Maheno Shipwreck. Embark on adventurous 4×4 tours or simply relax and soak in the tranquillity of this paradise.

Follow this link to read more about K’gari!


10. Cairns, Australia

Australia and New Zealand - Cairns

A professional underwater photographer captures nature and wildlife in the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns. Photo: ChameleonsEye, Shutterstock.

Immerse Yourself in the Lush Rainforest Surrounding this Popular Tourist Spot

Indulge in the lush rainforest and tropical beauty surrounding Cairns, a bustling gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Immerse yourself in nature as you visit the stunning Mossman Gorge or take an exhilarating cable car ride above the rainforest canopy in Kuranda. Dive into the breathtaking underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef or simply unwind on the palm-fringed beaches while enjoying the warm sunshine.


Start planning your Australia and New Zealand adventure today!

Australia and New Zealand hold an abundance of natural beauty, cultural wonders, and thrilling experiences that make them ideal destinations for a getaway. Whether you prefer city adventures, beach relaxation, or immersing yourself in nature, these 10 best places offer something for everyone.

Begin your journey by exploring the iconic Opera House in Sydney or taking in the picturesque landscapes of Auckland. Dive into the adventure-filled activities in Queenstown or unwind on the stunning beaches of the Gold Coast. The choice is yours!

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the beauty and diversity of these incredible destinations. Start planning your trip today and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Follow the links to and book your adventure now!


Feature photo: A spectacular sunrise over the city of Perth, Australia, by Cloudsrest Images; Shutterstock.
Published: 16 September 2023.


Where to next?

Don’t miss out on discovering your next destination with With countless amazing deals on accommodation and more, you’re bound to find what you’re searching for. So, why wait? Click the links here to explore BOOKING.COM today and plan your next trip.


***Jocelyn Magazine is affiliated with the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet and When you make purchases through links on the website, we receive a small commission, which helps us provide you with more great content.***

Learn how to optimise your whale-watching voyage

Are you looking to go whale-watching? You’re not alone! Every year, more and more tourists flock to Australia’s east coast in search of majestic humpback whales.

But, before you make the trip down to your desired destination, it’s important to understand the migration system of these creatures first.

Knowing when they are most likely to be around will help ensure that your experience is memorable; after all, who wouldn’t want to witness something so awe-inspiring?

In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into humpback migrations – what they mean, where they go, and why choosing the right time is so important for getting the most out of your next whale-watching voyage.

Humpbacks - whale watching

Humpback whale in Hervey Bay, Qld.

Explore the world of humpbacks with Drs Wally & Trish Franklin

Humpback whales are fascinating creatures, and Dr Wally Franklin, renowned marine scientist and Oceania Project co-founder, can attest to that.

Dr Wally and his late wife, Dr Trish Franklin, dedicated over three decades to studying these majestic creatures. Dr Trish focused on understanding their behaviour, while Dr Wally delved into statistics and scientific data.

The principal behaviors of humpback whales were based on breeding and feeding, Dr Wally said.

humpbacks - Dr Wally Franklin

Dr Wally Franklin. Photo: Contributed.

The evolution of modern whales began about 50 million years ago, when a significant increase in global temperatures forced a particular land mammal back into the ocean to keep cool.

All modern whales evolved from that creature. Humpback whales, for instance, evolved to their present form between 12 and 23 million years ago. They belong to the Baleen species of whales and dolphins, one of two. The other is Toothed whales, which we’re not covering in this article.

Dr Wally said that unlike most animals, humpback whales, which can live up to 100 years, don’t usually feel the weight of their bodies. They have neutral buoyancy in the ocean, experiencing weight only when they breach out of the water and return with a splash.

When it comes to reproduction, female humpbacks give birth every two years and don’t experience menopause. Some females, like Nala, a beloved whale in Hervey Bay, have been producing calves for over 35 to 40 years. On average, humpbacks have a calf every other year.

Humpbacks breed in tropical waters within the Great Barrier Reef and then migrate south to their feeding areas along the coast of Antarctica where the warm waters bring nutrients to the surface, creating a feast for humpbacks in the form of phytoplankton and the small creature that feeds on those grasses–Antarctic Krill.

Humpbacks’ lives are governed by their annual migration between breeding and feeding grounds.

In particular, the humpback whales in Eastern Australia travel together throughout this migration. Normally, humpbacks travel in small groups or pods, with two whales or a single whale being the most common.

However, in Hervey Bay, larger groups tend to form because of the aggregation of whales in that area. These larger groups are largely focused on caring for and socialising the calves and young whales.

Understanding their migration patterns is key to understanding their behavior.

Humpbacks - whale watching

Humpback whale in Hervey Bay, Qld.

How does the humpback’s social organisation differ from ours?

There is a significant difference between the social organistion of humpback whales and humans, Dr Wally said.

Dr Trish completed a piece of work based on 361 whales, in which she documented sighting histories ranging from two to 25 years, that showed the migration was dominated by two groups of mature females.

First, there’s a group of mature females who lead the migration early. These females are either pregnant or taking a break from caring for their calves. They leave the breeding area first, usually in August and September, and they are accompanied by a young cohort of whales. These young whales are between one and six years old.

So, during the early part of the migration, these mature females travel and socialise with the immature whales. They all leave Hervey Bay by the end of August.

The next group to arrive in Hervey Bay was the mature females with new calves. They don’t start coming into the Bay until early September because it’s the peak breeding month up in the Barrier Reef and the mothers keep the calves up there until they are strong enough and developed enough to begin the migration south. By the time the females bring their calves into Hervey Bay, they are already a few months old. So, these mature females are at the back end of the migration.

There are also three groups of mature males mixed in with the females. There are mature males without lactating females, mature males with lactating females, and males of unknown maturity without lactating females.

The calves are sighted in Hervey Bay in September and October.

Dr Trish discovered these calves return as yearlings in August of the following year. As they grow older, they begin to join the migration later each year until they reach the age of six, when they become socially and sexually mature. By the age of seven, they start mirroring what the adult whales do.

Isn’t that incredible? Humpback whales have such an interesting social structure, and it’s so different from what we experience as humans.

Humpbacks - whale watching

Humpback whale in Hervey Bay, Qld.

Witness the matriarchal society of humpback whales

The social structure of humpback whales was like a single organism dominated by mature females, Dr Wally said.

In areas like Hervey Bay, there are actually three females for every male, making it a matriarchal society.

But here’s a really interesting part. Mature males and young males tend to stick together during the migration, both during the northern migration to the breeding area and during the southern migration back.

Dr Wally said this was discovered back in the 1960s by a scientist named Dr Bill Dawbin. It turns out the structure of the migration reported by Dr Trish, was a mirror image of what Dr Dawbin reported more than 60 years earlier. So over time, the social structure of humpback whales and migration has remained consistent.

Now, let’s talk about the mature females.

Unlike the males who stay in the central part of the migration, the females actually change their position depending on their reproductive status. The first group of mature females to leave are either pregnant or resting. They head from the breeding area in the Great Barrier Reef down to Antarctica, where they stay for a long six months. They are the last to return to the reef to give birth. Once they have their calves, they’re the last to leave.

When they embark on their journey with their little ones, they are the first to turn around upon reaching Antarctica. So, these mature females with calves only spend three months in Antarctica, while those preparing their bodies for new calves spend a full six months.

It’s interesting how their migration depends on their maturation status.

Humpbacks - whale watching

Humpback whale in Hervey Bay, Qld.

Female humpbacks usually remain unmarked: learn why!

Another discovery made by Dr Trish is the behavior of humpback whales in groups.

There is a particular group known as the competitive group, believed to be a group of males vying for a single female. Dr Trish noticed something fascinating: the males in these groups exhibited strong agonistic behavior towards each other, which resulted in horizontal and lateral marks on the males’ bodies, but the female participating in the group remained unmarked.

This led Trish to identify non-agonistic social groups consisting mostly of young whales. These groups interacted with each other as they developed socially and also interacted with mature females. In Hervey Bay, these non-agonistic groups are present before the arrival of mature females with calves, who primarily interact with mature males who are seeking mating opportunities.

Dr Wally said the social organisation of humpback whales was comparable to nomadic indigenous groups in Australia. It lacks the traditional family structure found in our modern societies.

In fact, there is no evidence to suggest that humpback whales form family groupings, as do dolphins, orca whales, and humans. However, the bond between mother and calf humpbacks is well-documented.

Calves stay with their mothers for a full year, learning important skills such as how to feed on the Krill in Antarctica, and bringing them back to the point of origin so they complete a cycle of migration in their early life.

By the time the mothers get back with the calves towards Hervey Bay again, the calves are separated from their mothers and join the young cohort. Then it appears all the females are involved in looking after the whole of that young cohort.

It’s truly remarkable how humpback whales navigate their annual migration cycle, ensuring their calves thrive in their early life.

Have an unforgettable encounter with humpback whales

Whale-watching is an incredible experience that allows you to become enveloped in the fascinating world of these majestic creatures.

Specific steps can be taken to make your voyage even more memorable, from picking the perfect tour and time of day, to properly preparing yourself beforehand so that you can make the most out of your experience.

Through strategic planning and some luck, you will be rewarded with a thrilling and unique encounter with humpback whales. Who knows? Maybe you’ll have one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments when a whale swims by only a few metres away from you.

Now if that doesn’t sound like an unforgettable experience worth having, we just don’t know what does.

Be sure to check out The Oceania Project website at for more fascinating information on humpback whales before embarking on your journey.


Humpbacks - whale watching

Whale watching in Hervey Bay, Qld.

Photos by Jocelyn Watts, Hervey Bay, 2014.

Q & A

Q: Where’s the best spot for whale watching in Queensland?
A: Hervey Bay is the ultimate place to witness whales in Queensland. It’s even considered the world’s first official Whale Heritage site, setting the standard for whale watching everywhere. However, humpback whales can be seen right along the Australian east coast from Antarctica to the Great Barrier Reef.

Q: When is the perfect time for whale watching?
A: Humpback whales migrate to Queensland between June and November. In the early part of the season, they travel north to the shallow waters of the Great Barrier Reef to give birth to their calves. Towards the end of the season, they bring their calves back to Antarctica. So, their return journey is when you’re most likely to see the calves.

Q: Do whales breach in the shallow waters of Hervey Bay?
A: Absolutely! Mothers use the shallow waters of Hervey Bay to teach their calves essential skills they’ll need in the deep and cold waters of Antarctica, so, in the latter part of the season, you’re likely to see mothers teaching their calves to breach.

Q: When is the best time of day to see humpback whales?
A: Humpback whales are most active in the morning and late afternoon, so those are the ideal times to catch them in action.

Q: What can I expect to see on a whale watch tour?
A: Whether from the coast or a whale-watching boat, you’ll be amazed by their impressive displays, like blowing, breaching, and tail-slapping. Sometimes, the whales may even come close to the boats and swim around them. While the boats maintain a safe distance, the whales might just come by to say hello!

See Vimeo film for examples of tail-slapping at  and breaching in Hervey Bay at

Hear whale tales at Creating Waves

To hear Dr Wally Franklin talk about how citizen scientists have contributed to the Happy Whale recognition system and what you can do to help, register to attend the Creating Waves event at UniSC Fraser Coast Campus, Main Lecture Hall (Building B), Thursday, August 3, 6pm to 8pm. For more details, follow this link to the Hervey Bay Whale Festival post.




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Celebrate the visiting humpback whales in style

It’s just weeks from the 2023 Whale Watching season and the Fraser Coast is ready to celebrate!

Each year from July to October thousands of Humpback whales journey into the sheltered waters between Hervey Bay and K’gari where they stop and play for up to two weeks at a time, taking a well-earned break on their annual journey from the south.

To honour these amazing mammals and welcome them back to our shores, Fraser Coast Tourism and Events present the 2023 Hervey Bay Whale Festival.

“This year, we reached out to the community on social media to gather valuable feedback to help create a fun-filled program for the 2023 event,” events manager Chelsea Larner Simpson said.

“As a result, we have changed some site locations and broken the festival into individual events and precincts, offering different opportunities to event attendees, with the main collaboration of the Whale Festival from Friday, August 4 to Sunday, August 6.”


Humpback whales - underwater view

Be blessed this year: enjoy a unique festival experience

Showcasing many loved and traditional elements of the yearly festival, this year’s event celebrates the exciting return of The Blessing of the Fleet.

On hiatus last year, the Blessing returns to Hervey Bay’s Marina on Saturday, July 15 to coincide with the official launch of the Hervey Bay Whale season.

A family fun Marina Party, The Blessing event showcases Hervey Bay’s whale-watching fleet in the hub of Fraser Coast’s Marine Mecca.

Festival goers can enjoy a range of fun-filled activities suitable for all ages, from food stalls to live music, a live jet-pack performance, and concluding with the traditional procession of the Whale Fleet to celebrate the Humpback whales’ return.

“Fraser Coast Tourism and Events is pleased to bring the Blessing of the Fleet back to the Fraser Coast,” Ms Larner Simpson said.

“The centuries-old tradition is believed to have originated in Mediterranean fishing communities to ensure a safe and prosperous season for all vessels, and we certainly wish our local tourism operators a safe and prosperous year.”

Hear whale tales at Creating Waves

On Thursday, August 3, festival-goers can join us for a night of personal tales hosted by UniSC with the academic favourite Creating Waves event.

Meet local and international researchers and learn about recent Humpback whale discoveries as they migrate past our shores.

Traditional Butchulla owners explain the importance of the whales and how Whale Song lines connect First Nations along the entire east coast of Australia.

Learn how citizen scientists have contributed to the Happy Whale recognition system, which is now extending throughout oceans of the world, sending feedback about whales who have visited our shores.


Swing under the stars with The Rock n’ Roll Boys

On Friday, August 4 at Urangan’s Pier Park from 4pm to 8pm, FCTE introduces The Twilight Swing, a new addition to the festival this year.

An evening of dance and song with local headlining act The Rock n’ Roll Boys, guests are encouraged to come on down and enjoy the live music under the stars and perhaps try their feet at a quick swing dance.

Discover marine wonders at the City Park Discovery Pod

The Whale Festival’s main event, The Community Parade and Family Carnival, will be on Saturday, August 5 at two separate locations.

The City Park Discovery Pod will be held at City Park from 2pm to 5.30pm on the Saturday with live music, sports competitions, art activations, and educational activities.

Visitors can discover the wonders of the marine world by getting up close to ocean life through touch tanks, taking part in community competitions, and making their own lanterns in preparation for the Parade of Lights.

“The parade is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your creativity and contribute to a display of lanterns that will light up Main Street,” Ms Larner Simpson said.

The adjustment of the parade route from City Park to Seafront Oval, has increased the accessibility to participation in the parade for individuals and families.

The Parade of Lights will be led by local Butchulla people, who have been busy creating an illuminated display of marine life including Milbi (Turtle), Yulu (Dolphin), and Yuwangkan (Dugon).

This project has been supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund, a partnership between the Queensland Government and Fraser Coast Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Explore where sights and sounds come alive

From 5pm to 8.30pm, also on the Saturday, the Funtime Amusement Seafront Spectacular will be at Seafront Oval in Pialba. The community event showcases live music, family entertainment, and amusement rides, and ends with sponsored fireworks.

Paddle out for the humpback whales

On Sunday, August 6, FCTE is concluding the weekend by embracing the magic of Hervey Bay’s calm waters with the iconic Paddle Out for the Whales – an ocean gathering of paddleboards, kayaks, and surfboards followed by music and entertainment.

Participants observe a minute of silence to recognize the importance of the ocean and its marine life including our majestic Humpback whales to the world. It’s hoped, together, we can all make a positive impact to ensure whales continue to thrive for generations to come.

Get more information

For more information on the 2023 Hervey Bay Whale Festival follow @frasercoastevents on Facebook and Instagram and visit the website:

The Hervey Bay Whale Festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.



  • SATURDAY JULY 15 – Blessing of the Fleet, Hervey Bay Marina, Saturday, July 15, 4pm to 8pm.
  • THURSDAY AUGUST 3 – Creating Waves, UniSC Fraser Coast Campus, Main Lecture Hall (Building B), Thursday, August 3, 6pm to 8pm.
  • FRIDAY AUGUST 4 – The Twilight Swing, Pier Park in Urangan, Friday, August 4, 4pm to 8pm.
  • SATURDAY AUGUST 5 – City Park Discovery Pod, City Park, Saturday, August 5, 2pm to 5.30pm; Funtime Amusement Seafront Spectacular, Saturday, August 5, 5pm to 8.30pm.
  • SUNDAY AUGUST 6 – Paddle Out for Whales, Torquay Pier, Sunday, August 6, 10am to 1pm


The Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Fraser Coast Regional Council.


Published 17/6/2023
Story contributed by Fraser Coast Regional Council/Fraser Coast Tourism & Events; Photos – Shutterstock
Feature photo @ top: Aerial view of a Humpback Whale with her calf above her.


If you enjoyed this story, you might also enjoy reading:

A Croquet-lover’s Guide to Exploring the Wide Bay


Where to next?

Don’t miss out on discovering your next destination with With countless amazing deals on accommodation and more, you’re bound to find what you’re searching for. So, why wait? Click the links here to explore BOOKING.COM today and plan your next trip.


***Jocelyn Magazine is affiliated with the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet and When you make purchases through links on the website, we receive a small commission, which helps us provide you with more great content.***

K’gari now recognised on maps and travel guides

If you have your sights set on a beautiful Australian getaway, we’ve got great news for you. Fraser Island – the world’s largest sand island located along Australia’s east coast – has had its traditional name of K’gari reinstated.

It’s a comprehensive acknowledgment of the culture’s history, dating back 60,000 years. From now on, K’gari will officially be recognised on maps and travel guides, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome you to this incredible part of the world.

Traditional name restored to world’s largest sand island

Today, 7 June 2023, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk joined the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation for an emotional ceremony to formally reinstate the name used by traditional owners for the world’s largest sand island – K’gari (formerly Fraser Island).

K’gari—the white spirit who was sent down from the sky to help make the land and the seas that are home to the Butchulla people—was officially welcomed home today by generations of Butchulla people and guests.

Guests were welcomed on Country with a smoking ceremony, traditional dance, and song, as well as a formal plaque unveiling.

The Queensland Government has worked closely with the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation, tourism bodies, government agencies, and the Fraser Coast Regional Council over many years to embed the island’s original name progressively.

In 2017, the Fraser Island section of the Great Sandy National Park was renamed K’gari (Fraser Island), and in 2022, the island’s World Heritage Area was renamed K’gari (Fraser Island) World Heritage Area.

To coincide with the restoration of the island more than 19 hectares of land were transferred to the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC.

This land can’t be bought, sold, or mortgaged, and must be used for the benefit of its traditional owners, the Butchulla people.

Premier Palaszczuk said the name K’gari came from the Butchulla people’s creation story of the island, which has been passed down orally for generations.

“I’m proud that today we can officially welcome K’gari home, and reinstate the name used by traditional owners for all these years.

“We will continue to recognise Indigenous languages through place names, in the spirit of truth-telling and reconciliation as we walk the Path to Treaty.

“While steps like this can’t change the wrongs of the past, it goes a long way to building a future where all Queenslanders value, trust, and respect each other.

“This always was and always will be Butchulla Country.”

K'gari - Butchulla people celebrate the reinstatement of the island's traditional name.

On 7 December 2022, the Butchulla people celebrated 30 years since the island received its UNESCO World Heritage listing. Photo: Jocelyn Watts.

Respect restored

It was through disrespect to the Butchulla people that the name, K’gari – the home of the Butchulla people – was taken away, Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation Chair Gayle Minniecon said.

“Our oral history, our creation story will now be told and learned as it should be.

“Our ancestors understood and committed to the importance of caring for the island since time immemorial and today we continue this cultural obligation.”

One of the world’s most loved islands

To work closely with the Badtjala (Butchulla) people and the local community on re-establishing the name, K’gari, was an honour, State Member for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari said.

“K’gari is one of the most loved islands across Australia and the world.

“This is a momentous day for everyone connected to this sacred island.”

True name in all respects

The name change completes the picture for the Butchulla people and K’gari, by recognising and honouring their traditions, culture, and continued connection to their land, Resources Minister Scott Stewart said.

“She has always been K’gari to the Butchulla people.

“Now this beautiful area will carry its true name in all aspects: the national park, world heritage area, and the official place name.”

Butchulla people share language, culture, traditions

The Butchulla people had long shared K’gari and their own culture and traditions with people from across the world, and this change recognised their generosity, Minister for Treaty and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Leeanne Enoch said.

“So many people have been enriched by the island’s unique history and their shared experiences with the Butchulla people.

“I want to acknowledge the many generations of Butchulla people who have maintained their language, culture, and traditions, which are shared by all who visit the island.

“As Queensland continues on its Path to Treaty, the lands, place names, and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will form a much greater part of our shared experience.”

Another step toward reconciliation

K’gari had always been K’gari to the Butchulla people, Minister of Environment and Science Leanne Linard said.

“It is through the tireless efforts of many people, and those before, that we stand in unity and respect for Country and people, to celebrate another step towards reconciliation.

“The Environment Department recognised the name of the island section of the Great Sandy National Park as K’gari in 2017, and UNESCO formally adopted the name for the World Heritage Area in 2021.

“The department has built a strong relationship with the Butchulla People and remains committed to working with them to cooperatively manage the unique values of the island now and into the future.”

Feature photo @ top by Brian Pickering.


Flashback to 2014: Native Title Declared


Flashback to 2022: Celebrating 30 Years on the World Heritage List

Further information:

Small businesses that are impacted by the change can access resources through the Small Business Hotline.

In 2022, almost 6000 public submissions were received with the majority in favour of the name change proposal.

The name change also changes the suburb of Fraser Island to K’gari.

Information on K’gari can be found at K’gari.



Ready for a holiday?

Don’t miss out on discovering your next destination with With countless amazing deals on accommodation and more, you’re bound to find what you’re searching for. So, why wait? Click the links here to explore BOOKING.COM today and plan your next trip.


***Jocelyn Magazine is affiliated with the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet and When you make purchases through links on the website, we receive a small commission, which helps us provide you with more great content.***