SUN DAZE: Explore Fraser Island these school holidays. For information, visit fraserisland.com.au
SUN DAZE: Explore Fraser Island these school holidays. For information, visit fraserisland.com.au Amie Munson

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS: The Ultimate boredom busters on the Coast

Thursday, December 20

Christmas activities

IT'S all about Christmas at Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre, 22 Charles St, Pialba from 10am-1pm, where children can have their photo taken with Santa, have their face painted in Christmas theme, make-your-own Christmas wrapping paper or cards and paint a Christmas figurine.

Free event. Bookings essential, phone 41943000.

Friday, December 21

Water activities

BRING the children to Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre, 22 Charles St, Pilaba from 10am-1pm for for a slip down the water slide, a Christmas splash and dash, dump bucket and bubbles.

Free event. Bookings essential, phone 41943000.

Saturday, December 22

Night horse ride and dinner

EXPERIENCE Susan River's award-winning trail ride before enjoying some piping hot soup and garlic bread, followed by a two course barbecue meal.

Held from 3-8.30pm at Susan River Homestead Adventure Resort, Noble Rd, Susan River.

Tickets cost from $35-$130. Phone 41216846.

Sunday, December 23

Twilight carols

BRING a plate of festive finger food to enjoy at the twilight carols from 5.30pm at River Heads Hall, opposite River Heads shopping centre.

Tea, coffee and soft drinks available for purchase.

 

Melsa trains in the park in Maryborough. Volunteers (L) Dale McLennan, Joshua Carr, Henk Schipper, Owen Bell, Jan McLennan and Chris Carr.
ALL ABOARD: Enjoy a mini train ride on Sunday, January 6 from 9am-1pm at Queen's Park, Maryborough. Alistair Brightman

ANY TIME OVER THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

 

Australian Adventure Park

THE park hosts a range of children's outdoor activities every Saturday during the school holidays.

Laser skirmish, archery, flying fox, canoeing, abseiling, obstacle course, bush camping, fishing. Bring your own kayak and bikes. Bookings essential, phone 41867606.

The Australian Adventure Park is at Burrum Heads. Entry costs $5.

 

Wetside Water Park

WETSIDE in Hervey Bay is an awesome place to hang out during the school holidays for free. On the Esplanade, it provides the best of both worlds with the beach only metres away. The park is open every day in the school break except for Christmas Day.

The park has four main areas, Totside for the under-fives, FlipSlide BoardRider, a tipping bucket, slides and hundreds of fountains and seating. Evening light shows will be held every Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm.

 

Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum

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

The museum will be open every day during the school holidays, except Christmas Day. Monday to Saturday from 1-4.30pm, and Sundays 10.30am-4pm. The museum is at 13 Zephyr St, Scarness. Adults $10, children 14 and under $3, children below school age enter free.

Fraser Coast Cultural Centre Holiday Fun

THERE are some awesome events and activities on these school holidays.

The centre consists of the Hervey Bay Gallery and the Fraser Coast Discovery Sphere all under the one roof. The Discovery Sphere is very popular with kids, who especially love the hands-on interactive challenges and activities.

The Cultural Centre is on Old Maryborough Rd, Pialba.

Hervey Bay Tenpin Bowl and Ice Skating

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

Ice skating: You can have all the fun of ice skating without getting cold or wet, thanks to the synthetic ice skating rink that's now part of Hervey Bay Tenpin Bowl and Zone 3. Costs adult $17, teens $15, children $13 and toddlers $5. Each session runs for one hour and 45 minutes. The centre is open every day, from 9am to late.

Hervey Bay Tenpin Bowl is at 60-62 Boat Harbour Dr, Pialba.

Jump Park Hervey Bay

JUMP Park Hervey Bay is the premier indoor trampoline park of Fraser Coast. Featuring multiple zones and Olympic trampolines, it won't disappoint even the most hardcore.

The jump park will be open daily over the school holidays from 9am to 6pm. It is at 229 Maryborough Hervey Bay Rd, Urraween. Phone 4191 4051 for prices.

Go fishing

EVERY day is a great day to go fishing on the Fraser Coast - and it's free.

Take your little anglers to fish off one of the small jetties along Hervey Bay's Esplanade or walk out to the end of Urangan Pier, where anglers catch garfish, whiting, bream, flathead to trevally and blue fin tuna.

Walk Burrum Coast Park

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

Walk the Esplanade

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

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

Visit Arkarra Lagoons

ARKARRA is an Aboriginal word meaning a place of many ducks. It's a great spot to walk any of the signed tracks around the lagoon. The area is home to birds, goannas, echidnas, wallabies, turtles, eels, fish and, of course, ducks.

Open Monday to Friday 8.30am-3pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am-4pm. Closed public holidays.

Arkarra Lagoons is at 28-34 Panorama Dr, Dundowran. Free entry.

Visit Mary Poppins

IT WON'T take a spoonful of sugar to get your kids excited to do this. Visit the heritage-listed building where the author of Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers, was born in 1899.

Take a photo with the life-sized statue of the original super nanny and have the kids bring a crayon and notebook to make rubbings of the 10 Mary Poppins characters that are etched on the brick plinths, at the Town Hall Green, 388-396 Kent St.

Visit Fraser Island

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

For those looking for a more civilised stay, Kingfisher Bay Resort has all the modern conveniences for a family including two full-service restaurants, a resort-style pool and tours to get you out and about on the island.

No matter your accommodation style, Fraser Island has your holiday activity schedule sorted.

Take a 4x4 drive through the rainforest, snap the rusty Maheno shipwreck, tube down freshwater Eli Creek, visit Lake McKenzie, spot dingos, go fishing, or hike along the Fraser Island Great Walk.

All Fraser Island bookings and permits can be made at Hervey Bay Information Centre, 227 Maryborough Hervey Bay Rd, Urraween.

Or book your Kingfisher Bay Resort or Eurong Resort stay and ferry by phoning 1800227437.

For more information, visit fraserislandferry.com.au

Visit Susan River Homestead

YOU can make an entire holiday at Susan River Homestead.

But even if you're not staying on the property, you can get involved in their family-friendly activities and most notably horse riding for anyone over the age of four.

Visitsusanriver.com or phone 4121 6846.

Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary

FRASER Island is home to the purest strain of dingo remaining in Australia but you don't have to visit the island to get close to one. The Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary is home to many dingos, including an albino. That's not all you'll see there, either -wallabies, echidnas, birds, snakes and other critters will welcome your crew with open paws.

The sanctuary also hosts a country market on the third Sunday of the month.

It is a not-for-profit organisation formed by a dedicated band of volunteers to ensure the future of the sanctuary and its inhabitants.

The Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary is open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm. Feeding time for the kangaroos, wallabies and emus is at 2pm each day.

You will find them at 31 Mungar Rd, Maryborough.

Hervey Bay Go Kart Track

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

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

The attraction is open every day, from 9.30am to 5pm at 245 Scrub Hill Rd, Nikenbah (off the Maryborough-Hervey Bay Rd).

Phone 41281180 for prices.

Visit Reefworld Aquarium

OBSERVE sea life in their natural habitat at Reefworld Aquarium.

It's home to many different marine animals including colourful tropical fish, sharks and large reef fish, along with tubeworms, crabs and many more.

Feed the turtles at 11am or the sharks at 2.30pm daily. Cost is $20 adult, $10 children three to 13 years.

Open from 9.30am to 4pm every day, at Dayman Park, cnr Kent St and Pulgul St, Urangan.

Jump on board The Maryanne Steam Train

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

Costs $2 for children, adults $3 and family $7.

Visit the Botanic Gardens and Orchid House

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

Garden entry is free. Orchid House is $2.50. The gardens are on Elizabeth St, Urangan.

Suit up and hit the beach

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

If you don't have your own gear, try Enzo's on the Beach, 351 Charlton Esplanade, Scarness for rentals.

Visit the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre

The Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre on Boundary Rd is open Monday-Friday from 5.30am to 7pm, Saturdays from 8am-6pm and Sundays from 9am-6pm. Closed Christmas Day.

Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre Inflatable Days are also back operating each Saturday, from 11.30am-2.30pm. Costs $2 extra on top of your pool entry.

Each child must conduct a swimming assessment prior to being allowed on the inflatables.

For information, phone Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre on 41259722 or visit frasercoast.qld.gov.au/ hervey-bay-aquatic-centre for entry prices.

Stroll through the Australiana Cottage Craft and Herb Farm

AUSTRALIANA Cottage Crafts and Herb Farm owners Karen and Ron Herbert have created a crafty wonderland that has visitors and locals returning time after time, especially during the Christmas period.

The farm is open 10am-4pm daily over the school holidays at 403 Torbanlea Pialba Rd, Takura. Entry is free.

Take a walk through Queen's Park

QUEENS Park was established in 1860 and many of its beautiful huge trees were planted before 1900.

On the last Sunday each month the association meet in Queens Park to relive the steam age in the chug of engines, the glow of brass and coal fires and the cheery sound of the whistle.

The Park is off Sussex St, Maryborough.

Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum

THE unusual, quirky and eclectic are amongst 7000 items of military and colonial memorabilia, which form displays of exceptional quality at the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum.

The museum has two of the most historically significant medal groups to Australian soldiers for the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1973.

Phone 4123 5900 for entry details.

They are at 106 Wharf St, Maryborough.