This was a big morning for us. Skydive. Even if you chicken out at the last minute, the view of the Fraser Coast from the plane on a clear day, and it’ll most likely be a clear day, is breathtaking. No, that doesn’t quite do it. It’s other worldly and surreal and you find yourself staring out the window trying to understand the feeling of taking in more beauty than your senses seem to be able to handle.
I’m not sure whether I would have ever sky dived had this opportunity not arisen. You’d be crazy not to while in Hervey Bay. We were picked up by Hervey Bay Skydivers and detoured via the beach to pick up the last quartet of tandem jumpers on the way to the skydive centre. I was hiding my nerves but, listening to the 12-year-old boy and his mother (who’d just fallen from 14,000ft) talking about the experience, relaxed me a little.
Everyone has a slightly different take on the feeling of hurtling through the air, for me the single greatest moment was when my tandem master flipped us on our backs as we left the plane. I have this split-second, high-speed movie of the plane getting smaller in my view emblazoned in my memory forever. No matter how scared you might be, you won’t regret skydiving. The last thing I remember the boy saying was ‘that was the best thing I’ve ever done’. He wasn’t lying. He’s still got a few treats ahead of him though.
The rest of the day was one big watery adventure. We headed to Gone Diving where owner Matt kitted us out with our diving gear and then brought us to the marina to meet Keith and Sue of Freedom whale watching, fishing and diving charters and boarded Freedom III, a whale watching motor catamaran. It’s a beautiful boat, luxuriously comfortable and very roomy. After a 20 minute cruise out of the harbour we moored over the Goori, an old logging boat that was scuttled to create an artificial reef for sea life. Maggie’s cold was doing its best to keep her topside so I took the plunge for my second introductory dive. Remember my penchant for old boats? This was a childhood dream, I had always wanted to dive on a wreck and swim through a bulkhead or porthole to see what was inside.
Diving gets your heart pumping. As you make your way down, equalising as you go, the world above fades out as a new and unexplored territory comes into focus. The wreck loomed into view. There’s always something mysterious about a shipwreck, it looked eerily beautiful as fish shimmered up and over its flanks. We swam into the hold and Matt pointed at something that looked like a swirl in the sand but as I looked closer I realised it was a fish - a big fish. It was a Wobbegong shark and was almost invisible it was so well camouflaged. It was lying in wait for one of the many other smaller fish to swim too close so it could snap it up.
If you take either type of dive you’re going to see more nature than you can shake a snorkel at and if you’re still thirsty for more get yourself a spot on the Blue Dolphin for a tour. Blue Dolphin is a sailing catamaran owned and operated by Blue Dolphin Marine Tours. She’ll bring you out into the waters near the harbour to sip champagne as you watch the sun set across the water. On this particular evening our skipper Stu wasn’t so confident about seeing a dolphin but within minutes of his nay-saying we were leaning over the bow rails as a bottle nose played by our prow. Stu was happy to be proven wrong. Blue Dolphin also does morning dolphin watching tours and July to November operate full-day whale watching tours.
You’ve heard of boutique hotels, I’d call Next Backpackers a boutique backpackers lodge. It’s fresh, clean and contemporary. There’s an almost professional looking self-catering, communal kitchen with wall to wall refrigerated storage at your disposal, a first come first served cinema room with over 500 movies on the hard drive and state of the art laundry facilities. Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age but I like to know there’s a 500 movie cinema room. Just give me the remote control!
Continue reading... Day 6: Jet skiing – camel riding
Fraser Coast has a plethora of great places for you to stay on your holiday. From eco-certified resorts to quaint B&B's, the options are endless... More on Accommodation > More on Accommodation >
The Fraser Coast is a nature-lovers paradise... so come see for yourself and we're sure you'll agree too. More on Things To See And Do >