The Esplanade in Hervey Bay (also known as Charlton Esplanade) runs for around 17km along the beach front from beyond the Urangan Boat Harbour in the south-east to Gatakers Bay in the north-west and along the way it runs through the ‘suburbs’ of Urangan, Shelly Beach, Torquay, Scarness, Pialba and Point Vernon.
If you’re a tourist then you’ll spend a lot of time on the Esplanade in Hervey Bay because most of the resorts, caravan parks, motels, cafes and restaurants are found along the town-side of the road. The Esplanade also passes through shopping centres and residential areas too.
Driving on the Esplanade
Driving on the Esplanade in Hervey Bay is not a drama. While the traffic can be heavy at times as you pass through the shopping centres it generally moves fairly quickly … but you do have to watch for pedestrians.
The speed limit is 50kph for everything south-east of the Seafront Oval and it increases to 60kph for parts of Point Vernon. There are a number of what the local council refers to as ‘traffic calming’ points along the road to ensure that cars don’t speed through areas where there are high concentrations of pedestrians.
The police do regularly patrol the Esplanade in Hervey Bay and random breath test stops and mobile speed cameras are common so be sure to obey the speed limits and the other road rules that apply.
There are a number of parking areas close to the shopping centres along the Esplanade in Hervey Bay but at most times of the year finding a parking spot in one of these can be something of a lottery.
There’s plenty of parking along the Esplanade but it can be hard to find a parking spot at most times of the day in the retail areas.
Visitors from overseas should be aware that you must park on the correct side of the road. Parking on the side of the road, facing oncoming traffic, is not permitted.
Accommodation along the Esplanade in Hervey Bay ranges from 5-star resorts right through to motels and seafront caravan parks.
Almost all of the accommodation along the Esplanade is concentrated south of the Seafront Oval and while there are big names like Peppers and Ramada on the Esplanade some of the smaller, independent resorts offer excellent accommodation.
Cafes, hotels and restaurants
A large proportion of the fast food outlets, cafes, restaurants and hotels in town are found along the Esplanade in Hervey Bay or just off that road.
These places cater for just about every taste from the cuisine you would expect at a one-hat restaurant … Coast in Torquay … to fish shops serving locally caught produce.
Some of our personal favourites include:
• Salt Cafe in Urangan … it has an outstanding view Coast in Torquay
• Coast in Torquay … it’s the one-hat restaurant and it serves up some very mouth-watering meals
• Paolo’s Pizza Bar in Torquay … genuine Neapolitan pizza, pasta, some good wines and a great atmosphere
• Enzos on the beach in Scarness … it really is on the beach and you can wriggle your toes in the sand while you drink your coffee
• BeanBeat in Scarness … they serve some of the best take-away coffee you will find anywhere
• DeliBay Cafe in Scarness … at the other end of the Scarness shopping centre. They’re open from 6am and their coffee is outstanding. The meals come at affordable prices too … they do close early though so you won’t find them open after 2pm.
The pedestrian and bike path
A paved path runs for17km … almost the full length of the Esplanade in Hervey Bay with the beach on one side and the road on the other. It starts at the Boat Club at the Urangan Boat Harbour and runs alongside the Esplanade all the way to Gatakers Bay.
It’s very popular with walkers, joggers and bike riders of all ages. In places the pathway is completely flat while in others there is some undulation. There are some great views of the beach and bay to be had along the pathway … especially at the Point Vernon end.
If you want to ride along the pathway there are several bike hire businesses in Hervey Bay and you can hire everything from a Cruiser Bike that will carry four people right through to the more normal type of bike.
The beach does not run for the full length of the Esplanade in Hervey Bay … there are rocky outcrops at various points but there’s almost a continuous strip of sand from Pialba right through to Urangan … and it’s very popular.
There are numerous spots along the Esplanade that will give you access to the beach and some of the more popular spots are opposite the Scarness shopping centre … opposite the Torquay shopping centre and further towards the south at Shelly Beach.
If you want to launch anything from a jet ski to a cabin cruiser somewhere along the Esplanade in Hervey Bay there are a number of spots that you can do that … but many are limited to an hour or two either side of high tide.
The boat ramps at Torquay and Point Vernon are only usable around high tide. Boat ramps that are usable at all times can be found at Gatakers Bay and Urangan Boat Harbour.
Things to see and do
Things to see and do along the Esplanade in Hervey Bay include:
• An aquarium below the Dayman Point look-out between Urangan and the Urangan Boat Harbour … and the lookout itself. There’s a very interesting memorial up there that commemorates some top secret ops that started on Fraser Island.
• A shark and whale display at Urangan.
• Jet ski hire on the beach at Torquay.
• Stand Up Paddle Board riding and snorkelling from Enzos on the beach at Scarness.
• A Water Park that’s very popular with kids at the Main Street and Esplanade roundabout in Pialba
• Camel rides on some weekends on the beach at the bottom of Beach Road, Pialba
The Esplanade in Hervey Bay may not be the physical centre of town but it certainly is the tourist heart of Hervey Bay and you’ll find just about everything you want along the Esplanade