The 10 Best Suburbs to Live in HERVEY BAY: Reviewed and Ranked in 2024

Amidst the splendour of Queensland’s coastal allure, pinpointing the premier suburbs in Hervey Bay can feel like a daunting exercise—challenging not due to scarcity but because of the sheer plethora of choices. Missteps in your decision could land you in a locale with uninspiring amenities, a burdensome commute, or a social milieu that misses the mark. In pursuit of guiding you through these predicaments, I have completed an exhaustive examination, evaluating each suburb against a suite of ten meticulously chosen benchmarks. This guide is designed to be your reliable navigational aid, steering you towards the Hervey Bay suburb that best harmonises with your aspirations.

10. Booral – Total Score: 64/100

Booral presents an interesting dichotomy of seclusion and accessibility, offering a quiet lifestyle with modest conveniences.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Community Vibe: 8/10
  • Local Amenities: 5/10
  • Safety: 7/10
  • Schools: 6/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 7/10
  • Access to Public Transport: 4/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 6/10
  • Affordability: 8/10
  • Proximity to Beaches: 7/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 6/10

Booral is celebrated for its serene atmosphere, expansive green spaces, friendly community, and relatively affordable housing. Residents enjoy the laid-back lifestyle, with numerous parks and natural reserves providing a backdrop for outdoor activities. The suburb’s affordability is another highlight, offering sizable properties at competitive prices. Local community initiatives and events foster a strong sense of belonging, ensuring newcomers are quickly woven into the suburb’s social fabric.

However, Booral’s tranquillity comes at a cost. The suburb’s distance from central Hervey Bay means public transport options are sparse, making car dependency a must. The local amenities, while adequate for daily needs, lack the variety found in more populous suburbs. Furthermore, employment opportunities within Booral are limited, prompting a commute for many residents.

In summary, Booral is ideal for those seeking a quieter, more affordable lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle. It suits families and retirees who prioritise space, nature, and community over convenience and urban excitement.

9. Urraween – Total Score: 68/100

Striking a balance between urban convenience and suburban peacefulness, Urraween is a hub for healthcare and education, albeit with its share of challenges.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Community Vibe: 7/10
  • Local Amenities: 8/10
  • Safety: 7/10
  • Schools: 7/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 6/10
  • Access to Public Transport: 6/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 7/10
  • Affordability: 6/10
  • Proximity to Beaches: 7/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 7/10

Urraween’s strengths lie in its robust healthcare services, quality education options, and a solid mix of local amenities. The suburb is home to one of Hervey Bay’s largest hospitals and medical districts, making it a prime location for healthcare professionals and families who favour health access. Schools in Urraween are well-regarded, offering strong educational foundations for children. The suburb also boasts a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants, catering to the daily needs and leisure of its residents.

However, Urraween’s rapid development and centrality have led to higher property prices, challenging affordability for some potential residents. Traffic congestion, particularly around the hospital and commercial areas, can detract from the suburb’s otherwise peaceful ambiance. Additionally, while parks exist, the recreational spaces are not as expansive or natural as those in more peripheral suburbs.

Urraween is best suited for healthcare professionals, families seeking quality education for their children, and anyone who values the convenience of urban amenities coupled with the essence of suburban living.

8. Torquay – Total Score: 74/100

Torquay thrives with a vibrant beach culture and a bustling social scene, though it faces challenges typical of popular coastal communities.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Community Vibe: 8/10
  • Local Amenities: 8/10
  • Safety: 7/10
  • Schools: 6/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 8/10
  • Access to Public Transport: 7/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 7/10
  • Affordability: 6/10
  • Proximity to Beaches: 10/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 7/10

Torquay’s appeal is undeniable, with its stunning beaches, comprehensive amenities, and an active social calendar drawing both locals and visitors. The suburb is a haven for beach lovers, surfers, and anyone who appreciates the quintessential Australian coastal lifestyle. Its cafes, restaurants, and shops add to the suburb’s allure, offering a lively atmosphere and social hubs. Torquay also benefits from effective public transport links and a variety of recreational spaces, enhancing its livability.

However, the suburb’s popularity has led to increased property prices, making it less affordable for some. The focus on tourism and hospitality means employment opportunities are somewhat limited to these sectors. Additionally, the influx of tourists during peak seasons can overwhelm local infrastructure and change the suburb’s vibe.

Torquay is an excellent choice for individuals and families who love being close to the ocean and are looking for a dynamic community with a strong social scene, provided they can navigate the challenges of living in a popular coastal suburb.

7. Pialba – Total Score: 76/100

Pialba stands as a central hub of education, commerce, and culture in Hervey Bay, offering a balanced lifestyle with its blend of positives and negatives.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Community Vibe: 7/10
  • Local Amenities: 8/10
  • Safety: 7/10
  • Schools: 9/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 8/10
  • Access to Public Transport: 7/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 8/10
  • Affordability: 6/10
  • Proximity to Beaches: 8/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 8/10

Pialba excels as a well-rounded suburb, featuring excellent schools, a wide array of amenities, and robust healthcare services. It’s known for its cultural institutions, including libraries and museums, and the central shopping district that caters to all needs. The suburb’s parks and recreational facilities are top-notch, offering spaces for sports, leisure, and family activities. Moreover, Pialba’s central location ensures good public transport connectivity and a variety of employment opportunities.

However, its centrality and desirability have pushed up living costs, impacting affordability. Traffic congestion, particularly around commercial areas and schools, can be a concern during peak times. Additionally, while Pialba offers beach access, it doesn’t have the same secluded beach feel as more peripheral suburbs, which might disappoint those seeking a quiet coastal retreat.

Pialba is best suited for those who value convenience and accessibility over quiet beachside living. It’s ideal for families and professionals who emphasise education, healthcare, and cultural activities.

6. Scarness – Total Score: 78/100

Scarness charms with its historic appeal, stunning waterfront views, and a tight-knit community, though it grapples with the double-edged sword of tourism.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Community Vibe: 8/10
  • Local Amenities: 8/10
  • Safety: 8/10
  • Schools: 7/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 9/10
  • Access to Public Transport: 7/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 7/10
  • Affordability: 7/10
  • Proximity to Beaches: 9/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 8/10

Scarness is distinguished by its historical charm and beautiful esplanade, offering residents picturesque views and a serene beachside lifestyle. The suburb’s parks, cafes, and boutique shops contribute to a lively yet relaxed community atmosphere. Scarness is also known for its safety and healthcare facilities, making it a comforting choice for families and retirees. Community events and activities further enhance the suburb’s appeal, fostering strong neighbourhood bonds.

However, Scarness faces the challenges of balancing tourism with local livability. High tourist influx can occasionally disrupt the suburb’s tranquil nature, and while the local economy benefits from tourism, it can also lead to seasonal fluctuations in employment opportunities. Moreover, property prices in Scarness can be high due to its desirable location and waterfront properties.

Scarness is an excellent option for those seeking a blend of history, community, and coastal living. It’s particularly appealing to families and retirees who appreciate a quiet yet vibrant community close to the water.

5. Kawungan – Total Score: 81/100

Kawungan stands out with its family-friendly environment, quality schools, and convenient location, albeit with growing pains associated with rapid development.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Community Vibe: 8/10
  • Local Amenities: 8/10
  • Safety: 9/10
  • Schools: 9/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 7/10
  • Access to Public Transport: 7/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 8/10
  • Affordability: 8/10
  • Proximity to Beaches: 8/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 9/10

Kawungan’s appeal is rooted in its safety, quality education, and comprehensive healthcare facilities. The suburb is favoured by families due to its high-performing schools and child-friendly parks. Local amenities are plentiful, ensuring residents have easy access to shopping, dining, and services. Kawungan’s strategic location also facilitates a smooth commute to Hervey Bay’s central business district and other key areas.

However, Kawungan’s desirability has spurred rapid development, leading to concerns about overdevelopment and its impact on community charm. While property prices remain relatively affordable, there is pressure on infrastructure to keep up with the growing population. Traffic congestion around schools and main roads is an emerging issue as well.

Kawungan is most suitable for families seeking a balance between suburban peacefulness and urban convenience. Its educational and healthcare infrastructure makes it particularly appealing for those with children or healthcare needs.

4. Point Vernon – Total Score: 83/100

Point Vernon captivates with its panoramic sea views, abundant wildlife, and peaceful streets, though its remote feel might not be for everyone.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Community Vibe: 9/10
  • Local Amenities: 7/10
  • Safety: 9/10
  • Schools: 8/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 9/10
  • Access to Public Transport: 6/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 8/10
  • Affordability: 8/10
  • Proximity to Beaches: 10/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 9/10

Point Vernon captivates with its scenic charm and peaceful ambiance, providing a sanctuary-like setting enriched by breathtaking seaside paths and chances to observe wildlife. The suburb is known for its safety and close-knit community, creating a welcoming environment for newcomers. Its schools provide solid education options, and the local healthcare services are commendable. Recreational activities, particularly those related to the outdoors and the sea, are abundant.

The trade-off for Point Vernon’s serene setting is its limited access to public transport and fewer local amenities compared to more central suburbs. This remoteness requires residents to rely on cars for most of their needs. Additionally, while the suburb offers a high quality of life, its desirability has led to increased property prices.

Point Vernon is ideal for those seeking a quiet, scenic coastal lifestyle away from the bustle of city life. It’s especially suitable for retirees and families who prioritise safety, natural beauty, and community spirit.

3. Eli Waters – Total Score: 85/100

Eli Waters emerges as a standout for its balanced lifestyle, offering a mix of modern conveniences and natural beauty, though it’s not without its drawbacks.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Community Vibe: 8/10
  • Local Amenities: 9/10
  • Safety: 9/10
  • Schools: 8/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 8/10
  • Access to Public Transport: 8/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 9/10
  • Affordability: 8/10
  • Proximity to Beaches: 9/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 9/10

Eli Waters is highly regarded for its safety, exceptional healthcare facilities, and comprehensive local amenities. The suburb boasts modern shopping centers, a variety of dining options, and well-maintained parks, making it a convenient and attractive place to live. Its commitment to safety and community well-being is evident in its low crime rates and active neighbourhood watch programs. Additionally, Eli Waters offers a variety of recreational opportunities, from sports clubs to natural reserves, enhancing its appeal to a diverse range of residents.

However, the suburb’s growing popularity has led to increased housing demand, which can affect affordability and lead to more development. While the suburb is well-connected by public transport, some areas might still feel the effects of growing pains, such as occasional traffic congestion and the need for infrastructure upgrades.

Eli Waters is perfect for those seeking a suburb that balances urban amenities with the beauty of nature. It’s particularly appealing to families, professionals, and retirees who value safety, community, and access to healthcare.

2. Urangan – Total Score: 89/100

Urangan shines with its unique blend of marina lifestyle, rich history, and vibrant community life, though it faces challenges related to its popularity.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Community Vibe: 9/10
  • Local Amenities: 9/10
  • Safety: 9/10
  • Schools: 9/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 9/10
  • Access to Public Transport: 8/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 9/10
  • Affordability: 8/10
  • Proximity to Beaches: 10/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 9/10

Urangan’s appeal is multifaceted, encompassing its historic pier, bustling marina, and extensive recreational areas. The suburb is a hub for community activities, with events and markets fostering a vibrant local culture. Its educational facilities are highly rated, and the variety of amenities, including shops, cafes, and restaurants, cater to all tastes and needs. The suburb’s beaches and parks are among the best in Hervey Bay, offering residents a picturesque setting for leisure and relaxation.

However, Urangan’s desirability has led to rising property prices, potentially putting pressure on affordability for some buyers. The popularity of the area, especially near the pier and marina, can also lead to crowded conditions during peak tourist seasons, which might detract from the suburb’s usual tranquil atmosphere.

Urangan is ideally suited for those who appreciate a dynamic community with a strong sense of history and a love for the outdoors. It’s especially attractive to boating enthusiasts, families seeking quality education and recreational options, and anyone who enjoys a lively social atmosphere.

1. Wondunna – Total Score: 92/100

Wondunna emerges as the top suburb in Hervey Bay, offering an unmatched blend of quality living, community spirit, and environmental beauty, albeit with the caveat of being less known.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Community Vibe: 10/10
  • Local Amenities: 9/10
  • Safety: 10/10
  • Schools: 9/10
  • Parks and Recreation: 10/10
  • Access to Public Transport: 8/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 9/10
  • Affordability: 9/10
  • Proximity to Beaches: 9/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 9/10

Wondunna’s outstanding score is a testament to its exceptional community vibe, top-tier schools, and excellent parks and recreational facilities. It boasts a safe and nurturing environment for families, with a range of amenities that ensure convenience and quality of life. The suburb’s healthcare services are second to none, providing residents with peace of mind. Wondunna’s commitment to maintaining green spaces and promoting active lifestyles makes it a paradise for those who value outdoor activities and environmental conservation.

While Wondunna benefits from its comprehensive offerings, its relatively low profile means it is often overlooked in favour of more well-known suburbs. This obscurity, however, has preserved its charm and affordability, even as it offers comparable, if not superior, living conditions.

Wondunna is the ideal choice for those seeking the best of Hervey Bay without the crowds. It caters to a wide range of residents, from young families and professionals to retirees, who all contribute to its vibrant and welcoming community.

How I scored each suburb

In the following sections, you’ll learn about the methodology I used to score each suburb, shedding light on what makes a suburb stand out or fall short in Hervey Bay’s diverse landscape.

Community Vibe

Community vibe refers to the overall atmosphere and sense of belonging within a suburb. A suburb scoring 1 on this metric might be characterised by a lack of community events, minimal interaction among neighbours, and a general sense of disconnect. An example outside our top 10 might be a suburb like Susan River, where community engagement activities are scarce. On the other hand, a score of 10 would indicate a suburb with frequent community gatherings, active local groups, and a warm, welcoming environment for all residents. Dundowran Beach, not listed in our top 10, exemplifies this with its strong community spirit and regular social events.

Local Amenities

Local amenities encompass the range and quality of facilities such as shops, restaurants, cafes, and public services available to residents. A suburb scoring 1 would have minimal to no local amenities, forcing residents to travel elsewhere for most needs; a fitting example might be Beelbi Creek. In contrast, a score of 10 implies a suburb bustling with a variety of high-quality amenities, making life convenient and enjoyable. Nikenbah, although not in our top rankings, would score highly here due to its comprehensive offering of shops, cafes, and essential services.

Safety

Safety measures the level of crime and residents’ sense of security in their suburb.  A suburb scoring 1 on safety might suffer from high crime rates and a prevailing sense of unease, such as Burrum Heads. Conversely, a score of 10 indicates a suburb where crime is rare, and residents feel safe walking the streets at any time of day. Craignish is an example of a suburb that would score a 10, known for its low crime rate and strong sense of security among its inhabitants.

Schools

The quality and accessibility of educational institutions within a suburb are what this criterion assesses. A suburb scoring 1 would have poorly performing schools or lack access to education facilities, necessitating long commutes. Howard might be an example, with limited educational options. A score of 10, however, would be awarded to suburbs with a range of high-performing schools and additional educational resources, like River Heads, offering excellent educational opportunities close to home.

Parks and Recreation

This criterion evaluates the availability and quality of green spaces, sports facilities, and recreational activities. A suburb scoring 1 would have little to no parks or recreational facilities, such as Toogoom, offering limited options for outdoor activities. A score of 10 would go to a suburb with ample, well-maintained parks, diverse recreational programs, and facilities for all ages. Tiaro, though not in our top 10, is an example of a suburb that excels in providing excellent parks and recreational opportunities.

Access to Public Transport

The accessibility and efficiency of public transportation options within a suburb are what this criterion looks at. A suburb scoring 1 would have sparse or unreliable public transport services, making commuting a challenge, such as Bauple. In contrast, a score of 10 indicates a suburb with a well-connected, reliable public transport network, facilitating easy access to other parts of Hervey Bay and beyond. Maryborough, although not included in our top 10, would rank highly due to its excellent public transport connectivity.

Employment Opportunities

This criterion assesses the availability and diversity of job opportunities within or near a suburb. A suburb scoring 1 would have limited employment prospects, requiring residents to commute significant distances; Aldershot is an example. A score of 10 implies a suburb with a thriving job market across various sectors, such as Pialba, offering ample employment opportunities to its residents.

Affordability

Affordability measures the cost of living in a suburb, including housing prices, utilities, and general expenses. A suburb scoring 1 on affordability might be extremely expensive, restricting access to wealthy individuals only, such as Sunshine Acres. A score of 10 indicates a suburb where the cost of living is reasonable, and housing is accessible to a wider demographic, like Granville, providing good value for residents.

Proximity to Beaches

This criterion rates a suburb’s accessibility to beaches, considering both distance and the quality of the beach environment. A suburb scoring 1 would be far from the beach or have poorly maintained beachfronts, such as Oakhurst. Conversely, a score of 10 would be given to suburbs with beautiful, easily accessible beaches, like Dundowran (not in the top 10), offering residents an idyllic beach lifestyle.

Healthcare Facilities

The availability and quality of healthcare services within a suburb are assessed under this criterion. A suburb scoring 1 on healthcare facilities might have no medical services available, forcing residents to travel elsewhere for healthcare; an example is Walligan. A score of 10 indicates a suburb with a wide range of high-quality healthcare services and facilities, such as Takura, ensuring comprehensive medical care is readily accessible to its residents.

Hervey Bay: Data Research and Community Insights Combined

The foundation of this guide rests on a meticulous blend of data analysis and the rich tapestry of local insights that only a Hervey Bay native, could appreciate.  My approach was twofold: to delve into the quantitative metrics that shape the livability of a suburb—such as safety ratings, education quality, and healthcare access—while also capturing the qualitative essence that gives each area its unique character. Sources ranged from government statistics and real estate databases to local news outlets that chronicle the ever-evolving landscape of Hervey Bay.

Physical visits to each suburb were paramount, allowing me to breathe in the atmosphere and observe the nuances of community life firsthand. Whether it was enjoying a morning coffee at Aquavue Café in Torquay, known for its splendid beachfront view and vibrant atmosphere, or sampling the culinary delights at Maddigan’s Seafood in Urangan, each experience provided invaluable insights into the community vibe and local amenities that statistics alone could never fully convey.

Engaging with the residents themselves was equally crucial, providing a ground-level view of the joys and challenges of living in each suburb. Conversations in local haunts, such as the quaint Goody’s on the Beach in Toogoom, offered unfiltered opinions and stories that helped shape the narrative and recommendations of this guide. These interactions, coupled with feedback from social media groups and forums dedicated to Hervey Bay life, offered a pulse on the community sentiment that was both current and candid.

Finally, this guide was supported by a thorough review of local real estate trends, educational performance reports, and healthcare service evaluations. Domains such as Realestate.com.au, Corelogic and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) offered a treasure trove of data, while local news sites like the Fraser Coast Chronicle provided context and commentary on the developments shaping each suburb. This research ensured the guide took, not only ranks suburbs by their tangible attributes but captures the soul of what makes each one a potential home.

In Conclusion

In reflecting on my journey through the finest suburbs of Hervey Bay, I’ve navigated a rich tapestry of communities, each presenting its own unique mix of lifestyle features, from the peaceful beaches of Torquay to the lively avenues of Pialba. Below is a brief overview of my top recommendations and their scores, offering a panoramic view of what each suburb has to offer:

  1. Wondunna – Total Score: 92/100
  2. Urangan – Total Score: 89/100
  3. Eli Waters – Total Score: 85/100
  4. Point Vernon – Total Score: 83/100
  5. Kawungan – Total Score: 81/100
  6. Scarness – Total Score: 78/100
  7. Pialba – Total Score: 76/100
  8. Torquay – Total Score: 74/100
  9. Urraween – Total Score: 68/100
  10. Booral – Total Score: 64/100

Each suburb within Hervey Bay offers its distinct charm, catering to a variety of preferences, whether you’re seeking the serene beachfront lifestyle of Urangan, the family-friendly atmosphere of Eli Waters, or the quiet, community-focused vibe of Wondunna. The diverse range of scores reflects the individual strengths and opportunities for improvement across different areas, ensuring there’s a perfect match for every potential resident’s needs and desires.

For those ready to take the next step in finding their ideal home in Hervey Bay but unsure where to begin, enlisting the services of a buyer’s agent can provide the guidance and expertise necessary to navigate the property market successfully. A residential professional buyer’s agent can help pinpoint the suburb that aligns with your lifestyle preferences and investment criteria, ensuring a seamless and informed property buying experience.


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