Beach Scarness and Torquay are at the centre of the thriving Hervey Bay urban area. Beside a growing resident population, the whole area fills with summer and holiday tourists, including increasing numbers of international tourists drawn to see the whales that can be seen over winter in Hervey Bay.Scarness-Torquay beach (1525) runs between Tooan Tooan Creek and Urangan (Fig. 4.97). It is a 6 km long, north facing beach backed by a shady foreshore reserve and The Esplanade, with caravan parks and numerous facilities in the reserve and the two towns. In addition there are boat ramps, the Maryborough and Hervey Bay sailing clubs and one small jetty spread along the beach. At the eastern end is an 870 m long jetty, built in 1917 to reach the deep water of the strait and once used to connect trains to the ships that moored at the end.The beach is protected from swell by Fraser Island and usually receives low wind waves less than 0.5 m high. The tide range is just over 2 m and the beach ranges from 50 m wide at high tide to 200 m to 300 m wide at low tide. The sand flats widen off Urangan where there are extensive tidal shoals, at the mouth of Tooan Tooan Creek at Pialba, and toward Point Vernon where they merge with rock flats. They also widen off Urangan as the massive tidal shoals (Fig. 4.98) of the Great Sandy Strait run north of Dayman Point.The beach is patrolled by the Hervey Bay District Surf Life Saving Club. The club was established in 1955 and today patrols the Torquay section of the beach, also known as Shelly Beach.
Swimming A relatively safe beach, that is best at mid to high tide. Low tide presents wide, exposed or shallow sand flats. Beware of strong tidal currents over the Urangan sand flats.
Surfing None usually. A cyclone is required to push waves down into the bay.
Fishing A very popular fishing area, with most fishers heading out in boats to fish the strait, with beach and rock fishing best at high tide. There are a number of boat ramps available.
General One of Queensland’s major holiday destinations offering a full range of facilities and accommodation, a usually quiet, safe beach and excellent fishing.