Stand-up paddleboarding on the Fraser Coast

It came to our attention via early adopters Jennifer Aniston and Matthew McConaughey, however Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) has been around for a while now and the serene waters of Hervey Bay offer up the perfect spot to enjoy some SUP action.

Three local companies hire SUP equipment, some providing lessons as well.

Hervey Bay Stand Up Paddle moves its sessions about the bay, finding the spot to best suit SUPers. They recently shared this stunning image taken near Fisherman’s Park at Urangan.

Source - Hervey Bay SUP Facebook page

Source – Hervey Bay SUP Facebook page

Aquavue Cafe Watersports  rents SUP boards (along with other equipment such as catamarans, jet skis and kayaks) from its Torquay base.

And In The Loop at Urangan offers SUP, along with kite surfing and kite boarding.

Source: Aquavue SUP Facebook page

Source: Aquavue SUP Facebook page

Both Aquavue and In The Loop also offer SUP Yoga classes. As the name suggests, it’s basically Yoga on paddleboards. But fear not, the boards are weighed down with sandbags so yogis aren’t likely to drift off to sea.

As is usually the case with yoga, you only do what feels comfortable but with a bit of practice you’ll be doing shoulder stands (or whatever these are!) along with instructor Jess.

Source: In The Loop Facebook page

Source: In The Loop Facebook page

For more information about SUP in Hervey Bay check out the providers’ Facebook pages (links in article).

And…. enjoy!

 

Explore-a-saurus: Dinosaurs on the Fraser Coast

When I was very young there was a magical place in Maryborough, known as the Wintergarden Theatre. My friends and I were regular visitors until it closed in the mid 1980s and I vaguely recall either Flashdance or Footloose being the last movie I saw there.

However… I digress as this story starts a decade earlier, when I inadvertently saw a dinosaur movie which scared the bejesus out of me. I cannot recall the movie in question but it was back in the day of double-header movies, so I suspect it was just the support act for the film we actually went to see. I don’t remember what that was either—emerging scarred with visions of dinosaurs eating people out of cages. Or something.

Yet Friday night I returned to Maryborough for more dinosaur adventures.

Unless you live under a rock (oops sorry, poor stone-age joke!) you’re probably aware that the Explore@saurus dinosaur exhibition is currently on display at Maryborough’s City Hall.

dinosaurs maryborough

The four-month long exhibition kicked off in December 2014 and is in town until 19 April 2015.

If I had kids to accompany I’m sure I’d have been more motivated to visit before now, but alas… it took the promise of alcohol to get me there.

drinks at explore-a-saurus in maryborough

Fraser Coast Events has just hosted the second Night at the Museum—held on Friday 13th in February and March. Always keen to try something different, a friend and I headed to the borough to partake in the cretaceous bar, dinosaurs and whatever else was on offer.

I must admit I was expecting the worst but other than the presence of a few naff stuffed dinosaurs (purely for decorative purposes), the displays were quite impressive. In addition to a half dozen rather large animatronic dinosaurs there are a host of interactive activities. Not to mention exhibits of dinosaur poop which I know will appear to any boy under 10!

dinosaurs maryborough explore-a-saurus fraser coast

The evening events are targeted at adults but at other times a range of kids’ activities are on offer, including colouring, mask making and the opportunity to dig in a sandpit and discover fossils and treasures for yourself.

And there’s stacks to learn. My friend and I  were only slightly embarrassed to admit we knew nothing about our own country’s palaeolithic history so were surprised to come across the Muttaburrasaurus. Which is apparently a real thing and named after the Queensland town!

The four-month tenure of the exhibit seems a bit excessive to me but I note the Fraser Coast Chronicle reported that the exhibit’s now had 15,000 visitors so has broken even and hope that means similar events are considered in the future.

Like many locals I tend to jump on the Fraser Coast Regional Council for their WTF ideas (viewing platform in Maryborough CBD anyone?!), but credit where it’s due.

I’m actually really impressed with some of Council’s cultural/arts initiatives in Maryborough. I know it sometimes feels like Hervey Bay’s poor cousin, but in reality the Council’s hosting a raft of interesting activities now. I’ve missed the last few Gatakers by Night but continue to enjoy the evenings. I’m yet to attend the Sunday Riverside activities but very keen to get along on a Sunday afternoon. And the pop-up bar amid the dinosaurs at City Hall—another great idea!

The exhibition closes on 19 April 2015 and is open Tuesdays – Sundays from 10am – 4pm. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for concessions or kids aged 3-16. Family passes and other deals are also available. For more information and online ticket sales, check out the Fraser Coast Events site.

Hervey Bay Cinemas – Bigscreen Showcase

Elsewhere I’ve confessed to being a television addict. I don’t watch anything and everything and I do believe I have a *ahem* discerning TV-viewing palate; however I do love to binge-watch entire series of TV on DVD on a regular basis.

I was once similarly keen on movies. While at University (though poor) I’d take myself off to the city cinemas on a regular basis – handing over my student card for a discounted ticket. I went almost weekly at one point and became so accustomed to going alone I actually felt disgruntled when friends wanted to accompany me. Of course in those days I also frequented the cinema at University (the Schonell) which showed some edgy arthouse movies – again, at good prices.

But over the years I’ve been to the cinema less and less, preferring to wait until something’s out on DVD so I can watch it in the comfort of my own home.

However… my movie-going lethargy has been broken as I’ve attended THREE movies in the last three weeks alone! (And, I’m starting to get my movie-going groove back!)

I’m a member of the Hervey Bay Arts Council so received this little gem in my email inbox a month or so ago. Naturally I shared it on the FraserCoasting Facebook page and forwarded it to some friends.

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My friends and I were quite excited by the concept of the Showcase at the BigScreen Cinemas Hervey Bay  – presumably featuring movies which might not normally make it here AND selling tickets at a good price.

One of my girlfriends saw four of the five movies on offer, while I saw The Butler (loved it); Blue Jasmine (Cate Blanchett was amazing but I did clock-watch a bit); and Mystery Road (bleak, mesmerising, but simultaneously frustrating).

We talked to a staffer at the cinema this past weekend and she said there may be more Showcase movies in the New Year.

Of course the only regrettable aspect was that the movies weren’t particularly well-attended. The majority garnered a small audience but there were only a handful of people at Mystery Road (an Aussie movie filmed in Winton).

They weren’t publicised any more than the other movies on offer and perhaps I’ll try to do more to promote the Showcase in future as I’m sure there’s a heap of potential movie-goers on the Fraser Coast who’d appreciate something different.

And – again – we can hardly complain about stuff NOT coming to our regional beachside town if we don’t support it when it does!

Wil Anderson, Lindsay Webb and pissed punters

I haven’t seen a lot of live comedy. Not for any particular reason other than – in my previous life I was occasionally apathetic about doing ‘stuff’. My working week felt really full-on; so much so that on weekends I really just wanted to hibernate.

In fact, other than seeing the guys from Oz TV show, The Chaser at a writers festival, the only other comedy act I can recall seeing was an Irish comedian / actor – Dylan Moran. (Who I find bizarrely attractive in his role as Bernard in the TV show Black Books!)

But, because I’m trying to be a ‘joiner’ in my new hometown, I’m doing more than I would previously have done. That means going to some festivals and shows which I’d prefer to avoid as well as those I’m keen to attend.

When I saw Wil Anderson was coming to Hervey Bay I was stoked. I’m not a rabid stalker-like fan, but I remember the days of The Glasshouse and love the Gruen franchise. A friend and I bought our tickets as soon as they went on sale, lest we miss out, and a month or so later rocked up to the RSL (my first visit other than for meetings!).

wil

There was a good crowd. 300+ I think, which is great. I loved that there were a wide range of peeps there as well – crisscrossing the generations. Indeed there seemed to be entire families in attendance.

And support act (Brissy comedian) Lindsay Webb was friggin’ hilarious. He mostly chatted to the audience, thought on his feet and had us all in hysterics.

Although it was during Lindsay’s performance… we started to see the ugly side of attention-seeking pissy patrons.

Sadly by the time Wil appeared a few members of the crowd were fairly shit-faced.

I suspect I sound like a nanna; but I enjoy a drink as much as the next person. Back in the day I had those nights when I was as pissed as a fart or struggled to remember what happened between arriving at the races at 2pm and being in my kitchen 8hrs later.  But I like to think I was never rude or disrespectful when pissed. (Although I’m fairly sure I was amazingly witty and hilarious!)

I guess live performers are used to the ‘great unwashed’ rabble, but I was really disappointed in the behavior of a few attendees. They’d obviously been drinking heavily before the show started and others at our table agreed that it was a waste of $40 to come to something like that and struggle to remember any of it the next day.

Worse than that though, they ruined the show for other punters. One woman constantly shouted out comments throughout the show (although was silent at the end and I was wondering if she fell asleep); another guy chatted to friends at his table constantly; a couple of pissed women stood to one side (near the bar) and talked LOUDLY – seemingly not paying any attention to Lindsay or Wil; and one woman interrupted Wil’s routine with a ridiculously inane question about our foreign Minister. I mean… What. The. Actual. Fuck?!

I felt terribly embarrassed: We have quality performers coming to our town and we disrespect them?!

Earlier in the day I saw a tweet from a young person complaining about Hervey Bay residents.

Screen shot 2013-11-10 at 9.02.55 AM

“Oh, that’s a bit harsh,” I thought when I read it. But just hours later I was thinking the same thing.

Having said that – and had my whinge – I know that the majority of people in the town and region and those at last night’s show, aren’t rude or ignorant. However… sometimes it’s easy to forget that.

#Inothernews, Wil was also great. He was a bit thrown by the Julie Bishop question but other than that I loved his rants about the media – particularly talkback radio (as I just had a similar rant in my Debbish blog!).

PS. And Sarah… I’m fairly sure Julie Bishop is female. Had your question touched on her competence or policies it might have provided Wil with some comedic fodder, alas…

Superboats in the Bay

If you’re hoping for some peace and quiet in Hervey Bay this weekend you’ll be sadly disappointed.

Fortunately the sounds echoing along the esplanade will also provide some entertainment as Hervey Bay plays host to the final round of the Australian Offshore Superboat Championships on 9-10 November.

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If you’re like me, the fact that the competing classes are Supercat(s) 1000HP, 600HP and 400HP, will mean nothing. However I’m reliably informed that just watching the spectacle will get your heart pumping.

Indeed, the Championships website describes what we’ll see:

“state of the art powerboats racing inches apart with a pilot strapped into jet fighter canopies combine to produce the drama, danger and excitement.”

Ummm eek!

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Teams will be arriving at the boat harbour in Urangan from Friday afternoon, but there’ll be much more on offer over the weekend.

Activities will be held in Scarness Park on both Saturday and Sunday and there’ll be a large screen near the beach as well as live streaming of the races via the web or MotorsportTV app.

Saturday 9th November
12 – 1pm – Pole position shoot out
3.30pm – Street parade

Sunday 10th November
10am – 10:30am: Pre race aquatic entertainment
11am – 11:30am: RACE 1
1pm – 1:30pm: RACE 2

There will be plenty of vantage points along the beach and a number of charter boats are offering the opportunity to watch the event from the water. (I have to admit the idea of floating about the sea drinking champagne while watching the races sounds kinda tempting BUT most are offering a seafood lunch. And I don’t ‘do’ seafood. #sadface So, I’ll be watching it from the beach with everyone else!)

Previous heats of the 2013 Offshore Superboat Championships have been held in Newcastle, Mackay, Townsville, Coffs Harbour, Redcliffe and the sixth and final race in Hervey Bay is supported by Fraser Coast Opportunities and the Hervey Bay Boat Club.

If you haven’t booked your accommodation yet, you’ll find some options here.

PS.  For comedy fans Wil Anderson will be appearing at the Hervey Bay RSL Club on Saturday night as well. More information re time and tickets is available on the Club website. I’m going and really looking forward to it!