There are some beautiful islands to explore in the waters surrounding Hervey Bay, including of course the famous Fraser Island, and the wilderness of Big Woody Island. A little further west, however, you can find the hidden gem of Round Island.
It is known for being a quiet secluded spot, which many people use as the perfect place for a relaxing lunch and swim. But it also had a significant role to play in the history of the area and is a great spot for fishing and snorkelling. Round Island is small (around 100m wide) but is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.
Round Island is located approximately 1.5 km from the Urangan pier. It is accessible by boat and tours or transfers are regularly run from the mainland. The majority of the island is surrounded by reefs but there is a landing beach on the south-eastern edge of the island.
Round Island is one of the smaller islands that are dotted around the Hervey Bay coastline in between the mainland and Fraser Island. Many people boating around the area use Round Island as the perfect spot for a spot of lunch or a final evening meal before heading back.
The waters at the breath on the south-eastern edge of the island are perfect for a cool-off swim or to let the kids splash around (but you do need to be careful of the tidal floor).
The views from the beach are beautiful and you can see all the way to the Urangan Pier, and you can sit back with a glass and watch the sunset over the mainland. There is a large amount of wildlife that can be spotted in the waters surrounding the island, including turtles, dolphins, and dugongs.
Round Island Reef
Round Island is a coral sand island, and the majority of it is surrounded by a beautiful coral reef, apart from the beach area. There are shallow rock pools for the kids to play in as well as rock ledges.
If you fancy checking out the fish life on the reef, there are plenty of opportunities for snorkelling around and having a look. You can do this from one of the boat tours or from the island itself.
Round Island Transfers And Day Tours
Round island transfers are one of the most popular ways of exploring the island. With these, instead of going on a full guided tour, you are simply dropped off on the island where you can explore and relax to your heart’s content.
These are perfect for a relaxed afternoon, soaking up the natural beauty of the island, enjoying a picnic, and taking a dip in the water.
These transfers are run by Hervey Bay Eco Marine Tours and you can also book other types of tours of the area, including a snorkelling tour from a glass-bottomed boat.
Boating To Round Island
It takes no time at all to the boat to Round Island from Urangan Pier. This is a popular choice for people who want to jump over to the island for a few hours. Many people who are boating around the waters anyway, exploring or fishing, will also choose Round Island as a great place to stop.
Some people even kayak from the mainland to Round Island, although this can be dangerous due to needing to cross the first deepwater channel feeding the Great Sandy Strait.
The best place to land on Round Island is the sandy beach on the southeast edge of the island, and this is the spot that most people choose.
What To Do On Round Island
Unlike some of the other islands in the area, not a huge amount has been done to Round Island in terms of adding activities. But this doesn’t mean there is nothing to do. You might find some dilapidated picnic tables that have been placed there by the community, but there isn’t anything official from the local council.
Most people who visit the island keep to the sandy beach and don’t stray too far into the dense vegetation. The beach is ideal for a picnic and as a spot to go swimming in the waters.
Fishing is one of the most popular activities on Round Island and there are some great fishing spots. On the eastern side of the island, the waters are shallow during low tide and you can find whiting, flathead, and bream.
Fishing from the reef gives you a good chance of finding flathead, cod, blacktail, squire, snapper, and sweetlip. You can also find flathead on the western side of the island.
Round Island History
Although it is very small, Round Island does have a significant place in the area’s history. It is the first site of physical contact between Europeans and the Butchulla people who are native to the area. In 1799, Matther Finders and his crew explored the eastern coast of the island and found a wooden shield and some spears.
This is the very first record of any interaction between Europeans and the Butchulla, although contact between people from the two groups happened later in 1802.
Round Island was initially named Curlew Inlet but was given the name Round Island in 1847 by Lietentant Dayum. It has been gazetted as a reserve for the purpose of recreation since 1962 and is maintained by Fraser Coast Regional Council, although no significant development has been done.
In the 1970s and 80s, it was used as a music venue and a place from which to launch New Years’ Eve fireworks, but this doesn’t happen anymore, and it is now set aside for ad hoc recreation.
The Bottom Line
Round Island may not have the fame or sparkle of Fraser Island, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be added to your list of places to visit when you are in the area.
It is the perfect place to spend a relaxing time sitting on the beach with a picnic and taking a dip in the water, and you can also spend your time snorkelling in the beautiful coral reef or enjoying a spot of fishing.
Whatever you choose to do there, Round Island will hold some perfect memories from your time in the area.
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