Photographing Hervey Bay Sunrises

We have three favourite spots for shooting Hervey Bay sunrises and as I describe them you should remember that most of the beach around Hervey Bay runs almost east/west rather than north/south.

Unfortunately good sunrise shots from along the Hervey Bay foreshore are not possible all year round.

During the period from late October to around late February the sun has reached the extremity of its track south and that means that it rises in an area where it’s difficult to get a reasonable photo.

If you stand on the beach during this period the sun rises behind the trees that line the beach.

A map showing the location of Scaress Pier

Scarness Pier
The first of our favourite sunrise spots is at the Scarness pier … roughly at the intersection of the Esplanade and Queen Street. Walk through the park and out onto the pier and you have a clear view of the sun rising over Fraser Island.

If there is a little cloud around the sunrise shots you will get from here can be very spectacular.

You can also stand back in the park area and shoot across the end of the pier closest to the land if you want to set the sunrise in the landscape.

Another good location here is on the beach with the pier in front of you.

If you’re really lucky you might be able to catch one of the local Ospreys sitting on the railing along the pier too.

Sunrise from Scarness Pier ... complete with a fish in the water. Taken with a Canon EOS 1000D and standard 18-55mm lense
Sunrise from Scarness Pier … complete with a fish in the water. Taken with a Canon EOS 1000D and standard 18-55mm lens.

If you’re shooting video then this is a location that you should avoid. The garbage truck that empties the bins in the park near the pier seems to arrive right on sunrise every day and the noise it makes can be deafening.

A map showing another good location for sunrise photos during Autumn and Winter at the foot of Zephyr Street in Hervey Bay

Zephyr Street
If you travel west along the Esplanade from Scarness you will come to the intersection with Zephyr Street. If you leave your car near the public phone booth and walk east you will pass at least three points where steps lead down to the beach.

If you stand at the top of the stairs in at least two of those locatiuons you will get an excellent view of the sun coming up over Fraser Island and plenty of sunlight on the water and trees to your right that will help you frame your photo.

Unfortunately the view from one of those vantage points is obscured by trees so it might be wise to do a little scouting the afternoon before so you can find the best spots.

I should also say that this area does not always work well at low tide. The bay is quite shallow in this area and at low tide there is a lot of exposed sand that glistens in the first rays from the sun.

Sometimes that can add to your photos and at other times it can detract from them.

A sunrise photo shot with an old Canon G10 from one of the vantage points mentioned in the text above

A map showing the best spot for sunrise photos at the bottom of Beach Road in Hervey Bay

Beach Road
If you continue along the Esplanade heading west you will come to the second of two roundabouts. That is the intersection of the Esplanade and Beach Road and there is a small car park on the beach side of the road just before you reach the roundabout.

Park your car in that carpark and walk down onto the beach and once again you will have a clear view of sun rising over Fraser Island.

This is where we have shot some of our best Hervey Bay sunrises.

6.06am on a September morning in 2012. The smell was appalling but the sunrise was spectacular

Unfortunately immediately behind you is a sewerage pumping station and the smell that comes from it can be quite overwhelming but if you want a good photo …