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Spotlight: Burrum Heads
  |  First Published: March 2013



Burrum Heads, found on the shores of Hervey Bay and the Burrum River, is a thriving town that is endowed with spectacular natural beauty, amazing fishing opportunities and a range of amenities, accommodation options and recreational pursuits to suit just about any level of desire.

Coal was the catalyst for development in the Burrum Heads region and 1863 is widely considered as the first significant milestone in the town’s development.

As only the second coalfields to be actively worked in Queensland, the Burrum Coalfields played a major role in the development of the entire region providing impetus for the extension of the railway north from Brisbane and the construction of the Urangan Pier. 

In total, mining of the area spanned around 130 years, from 1866 until the closure of the last coalmine in 1997, and saw some 94 shafts and tunnels dug and, at its peak, employed over 400 personnel. But it wasn’t all coal mining with timber harvesting, citrus growing, cattle farming and small agriculture business being established firstly to support and the coal industry and then dominating the local economy.

Throughout this history, fishing and making a living from the ocean and rivers was always part of the life style and this has continued to the current day where Burrum heads has developed into a delightful seaside holiday village that has a wonderful array of essential services that will see any visitor well catered for.

Getting There

Situated about 36km from Hervey Bay, Burrum Heads is a popular fishing village. To access Burrum Heads from the south, visitors will travel along the Bruce Highway to the Torbanlea exit (Torbanlea-Pialba Rd) on the right hand side. Follow this road to a T intersection and turn left onto Burgowan Rd. Follow this road for just over a kilometre and then turn right onto Burrum Heads Rd. This is well sign posted. Stay on Burrum Heads Rd until you come into town.

From the north simply travel along the Bruce Highway to Torbanlea and follow the same directions to Burrum Heads.

The Fishing

Burrum Heads is all about relaxation and many visitors come to relax with a rod in their hand. Luckily, Burrum Heads gives anglers access to some magic areas and some even more magical fishing.

There are two boat ramps in Burrum Heads, a small ramp to the east of town and a 2 lane ramp in the middle of twon just past the council run caravan park. There is also a proposal for a 4 lane ramp to be built to the east of town, but that may be some time away yet.

Straight out from the boat ramp is a myriad of channels, gutters and sand flats that hold grunter, whiting, bream, flathead, barra and more. The Black Bank directly to the north of Burrum Heads is a local hotspot that is well known for its impressive catches of grunter. Other areas like The Swirls, Buxton Hole, Burrum River and Gregory River are all producers of quality fish in protected waters. The real beauty of the area is the diversity of habitat and the ability to find your own spot where you are a chance to catch just about anything that swims because Burrum Heads sits almost perfectly on the cross over point for tropical and temperate fish species.

Offshore the fishing in Hervey Bay is nothing short of spectacular. There are wrecks, reefs, deep channels, kilometres of sand flats and a pelagic fishery from various mackerel, tuna and marlin that is the rightful envy of just about any location in Australia. If the weather is with your trip and you can get offshore, do not be surprised if you’re bottom bouncing for snapper one minute and casting lead slugs or flies at a passing school of northern bluefin tuna the next. In fact, these offshore pelagics can often be found hunting inside the mouth of the river at times!

And all of this is yet to mention the amazing run of prawns and crabs that the estuary produces every year. Crabs of an average size around 18-20cm can be found in just about every depression, creek, drain and pocket water. The tide runs pretty fast through the system so heavier grade pots are needed or you risk losing your pots to the tide. But if you find a patch of crabs, get ready for some incredible action as pots of 5 keepers is not that unusual.

Every year the prawn at the mouth of the river surprises and delights recreational anglers. A cast net in the right area will give up bag limits of prawns from true monsters down to perfect bait size and now is the time to be getting the casting arms ready. Last year’s prawn run was dynamite and with the recent rains, the locals see no reason why this year’s prawn run will not be just as good.

From prawns to marlin, crabs to cobia, Burrum Heads gives you access to some incredible fishing opportunities.

Stay for awhile

Burrum Heads has a huge variety of accommodation option from caravan parks where you bring it all yourself through to holiday house rentals from basic through to first class. The local area has all the amenities you need to make your stay an absolute pleasure. Groceries, bakeries, butchers and tackle stores are all there so you don’t need to bring a thing!

Brilliant fishing, close to Brisbane and Hervey Bay, everything you need and a local population that is incredibly friendly and willing to help make your stay memorable. Burrum Heads really does have it all. – Brad Dyson with Stephen Booth

Fact Box

Tornado Troubles

On the Australia Day weekend Burrum Heads was hit by a tornado as the severe weather event that tracked along the east coast of Queensland passed over their heads.

Many residences were adversely affected by the tornado, however the town has bounced back strongly and is ready and waiting to greet visitors again. All major services are up and running, access is as good as it ever was and the fishing, post-tornado, has been frighteningly good with many locals upgrading all their outfits just to give them a chance at stopping some of the fish being hooked.

If you’re looking for a fantastic get away, Burrum Heads should be very much on your list.

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