Hervey Bay History
Captain James Cook first sighted the Hervey Bay area in 1770. Rounding Sandy Cape, and initially believing Fraser Island was joined to the mainland, Cook proclaimed the area 'Herveys Bay' after Augustus Hervey, Lord of the Admiralty. Matthew Flinders landed at Sandy Cape in 1802 and is responsible for mapping much of the Bay.
The first European settler at Hervey Bay, in 1863, was Boyle Martin, who probably introduced sugar farming to the area. The region was also rich in mineral resources including coal, limestone, bismuth, magnetite and mineral sands.
In 1896 a railway line was constructed from Maryborough to Pialba, boosting tourism. This line was extended to Urangan in 1913 and the Urangan Pier was built in 1917 to facilitate the export of sugar and later coal.
By the 1920s the Hervey Bay area was rapidly expanding due to continuing growth in the primary industries (sugar cane, citrus, pineapples, beef cattle, fishing) and investment in transport infrastructure. Regular air services from Brisbane commenced in 1930. The 1930s also saw the completion of a fully bituminised road connecting Maryborough and Urangan which encouraged further economic and population growth.
As both population and development continued to increase into the 1950s and 1960s, the coastal townships of Pialba, Scarness, Torquay and Urangan slowly began to merge into a single urban area Hervey Bay City. The local authority area called Hervey Bay was initially known as the Burrum Shire. The Council offices were located in Maryborough. Owing to the population growth in Hervey Bay, the Council Offices were moved to Bideford Street, Torquay in 1975. Along with this move to Hervey Bay came the change of name for the Council and in 1976 the Council was officially renamed as the Hervey Bay Shire Council. One year later the name was again changed to Hervey Bay Town Council.
Since the mid 1970s Hervey Bay has had sustained high levels of population growth. As a result of this growth Hervey Bay was formally gazetted as a city on 18th February 1984, with this came the name change of the local authority to Hervey Bay City Council.
The Hervey Bay City Council is now known as the Fraser Coast Regional Council which was formed on 15th March, 2008, through the amalgamation of Maryborough and Hervey Bay City Councils, Woocoo Shire and Division 1 and 2 of Tiaro Shire.
The Tale of Ghost Hill
In the early days when the timber getters were felling timber at Pialba, Ghost Hill was just called The Hill.
One night Mr List, who lived on The Hill near the top, was late home from Maryborough and his wife was concerned. She went out onto the road in her long white night gown holding a lantern to look for him.
At the same time Boyle Martin and Anders Christiansen were making their way back to camp at Bunya Creek after a night at the Hunters Hotel. Mrs List, on seeing the two men, ran for the cover of the trees and the two men thought they saw a ghost.