The Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.


Humpback whales Pacific Ocean

Giant Humpback whales Pacific Ocean travel north from the Antarctic.

Humpback whales Pacific Ocean

Humpback whales Pacific Ocean

Humpback whales Pacific Ocean at Hervey Bay attracts people from all over the world. The whales have made Hervey Bay a regular stop on their annual migration south. They begin to arrive in Hervey Bay from mid-July, where they remain until late November, before heading south again.. The waters are sheltered by Fraser Island, so the humpbacks usually stop and rest or play – especially with their young  for a few days before heading off again. Hervey Bay is Australia’s most popular location for whale watching.

Whale watching in Hervey Bay on the Queensland coast.

Humpback whales Pacific Ocean

The whales are huge.

These two swam right under our boat.

Humpback whales Pacific Ocean

Such a magnificent sight.

Magnificent Humpback whales

Humpback whales Pacific Ocean

The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a species of baleen whale. One of the larger rorqual species, adults range in length from 12–16 metres (39–52 ft) and weigh approximately 36,000 kilograms (79,000 lb). The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with unusually long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. An acrobatic animal known for breaching and slapping the water with its tail and pectorals, it is popular with whale watchers off Australia, New Zealand, South America, Canada, and the United States.

Their size is breathtaking

Humpback whales Pacific Ocean

These huge whales really put on a show.

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 Humpback whales Pacific Ocean

Humpback whales Pacific Ocean

Truly one of the highlights of our road trip.

Japanese students

Humpback whales Pacific Ocean

I took 3 lovely Japanese students of a 7,300 kilometre “Outback” road trip starting on the gold coast to South Australia, Coober Pedy, Uluru, Airlie Beach and Hervey Bay.

Outback road trip

Humpback whales Pacific Ocean

Here are two good sites, for more information click here. Or for a comparison click here. Hervey Bay is opposite Fraser Island which stretches over 123 kilometers in length and 22 kilometers at its widest point. With an area of 184 000 hectares it is the largest sand island in the world. Fraser Island’s World Heritage listing ranks it with Australia’s Uluru, Kakadu and the Great Barrier Reef. Fraser Island is a precious part of Australia’s natural and cultural heritage, it is protected for all to appreciate and enjoy. Fraser island is a place of exceptional beauty, with its long uninterrupted white beaches flanked by strikingly colored sand cliffs, and over 100 freshwater lakes, some tea-coloured and others clear and blue all ringed by white sandy beaches. Ancient rain-forests grow in sand along the banks of fast-flowing, crystal-clear creeks. For more information please click here. Whale watching in Hervey Bay is something special, put it on your bucket list. Finally here is a short slide show showing these wonderful  Humpback whales having the time of their life.




 Travel tips.

If you are travelling south make sure you call into Noosa Heads, a delightful village with a nice beach and lots of great restaurants. If you are traveling north Airlie Beach is a “must do” stop. From here you can travel to all the magnificent Whitsunday islands, my personal favorite is Whitehaven beach.

Danger warning.

The months from October through to May are “stinger” season. You may want to hire/buy a lycra suit if you plan to swim in the ocean during those months for safety reasons (the stingers can kill) Otherwise you can swim in the lagoon at Airlie Beach and be safe from any stingers. 🙂 To know what is dangerous in the Whitsundays please click here.

50 Reasons Why Australians Are The Luckiest People On Earth

Click here for my Phillip Island post.


A few hours south is the fabulous Gold Coast


Try to visit this fantastic Australian monolith


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Author: David Herd

My history, particularly over the last 30 years is dominated by overseas travel. I sold my home in Australia October 20th 2011 and have have been living in Thailand since then. I don’t know where the time has gone? It seems like you go to sleep one night, wake up the next morning, and 20 years have flashed by. Not sure how many years I have left, however I have enjoyed a wonderful charmed life, and if it all ended today I would leave this world with no regrets. I was born in Sydney halfway through the last century, started my travels in the 60s with the usual U.K. Europe adventure at the age of 20, back to Australia and worked in Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide in Sales & Marketing with multinational companies including Sanyo, Canon & Remington. Engaged to be married 3 times and never quite made it to the alter, finally realized by the mid 90s I was not cut out for "long term relationships" so I moved to the Gold Coast in Queensland in January 1987, worked for a couple of banks as a Financial Planner, I took a year off work in 1998 to travel and never went back to full time work again, after 25 fun filled years on the Coast I packed up and moved to Thailand. What is the purpose of this blog? Well I really want to use it to record my travel experiences & to display my photographs, give and receive travel tips, comment on places I visit, restaurants I eat in and use it to replace the autobiography I intended to write, apart from all that it helps me fill in my day. :) I moved to Thailand mainly because I wanted to keep travelling while my health allowed me to, there are huge advantages being closer to all the places I want to visit. Cost of living in Thailand is around 35% of the cost in Australia, plus flights are 50% cheaper because you are much closer to everywhere. ???? Consequently I am able to travel to many more places compared to living in Australia. Having said all that, it is & has always been my intention to return to Australia when my travelling is finished, I predict this will happen around 2021.

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