Hervey Bay is mostly known for its big Humpback Whales which frequent the bay annually during their migration. But there’s a couple of other big things in the bay like a big jetty and a big cod fish!
The big jetty is called Urangan Pier. Younger generations and visitors know it for enjoying a 868 metre walk along it, or for throwing a line off it to get the catch of the day. But historians and my Grandma know it was actually built as a deep-water cargo handling facility to export sugar, timber and coal many years ago.
So the story goes, before the pier was to be shortened by 256 metres when the terminal closed, two young local experienced scuba divers thought it’d be a great idea to dive under the pier before it was cut shorter. There’s always very interesting things to find under jetties and piers that people lose, like tackle boxes, fishing rods, chairs, valuables and treasure!
The boys dressed in their black wetsuits with tanks, fins and masks, took on the adventure as a shore dive entering the water from the sandy spit next to the Urangan Pier. That day lots of people were looking at them as this was a most unusual sight. Even the pelicans perched and gawked. Fishing from the pier would have been great that day because they saw so many flathead as they dived and swam towards the end of the pier to a depth of about 10 metres.
As they were having the time of their life exploring the underwater treasures like new pirates about to strike it rich, a very large shadow descended upon them giving them the distinct feeling something big was watching them. But they decided to continue, ignoring this sense of fear until it came once again, and this time felt bigger and even more intense!
Suddenly bubbles exploded as their hearts raced madly when the divers literally came eye-to-eye and within 1 metre of a giant resting cod the size of a VW car. Both loved wreck diving but there was no way they were going to penetrate this cod’s wide opening. They felt stuck deep below as Mr Potato Cod had began stalking them and was also joined by his slightly smaller but still scary cod friend defending their patch of the Pier! That was all they could take as this cod was angrier than a shark so the divers had no choice than to be either eaten and never seen again, or swim for their lives to the nearest pier pole and get up it as quickly as possible. To this day they have never dived the Urangan Pier again!
The divers later found out from an old family friend who had worked for years as a professional fisherman in Hervey Bay that those big cods had been living under the end of the Urangan Pier for decades. I wonder if they are still there, who wants to find out? Happy Hervey xx