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Wide Bay

Map of Wide Bay region

Our 12 Queensland regions are the best that Australia has to offer.

The Wide Bay region is recognised as the Gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef and includes Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Gympie, Fraser Island, Kingaroy and smaller regional centres. It is the most populated region outside of South-East Queensland.

This region is home to memorable tourism experiences and filled with innovators with ground-breaking ideas that are putting us on the world map.

Whether it’s supporting the development of technology to detect cerebral palsy early or teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students coding and robotics, we’re backing Queenslanders who live and work in this region.

We know innovation and tourism are crucial to the region’s growth – now and in the future.

The Wide Bay region has many local success stories supported by our strong innovation and tourism investment. We’re working together to deliver jobs, economic growth and benefits for your community, our state and the world.

  • $20M+

    government and external investment

  • 6,000+

    Advance Queensland event attendees

  • 260+

    Advance Queensland recipients

  • $3M

    state-wide tourism investment

  • 29

    tourism jobs

  • $3M

    tourism business capability program


Anyone can have a great idea or come up with an innovative solution to a problem. The hard part when you’re in a region can be getting access to the help you need to turn your idea into a business and your business into a global success story.

Advance Queensland is helping Queenslanders to grow their business and build our innovation economy.

The Wide Bay region has many local success stories that we support though programs such as Ignite Ideas.

We have designed or funded many programs to support innovators across Queensland including:

  • Advancing Regional Innovation Program - gives each region up to $500,000 to develop region-wide innovation projects.
  • Regional Startup Hubs Support Program - a local skills-building program delivering education and networking events.
  • Startup Onramp Regional Queensland Program - shows people with a great idea how to become a startup founder.
  • Regional Angel Investors Support Program – helps investors to find innovators who need financial backing.

Case study: Better returns from citrus zest

Family-run farming business Suncoast Limes has been farming limes for more than 20 years. Husband and wife duo Linda and Daniel Tabone developed an automated machine that completely removes the zest from the whole fruit prior to juicing, a job previously done by hand, to reduce waste and costs.

Around 40 per cent of Australian citrus is sent for juicing, which delivers a relatively poor return to the grower and is usually seen as an alternative to simply dumping the fruit when returns are low. This new process, supported by Advance Queensland funding, produces extra high-value product from the skins that would normally go to waste.  This increases the value of the fruit and provides higher returns to the grower.


Tourism is becoming a major drawcard for the Wide Bay region and we are invested in ensuring the industry continues to grow and attract more visitors to support the local economy. Various projects such as creating a new world-class dive site are doing just that. In June 2019, ex-HMAS Tobruk was scuttled off the coast of Bundaberg and Hervey Bay. Since then hundreds of people have dived the world-class dive site to view marine wildlife living on the wreck. The dive site will generate more than $1 million for the local economy annually and support about 20 jobs in the region.

We are also supporting local islands and resorts with the Great Barrier Reef Island Resorts Rejuvenation Program. As part of the program Lady Elliot Island has seen an increase in renewable energy infrastructure so it now has the capacity to run on 100% renewable energy. The island has over 653 solar panels and 232 batteries operational across the island, saving over 550 litres of diesel fuel being used each day and 538 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

Our funding has also been given to build a nature-based eco-tourism glamping experience. Wide Bay is a region full of natural wonders and unique attractions that tourists love to visit. We will continue to support projects within the region to boost jobs and the local economy.​

Case study: Building business capability

Tourism is an important driver of the Queensland economy, creating jobs, attracting investment and helping communities.

We have a commitment to grow the state’s tourism industry and cement Queensland’s position as a world-leading tourism destination.

To do this we are delivering a $3 million Tourism Industry Business Capability Development program to help tourism businesses be more competitive, adaptive and resilient.

The program runs workshops and mentoring programs that are suited to small to medium sized businesses and young businesses that want to grow.

The program is being delivered throughout the state on our behalf by the Queensland Tourism Industry Association (QTIC) in conjunction with Regional Tourism Organisations and other industry stakeholders.

The program will be completed by November 2021.

Last updated: 25 Feb 2021