Nielsen Park on the Hervey Bay foreshore is by Torquay Beach and the start of Coopers Boardwalk.
The park offers the usual facilities at many of the parks along the foreshore trail, with toilets, picnic tables, bins, water fountains, and a playground.
A highlight unique to Nielsen Park is Coopers Boardwalk, first opened in 2015 and extended further in 2017. The walk follows through the bushland trees between the beachfront and the main pathway closer to the road.
The walkway was named after Cooper Eli Christensen, who passed away at the age of 6-years from a paediatric brain cancer. Cooper’s walk was created months after his passing as a place of peace and reflection.
The boardwalk is easy to follow and continues the whole way through, making it suitable for wheelchairs. Be aware, however, bikes are not permitted. There is a part that leads to the beach that is sand but it isn’t necessary to use this part to use the boardwalk.
At the other end of the boardwalk, a different name is found, Tom’s Walk. Tom is another child who passed away, aged 8 years after battling Severe Aplastic Anaemia. It was the year after his Nanna, Jacqueline Clare Messer (Whitaker), from breast cancer.
Jacqueline was the wife of Keith Messer, known affectionately as “The Watermelon Man” in Hervey Bay. A local icon often seen with his ute of produce, including rockmelons and pineapples in addition to the signature watermelons.