There is a whole lot more to Bundaberg than the iconic dark rum that bears its name to worldwide acclaim. The city on the Burnett River is the focal point of a diverse and exciting holiday region that offers everything from heritage town, beach and island stays, to a picturesque hinterland that grows the superb Australian product you will find at many of the region’s farm gates and restaurants.
Add to that easy access to the southern section of the Great Barrier Reef and, just a short hop the centre of Bundaberg, Mon Repos beach – the largest and most accessible turtle rookery in mainland Australia. No wonder Bundaberg and the North Burnett is stirring the attention of visitors from around the world.
People love Bundaberg for:
- Ease of access to the southern Barrier Reef and Lady Elliot Island
- The laid-back country-meets-beach culture vibe
- Mon Repos rookery – one of the world’s natural wonders
On the coast, take your pick of the best of the beachside at Burnett Heads, Bargara, Coral Cove and Elliott Heads, the kilometres of unspoiled oceanfront at Moore Park to the north and Woodgate to the south. It’s an aquatic playground offering everything from beach lounging to kite surfing, snorkelling, diving and fishing. Between November and March, the Mon Repos conservation park beach near Burnett Heads comes alive with hatching turtles, providing a unique visitor experience.
Just off the coast, you can take a day trip via the town of Seventeen Seventy to the superb coral cay of Lady Musgrave Island, or stay on Lady Elliott Island – a true nature lover’s paradise. In town, the Bundaberg Rum distillery regularly tops the list of Bundy’s most popular attractions, followed closely by the Hinkler Hall of Aviation – a tribute to one of Bundaberg’s favourite sons, the pioneer flyer Bert Hinkler.
Plus, don’t miss:
- The historic town of Childers and its emerging wine trail
- The Burnett Circle drive taking in the hinterland sights and tastes
- Bundaberg Botanic Gardens and sugar museum
Eat & Drink
Stand by for taste bud sensations in a region that combines the growing of some of Australia’s best citrus, strawberries, tomatoes, vegetables, beef and pork with a harvest direct from the sea by locally based trawlers. Seafood lovers will revel in sand crab, oysters, prawns, Moreton Bay bugs and superb reef fish.
Explore food markets and boutique breweries, trendy seaside restaurants and cafes, as well as top restaurants in the city. The innovative Friday night food market Riverfeast in Bundaberg says a lot about how the region is transforming into a magnet for lovers of all types of cuisine.
Top taste tips:
- Nana’s Pantry in Bundaberg for famous gelato and more
- Seafood straight from the trawler at Ocean Pacific, Port Bundaberg
- Boutique beers on tap (more than 20) at trendy Bargara Brewery
Where to Stay
Hotels, motels, apartments, resorts, B&Bs and farm stays – it’s all about where you want to be in the region and your budget, with an overall emphasis on friendliness and reasonable tariffs. If the beach is your focus, you will find everything from top-class apartments and holiday homes to budget caravan and camping.
If you prefer to base yourself in the centre of Bundaberg, choose from a wide range of tourist parks and motels, apartments or B&Bs. Further inland, you will find river and lakeside tourism parks, country cottages, and farm stays for a real taste of country life. And don’t forget beautiful Lady Elliott Island and its ever-popular eco resort.
Where to stay for what:
- Bundaberg as a base to explore the region
- Bargara for coast cool; Moore Park for beach peace
- Marchioness at Mt Perry for an insight into life on a working farm
One of the highlights of any trip to the region for self-caterers is the quality and abundance of the local produce. Any drive around the North Burnett will deliver numerous roadside stalls offering superb fruit, vegetables and more at rock-bottom prices. Payment is often by dropping a few coins into an honesty box.
Bundaberg City is the main shopping centre for the region, with the usual supermarkets and department stores. Sugarland Shoppingtown near the airport and Hinkler Central in the city are the major centres offering more than 70 outlets. For a true Bundy memento, don’t forget there is more than rum on offer at the Rum Distillery.
Bundaberg shopping secrets:
- Look out for the pick-your-own farms for strawbs and more in season
- Pick up a unique souvenir from the Hinkler Hall of Aviation
- Pick seafood straight from the trawler at Red Shed Seafood
Bundaberg Like a Local
There’s nothing like local knowledge to help guide visitors around a region with its fair share of secret hideaways, fun pursuits and the best in local food and wine. Bundaberg Regional Council oversees no fewer than nine areas of natural beauty that rarely make it on to highlights lists, including the Sharon Gorge Nature Park and the pristine Riverview Environmental Park. Look out, too, for the Turtle Trail, a walking and cycle path linking Bargara to Burnett Heads and including the turtle rookery at Mon Repos.
Meantime, who knew that nearby, historic Childers is a great staging point for one of Australia’s lesser-known wine trails linking four boutique wineries, each offering a different experience but all offering country hospitality.
Discover like a local:
- Beautiful beachside Woodgate and the Burrum Coast National Park
- The breakfast and lunch at Bundaberg’s Indulge Bistro
- The stunning features of Cania Gorge and the Sandstone Wilderness