Bundaberg Destination Guide
Country charm meets coastal cool in ‘Bundy’, where it’s not unusual to feast on fresh farm-gate fare, dive the Southern Great Barrier Reef and watch baby turtles hatch all in one day.
The Bundaberg North Burnett Region is the launch pad to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, with Mon Repos Beach (just 15 minutes from downtown Bundaberg) home to the largest loggerhead turtle rookery in the South Pacific.
Head offshore to experience the beauty of the Southern Great Barrier Reef at Lady Elliot Island – one of the few island resorts where guests can swim straight off the beach over the reef – before discovering the iconic flavour of Queensland at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery, or taste some of the region’s food and wine in the charming towns of Childers and Gin Gin.
Visit Mon Repos in summer each year to see the largest and most accessible loggerhead turtle rookery in mainland Australia and the South Pacific. The sands of Mon Repos are warm, meaning most of the hatchlings to pop out of their shells in the New Year are females, while the cool sands of nearby Lady Elliott Island produce strapping young lads.
No visit to Bundaberg is complete without taking a tour of the Bundaberg Rum Distillery, or discovering the secret ingredients in Bundaberg Ginger Beer through a variety of hands-on activities.
Snorkel the coral reef fringing rocky coastlines and, further offshore, meet the region’s two ladies – Lady Elliot Island and Lady Musgrave Island – to cross swimming with mantra rays and sea turtles off your bucket list.
Eat & Drink
A place where roadside honesty boxes, seafood straight off the boat and paddock-to-plate dining meet; the sugar-cane framed Bundaberg North Burnett region offers a drive-through experience of the fresh food kind.
Here, you can pick your own strawberries, figs, avocados, oranges and more from roadside stalls and farm gates. The iconic rich red soil and ace year-round conditions make it a food lover’s paradise
Chew your way through locally-sourced menus, with ingredients delivered direct to the kitchen by the farmer. Among the top places to nosh in town are Nourish Cafe, 2016 Queensland Good Food Guide award-winner Indulge Cafe, and Mammino Gourmet Ice Cream, who create a special 'green' ice cream in honour of the turtle season each year.
Where to Stay
The Bundaberg North Burnett region extends from Buxton in the south to Baffle Creek in the north and Monto and Cania Gorge National Park in the west, and is home to island stays, city getaways, coastal escapes or rural retreats.
There's no shortage of motor inns if you're road-tripping to or around Bundaberg, plus beach-front resorts in Bargara and Woodgate, and the green-at-heart Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort located offshore.
Bundaberg is more about collecting moments rather than souvenirs. That said, there's no memento quite like a bottle of spirits or liqueur (think coffee, chocolate and banana toffee) from the Bundaberg Rum Distillery.
October brings the Spirit of Bundaberg Festival to town, celebrating the tan tipple and the best of the Bundaberg region, while the Sunday Markets at Shalom College never fail to draw a crowd with their endless rows of stalls.
Other markets in the region include the Apple Tree Creek Markets on the second Saturday of the month, Friday Night Markets in Bundaberg town, and the Gin Gin Wild Scotchman Country Markets held every Saturday.
Bundaberg Like a Local
No visit to Bundaberg is complete without a road trip to discover more of the region’s best kept secrets along Australia’s Country Way.
Head to Childers and try the creamiest homemade macadamia nut ice-cream; visit citrus capitals Gayndah and Mundubbera and take an orchard tour; or put your hiking boots on, travel west to Cania Gorge National Park and get some perspective among the sandstone monoliths and ancient caves.