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Bundaberg

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Queensland : Bundaberg
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Bundaberg is in Queensland, Australia.

Get in

Bundaberg is approximately 4 hours drive by car north of Brisbane. Buses do the journey in around 6 hours. Queensland Rail[1] services Bundaberg with the tilt train (4 1/2 hours), and slower Sunlander or Spirit of the Outback services (6 1/2 hours). Adult fare $62.70 one way. Bundaberg can also be reached by air (QantasLink) from Brisbane (check for specials). The airport is around 4 km west of the city centre.

Get around

Duffy's buses[2] run mainly school buses, although there are some public routes. Otherwise you really need a car to get anywhere outside the city centre. A number of Backpacker hostels run shuttle minibuses for seasonal workers to local farms early in the morning and back again in the afternoon.

See

  • The Bundaberg Rum Distillery [3], where the amber fluid has been produced since 1888. Tours run on the hour, every hour 10 am to 3 pm, Monday to Friday, 10 am to 2 pm, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. +61 7 4131-2999. Covered footware required. Adults $9.90, students, seniors, pensioners, group or more than 15 (prebooking required) $7.70, children 5 to 17 years $4.40, children under 5 free.
  • The Bundaberg Barrel [4] is the home of Bundaberg Ginger Beer (and other brewed soft drinks). There is a shop and tasting free to access, and a interactive museum display at a small cost.
  • The Hinkler House Memorial Museum, +61 7 4152-0222, located in the Botanic gardens, was originally the house of Bert Hinkler, a pioneer aviator born in Bundaberg who, in 1928, became the first to fly solo from England to Australia, and, in 1931, the first to fly solo across the South Atlantic. The house was originally located on the Thornhill Estate, Sholing, in Southampton, England, and was rescued from destruction in 1983, when it was dismantled and shipped brick by brick to Bundaberg and reconstructed. Open daily, 10.00 am to 4.00 pm (9.30 am to 4.30 pm during Queensland School Holidays). Closed on Christmas day, Good Friday and ANZAC day (April 25, until 1 pm). The design and furnishings of the house are not particularly remarkable. Exhibits mostly consist of newspaper cutouts and photos. It is difficult to see the value in the admission fee unless you are an enthusiast of early aviation.
  • Also in the Botanic Gardens [5] is a restored steam train [6] which runs Sundays and public holidays. Rides cost a nominal fee and do two laps of the Botanic Gardens pond. The engine is a restored steam cane train.
  • Turtles[7] return each year around December to Mon Repos to lay their eggs at night. In around February, and in December you can see the little hatchlings struggle their way into the ocean against the waves. The beach is part of a National Park, and you must be accompanied by a ranger to see the turtles. Laying and hatching is at night.
  • Tropical Fish at the Basin, Bargara. Tropical fish can be seen at the Basin, and the southern end of The Esplanade. It is possible to take bread and feed them. There is no admission charge, bring your own snorkel and mask.
  • Mystery Craters are about 20km from Bundaberg on the road to Gin Gin. The craters themselves are set in an area that resembles a large suburban backyard. There are around 30 craters, between a few centimetres and a few metre radius. There is an old machinery shed containing old dusty lawn mowers. For some reason there is a 3 metre tall dinosaur statue. There is a fee for admission.

Do

  • Walk along Bourbong Street and look at some of the city's old buildings.
  • Swim at Bargara beach
  • Go to the Hummock, a 100-meter-tall hill on the outskirts of Bundaberg for a good view of the city and out to the ocean. On a clear day, you can see the tip of Fraser Island

Work

Seasonal work can be obtained picking tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables. Check with the backpacker hostels for more info. To work legally, you require a valid work visa (not a tourist visa) and you should provide the employer with a tax file number if you do not want them to deduct 48 % tax from your wages (normal non-residental tax rate 29 %). It may be possible to work without a valid visa (cash-in-hand), though occasionally inspectors do checks on farms and at hostels, which could possibly result in severe consequences.

Buy

Bourbong Street, the main drag through town, is partly a shared pedestrian zone with a variety of shops, banks, travel agents and the main post office. There are two other major shopping centres: Hinkler Place, a few blocks to the south on the corner of Maryborough and Electra Sts, and the larger Sugarland in the west (Cnr Takalvan and Heidke Sts), both of which contain most of the major Australian chains between them.

Eat

  • Kacy's (Bargara Beach Motel), Cnr Bauer & Esplanade at Bargara Beach, 07 4130 1100, [8]. Fine cooking on a pleasant terrace. With a little bit chance you could see possums in the trees from your table.

Drink

The Hungry Tum along Bourbong street is well known for its signature drink, pink lemonade.

Sleep

There is a variety of accommodation styles available in Bundaberg. West of the Bundaberg Railway Station there are a number of well equipped motels. In amongst these motels is a variety of food outlets ranging from cafe style food, take away, and restaurants. There are around three backpackers hostels to choose from. One is opposite the bus depot. Two others are opposite the train station. Most of these can arrange farm work and will even provide transport to the farms in the morning and back in the afternoon. For those who wish to camp, caravan and camping parks are located throughout the city.

Coral Villa Motel in Bundaberg [9] offers you friendly, affordable accommodation in a garden setting which includes an 18 meter swimming pool and guest bbq area. We have motel style units and self-contained units with kitchenettes. Coral Villa Motel - 56 Takalvan Street - Bundaberg, QLD 4670 Australia Phone: (07) 4152 4999 - Fax: (07) 4152 4541 - Toll Free in Australia - 1 800 644 014.

Get out

  • Lady Musgrave Island [10] : visit the island and then enjoy scuba diving in the atoll.
  • Lady Elliot Island. Direct flights from Bundaberg airport.
  • Maryborough is one hour's drive south along the highway.
  • Town of 1770 - the Historic Birth Place of Queensland, Town of 1770, so named after the year that Captain Cook first landed in Queensland. It is about 2 hours drive north.
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