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Bundaberg

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Bundaberg [9] is in Queensland, Australia, south of Rockhampton and north of Hervey Bay.

Understand[edit]

Aerial view of Bundaberg, showing the Burnett River and Bourbong St

When entering Bundaberg, whether it be by plane, train or car, expect to be greeted by crisscross patterns of farmland, rows of sugarcane, towering macadamia trees and rich red volcanic soil that is key to producing 25% of Australia’s freshest produce. Renowned for its award-winning Bundaberg Rum and home to the creation of internationally exported Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, Bundaberg is a town bursting with flavour, rich history and character.

Situated just 10km from the coast, Bundaberg is the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef with southernmost coral cays Lady Musgrave and Lady Elliot Island just a stone’s throw away. Take a short 25min flight from Bundaberg Airport to arrive at Lady Elliot Island the home of the manta ray or depart by boat from Bundaberg Port Marina to arrive at Lady Musgrave Island and spend a day exploring the reef and swimming with giant marine life.

Being the most accessible point for travellers in South East Queensland to reach the Great Barrier Reef, you’ll also find beautiful beaches scattering the coast just a short 15min from the main hub of Bundaberg. You’ll find kite-surfing havens, rock pools, reefs within reach, surfing paradises and secluded hideaways catering to every beachgoers needs.

From November to March watch the town be painted with turtles as they welcome the turtle season. Home to the largest conservation for loggerhead turtles, Mon Repos Beach is a short 20min drive from Bundaberg and home to the Mon Repos Turtle Centre. Each year people from across the world visit the town to experience a nightly Mon Repos Turtle Encounter that allows you to witness wild marine turtles nest and hatch on a ranger-guided encounter.

Dividing the town with its sweeping channel is the Burnett River that comes with a colourful history that you can learn about on a scenic ride down the Burnett River with.

From the Southern Great Barrier Reef, beautiful beaches and flowing rivers, this sugarcane town is overflowing with abundant fresh produce. Commonly referred to as Australia's food bowl with almost 90% of the nations sweet potatoes grown in the region this town will not only quench your thirst but also tantalise your tastebuds with its fresh locally grown fruit and vegetables. Take a drive from Bundaberg's CBD to Moore Park Beach or Bargara and stop in along the way to the various farm gates lining the roads to get a taste of the region or visit one of the many local cafes serving up a unique farm gate-to-plate experience.

With plenty to see, do, drink and eat - Bundaberg is more than just rum city and a sugar sweet country town.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Located a short 4hour drive north of Brisbane by car.

By Bus[edit]

Travel by Bus from Brisbane with services making the journey in approximately 6hours.

By Train[edit]

Queensland Rail [10] 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

By Plane[edit]

Get a bird’s eye view of the Bundaberg region and fly into town onboard a QantasLink or Virgin Australia Airline. With regular flights departing and arriving each day, arrive in Bundaberg from Brisbane in under an hour. There is a café, with ATM facilities not far away. Situated 6km south-west of the CBD car hire is available from the terminal once you arrive with your choice of Avis, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty. Note that Europcar is not in the terminal, however, is available at the far end of the Airport car park.

Get around[edit]

Duffy's buses [11] run mainly school buses, although there are some public routes. In particular buses run between Bargara and the Bundaberg town centre every hour or so on weekdays and every couple of hours on a Saturday.

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[edit][add listing]

  • The Bundaberg Barrel [12] 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 museum can take an hour or so, with some interactive computer exibits, some historical information, and a small "hologramatic" presentation humorously telling the story of brewed soft drinks (end the evil Johann Jacob Schweppe who inserted bubbles into soft drink, rather than brewing them!).
  • Bundaberg Rum Distillery, +61 7'' 4131-2999. Where the amber fluid has been produced since 1888. There are two tours; The intereactive Bundy Story' uses touch panels and visual displays to show 120 years of rum making. The Bondstore Experience adds a guided tour around thedistillery where you can see, smell and taste the product being made. Covered footwear required. Tours run on the hour M-F 10AM-3PM, 10AM-2PM, Sa/Su and public holidays. Tours $15-25; Family:$62.50; Children under 3 free.  edit
  • 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 [13] is a restored steam train [14] 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[15] 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[edit][add listing]

  • Walk along Bourbong Street and look at some of the city's old buildings.
  • Swim at Bargara beach
  • See the view from The Hummock, take the Bargara road, and follow the signs. 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[edit]

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[edit][add listing]

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[edit][add listing]

  • Kacy's (Bargara Beach Motel), Cnr Bauer & Esplanade at Bargara Beach, +61 7 4130 1100, [1]. Fine cooking Italian style on a pleasant terrace across the road from the beach. With a chance you could see possums in the trees from your table. mains around $23 kids meals $10.  edit

The Hungry Tum along Bourbong Street in downtown is is well known for its signature drink, pink lemonade. Its is a take-away place underneath the City Centre Backpackers, on the western side of downtown.

  • KBR's Licensed Restaurant ((Kellys Beach Resort)), 6 Trevors Road, Bargara, +61 7 41547200. 5.30pm- 8.00pm. KBR'S Licensed Restaurant is a delicious, affordable and family friendly a la carte Restaurant! Locals are welcome and they can cater for many types of functions. Open for dinner every night except Mondays.  edit


Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Rowers on the River, Corner Quay & Toonburra Streets Bundaberg, QLD 04670, 07 4154 4589, [2]. Modern Australian, Seafood $$$ Gluten-Free Friendly, Kid Friendly, Romantic, Late Night, Live Music, Waterfront, Private Parties, Takes Reservations, mainly serving a dinner menu  edit


Sleep[edit][add listing]

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 several 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.

Bargara beach offers a choice of newer apartment style accommodation closer to the beach.


  • Comfort Inn Bert Hinkler, Cnr Warrell & Takalvan Streets, Bundaberg, 4670 (From the South: Enter Bundaberg via Takalvan Street, pass Sugarland Shopping Centre on the left. Continue pass cemetery for approximately 1km until you see Super Cheap Auto on the left. Turn left onto Warrell Street and immediately right into our driveway. From the North: Turn right onto Bourbong Street and follow the signs to Childers/Brisbane for approximately 2km, until you see Bert Hinkler Motor Inn on your right. Turn right onto Warrell Street and right into our driveway.), 07 4131 2600, [3]. checkin: 13:00; checkout: 10:00. The hotel consists of 32 guest rooms - comfortable deluxe, corporate and executive ground floor units with parking outside each. On-site restaurant, tropical garden surrounds, pool and spa.  edit
  • Comfort Inn Sugar Country, 220 Bourbong Street, Bundaberg, 4670, 07 4153 1166, [4]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 10:00. The hotel consists of 33 guest rooms ranging from standard units to executive spa rooms including complimentary internet access. On-site restaurant, swimming pool, guest laundry, under cover parking, 24 hour security and room service.  edit
  • Econo Lodge Park Lane, 247 Bourbong Street, Bundaberg, 4670 (Southern Entry: After Bundaberg Airport, follow Takalvan Street to the Bundaberg Information Centre. Then follow the road to the right onto Bourbong Street. The property is approximately 500 meters on the left. Northern Entry: Turn right at the roundabout onto Hinkler Ave, crossover Tallong Bridge and take the first left. The property is approximately 500 meters on the left.), 07 4151 2341, [5]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 10:00. The hotel consists of 27 guest rooms including standard, deluxe or executive rooms and two bedroom family units. Pool, spa and on-site restaurant.  edit

In town[edit]

  • Dingo Blue. Nice place, good if you want find "to smoke"  edit
  • Bundaberg Backpackers. Is full of bed bugs and the owner is a rude and horrible man. Avoid at all costs. Also the kitchen is covered in bugs and there is no computer or wifi. The TV has fox sports and movie channel which is the only redeeming feature. Good building and tv room and barbecue outside. Transport to work included in the price 210$/week.  edit
  • Federal Backpackers. the thing that makes this hostel great is the social life: the house is quite dirty but this, thanks to the hard life of farm working makes poeple more friendly. great to have fun: there's a bottle shop in the same building with an outside garden run by the same manager. good hostel to find job, provide transport to work for 3$ go and 3$ back. the managers are quiet, not bad. the negative face of this is place is the cleaness: it's really dirty, but people who stay here don't care so much normally cause they're happy of the people living inside from 23$/night 148$/week.  edit
  • Coral Villa Motel [16] has accommodation in a garden setting which includes an 18 meter swimming pool and guest BBQ area. Motel style units and self-contained units with kitchenettes. 56 Takalvan St, Svensson Heights, QLD 4670 Australia Phone: (07) 4152 4999 - Fax: (07) 4152 4541 - Toll Free in Australia - 1 800 644 014.
  • Cane Village Holiday Park, (West of downtown on the Isis Highway).  edit

Bargara Beach[edit]

  • Sandcastles on the Beach, (Located at the Basin), (), [6]. 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. 3 bedroom with 3 x queen 1 x single.  edit
  • Kellys Beach Resort (Eco-Friendly 2 Bedroom Self Contained Villas), 6 Trevors Rd, Bargara, 0741547200 (), [8]. Eco-Certified resort with self-contained and standalone villas on 5 acres of gardens a block back from the beach. The 2 bedroom villas are spacious, have private verandas and under cover parking. The resort has swimming pools, spa, sauna, tennis court, restaurant, kiosk, tours desk, internet access and games room. from $95.00 per night.  edit

Get out[edit]

  • Lady Musgrave Island [17] : 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 or Hervey Bay around an hours drive to the south.


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