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Bundaberg [4] is in Queensland, Australia, south of Rockhampton and north of Hervey Bay.


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

Bundaberg is closely linked to the sugar cane industry. The area is surrounded by cane fields, and the small railway lines used to transport the harvested cane to the mills. The closeness to the cane mills is the reason for the siting of the rum, ginger beer, and sugar industries associated with Bundaberg.

The town itself is set back around 10km from the ocean and the ocean beaches, along the river. Bourbong street is the oddly named main street (originally named Bourbon Street, but historically misspelled). Parts are also known as the Isis Highway.

The town of Bargara is essentially the beachside suburb of Bundaberg. Home to many modern apartments, accommodation, and resorts with ocean views. It is close to Bundaberg but has a very different feel to the town centre. It has a small shopping and restaurant strip of its own, and a esplanade with barbecues and picnic tables.

The Burnett River runs through a divides the town. It is crossed by two road bridges and a railway bridge.

Get in

By car

Bundaberg is approximately 4 hours drive by car north of Brisbane. Buses do the journey in around 6 hours. Queensland Rail [5] 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.

By plane

Bundaberg Airport (BDB) has four flights a day by QantasLink [6]] from Brisbane (check for specials). The airport is around 4 km west of the city centre. Car hire is available in the terminal, Avis, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty. Europcar is not in the terminal, but is at the far end of the car park. There is a cafe and an ATM in the terminal building.

Get around

Duffy's buses [7] 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.


  • The Bundaberg Rum Distillery [8], 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 footwear required. Adults $9.90, students, seniors, pensioners, group or more than 15 (pre-booking required) $7.70, children 5 to 17 years $4.40, children under 5 free.
  • The Bundaberg Barrel [9] 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!).
  • 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 [10] is a restored steam train [11] 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[12] 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.


  • 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


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.


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.


  • 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.

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.



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.

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

In town

  • Coral Villa Motel in Bundaberg [13] 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 Street - Bundaberg, 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).

Bargara Beach

  • Sandcastles on the Beach, (Located at the Basin), (), [2]. 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. 3 bedroom with 3 x queen 1 x single.
  • Bargara Blue Resort, [3].

Get out

  • Lady Musgrave Island [14] : 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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