things to do in bundaberg
Visiting Bundaberg and looking for things to do in Australia’s latest ECO-certified destination? Take in Bundaberg’s biggest icons, from rum to the Great Barrier Reef and tick the below must-do’s off your list during your next visit.
You’ve probably had your fair share of the eponymous ginger beer or heard the rum ordered with Coke down at the pub. But what about visiting the place that gave the drink its name? With an abundance of opportunities to eat fresh fare, spot wildlife and go on some unforgettable excursions, Bundaberg is a city that is so much more than its name.
That being said, you’d be remiss to skip out on the distillery that put Bundaberg on the map. Visitors can wander around the museum or book themselves a full distillery tour (which includes a top-shelf rum tasting at the end—yes, please!). Or put on your mad scientist lab coat and blend your own rum – a hands-on way to understand the craft of rum making with the bonus of two personalised bottles of your own blend to take home.
If rum isn’t your thing, Bundy is also home to Kalki Moon, a family-run distillery which slings out some delicious liquors and is also open for cellar door tastings and tours.
If you’re after things to do in Bundaberg that don’t lead to an afternoon nap, worry not. Take the kids on a trip to Splitters Farm, where they can meet hundreds of rescued farm animals and kayak through the fish-filled freshwater creek. Or immerse yourself in Dreamtime with a unique introduction to the Bundaberg region’s rich aboriginal culture and history on a half-day immersive tour sharing the culture of the Taribelang people, visiting important sites around the region to taste bush tucker and learn the history through storytelling passed down from the Elders with Taribelang Bunda Tours.
For a day in the sun, be sure to book a full day tour with Lady Musgrave Experience. The ultra-comfortable Reef Empress ferries guests out to the turquoise waters and white sand beaches of Lady Musgrave Island. Once there the options are plenty: keen swimmers can snorkel and dive, while others can hop on a glass bottomed boat to spot turtles below or whales on the horizon.
Between July to October is your chance to get up close and personal with one of the largest creatures in the ocean – humpback whales! Lady Musgrave Experience also do half-day whale watching tours that have a 100% success rate in seeing whales while on tour.
Watch in awe as the whales launch their bodies into the air, slap their fins in the water and come up close to the boat to say a curious hello.
The Mon Repos Turtle Centre is an additional must for wildlife lovers— it’s home to the largest loggerhead turtle nesting population in the South Pacific and is a majestic spot to witness turtle hatchings in season.
For classic pub fare in a breezy setting there’s the Bargara Beach Hotel, or for a more refined experience book a two to four course dinner at the highly-lauded Waterstreet Kitchen. If you’re after a sweet treat, the fresh fruit ice cream from Tinaberries strawberry farm is a delight.
For that all-important good night’s sleep, there are loads of accommodation options in Bundaberg and beachfront accommodation in Bargara.
The aforementioned Splitters Farm offers some gorgeous glamping options, while Kellys Beach Resort in Bargara accommodates guests with standalone eco-villas set on lush garden acreage. Pacific Sun Bargara coastal motel accommodation is right in the heart of Bargara Beach with fully self-contained rooms to suit solo travellers, couples or large families for short or long term stays. For a true beach-side getaway, you can’t go wrong with a few nights at C Bargara Resort Grand Mercure Apartments, where all of the complex’s modern apartments offer sparkling ocean views.
Speaking of ocean views, take in the fresh ocean breeze with a leisurely nature stroll along the coastline of Bargara, through Mon Repos to Burnett Heads. At low tide when you reach the beach, you may even spot colourful coral and marine life in the rockpools at Burnett Heads. Grab some fish and chips to finish your nature walk as the sun sets over Bundaberg Port Marina.
To end your Bundaberg getaway, grab your beverage of choice and head up to the Hummock lookout for beautiful dusk views across lush farmlands and to the ocean beyond.
Take a sip, take in the view, and enjoy your last evening in southeast Queensland’s hidden slice of paradise.
Image credit: Lady Musgrave Experience, Visit Bundaberg and Tourism Events Queensland.
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