20 fun-filled things to do with kids in Bundaberg and North Burnett
Bundaberg is not just the gateway to the wonders held within the Southern Great Barrier Reef, it’s a region that offers the perfect mixture of country and coastline.
We’re talking natural encounters on and off the water, farm-gate tasters (which will have the entire family wishing you packed the elastic-waisted pants) and fun yet educational experiences the kids can take back to their classroom show-and-share.
Bookmark these things to do with kids in Bundaberg and surrounds for your next family getaway.
1. Bundaberg Botanic Gardens
Located in North Bundaberg, the 27-hectare botanic gardens are a green sanctuary complete with hidden Japanese Gardens, a lake and 114 species of birds. The grounds are the perfect spot for a family picnic of local produce.
On Sundays the family can ride (for a small fee) through the gardens on the Australian Sugarcane Railway. The kids will love the journey and it’s a great respite for parents wanting a shaded break.
2. Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery
The Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, or BRAG as the locals call it, has a great Kidz Corner with arts and crafts that both children and parents will love. The self-guided activities provide a fun yet educational way for all family members to learn about art.
3. Basin Rock Pool
Want to know one of Bundy’s best-kept secrets? Head to the Basin Rock Pool, which is located at the end of Kellys Beach.
During the outgoing tide, this man-made rock pool is a great place to snorkel and discover marine life in a semi-protected ocean-filled swimming pool.
4. Cania Gorge National Park
Swap screens for scenery and spend the day exploring one of the eight bushwalks at the Cania Gorge National Park. Here you’ll discover towering cliffs, caves and sheltered gorges.
The kids will love seeing the Aboriginal freehand art and varied habitats for native wildlife including the elusive platypus in Three Moon Creek near the picnic area.
5. Mon Repos Walking Path
Explore the coastline on foot along the 6km return walking tour from Bargara to the Mon Repos information centre. Along the easy-graded journey you can explore sand dunes, mangroves, Woongarra scrub remnants, a tidal lagoon, rock pools and a Kanaka wall built by south-sea islanders who were brought into the region in the 1880’s to work in the sugar industry.
6. Bargara Foreshore Turtle Playground
Swing into the sunset at the Bargara Foreshore Turtle Playground where children of all ages can play among the turtle-themed slides and parents can watch the waves roll in.
7. Baldwin Swamp
If there’s one thing Bundaberg has in spades it’s quality picnic spots to sit and enjoy the surrounds with a side of local produce.
Baldwin Swamp is known as Bundaberg’s own ‘Kakadu’ – home to lovely walking trails through the wetlands, which are home to thousands of waterbirds.
There are ample picnic spots under the shade of the eucalypt trees.
8. The Big Orange in Gayndah
Oranges are not just for half-time on the netball field; in Gayndah you’ll find the Big Orange which celebrates the town’s position as the citrus capital of Queensland.
Visit between April and October to sample fresh juice from the citrus grown onsite.
There’s nothing our family loves more than sinking a fishing line into the water to catch dinner. A trip to Bundaberg wouldn’t be complete without a fishing trip and Woodgate Beach has never failed to deliver a bite.
There’s plenty of space to play along the 16 kilometre of sandy beaches, which are surrounded by 20,000 hectares of national park – home to countless kangaroos and wallabies.
10. Bundaberg Port Marina
Embrace some downtime and grab fish and chips to eat while you watch the wide range of boats come and go from the Bundaberg Port Marina.
As an entry point from World Heritage-listed Fraser Island and the jump off point for cruises to Lady Musgrave Island, there’s always a flurry of activity to keep everyone entertained.
11. Ginger Beer at the Bundy Barrel
Everyone loves a glass of one of Bundaberg’s most famous exports, Bundaberg Ginger Beer (or Lemon Lime and Bitters if I’m pouring).
The Bundaberg Barrel will add a few bubbles of interest to a family trip to Bundaberg with an interactive tour which details the drink’s origins and manufacturing process through an interactive tour complete.
Entry cost: Family $28.50 (two adults and two children)
12. Bundaberg Railway Museum
Thomas the Train lovers of all ages will find their mecca at the Bundaberg Railway Museum which houses railway items from the past to the present.
Set inside Bundaberg’s first railway station, which was built in 1881, the museum provides a trip back in time with displays of engine driver manuals, locomotive tools and a 1921 guard’s van and butter car, which is insulated with cow’s hair.
Entry cost: Family $15
13. Burnett River Cruises
Put your feet up and take a relaxing historical tour of Bundaberg’s Burnett River aboard the Bundy Belle, a fully restored classic river ferry.
From your water perch, you’ll see the trawlers unloading their haul at the seafood processing plants, yachts moored at the Bundaberg Marina and the local sites of the Bundaberg Rum Distillery and the Bulk Sugar Terminal.
Once you depart, dine at Grunske’s By The River where the kids can take a behind-the-scenes tour of the seafood market before eating locally-caught seafood.
14. Local Farm Gate or Apple Tree Creek Market
They don’t call Bundy ‘Australia’s Food Bowl’ for nothing. Bundaberg’s seasonal produce offering is quiet simply off the charts with lush strawberries, macadamias, zucchinis, ginger, sweet potato, watermelons and tomatoes (the juiciest we’ve ever tasted) all available to purchase from roadside farm-gates when they are in season.
This is a drive-through of a different kind, which the kids will love. If your itinerary is jam-packed and you’d like to do your local produce haul in one hit then visit Apple Tree Creek Markets on the second Saturday of each month.
15. Indulge Café
Low food miles may as well have been invented by the team at Indulge Café. Each time our family visits Bundaberg we head here first for a meal before we land on our relative’s doorstep.
The food on offer at Indulge is all grown or caught locally before it’s personally delivered to the kitchen by the farmer who plucked it from the ground or the ocean hours earlier. The seasonal menu dishes up plates which are as easy on the eye as they are on the taste buds.
16. Amandine Lavender
Flower lovers will swoon over the entranceway to Amandine Lavender when it’s in full bloom. The working lavender farm offers self-guided propagation activities the kids will love and once they’re finished being a lavender farmer they can enjoy the rewards of a lavender-infused ice-cream. The gift shop also has a divine range of fragrant products to take home.
17. Mystery Craters
Mystery Craters are a marvel within themselves, but my girls were enchanted by the fairy garden located at the entrance-way to the 35 controversial craters.
Discovered in 1971 their origins have been the subject of many investigations and theories. Visit the formation yourself to find out how they were formed.
18. Mon Repos Conservation Park
Each November Bundaberg transforms into turtle town when hundreds of marine turtles come to nest at Mon Repos Conservation Park. Here visitors can take part in the countries only ranger-lead turtle experience.
From December to March nesting transforms to hatching as hundreds of baby turtles make their way into the ocean. This nightly hands-on experience is a mix of wonder, nature and education for family members of all ages.
Cost: $27.80 for a family pass
19. Cycle the Costal Pathway
Embrace peddle power and explore Bargara’s beautiful coastline with a half day hire ($15 per bike) from Bargara Vintage Bikes. The cycle and walking Coastal Pathway from Oaks Beach to Neilson Park is home to native flora and wildlife, not to mention beautiful beach views.
Follow the path south to the patrolled Kellys Beach, which offers both surf and still-water swimming areas.
20. Hinkler Hall of Aviation
Spend some time in the footprints of Australia’s most famous solo aviator Bert Hinkler at the Hinkler Hall of Aviation. This family-friendly interactive display has glide simulators, a replica Arvo Bay aircraft (which the kids will love to sit in) and full-size display artefacts, including original flight records by Mr Hinkler himself.
Cost: Adults $18, children $10.