See the best of Bundaberg in a weekend
Step foot into sugarcane country with a weekend in Bundaberg. Sitting just five hours north of the Queensland capital, the beachside town is best recognised as the home of Australia’s most famous rum. But liquor isn’t all Bundaberg has to offer – this town is a natural beauty. Untouched coastline and one of the state’s most famed turtle hatcheries, Mon Repos all reside here, making this quaint district well worth the road trip. Have just the weekend to spare? We’ve condensed the district’s best offerings into a 48-hour venture.
After a lengthy journey from Brisbane you’ll no doubt be thirsty. Quench your thirst with a round or two at its biggest beer garden. River Feast takes place every Friday evening on the water’s edge, a gathering of food stalls and local breweries reminiscent of Brisbane’s Eat Street Markets, that are hosted in the region’s former marine college.
Craving a taste of local seafood? Make your way instead to the iconic Grunske’s By The River. This much respected seafood specialist sells its wild catches from the waters of the Southern Great Barrier Reef directly to the public.
Break your fast at one of Bundaberg’s fast growing collection of eateries. Sea Gypsy is a particular stand-out – a reformed shack turned cafe, boutique and event space in one that can be found nestled into Burnett Heads, just 15 minutes away from town centre. The eclectic space, impressively built by hand, serves up heaped dishes of fresh, healthy brunch fare heavy on the superfoods. After eating your fill meander the accompanying boutique boasting bohemian clothing and homewares.
During turtle season between November and March stop in at Mon Repos, where turtles can be seen nesting and hatching on the beach. Considering this spot supports the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern mainland it’s no surprise that Mon Repos and its much-loved education centre remains a non-negotiable for many visiting tourists. Should you happen to be visiting outside of turtle season, the beach is just as popular for swimming and sailing.
Set up camp in neighbouring Woodgate Tourist Park where you can choose to lay down your swag or splurge on the comforts of a cabin or campervan (there are both powered and unpowered sites to choose from). Sitting in the midst of Burrum Heads National Park, this space is big on solitude and refreshingly quiet. It also boasts direct access to Woodgate Beach, a 16km stretch of pristine white sands that is a firm favourite amongst fishermen.
Back in the city centre you’ll find the district’s creative hub Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery. The multi-purpose visual arts facility is a celebration of both art and culture in these parts, playing host to a rotating line-up of exhibitions, visiting artists, workshops, education programs, and kid-friendly activities throughout the year.
Expect to find a refreshingly varied array of artwork on display, that ranges from contemporary installations to exhibitions exploring the region’s indigenous culture.
No trip to Bundaberg is complete without a visit to the famed Bundaberg Rum Distillery and its revamped Visitor Centre. This iconic establishment has been in business since 1888, with its much loved booze a multi-award winner. Tour the historic space from 10.00am seven days a week, where you can get up close and personal with its six 75000 litre oak vats, and rare memorabilia before crafting a personalised spirit with the Blend Your Own Rum Experience.
Not a rum fan? You may prefer to drop into The Brewhouse. The project of a group of local friends, this craft brewery is now behind an impressive 21 craft beers on tap, which boasts names like the ‘Rusty Roo’, ‘Thirsty Turtle’ and ‘Drunk Fish’.