Spread the love
We were on the homeward trail and discovered that the brakes on our caravan were in need of repair so we decided to stop in Bundaberg for a few days. The region of Bundaberg is 375 kilometres north of Brisbane in Queensland and comprises the major city of Bundaberg, with the small towns of Gin Gin to the south west and Childers to the south; and the coastal villages of Elliott Heads, Coral Cove, Innes Park, Bargara, Burnett Heads and Moore Park to the east.
It is here that the Great Barrier Reef begins with coral reefs fringing the rocky shorelines and the two ladies of the reef, Lady Elliott and Lady Musgrave Islands. It is also the breeding ground for the Loggerhead Turtle at Mon Repos beach, the largest Turtle Rookery in the South Pacific. I knew I was going to enjoy this region!
Bundaberg is a modern sprawling city situated on the Burnett River, with a district population of 112,000 people, and is affectionately called ‘Bundy’. It is famous for sugar and rum, as in the great Aussie spirit called Bundaberg Rum. Not surprisingly the surrounding area produces a significant percentage of Queensland’s sugar crop. A drive out to one of the coastal villages will treat you to a mosaic of green fields which change as the sugar cane matures and then gets harvested.
The fresh local produce in and around Bundaberg is a food lover’s delight. The surrounding rich red volcanic soils are a national food basket with over 16,000 hectares of vegetables, fruit and nuts. This local produce is the inspiration for some of Bundaberg’s best menus at some of the finest restaurants in town. You can also purchase the fresh produce from farm gate stalls or at the Shalom Markets held in town every Sunday.
Ten things to do and see in Bundaberg are:
Spread out along the coast, only 15 kilometres from Bundaberg, is a succession of beaches where tourists and locals go to relax and unwind, from Moore Park in the north to Woodgate in the south.
Moore Park is on the northern side of the Burnett River and is 21 kilometres from the city of Bundaberg. There are no high-rise buildings or traffic lights, it is just a laid-back seaside village with 16 kilometres of sandy beach perfect for surfing, swimming, walking or fishing.
On the northern end of the beach there is access to take your 4WD along the 10 kilometres stretch of beach as far as the mouth of the Kolan River. Behind the caravan park in town there is a man-made island on a coastal lagoon, called Bicentennial Lagoon, which is literally bursting with birdlife.
Burnett Heads is where the river flows out to sea with the old Burnett Heads Lighthouse built in 1873, standing testament to a bygone era. Just upstream is the Port of Bundaberg with wharves and an imposing sugar terminal. If you are a boating enthusiast there are boat marinas at both Burnett Heads and at Port of Bundaberg.
You can walk or cycle all the way from Burnett Heads to Kellys Beach in Bargara along the Coral Coast Pathways and take in the lovely coastal scenery along the way.
Bargara is the largest beach town in the region and is very popular with tourists, boasting fine surfing beaches at Kellys and Nielson Park beaches. Enjoy a family picnic of barbecue along the Esplanade with plenty of playgrounds and picnic tables.
Nearby is The Hummock, an extinct volcanic cone which is the district’s highest point, that offers 360 degree views of the area. It has a nature boardwalk which meanders through the last vestiges of the original Woongarra Scrub.
Mon Repos – Turtle Beach is well known as the largest and most accessible Turtle rookery in mainland Australia. The area is a conservation park designed to protect the turtles so access to the beach is limited during the nesting season. There are guided walks each night from November to late March to watch the Turtles nest.
At other times through the year Mon Repos is a popular swimming and sailing beach. At the southern end of the beach the estuary of Coachhouse Creeks drains a tidal mangrove community, and a variety of wildlife can be seen in this area.
We stayed at Moore Park Beach Holiday Park during our visit to Bundaberg, that is surrounded by the ocean on one side and a lagoon and park on the other side. The caravan sites here were large and grassy with some shady trees and it is pet friendly. Straight across the road from the caravan park there is a Bowls Club that offers meals.
There are caravan parks located at Elliot Heads, Burnett Heads Lighthouse, Miara and at two at Bargara.
Lady Elliot Island is the only coral island on the reef with an airstrip and is just a 25 minute scenic flight from Bundaberg. There is accommodation at the resort varying from beachfront suites to tent cabins where you can stay for a few days or longer. Activities include reef walking, snorkelling, scuba diving, Turtle tours, historical and night walks along with reef education.
Lady Musgrave Island can be reached by day cruise available from the Town of Seventeen Seventy and is completely ‘untouched’. The only accommodation option is camping and you need to bring along your own water, food, etc. The island has a navigable lagoon and there is plenty of marine life under the water to discover.
Divers are well catered for with dive facilities on both islands and specialized dive boats. Diving is not confined to the islands as there are dive sites just offshore at the Beaufort Bomber wreck, artificial reef and Evans Patch.
The Bundaberg region gives you a great taste of Queensland’s lifestyle. It was not only the delicious fresh farm produce, or the coral reefs fringing the rocky shorelines, or the beach resort town of Bargara, or the nesting Loggerhead Turtles at Mon Repos, that made it extremely appealing. But it was a total all-round, enjoyable holiday experience.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
Comments are closed.