Bundaberg may not spring to mind when we say ‘vacay’, but stay with us on this one. Apart from being the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the home to thousands of adorable turtles, Bundaberg and its surrounding region offers up countless options for holiday entertainment.
We managed to score ourselves some quality downtime amongst the cane fields of Bundaberg and teamed up with Virgin Australia Holidays to bring you this epic guide to the mini break destination you’ve probably never heard of.
Small towns offer more than meets the eye—lucky for you, we have all the hot spots to hit when you visit.
Obviously a visit to the Bundaberg Distillery is a non-negotiable when you’re in the drinks namesake town. Born in 1888, as the result of a pretty epic life hack, local sugar millers turned excess molasses into the much more valuable rum. And now you can witness the glory for yourself.
Lady Musgrave Island
The Lady Musgrave Island Experience swaps your stress for turtles, the Great Barrier Reef, and at least one pic for Insta to make all your co-workers jealous. Snorkel your day away, laze on the beach or take things deeper and go diving, but what ever you do, don’t miss Lady Musgrave Island.
Amandine Lavender Farm
If there’s anything that takes a relaxing holiday and turns it up a chill-notch, it’s lavender. Armadine Lavender Farm sits outside Bundaberg in Bargara and is our idea of a pretty picturesque day out (once again, the Instagram potential here is epic). Amble through fields of lavender before sampling oodles and oodles of lavender products.
Burrum Coast National Park
If you’re looking for kilometers of secluded beaches you’re guaranteed to be alone on, Burrum Coast National Park is your spot. If you’re feeling adventurous head for Kinkuna—a section of coast famous for its 4WD action—or, if you prefer to stick to the path more travelled, then Woodgate has your name written all over it with its beautiful boardwalk and walking tracks.
Adorable coastal town, Bargara is a short, scenic drive from Bundaberg to the coast. Check out their array of uber-fresh seafood options and white, sandy beaches while you’re there. Bonus tip—if you hit up Bargara in turtle season you can see the little guys hatch!
Lady Elliot Island
Lady Elliot Island is a must visit when in Bundaberg if you plan on soaking up the reef experience. Located in an uber protected green zone, Lady Elliot Island is a sanctuary for thousands of unique species like manta rays, turtles and other fish you'll recognise from finding Nemo. Fun fact: Lady Elliot Island is home to the only airstrip on the Great Barrier Reef.
Surprise! You guys, Bundaberg is Australia’s tomato capital. Plus, its fertile soil means pretty much everything you can imagine grows here, so you know the locale produce is going to be good.
Mammino Gourmet Ice-Cream
Mammino ice cream is the region’s best-kept secret—take our word for it, this ice cream is next level delish. The macadamia-based ice cream aficionados will you show you how they do things and let you sample (read: eat everything) their flavours when you stop by for a visit.
Sometimes a liquid lunch is best, and that’s where Childers comes in. Home to four wineries, you’ll want to reserve a full day for hopping between the cellar doors and dining on the deliciousness that awaits. Hill of Promise Winery will not only fill your belly with wine, they’ll also offer up food matching tips. Ohana Winery and Exotic Fruits ups your wine craving, and presents you with liqueurs made from the exotic fruit they grow on site. For the health conscious among us, Vinters Secret Vineyard does everything organic. As well as wine you’ll find secret gardens, friendly (and cute) animals and cheese platters as far as the eye can see.
Indulge isn’t your regular café…these guys won most popular café in Queensland for 2016. Indulge source their produce from a tight local radius to deliver the finest example of Bundaberg’s produce around. Try the ale brioche with cider-creamed onions!
Bargara Brewing Company
Taste the local tipple at Bargara Brewing Company. (Our PM paid a visit last week so you know it's good.) Stop by for a tasting and snacks; with beers named Drunk Fish and Thirty Turtles, we think you're going to love this place as much as we do.
Bundaberg Ginger Beer
Bundaberg Ginger Beer pretty much runs through our veins in Queensland, so it's kind of essential to sip on Bundaberg Ginger Beer when in Bundy. You can even check out the factory where it's made for a tour.
Obviously now your itinerary is packed you’ll want to know where to stay. Don’t worry; we’ve got that covered too.
C Bargara Resort
For beach-front views, C Bargara is the perfect spot to put your feet up. Kick back in your apartment, laze by the pool and tend to your food belly from this charming base in Bargara.
The Point Resort
The Point offers self-contained living in a chic modern setting with insane views of the ocean. The beach is literally at your door step here, plus, they have mini golf.
Alexandra Apartments are our pick for your home away from home when visiting Bundaberg. Based in the centre of Bundaberg, you’ll feel right at home in these private well-appointed units—except that you’re on holiday having a much better time.
For a touch of luxe to your trip we can’t go past Manta Bargara. Sipping local wine as you watch the sunset over the Coral Sea from your balcony? Yes please!
Kelly's Beach Resort
Kick back in 2.2 hectares of landscaped gardens only 4 minutes walk from the beach in your private villa at Kelly's Beach Resort.
Getting to Bundaberg just got a whole lot easier. The legends at Virgin Australia Holidays are making discovering Bundaberg easy as pie with their nifty holiday packages—check ‘em out here.
Editor's note: This article is proudly sponsored by Virgin Australia Holidays and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make The Urban List possible.
Image credit: Tourism & Events Queensland