The name Bundaberg is most strongly associated with the spirit Bundaberg Rum or Bundy as it's affectionately known. It is a very popular drink in Australia and is available straight, or premixed with coke which is available on tap or in cans. There is far more than this to the city however, as it has an interesting history of slavery and tourism and boasts excellent access to some of Australia's proudest national heritage sights. The settlement began to exploit timber, once this resource was exhausted they moved to maize and when this failed they settled on sugar cane. The industry used kanaka labour, a phrase which refers to Melanesian people who were effectively kidnapped through a process called blackbirding. This slightly dubious term involved luring the people aboard through the promise of treasures, a pleasure cruise or on the pretence of religious missionary work and then enslaving them. This method is no longer employed, and backpackers are enticed instead with the promise of interesting outdoor work, reasonable wages and bearable accommodation. The reality can be fairly gruelling but there should be plenty of other people to moan and spend the earnings with. The centre itself is not massively inspiring, but definitely has more to it than the majority of visitors, who do so in transit and so rarely make it beyond the bus station, assume. In summary Bundaberg and its surrounding region justify a far longer look than its reputation and position on the tourist map suggest.


Turtle Watching - Mon Repos beach, located 14km north of Bundaberg itself acts as the annual nest site (rookery to use the correct nomenclature) for the green and leatherback turtles. Their method of long-distance navigation is still a mystery, but each year the creatures miraculously make their way back to lay at the site they themselves were born. The area is a protected environmental park and the only way to observe this enchanting spectacle is with a local guide. The evenings begin with a presentation and very informative talk giving background to the animals and environmental threats they face. Later on visitors are invited to take a walk along the beach for the chance to see either mating or hatching depending on season. The evenings are incredibly well organised, and even if you're not lucky enough to witness any live action, the visitors centre and staff still make it an excellent evening's entertainment.

Scuba Diving - Bundaberg is located at the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef and is one of the cheapest places on East Coast to learn to dive. Although the diving may not be quite as good as further up the coast its still one of the most beautiful and rewarding places to learn with rich species diversity of marine mammals, fish and corals. There a several different dive schools in Bargara, a nearby hamlet, which instruct divers and help them to explore the sights of Barolin Rocks and the associated wildlife. To explore the reef without donning an air tank there are day cruises to Lady Musgrove Island that allow snorkelling among the reef. There is also beach accommodation and the famous beachside golf at Bargara.

Botanical Gardens - There are over five hundred hectares of parkland in Bundaberg, the most interesting include the botanical garden with its water lily lagoons and Alexandra park with its Victorian architecture and small zoo.


There is a main shopping centre on the corner of Maryborough and George St, which has a good selection of fashion and music outlets as well as two large grocery shops. There is late night shopping on Thursday, with most places remaining open until 9pm. [http://www.sugarlandtownsquare.com Sugar Land Town Square] is a vibrant complex including a gym, various shops, places to eat and hosts many of the city�s premier events such as free music events.

Nightlife and Eating Out

The Grand Hotel is one of the most popular choices for cheap meals with the backpacking crowd as are the cheap pizzas at Numero Uno on Bourbong Street. Les Chefs serves up more hearty meals consisting of all sorts of steaks and seafood, prepared in a range of different styles from across the world. The Eastern Peals Chinese Restaurant serves up more budget international food, although it is arguably just as good if you're not fussy about the d�cor. The evenings can be quite rowdy despite the absence of clubs or massive bars which have appeared along the coast to cash in on the backpacker crowd. The Grand Hotel gets quite busy and is a good place to start and there are a few other bars and pubs worth looking at dotted around such as the B & C disco. The hostels can get quite rowdy in the evenings with backpackers chipping in and devouring a few bottles of the local tipple.

Tourist Information

Bundaberg City Visitors Centre

  • Address: 186 Bourbong Street
  • Telephone: 4153 9289
Bunderburg Regional Visitors Centre
  • Address: 271 Boubong Street
  • Telephone: 4153 8888
  • Email: info@bdtdb.com.com.au
  • Website: [http://www.bundabergregion.info www.bundabergregion.info]


Originally an RAF training school, [http://bundaberg.qld.gov.au/tourism/airport/ Bundaberg Airport] is now run by the council and has its own proper passenger terminal, although facilities are limited. There are eight flights a day between Brisbane and Bundaberg, and one connecting it to Cairns. The airport also sees airshows and displays such as the [http://www.widebayairshow.com.au/ Wide Bay Australia International Airshow]. The nearest international airport is at [http://www.brisbaneairport.com.au Brisbane], which can be reached in an hour by plane, seven hours by coach or five hours using the Tilt Train. The airport services the rest of Australia and the world, although most long-haul flights involve connections at Sydney or New Zealand. Most hotels offer door to door transfers to the Airport for a small fee, although those on a tight budget may prefer to take the train.

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