Bring it on Bundy – Insider Guide to Bundaberg

Iso life is nearly over. With the kids going back to school, now’s the time to start thinking about family time outside the home. 

We are luckier than most. We live in the Wide Bay, on the Queensland coast. Bundaberg is a great place for families – wide open spaces; clean, fresh air, and delectable treats growing right on our doorstep. Family friendly, it’s a great place to build childhood memories with your loved ones.

Get outside and get active in beautiful Bundaberg. Credit: Sam Ephraims

Pack your scooters and togs – what are you waiting for? Welcome to Bundy!

Beaches

We’ve made the most of our local beaches during isolation. It’s so easy to socially distance ourselves on our long, empty beaches. 

Bundy’s good at beaches, that’s for sure! Credit: Sam Ephraims

Whether it’s a run on the wide, white sands of Elliott Heads or a walk along the rocky coastline of Burnett Heads, the Bundaberg region has an abundance of ocean walks. 

Sunset at Elliott Heads is a real treat – particularly at low tide when the sand seems to stretch on forever. Southern visitors often take advantage of our balmy Winter weather – with the temperature rarely dropping below 25 degrees – to snorkel and surf. 

Any number of Bundaberg beaches make for perfect sunset viewing spots. Credit: Sam Ephraims

Choose from a range of coastal walks – our favourite starts at the far south end of Burnett Heads and winds through wetlands, forest and salt marshes through to Neilsen Beach, Bargara. The approximately 5km walk passes by Mon Repos Turtle Centre. The wide, flat path makes this perfect for scooters, or just a leisurely walk along the coast. 

We love turtle season, but as it runs only half a year, we don’t always get to share it with visitors. In 2019, the Turtle Discovery Centre opened. This gives visitors the opportunity to have a simulated turtle experience in the low season. Our kids love dressing up and pretending to be turtle rangers – measuring and caring for turtles. The centre is complete with an indoor beach and projections simulating a summer’s night. 

Learn your way around a turtle at the Turtle Discovery Centre. Credit: Sam Ephraims

Farm fresh produce

Bundaberg is known as a ‘food bowl’ and many local restaurants take the ‘paddock to plate’ philosophy very seriously. Not just for rum, Bundy is a serious foodie haven! 

We’ve missed lots of joyful celebrations while lockdown has been in action. I’m really looking forward to some gourmet picnic hampers with special friends over the next few months. The Picnic Basket specialises in just this – beautiful settings and farm fresh foods. What a perfect treat to enjoy with those you love.  Unlike a fancy restaurant, the kids are free to run and play while you enjoy a gourmet meal. Amanda does all the hard work of setting up and packing up, leaving you to relax in comfort and style. 

The Picnic Basket is all about stunning, stress-free outings in secret spots. Credit: Supplied

Tinaberries is one of our favourite places to visit over Winter. We’re looking forward to making more happy memories here with friends and visitors in the coming months. Tinaberries opens all year round – offering ice-cream flavoured with their beautiful fruits through the summer months, and a pick your own experience from August to October. The farm offers beautiful, lush green lawns with picnic areas – perfect for a lazy catch up with friends. Kids can enjoy playing with large outdoor games – jenga, connect-four and other old favourites. The farm shop has a range of goodies on offer – why not take home a bag of frozen strawberries or some gourmet jams and sauces? Entry is free. 

Strawberry smiles: get your hands on some fresh Bundy produce. Credit: Sam Ephraims

Camping

There are lots of great places to camp in our tropical backyard, but the one we’re most excited about is Splitter’s Farm. The farm has been a refuge for homeless animals for several years, with the gates opening to visitors just last year. 

Splitter’s Farm now offers a self-guided tour to enable visitors to comply with social distance requirements. Kids can get up-close with a range of baby animals and there are lovely places to set up a picnic and just enjoy the outdoors. 

Share your stay with these cute companions at Splitter’s Farm. Credit: Supplied

While this working farm is a safe haven for neglected barnyard animals, it’s also home to many native Australian species. The perfect place to photograph Australian bird life and wallabies – maybe you’ll even be lucky enough to spot a platypus!

With camping due to open over the Winter, we’re really looking forward to being able to wake up to the sound of cows and sheep just outside our tent. Visitors can indulge in their love of fishing in the fresh water creek, or even take a kayak for a paddle. Even better, every guest helps to save local animals, just by visiting. Visitors: from $18. Camping TBA

A delightful, family-focused farm stay. Credit: Supplied.

Isolation made me appreciate the beauty that ‘home’ has to offer. We are so blessed to live in beautiful Bundaberg. Come for the warm sunny days and explore the delights of our slice of paradise!

See you soon!

Bundaberg – the details:

Getting there:  Bundaberg is 360km north of Brisbane – a comfortable four hour drive up the Bruce Highway. Flights from Brisbane arrive daily.

Best time to visit: The winter months are glorious in Bundaberg, perfect for sunny walks along the beach – or visit through the Summer for swimming and turtle watching. 

Weather: Winter months are dry with temperatures in the low to mid twenties. Summer brings humidity and a short wet season – with daily temperatures above 30 degrees. 

Best for kids: of all ages, but primary schoolers will love exploring via scooter.  

This story is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas

READ MORE:

Beyond the Barrier Reef in North Queensland

Top Indigenous experiences in north Queensland

Best mini-breaks from Brisbane

This story first appeared in Family Travel magazine. To subscribe or read back issues of the magazine, click here.

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