Surrounded by sugar cane and tropical fruit plantations, Bundaberg is best known for its namesake exports: Bundaberg Rum and Bundaberg Ginger Beer. However, this riverside city has more to offer than beverages—it’s well situated for exploring the Coral Sea coast, with tropical parks, coral cays, and wildlife-filled islands on its doorstep.
Bundaberg’s rum-making legacy is revealed at the town’s top attraction—the Bundaberg Rum Distillery, where you can tour the working distillery and take part in guided tastings. Afterwards, take a stroll or ride the sugar cane train around the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens, enjoy a scenic cruise along the Burnett River, or visit the Bundaberg Barrel ginger beer factory. It’s just a short drive from town to the coastal village of Bargara, where you can hit the beach or visit the Mon Repos Conservation Park, a popular place to spot green, flatback and loggerhead turtles.
Things to know before you go
- Bundaberg offers a quieter alternative to coastal resorts such as Hervey Bay and Rainbow Beach, especially during the summer months, and has plenty of options for accommodation and restaurants.
- Bundaberg is a great destination for foodies and visiting the farms, orchards, and plantations is a popular pastime, where you can purchase fresh strawberries, macadamias, ginger, and other fruits and vegetables.
- The center of Bundaberg is easy to get around on foot (and accessible for wheelchairs and strollers), but it’s worth hiring a car to explore the nearby attractions.
How to get there
Bundaberg is located 225 miles (365 kilometers) north of Brisbane, or about a 4-hour drive along the Bruce Highway. Regular trains connect Brisbane and Bundaberg, a 4.5-hour journey. Ferries to and from Fraser Island run from nearby Hervey Bay, just over an hour’s drive from Bundaberg. Public transport is limited, so it’s best to join a tour if you don’t have your own transport.
When to get there
Bundaberg is busiest during the summer months (November to March), when the beaches fill up with sunseekers and turtles can be seen nesting along Mon Repos Beach. Winter visitors can still enjoy plenty of sunny days, and whale-watching cruises are possible along the coast from August through October.
Day Trips and Cruises from Bundaberg
For those wanting to explore further afield, day and multi-day cruises from Bundaberg set sail for the southern Great Barrier Reef. Visit Lady Musgrave or Lady Elliot islands, where you can snorkel or scuba dive along the coral reefs or head ashore to hike around the island, go bird-watching, or visit the Musgrave lagoon. Just south of Bundaberg lies Fraser Island, where popular activities include a 4WD excursion along 75 Mile Beach and a soak in the Champagne Pools.