Bundaberg is brimming with things to do, whether you want to kick back at a distillery or pass through the Southern gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.
Bundaberg is synonymous with vast swaths of sugarcane and barrels full of honey-coloured rum. Although most people come to town to visit the rum distillery, there’s plenty more to discover in the township and its surroundings.
Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff or a foodie – you’ll find plenty of incredible things to do in Bundaberg. We’ve rounded up some of our favourites below.
1. Visit the distilleries
Bundaberg is most famous for its rum, and for good reason. Not only is Bundaberg rum an Aussie staple – it’s a world-renown distiller that’s been studded with international prizes and awards.
Pay a visit to the Bundaberg Rum Distillery. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
Pay a visit to the Bundaberg distillery and immerse yourself in the craft of rum-making, where you’ll learn about the process from the sugar cane to the bottle. Rum aficionados can opt for the Blend Your Own Rum experience, where you’ll learn to create your own personalised blend (and receive two bottles to take home too).
If rum isn’t your drink of choice, there are plenty of other breweries in the region that are well worth a visit. For a non-alcoholic option, head down to the Bundaberg Barrel for a tour and a taste of Bundaberg’s famous craft-brewed soft drinks. We’ve also rounded up more distilleries and tours in Bundaberg, so you can choose your favourites.
Premium gins and vodkas are available at Kalki Moon Distillery. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
2. Get up close with turtles
Dubbed the gateway to the Southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, the Bundaberg region is brimming with luscious nature and fantastic wildlife.
Located on the coast just a 15-minute drive from Bundaberg, Mon Repos Turtle Centre offers visitors the opportunity to witness some of nature’s everyday miracles. With the largest concentration of turtles on the east coast, Mon Repos is the ideal place to get up close with these fascinating creatures.
Head to the conservation park at Mon Repos Turtle Centre. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
From November to January, you can join a guided tour to witness mother turtles laying their eggs in the sand. If you visit from January to March, you’ll get to see the adorable hatchlings emerge and scurry down toward the ocean. Be sure to book in advance, as these are popular tours.
Get a chance to witness a turtle nest hatching and release. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
3. Explore the beautiful beaches
Bundaberg is blessed in its proximity to a beautiful stretch of coastline where you can find idyllic beaches at your fingertips. And with sun-drenched days year round, there’s hardly ever a bad time to head to the coast.
Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort is hailed for its unspoiled beach and coral reefs. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
Whether you prefer bustling beach towns like Bargara or a patch of quiet coast, there are plenty of great spots to soak up some sun. We’ve written more on the best beaches close to Bundaberg here.
Witness scenic sunset views on Bargara Beach. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
4. Relax in the Botanic Gardens
The beautiful Bundaberg Botanic Gardens are spread over 27 hectares featuring a diverse array of plants. There are lots to discover, from Japanese and Chinese gardens to an Australian rainforest.
Take a step back in time in the prehistoric garden, or marvel at the fruits in the rare fruit orchard. There’s a picnic area where you can unwind and a cafe where you can grab a coffee while you soak up the environment. There are also some museums located within the botanical gardens – learn a bit more about each of them below.
Soak up relaxing nature views. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
5. Hinkler Hall of Aviation
Immerse yourself in local history at the Hinkler Hall of Aviation located in Bundaberg’s Botanic Gardens. The museum celebrates the achievement of Bundaberg-born Bert Hinkler, an aviation pioneer and inventor.
Hinkler was the first person to fly solo from England to Australia, and the first person to fly solo across the South Atlantic Ocean. Head down to Hinkler Hall to learn more about Bert’s achievements and discover unique museum artefacts, including full-sized aircraft exhibits.
See various types of aircraft at Hinkler Hall of Aviation. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
6. Fairymead House Sugar History Museum
Take a step back in time in a heritage-listed homestead with a visit to the Fairymead Sugar History Museum.
Here, you’ll learn about the history of sugar in Bundaberg in all its complexity – from pioneering families to the industry’s dark colonial past with indentured labour. The beautiful house is a fascinating way to get acquainted with Australian history, as well as learn about the process of creating sugar from cane to crystal.
Discover how the Fairymead House maintained its glory through the years.
7. Cafe hop around town
With a reputation as the food bowl of Australia, Bundaberg has some of the country’s finest produce located right on its doorstep. Take some time to kick back at the cafes and eateries to sample some delicious local produce served up with creative culinary flair.
Whether you’d prefer to brunch by Bargara beach or dine alongside the river, we’ve rounded up the best cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy the region’s best eats.
Stop by the Windmill Cafe to order some fruity acai bowl. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
8. Grab a drink
It’s hard to pass through the rum capital of Australia without grabbing a drink. Luckily, you’ll be spoiled for choice, with a great range of pubs and bars to choose from.
The Bundaberg Rum distillery has a bar where you can sample a range of Bundaberg Rum products. Alternatively, Ballistic Bargara’s Brewery is the perfect spot to enjoy a craft beer by the beach.
If you have a penchant for historic buildings, then head down to the Old Bundy Tavern to quench your thirst. We’ve rounded up more of the best places to grab a drink here.
Exploring inside Bundaberg Rum Distillery is always a rewarding experience. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
9. Alexandra Park Zoo
Get up close with some of Australia’s most fascinating native wildlife at Alexandra Park Zoo. The Zoo has been delighting visitors since it opened in 1911 and has grown to be one of the Bundaberg region’s most popular attractions.
One of the highlights is the opportunity to see the rare and endangered cotton-top tamarin (which is just as cute as it sounds) and learn about the zoo’s conservation efforts.
Large amphibians like green tree frogs roam freely around Alexandra Park Zoo.
10. Day trip to Lady Musgrave Island
Explore the beauty and abundant marine life of the Great Barrier Reef with a trip to Lady Musgrave Island. Located a two-hour boat trip from Bundaberg, it’s one of the Barrier Reef’s most untouched islands.
Grab a snorkel or head out on a glass-bottomed boat trip and witness a kaleidoscope of colour beneath the water’s surface. Here, you can encounter turtles, manta rays and a fascinating array of marine life. Tours leave from the Bundaberg Port Marina.
Navigate the pristine waters of Lady Musgrave Island. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)