Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Bundaberg

  • Published 2022/01/25

You won’t know where Bundaberg is, but you will surely recognize the international signature rum distillery that originated there.

And that’s exactly what Bundaberg is known for – a city that spews the most iconic rum ever made.

Yet Bundaberg is so much more than that.

Situated at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, it is one of the biggest sugarcane growing areas in Australia.

It doesn’t come as a surprise, then, that tourists from around the world consider Bundaberg a city teeming with wonderful attractions.

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the 20 best things to do in Bundaberg, Australia:

Drink the Best Rum at Bundaberg Rum Distillery

Front View of Bundaberg Rum Distillery

F Photography R /

Want to experience one of the best rums in the world?

Then Bundaberg Rum Distillery is the place you should head to.

It was established in 1888 and has risen to fame because of its iconic rum—not just in Australia but in the whole world.

In fact, as soon as you step into the city, you will be greeted by the brand’s unique polar bear icon almost in every corner.

Bundaberg Rum Distillery

GiselleA /

The distillery takes tours around the establishment, in which you can choose either a self-guided tour or a guided one.

The distillery experience of this amazing place is something everyone should experience at least once in their lives!

Stroll along Bourbong Street

Bourbong Street

ribeiroantonio /

Bundaberg’s Central Business District (CBD) came into being during the final decades of the nineteenth century as we know it today.

Much of the original architecture may still be found, notably along the main thoroughfare of Bourbong Street.

It is home to a wide variety of small businesses, hotels, restaurants, and other establishments.

Weeping fig trees erected in 1888 and the 1920s are a big part of the charm of the eastbound route from Buss Park, which is also highly scenic.

The Neoclassical Bundaberg School of Arts (184), established in 1889, and the Italianate Bundaberg Post Office (155) in 1891, are listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.

Take Some Instagram-worthy Photos at the Bundaberg Barrel

Front View of  Bundaberg Barrel

Alizada Studios /

Fitting yourself into a barrel is not weird anymore, thanks to Bundaberg’s The Barrel!

It is a ginger beer brewery and museum, shaped like a wooden barrel, with vintage charm and perfect beers.

It primarily showcases the deliciousness of Bundaberg’s Ginger Beer, which is sold in more than 30 countries across the world.

Front View of  Bundaberg Barrel

BTBB, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The tour of this place is a self-guided one, which informs the visitors about this amazing brewery, from its history to their special process of making this amazing, non-alcoholic ginger beer.

Along with the ginger beer, they also offer more than 15 tempting flavors and a large selection of Bundaberg Brewed Drinks.

Have a Blast at Bundy Bowl & Leisure Complex

Bowling alleys in Bundaberg, Queensland, such as the Bundy Bowl, are known for competitive and convivial atmospheres.

There are monthly training sessions for bowling center owners and managers from around Australia at Bundy Bowl & Leisure Centre in Queensland.

Bundy Bowl & Leisure Complex is a premier indoor amusement facility in Australia’s southeast region.

It has an indoor playground for youngsters featuring a dipper slide!

It also has a fantastic restaurant and a venue for children’s activities and parties.

Bundy Bowl & Leisure has been a mainstay of the Bundy neighborhood for 42 years, and generations of Junior League members have visited the facility.

Grab Some Beers at Bargara Brewing Company

Now that you know where to get the best rum, it’s time to explore one of the best breweries in Australia!

The Bargara Brewing Company, located on Tantitha Street, is the brainchild of Jack and Jacinta Millbank.

It is one of the most-visited microbreweries around the area, providing amazing quality brews made from local fruits and vegetables.

It also has distributors in South Korea, China, Japan, and Vietnam and has become the local favorite, at least on the eastern coast of Australia.

The ambiance here is great, and you can enjoy more than 15 brews of the Brewing Company.

Sip a Cup of Coffee at Indulge Café

Tucked away in the folds of urbanization in Bundaberg is a heritage-themed café shop called Indulge Café.

Proudly owned by Mitchell and Marleen White, the café makes sure that the ingredients used are locally sourced; the menu here is utterly delicious.

The café recently underwent a huge renovation, adding a new feature wall, aesthetically pleasing orange and golden hues, and a fresh feel.

Not only that, but they have also revamped their entire menu, except for their popular dishes.

The café won the Australian Good Food Guide 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards for its amazing service, food, and ambiance.

Some of the most-ordered dishes include macadamia maple butter, relish jams, an Umami burger, and the perfect Jasper coffee.

Wander around Bundaberg Regional Arts Gallery

Front View of Bundaberg Regional Arts Gallery

David Stanley from Nanaimo, Canada, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery (BRAG), located on Quay Street, is a beautiful visual arts facility, acting as the arts center in Bundaberg and the surrounding areas.

There are a number of varied local and national exhibitions, all of them spread in three exhibition halls within the gallery.

Along with that, the gallery also offers touring exhibitions and hosts visiting artists, workshops, educational programs, and kids’ activities.

There are guided tours taken around the facility for a thorough understanding of the place, ending at the neat little gift shop.

Take a Sightseeing Tour at Hinkler Hall of Aviation

View of Train at The Hinkler Hall of Aviation

Mr Privacy /

The Bundaberg Botanic Gardens are not all about plants and trees – there are also many other attractions that are food for the soul.

One of them is the Hinkler Hall of Aviation, a place built to honor Bert Hinkler, Australia’s first solo aviator.

The place is a gentle remembrance of the adventures Hinkler went on to, as well as the number of achievements he bagged in his life.

The hall is a dynamically built structure, full of immersive exhibits, a number of full-sized aircraft displays, and museum artifacts, including the popular glide simulators, the Hinkler House ‘Mon Repos,’ restored to its earlier glory and his relocated Southampton House.

Once you’ve gotten your Aviation experience to the fullest, stop by Café 1928 for some delicious snacks.

Learn about the Region’s Sugar Industry at Fairymead House Sugar History Museum

Explore the plantation house and envision what life was like on a sugar cane plantation in the late 1800s while you are fascinated by Indian bungalow architecture.

Learn about the pioneering Bundaberg sugar family, learn about the vast contribution made by the South Sea Islander population, and learn about the entire sugar production process, from cane to crystal.

The Fairymead House has been refurbished to its original splendor and perched atop the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens.

It was built in 1890, and it houses the Sugar History Museum, which chronicles the history of the local sugar industry from its very beginnings.

Fairymead House may also be rented out for special events, including weddings, birthday parties, and business meetings.

Fairymead House is the ideal spot if you need a unique setting for your special occasion.

Having your wedding photos taken at Fairymead House is a wonderful experience.

See the Nature’s Beauty at Bundaberg Botanic Gardens

Bundaberg Botanic Gardens

Nicole Patience /

Spread over 27 hectares in Bundaberg is the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens, one of the most-visited places in the city.

A labyrinth of wide pathways and boardwalks lead you to the different parts of the garden, including Chinese and Japanese gardens, a prehistoric garden, woodworkers’ guild, palm and friendship grove, Bromeliad garden, sclerophyll woodland, the Australian rainforest, bamboo garden, and the Hinkler Hall of Aviation.

The place in its entirety has more than 10,000 varieties of trees and shrubs.

The garden also boasts a wedding chapel, a nature-themed playground, and shaded picnic areas.

Feeding the ducks, enjoying a picnic, and relaxing amidst nature – that’s exactly what Bundaberg Botanic Gardens is all about.

Go Fishing at Burnett River

Aerial View of Burnett River

Martin Valigursky /

Slicing Bundaberg into two parts is the beautiful Burnett River, flowing through the area.

The river originates from the Burnett Range and terminates in the glittering Coral Sea.

At the conjunction point of the river and the sea is Burnett Heads, a quaint little coastal town and Port Bundaberg.

Burnett River

electra /

With its main attraction being Burnett Heads Lighthouse, the town boasts peaceful atmosphere, enough to calm you down.

The region surrounding the river is conducive for growing small crops and sugarcane.

See the Animals at Alexandra Park & Zoo

Just beside the Burnett River on Quay Street in Bundaberg is the beautiful Alexandra Park & Zoo.

It was established in 1911 and is one of the oldest working zoos in Queensland.

It is filled with shady trees and animals, like saltwater crocodiles, gazelles, kangaroos, a koala, whiptail wallabies, Rhesus Monkeys, pigeons, and even Angora Rabbit.

However, the important attraction was ‘Torty,’ a Madagascan Land Tortoise.

It died in 1984, approximately at the age of 137 years, making it the world’s longest-living tortoise.

See the Wildlife at Baldwin Swamp Environment Park

Little Red FLying Fox at Baldwin Swamp Environment Park

Mel Christi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hundreds of waterbirds may be seen on a boardwalk just a few blocks from Bundaberg’s central business district.

There are marsh, grasslands, eucalyptus, rainforest, and vine forests in the Baldwin Swamp Environment Park.

It is not uncommon to witness more than 50 different birds in a short stroll, which is remarkable given how near the area is to the city.

You’ll likely see quails, fairy-wrens, rainbow bee-eaters, and dollar birds; raptors like goshawks and bazas can also be found here.

Drink Some Wines at RiverFeast

Following the tradition of ‘Eat Local,’ Greg and Karen, Bundaberg Residents, started their own food market by the Burnett River, called RiverFeast.

It is a craft beer and a food alfresco dining venue – something no one ever tried in the city.

A boat-building shed is transformed every Friday and every third Sunday of the month to accommodate the swarming crowds of people coming there to eat, drink, and socialize.

More than 26 stalls, gazebos, and food trucks offer a seemingly infinite number of dishes from all the cuisines.

Munch on the amazing food, get drunk on the brewed beers, wines, and ciders, and enjoy the live music wafting through the riverside air!

Visit the Grunske’s by the River

If you are looking for the most delicious and freshest local seafood to buy or eat in Bundaberg, then Grunske’s by the River is the place to go!

This gem is also situated by the Burnett River and was established by Paul and Beryl more than 40 years ago.

A restaurant and a market in one, you can enjoy delicious seafood dishes on the wooden deck by the water.

Specializing in wild prawns, sea scallops, and fresh reef and estuary fish, Grunske’s is the only place where you will get your seafood processed on the spot.

Indeed, Grunske’s by the River is the ultimate seafood paradise!

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore the Changing Landscapes at Cania Gorge National Park

View of Cania Gorge National Park

Jackson Stock Photography /

With its dynamic, changing landscapes and the rock wallabies and wedge-tailed eagles calling it their home, the Cania Gorge National Park is an absolute natural wonder of Bundaberg.

It is a still-standing part of the Brigalow Belt Country filled with a variety of plant communities, including woodlands, a rainforest, grassland, and even a brigalow forest!

What makes Cania Gorge even more remarkable is the fact that 19,000 years ago, Aboriginal people resided in this place.

Cania Gorge National Park

RMHillphotography /

The evidence lies in the freehand art adorning the sandstone walls in the park.

There are around eight bushwalks, all of them leading to monolithic overhangs, gullies, and orchid-filled crevices.

This ancient wonder is an integral part of the Sandstone Wilderness of Queensland – and a must-see, might I add.

See the Turtles at Mon Repos Turtle Centre

Turtles are an important part of the animal kingdom, and Bundaberg’s Mon Repos Turtle Centre is working hard to preserve this species.

The largest concentration of nesting marine turtles in eastern Australia, Mon Repos Turtle Centre is a vital center to revive and protect the endangered loggerhead turtle.

This center is an absolute delight for animal lovers, as this is where information about turtles can be learned.

During the times of November-January and January-March, the beach is closed so that the female turtles can lay their eggs in peace – only limited tours are taken around this time.

The park in which the center is located is wholesome, where picnic tables are provided for the visitors.

Explore the Mystery of Mystery Craters

The Mystery Craters were discovered in 1971 when the place’s previous owner was busy plowing the field.

There are 35 craters peculiarly shaped that are more than 20 million years old, according to scientists.

Surprisingly, the craters have different characteristics – some can hold water, some can’t, while the rest fluctuate quite visibly.

This will place will truly astound you!

Final Thoughts

It’s not just Bundaberg Rum and Bundaberg Ginger Beer that make Bundaberg famous; it’s also its sugar business.

Just 50 yards from the shore, you’ll find a reef alive with marine life, a wide range of lodging options, and an abundance of farm-to-table cuisine.

Bundaberg is a must-see destination because of all the exciting things to do in the city.

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