There are so many things to do with kids in Bundaberg, from beautiful places, to fun activities. Only five hours’ drive north from Brisbane, Bundaberg can be easily reached within a day. These are our recommendations for things to do while you enjoy the Bunderberg Region.
Things to do in Bundaberg for families
Once in Bundaberg, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches and places to stay. There is the gorgeous Woodgate Beach, a 16 km stretch of sand with a caravan park and holiday houses for rent. Further on (about 14 min drive from Bundaberg) is the beautiful seaside town of Bargara that has two caravan parks, apartments along the waterfront, and a cafe precinct on the water with a la carte, pub food and fish and chip options. If you prefer to self cater, there is a full sized supermarket on the way into Bargara, and, if alfresco is your thing, there are lovely barbecues, sheltered tables and a children’s playground on the esplanade with uninterrupted views of the sea.
Once settled in your accommodation, there is a range of amazing activities for adults and kids in Bundaberg Region, including patrolled beaches and gentle surf, snorkelling straight from the shore, and you can even book day trips to the nearby islands.
Family activities at the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens
The Bundaberg Botanic Gardens is a tranquil oasis with a number of attractions. There are shady play areas and a lovely lagoon with a cafe, a railway museum and the sugar mill tour. The highlight is the Hinkler Museum and house, which pays homage to Bert Hinkler, a local boy born in 1892 whose achievements included flying solo from England to Australia and the first solo flight across the Atlantic in 1931. The museum includes many interactive exhibits, including glider and flight simulators, video footage and the opportunity to try your hand at the ‘Hinkler two step’ to 1930’s music.
Bundaberg Rum Distillery Tour
If you have a thirst to quench after all that activity, there are plenty of opportunities to acquaint yourself with the various brewed drinks Bundaberg has to offer. Tours are available for both Bundaberg soft drinks (free ginger beer kids?) and the Bundaberg Rum Distillery. Whilst initially unsure about kids on a distillery tour, they can be fascinated by the science (think yeast fermentation, time to ‘cooper’ or make the barrels, and the history of why rum started)….. and it is great to experience a local icon. If you are keen on the distillery tours, they can be booked online in advance at www.bundabergrum.com.au/tours so you are sure to get a spot.
BRAG – Bundaberg’s Regional Art Gallery
An unexpected gem in Bundaberg is the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery (BRAG). A funky exterior facelift to an old colonial building makes its mark on the outside and it is a joy to walk around on the inside. Exhibitions vary but they also have a workshops are and an impressive gallery shop. The gallery also has play spaces for little ones to entertain themselves and create.
What is Mon Repos?
Mon Repos is a Conservation Park (including beach) that contains a very important turtle rookery with the biggest group of nesting turtles on the East Coast of Australia. It is less that 10 minutes from Bagara. Mon Repos (French for ‘my rest’) was named after the holiday house that once stood nearby and that was built and named by a local sugar merchant. Every year, from November to March, Green and Loggerhead Turtles lay their eggs and, when ready, the turtle hatchlings return to the sea.
Mon Repos Turtle Encounters – guided tours to watch nesting and hatching turtles – begin around 7pm at night as you wait for rangers to take you down to the beach. In low light, and if you are lucky, you will see a mother turtle digging her nest to bury her eggs and then watch as she returns to the sea (generally taking place from November to January).
From January to March, the eggs begin to hatch and the baby turtles (hatchlings) make their journey down the sand to return to the sea. When you return to to Turtle Centre, you can buy a certificate with the details of the turtle you saw (for a small sum) and a memento of an experience of a lifetime.
If you are thinking of visiting the turtles we would recommend booking ahead, as there is a set number of spots each night. After meeting at the centre, you are sorted into groups to go down to the beach in order of your booking date, which means if you book earlier you are up for an earlier evening.
The beach is home to the Mon Repos Turtle Centre, managed by National Parks and Wildlife. The Turtle Tales (ticketed) exhibit back at the centre is well worth a visit. Kid’s will love learning more about these majestic animals through interactive exhibits.
Bagara Turtle Playground
If the kid’s have come down with a case of turtle fever then head over to Bargara’s turtle playground where kids can slide down a giant turtle’s flipper and splash around in the turtle tracks water play area. This is a seaside playground with cafes nearby, perfect for some respite for you and for the kids. Enjoy Bagara Turtle playground at 59 Esplanade, Bargara.
If you’ve worked up an appetite than head straight to local landmark, The Windmill Café. What kid doesn’t love having a meal inside an out-of-the-box structure? The iconic restaurant serves up delicious juices, gigantic burgers, ice cold acai bowls, and more! Top tip: The café is dog friendly and even offer ‘doggy gelato’ and the occasional homemade treats for your fur baby. Find the Windmill Cafe at 12 See Street, Bargara.
Guided Tour at Splitter’s Farm
Splitter’s Farm just outside of Bundaberg is home to more than 400 rescue animals. Brisbane Kids will love popping into the pig pen for muddy cuddles, letting baby goats climb on their backs and feeding sweet potatoes to horses, cows, sheep, alpaca and more! The perfect way to end your guided tour is with a beautifully catered gourmet picnic. The team provide everything from the picnic rug to pillows – all you have to do is pre-select your order. Find Splitters Farm at 205 Blairs Road, Sharon.
Stop by Tinaberries charming farming gate ice cream shop to try their homemade strawberry and passionfruit ice cream. There is even giant games of tic tac toe and Jenga to help kid’s burn off the sugar. You can find Tinaberries at 15 Zinks Rd, Woongarra.
Top tip: During the winter you can purchase a punnet of their delicious strawberries, in the spring the whole family can pick their own and of course, the incredibly ice cream is available all-year-round.