Bundaberg prides itself as the Southern Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The city lies near the southern end of the reef in proximity to Lady Elliot and Lady Musgrave Islands. Though it is seen as a regional centre, Bundaberg has become a popular weekend and holiday/vacation destination for Brisbane residents, and consequently the city has developed facilities and attractions to cater for them.

Where is it?: Queensland: Burnett/Fraser Coast. Bundaberg is 366 km north of Brisbane, 14 km from the mouth of the Burnett River.

Things to see and do

Attractions around town include tours of Bundaberg Rum Distillery, a ginger beer factory and a well laid out Botanical Gardens with a a wedding chapel, plant nursery, shaded picnic areas, themed boardwalks, Japanese gardens and children’s playground. Within the gardens precinct is the Hinkler Hall of Aviation and its exhibits including Hinkler House and Fairymead House, Café 1928, the Bundaberg & District Historical Museum, the Australian Sugarcane Railway and the nearby Bundaberg Railway Museum.

Natural features: Burnett River ;Bunker Group; Lady Elliot Island; Lady Musgrave Island National Park; The Hummock (a low-lying volcanic remnant); Burrum Coast National Park (23 100 ha, Palm Beach; Burnett Heads, Oaks Beach; Baraga Beach; Kellys Beach; Theodolite Creek; Gregory and Burrum Rivers); Barubbra Island Environmental Park; Mouth of Baffle Creek Environmental Park

Built features: Bundaberg Rum Distillery; Tropical Winery; Bundaberg Ginger Beer Factory; Avocado Grove; Boyd's Antiquatorium.

Heritage features: pioneer aviator Bert Hinkler's House; Commercial Bank building (1891); Post Office; School of Arts building (1889); Christ Church; The Water Tower; St John's Lutheran Church (features texts from The Bible in huge letters); Schmeider's Cooperage and Craft Centre; The Botanical Gardens and the Museum


• June: Bundaberg Regional Show
• June: Gayndah orange Festival
• July: Childers Festival of Cultures
• August (biennial); Wide Bay Australia International Airshow
• November: Wide Bay Australia Bundy Thunder Power Boat Spectacular
• November: Bundaberg Gemfair

Surrounding area

Visitors to Bundaberg can enjoy beachcombing and dolphin spotting from the pristine shores of Bargara and The Coral Coast, just a short 15 minute drive from the city centre. Mon Repos Turtle Rookery (14km east) celebrates and preserves Australia’s most significant mainland turtle-nesting beach. The majesty and uniqueness of the Great Barrier Reef can be experienced at the coral cays of Lady Elliot Island and Lady Musgrave Island, or the Fitzroy Reef Lagoon and the magnificent fringing reefs of the Woongarra Marine Park right on the shoreline of the Coral Coast.

Bundaberg offers close access to a number of seaside villages, stretching from Buxton and Woodgate Beach in the south, through to Coral Cove, Innes Park, Elliott Heads, Bargara, Burnett Heads, Moore Park and Burrum Coast National Park, featuring long sandy stretches of beach with safe swimming year round.

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About Bundaberg

With a population of just over 50,000, Bundaberg lies on the Burnett River, approximately 385 kilometres north of the Queensland capital of Brisbane. Bundaberg is a major centre within Queensland's Wide Bay-Burnett region. The combined population of Bundaberg and surrounding Burnett Shire is about 74,000. Bundaberg is projected to have a population of 92,000 by 2016.

The city's name is thought to be an artificial combination of bunda, the Kabi Aboriginal word denoting important man and the German suffix berg indicating mountain. The city is colloquially known as "Bundy". The local Aboriginal group is the Gurang Gurang (goo-rang goo-rang) people. Bundaberg has sister city agreements with Nanning, China and Settsu City, Japan.

Subtropical Bundaberg is dependent to a large extent on the local sugar industry. Extensive sugar cane fields extend throughout the district, and value-adding operations such as the milling and refinement of sugar and its packaging and distribution are located around the city. A bulk terminal for the exportation of sugar is located on the coast east of Bundaberg. Another of the city's better-known exports is Bundaberg Rum, which is made from the sugar cane by-product molasses. Bundaberg is also home to beverage producer Bundaberg Brewed Drinks.

Brief history

Bundaberg was founded by timbergetters John and Gavin Steuart and Lachlan Tripp in 1867. The first farmers in the area arrived soon after. Timber was the first established industry in Bundaberg. In 1868, a sawmill was erected on the Burnett River, downstream from the Steuart and Watson holdings. The city was surveyed, laid out and named Bundaberg in 1870. Experimental sugar cane growing in the district followed and a successful industry grew. The early sugar industry in Bundaberg was supported by Kanaka labour. Bundaberg was gazetted a town in 1902 and a city in 1913. Bundaberg was the location of a health-related disaster in 1928, when 12 children died shortly after receiving injections of diphtheria vaccine.

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