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
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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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.
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.