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Bundaberg is home to a polar bear with a penchant for hard liquor but there’s more to this friendly provincial town than Bundaberg Rum. “Bundy”, as it is affectionately known, provides one fifth of Queensland’s sugar crop and is just 16 kms away from Bargara, a pretty seaside suburb with a good surf beach and a burgeoning reputation as the place to be seen. The compact CBD has wide tree-lined streets and is easy to navigate on foot and the moderate climate ensures you won’t work up a sweat.

Bundaberg dining

Teaspoon serves seriously good coffee and has a great value breakfast special. Grab a decadent muffin to go for morning tea. 10 Targo St, (07) 4154 4456.

Melting Moments Kafe is popular with local business folk and has a pleasant laid-back vibe. 54 Bourbong St, (07) 4151 0033.

Indulge in a specialty burger at Indulge Cafe or choose from sandwiches, panini, pasta and salads. Local sweet tooths flock here for fabulous cakes. 80 Bourbong St, (07) 4154 2344.

Kacy’s Restaurant, a local favourite for special occasion dining, serves Mod-Oz food that is well worth a trip to Bargara. Order something special from the impressive cellar which boasts over 2500 bottles of top Australian and International wine. Cnr Bauer St & Esplanade, Bargara, (07) 4130 1100.

The Old Bundy tavern serves Modern Australian meals in relaxed surroundings. 20 Quay Street, (07) 4153 1972.

H2O Bar & Bistro is a nice spot for sunset drinks followed by dinner. Classy and laidback with a focus on seafood and local produce. 7 Quay Street, (07) 4155 8777.

Visit when it is turtle season at Mon Repos
Visit when it is turtle season at Mon Repos

Bundaberg things to do

Mon Repos Beach, 15 kms east of Bundaberg, is one of the two largest Loggerhead turtle rookeries in the South Pacific Ocean. It costs less than $12 to access the visitor centre and viewing area and see turtles nesting (Nov to Feb) and hatching (Jan to Mar).

Tours of the Bundaberg Rum Distillery run every hour and offer a fascinating insight into the history and production of this famous local drop. There’s also a Blend Your Own Rum experience which you get the chance to be a Master Distiller. (07) 4154 5480, (07) 4131 2999.

Catch a bus or drive 16 kms east of Bundaberg to the pretty beachside town of Bargara. It’s a great place for a swim or a walk on the beach.

Disclosure: The writer visited Bundaberg as a guest of the operators.

The Travel Temple has travel guides for Toowoomba, Hobart, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Mackay, Rockhampton, and Hervey Bay.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.