The ultimate Foodies weekend guide to Bundaberg on the Coast of Queensland
Looking for the perfect long weekend getaway within 4-5 hours driving distance from Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast? Well, add Bundaberg to your list! Not only is Bundaberg home to pristine private beaches, gorgeous sunsets and the Great Barrier Reef, it is also a food and drinks haven! Did you know Bundaberg produces 25% of the nation’s fresh produce and is the largest producer in Australia of macadamia nuts and sweet potato? With so many local farms around, you can pretty much guarantee that anywhere you eat will be farm to plate fresh!
Follow our weekend guide to make the most out of 3 days in Bundaberg!
Getting to Bundaberg, Queensland:
We recommend packing the car and road-tripping to Bundaberg! It’s a 5.5 hours’ drive from The Gold Coast, 4.5 hours from Brisbane of 3.5 hours from the Sunshine Coast. Alternatively, Qantas offers direct 30-minute flights into Bundaberg from Brisbane for a daily schedule.
Where to Stay in Bundaberg: Bargara Beach
Wondering where to stay in Bundaberg? We recommend booking beachfront accommodation in Bargara. Here you can enjoy the relaxed life with afternoon sunset walks on the esplanade, plus there are plenty of good cafes and restaurants to choose from. Bargara is only a 15-minute drive from the Central Bundaberg CBD area and 10 - 15 minutes to Elliot Heads or Burnett Heads Beaches.
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Your ultimate Foodie Weekend Itinerary in Bundaberg:
Friday Afternoon - Enjoy fresh seafood at Grunske’s by the River:
Start your morning early and road trip toward Bundaberg, aiming to reach by lunchtime on a Friday. We recommend your first stop to be Grunske’s by the River. It will give you a beautiful first impression of Bundaberg, with dining tables overlooking the glistening Burnett River. Grunske’s is one of the few seafood processors in Queensland that deal directly with the public, 100% of the locally caught seafood will go straight on your plate. They have a team of processors that work daily to peel prawns, fillet the freshly caught fish and prepare the seafood for customers. You can either dine-in or take away.
Visit the Hummock Lookout:
On your way out to your accommodation in Bargara, detour to the top of the Hummock Lookout. It is a great way to start your trip giving you the context of the landscape around Bundaberg. This is the only hill in Bundaberg, which was once a volcano, having eroded after a major eruption. It left fresh volcanic soil making it a prime location for farming. You can enjoy 360-degree panoramic views over the ocean, farmland plains and central Bundaberg.
Take a sunset walk along Bargara Beach Esplanade to Nielson’s Park and Beyond:
End your evening with a sunset walk along Bargara Beach esplanade. Head north toward Neilson Beach, or if you have time grab some delicious ice cream from Beach Treats Bargara, before making your way south towards Christensen Park where you can roll out the picnic blanket, sit back and relax under the palm trees before the sun goes down.
Alternatively, if you have a spare 2hrs up your sleeve, follow the local-loved Turtle Trail past Neilson’s that will lead you through lush bushland and towards Mon Repos Conservation Park, home to the largest turtle rookery on the Australian East Coast for nesting and hatching loggerhead turtles. Here you will find all there is to know about this town the turtles call home and the incredible conservation efforts that the passionate Turtle Rangers at Mon Repos Turtle Centre.
End the night with dinner and some local microbrews at Casablanca on See, Bargara:
To end the night, head out for a casual outdoor dining experience at Casablanca on See, located in Bargara. Be sure to start by tasting their micro-brewed beer followed by a serving of their homemade pasta. We highly recommend the carbonara and ravioli. Be sure to book in advance your table as this restaurant does get busy on weekends.
Saturday - Start your morning with coffee from The Journey, Bargara:
If you appreciate good coffee, start your morning with a takeaway cup from the tucked away hole in the wall hipster café, The Journey, located in Bargara. All of their coffee is ethically sourced and produced and tastes amazing.
Stock up on some fresh bread at the Pocket Store House:
After you’ve finished your morning coffee head into central Bundaberg to visit the Pocket Store House. We first noticed this cute little grey Queenslander cottage, as we left lunch on Friday from Gruske’s. It is only open on Thursday and Saturday mornings, so we decided to head back to see what it was about. This place appeared to be a local favourite, racking up a bit of queue to order our treats. We must say, it was worth the wait. The pocket makes true authentic sourdough bread, meaning it contains no commercial yeast, preservatives, added sugar or additives, it’s fully organic. We grabbed an Olive loaf plus a few other snacks to keep us going throughout the day!
Take a VIP Farm tour of Splitters Farm:
Once you are well fuelled, drive up to Splitters Farm, located 10 minutes from Central Bundaberg on Blairs Road, which is set amongst iconic regional bushland. The property spans over 160 acres and is bordered by a freshwater nature reserve feeding into the Burnett River, making it a spacious and happy home for all of the animals that live on the premises. If you’re looking for a unique experience during your trip the farm also offers family and pet-friendly camping and glamping accommodation options to spend a night or two.
If you’re only coming for the day, for $22 per person you can take a self-guided tour around the farmlands. All of the tour’s proceeds go directly towards caring for the animals, including their vet and food bills. During your tour, you can enjoy bottle-feeding the baby goats, and feeding the cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, horses and alpacas! If you want to go behind the scenes, ask about the farm’s VIP tour options. We were lucky enough to be the first group post-COVID to take a VIP tour, led by the caring and passionate staff, which allowed us a taste of what working life on the farm was like and took us behind the scenes into the animal enclosures.
Go behind the Scenes at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery:
There is one stop you can’t miss in Bundaberg and that is the Bundaberg Rum Distillery, after all, you are in Australia’s Rum capital. Did you even visit Bundaberg if you didn’t take a token photo with the giant Bundy Rum bottle located at the entrance of the Distillery?
If you’re interested in booking a Distillery tour, they run daily from 10 am – 3 pm on weekdays and until 2 pm on weekends, tickets are $28 per adult, and if you book in advance online you can save 5%.
Be sure to arrive 30 minutes before your tour. Before the tour begins you can wander through the museum, learning all about the history of Bundaberg Rum. This was one of our favourite parts. During the tour itself, you can go behind the scenes, seeing exactly how rum is made. After, you’ll get to taste it! HOT TIP – Don’t miss tasting their award-winning Banana Toffee Liqueur. It is like a banana banoffee dessert in a glass.
Stop for a game of giant connect four at Tinaberries Farm:
In the afternoon make your way out of Central Bundaberg toward Elliot Heads stopping at Tinaberries Farm along the way. At the farm, you can pick your own strawberries during Spring. If you’re visiting any other season, be sure to enjoy their tasty and creamy real fruit ice cream that is available all-year round. Enjoy this snack out on the open grassy lawn, with views overlooking the farm and windmill. Here you can also play a round of giant connect four, Jenga or checkers.
Walk it all off at Elliot Heads:
Once it gets closer to sunset, make your way to Elliot Heads for an afternoon walk. Located at the mouth of the Elliot River, it is a beautiful spot to enjoy having your feet along the sand as you make your way along the beach.
Enjoy dinner on the Esplanade at Rick’s, Bargara:
If you’re staying in Bargara, another great location for dinner is Rick’s located right on the Esplanade. Here you can enjoy outdoor dining with live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Our dish of choice was the fresh macadamia herb crusted barramundi. Again, be sure to book a table in advance as it does get busy here.
Sunday - Have a fresh breakfast at the Windmill Café, Bargara:
If there’s one place you have to visit in Bargara it’s the Queensland Tourism award-winning Windmill Café. This family-run cafe not only offers a farm-fresh and delicious breakfast menu along with tasty gelato, but it is also perfect for your Instagram ascetic. Enjoy outdoor garden-style dining under the cutest quaint little windmill that will have you feeling like you are in a country European town. It doesn’t stop there; the dishes are equally as ascetic as they are delicious, not to mention the portion sizes are huge.
Andrew opted for the breakfast bowl, which was full of fresh local ingredients sourced from the nearby farmers, including avocado, tomato, eggs and more! Meanwhile, I opted for one of the sweeter breakfast options, the Snickers Bowl, a tasty bowl of protein-rich goodness! It will have you fuelled well into the day!
Make your own six-pack at the Bundaberg Barrel:
Before visiting Bundaberg, we knew two famous products from the region, first was, of course, Bundaberg Rum, and the second was Bundaberg Ginger Beer, one of our personal favourite cocktail mixers. With this in mind, we couldn’t miss a quick stop via the Bundaberg Barrel to learn more about their brewed drinks range. It’s free entry to do a self-guided tour through the museum and $10 to create your own six-pack, of your choice of flavoured brewed drinks. We took this home as one of the perfect souvenirs from our visit.
Take a tour of Kalki Moon Distilling and Brewing Company:
Founded by former Bundaberg Rum Master Distiller, Rick Prosser, Kalki Moon is a family-owned and run high-quality producer of Gin, Vodka, Liquors and Rum. Learn more about smaller-scale quality distilling with a behind the scenes tour, costing $10 per adult. Tours run daily from 10 am to 1 pm and last from 30 minutes to an hour with a tasting included at the end. Our highlight was tasting their pink Gin, made with elderflower and rose. It was an Australian market first to create this locally produced Gin liquor and it is also their best on-site seller. We made sure to buy a bottle to take home with us.
We hope you enjoyed our guide to Bundaberg on the Topical Coast, Queensland, Australia. To see more of our other Australian destination guides click here.
This blog post is a paid partnership with Bundaberg Tourism.
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