Top 10 Food and drink experiences you need to have in Bundaberg, Queensland
If you are a foodie, then Bundaberg in the Southern Great Barrier Reef Region of Queensland needs to be on your travel bucket list! 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! Not only that but Bundaberg is the rum capital of Australia, with a wide selection of distilleries to sample some of Australia’s best locally produced alcohol.
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, and 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 20 minutes to Elliot Heads or Burnett Heads Beaches.
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Top 10 Food Experiences you can’t miss:
1. Have a fresh breakfast at the Queensland Tourism Award winning Windmill Café, Bargara:
Dine at the Queensland Tourism multi 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!
2. Go behind the scenes at the iconic 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 Liquor. It is like a banana paddle pop dessert in a glass.
3. 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.
4. Eat freshly caught seafood at Grunske’s by the River:
For some of the best local seafood you need to try Grunske’s by the River. 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.
5. Taste the local microbrews and authentic Italian cuisine at Casablanca on See, Bargara:
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 serve 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.
6. Sip coffee from the hole-in-the wall cafe Journey, Bargara:
If you appreciate good coffee, start your morning with a takeaway cup from the tucked away hole in the wall hipster café, Journey, located in Bargara. All of their coffee is ethically sourced and produced and tastes amazing.
7. Taste the difference of true authentic sourdough bread at the Pocket Store House:
We first noticed this cute little bright blue Queenslander cottage, as we left lunch on Friday from Gruske’s. The Pocket Storehouse 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!
8. Pick your own berries and enjoy fresh berry ice cream at Tinaberries' Farm:
Make your way out of Central Bundaberg toward Elliot Heads and stop at Tinaberries farm along the way. At the farm, you can pick your own strawberries during the winter season from June. If you’re visiting any other season, be sure to enjoy their tasty and creamy real fruit ice cream which is available 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
We hope you enjoyed our food guide to Bundaberg on the Topical Coast, Queensland, Australia. To see more of our other Australian destination guides click here.
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