Three-day turtle holiday itinerary in Bundaberg
Just a 4-hour drive from Brisbane, Bundaberg is the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef and home to an ancient ritual hundreds of years in the making. Come witness a miracle this Bundaberg Turtle Season at the Mon Repos Nightly Turtle Encounter and experience a family-friendly holiday unlike any other.
You’ve arrived! It’s time to stretch your legs and breathe in the ocean air. Do what the locals do and hire a bike to explore Bargara and the Coral Coast. Take the coastal pathways from the family-friendly Kellys Beach to Mon Repos beach, where the turtles call home. Cool down with a dip at one of the many beaches along the way or stop for a gelato at The Windmill Cafe.
Late lunch in a windmill
It doesn’t get much quirkier than settling down for lunch at a big blue windmill. The Windmill Café Bargara boasts a menu full of fresh local produce grown around the region. Dig in to the Windmill’s ‘from the farm salad’, a cheat-day ‘Southern Fried Chicken Burger’ or cool down with its locally made gelato (there’s even one for your furry family members). Relax in the peaceful, natural gardens with space for kids to play while you enjoy some ‘us’ time.
Looking for budget-friendly accommodation with all the extra family-friendly frills? Bundaberg has you covered. Check out Kelly’s Beach Resort, an eco-certified resort just a short walk from the beach offering self-contained villas and a plethora of free school holiday activities for kids, including laser skirmish and movies by moonlight.
Witness a miracle
Witness the miracle of life at the Mon Repos Nightly Turtle Encounter. Take part in an ancient ritual hundreds of years in the making as mother turtles haul themselves up Mon Repos beach to nest from November to January. See the arrival of new (and very cute) life as the hatchlings emerge from their nest and scurry to meet the sea from January to March. Create new life-long memories this summer without breaking the bank.
Snorkel the Southern Great Barrier Reef
Did you know that Bundaberg is the closest point of the Great Barrier Reef to South East Queensland? Come explore the coral cays of Lady Musgrave Island and Lady Elliot Island, just a stone’s throw from the coast. Snorkel with the turtles, dive with the manta rays and tick the Southern Great Barrier Reef off your bucket list.
© Ben Andryc
Dine like a local
It’s a big day out on the reef so do dinner like the locals and enjoy fish and chips along the Bargara esplanade. Enjoy the warm summer evenings by the beach while the kids play on the turtle park playground.
Bundaberg’s first celebrity
Grab bacon and egg wraps from local’s favourite, Alowishus Delicious, and head down the road to Alexandra Park. The kids will love the playground and zoo while you can enjoy the river views. Make a much-needed visit to the Hinkler Hall of Aviation and discover the story of Bundaberg’s favourite celebrity, Bert Hinkler, who achieved the world’s first solo flight across the South Atlantic in 1931 and all-round aviation pioneer.
© Paul Beutel
Taste the range at Bundaberg Brewed Drinks
Around the world, when you say Bundaberg, they say “ginger beer”. Now, the icon that is Bundaberg Brewed Drinks will throw open its front doors to a brand-new experience at The Barrel from December and a visit here will mean you never look at soft drinks the same way again. Taste all 16 flavours and take home your favourites in a pick-your-own bundle.
The last supper
Wrap up your holiday the right way with one last produce-filled meal. Head to Bundaberg’s most spacious garden café, appropriately named Eleven Acres (you won’t find that in the big city!). With room for the kids to play (and adorable mini tables for them to sit at), you’ll be able to relish the last moments of your holiday while digging into a meal loaded with the finest local produce. Why not try ‘The Seafood Smokery Macadamia Smoked Blue Salmon Salad’ or ‘Roasted Local Sweet Potato Quesadilla’?
Come witness a miracle, snorkel with the turtles and eat your way through the Bundaberg region.