This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure
Discover the top things to do in Bundaberg for short stays! Bundaberg in central Queensland is a great family-friendly Australian destination for all ages. Best of all, there are plenty of things to do with kids in Bundaberg all year round. Even if you’re only in Bundaberg for 1 day, you can make it count!
We visited Bundaberg during a family Easter road trip to visit my parents in Childers, which is around 45 minutes south of Bundaberg. Childers itself is pretty quiet, especially over the Easter long weekend, but Bundaberg was still a hub of activity and fun family attractions!
While 1 day in Bundaberg is not very long, we sure did cram a lot into that day and found some of the best things to do in Bundaberg with kids… or without them!
Planning Your Visit To Bundaberg
If you are visiting the city and wondering what to do in Bundaberg, you will find these suggestions helpful. We detail the best Bundaberg activities for families plus some of their most famous Bundaberg tourist attractions.
Where Is Bundaberg?
Bundaberg is a city in Queensland, Australia. The city is situated on the Burnett River, about 385 kilometres (239 mi) north of the Queensland capital, Brisbane. Bundaberg is often referred to as the Southern Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.
How To Get To Bundaberg?
There are several ways to get to Bundaberg. The most popular way is by car, as it is the perfect stop on a Queensland road trip. You can easily hire a car in Brisbane or elsewhere in Australia.
Bundaberg does have its own regional airport, which is serviced by Virgin Australia and Qantas Airways, however, the tilt train is a much more affordable alternative if you do not have your own car. You can also take a bus or drive from Brisbane, which takes about 5-6 hours.
Best Time To Visit Bundaberg
The best time to visit Bundaberg is during January and April or October and December. The weather is warm and sunny, making it perfect for swimming, surfing and exploring the Great Barrier Reef.
If you are planning to visit during turtle nesting and hatching season, nesting is from November to January and Turtle hatchlings are best from January to March.
Best Places To Stay In Bundaberg
There is a lot of family accommodation in Bundaberg, to suit different types of visits and budgets, depending on which part of the city you are staying in and for how long. Here are a few recommendations if you are staying for one night or more:
Find our recommendations for the best Bundaberg attractions for kids. We have provided loads of information for each to help make your Bundaberg day trip, or extended break much easier, including locations, opening times and ticket prices.
Please note these prices are subject to change, however, we will endeavour to keep these details up to date. The prices are current as per June 2022.
We have listed the Bundaberg things to do in order we visited them, to give you an idea of how you can spend your Bundaberg day trip, or to help you plan a longer stay.
We arrived fairly early on our Bundaberg day trip, wanting to make the most of our day. Not everything was open so early, especially on Easter Saturday, so we kicked off with some fresh air and fun at Alexandra Park.
Alexandra Park is situated by the river, making it a great spot for picnic areas or outdoor play with the kids.
It has an extensive playground area with play equipment to suit all ages. Best of all, it is an inclusive playground that includes wheelchair-friendly play equipment too.
If you wanted to have a picnic or BBQ, there are facilities for both. And there’s plenty of room to kick a football around or throw a frisbee too. It’s a really large park!
We found that there were a lot of fantastic Bundaberg parks around the city, with play equipment, large spaces and water views for many too, however, Alexandra Park was by far the standout.
TIP: Often during school holidays, Old MacDonald’s Travelling Farm sets up in the Fernery at Alexandra Park with free entry for kids to come and feed the farm animals. This is a fantastic experience for younger kids!
Location: Quay St, Bundaberg West
Opening Hours: The park is not fenced off from the public therefore there are no restricted times for the main park areas
Price: Free entry
2. Visit Hinkler Hall of Aviation
Hinkler Hall of Aviation is dedicated to the memory of aviator Bert Hinkler, who was born in Bundaberg. The museum houses a collection of aviation memorabilia, including a replica of Hinkler’s own Avro Baby plane that you can sit in.
There are a huge collection of flight simulators and interactive displays that kids will enjoy as you all learn about the aviation history of Hinkler and others.
The museum is located inside the Botanical Gardens and you also have the opportunity to visit the restored home of Bert Hinkler, right next door. Hinkler House was relocated from Southampton in 1983 and gives an interesting view into the past.
Location: Within Bundaberg Botanic Gardens, Mount Perry Rd, Bundaberg North
Opening Hours: 9 AM to 3 PM daily
Price: Admission is $21 for adults and $13 for children.
3. Alexandra Park Zoo
Just when you thought the farm animals were an exciting addition to the park, there is also a FREE ZOO in Bundaberg Queensland!
The Alexandra Park Zoo is a small wildlife zoo, mostly with native Australian birds, snakes, lizards and animals.
They have dingo, emus, wallaby, lizards and… monkeys!
There is a pair of super cute Cotton-Topped Tamarin Monkeys.
The Bundaberg zoo is operated by the Bundaberg council which makes it a pretty impressive addition to their free community activities and attractions.
It may be small but it is still a delight for children and adults alike to see animals up close that they may not normally see.
Location: Within Alexandra Park – Quay St, Bundaberg West
Opening Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:45 daily
Price: Free entry
4. Bundaberg Brewed Drinks Tour
The city of Bundaberg is famous for more than one drink brand, and their Bundaberg Ginger Beer is a favourite in our family.
Make sure you visit The Barrel where you can do a tour of the Bundaberg Brewed Drinks behind-the-scenes area.
It isn’t an actual factory tour, however, it does take you through an interactive self-paced walk-through area with loads of fun educational activities the kids will love.
Check out our mini Bundaberg Ginger Beer factory tour video below:
The best part of the tour through the Bundaberg Barrel is that you don’t need to wait until certain times of the day to do it as it is a self-guided tour. You can start anytime and take as long or as little time as you like exploring the tour exhibits.
There are touch screens, guess the flavour scent tubes, robots and loads of educational opportunities to learn how ginger beer is made.
After that you can join a tasting and have the chance to try all 17 different flavours made at the factory – this includes 16 ginger beer flavours and an organic cola.
You can do a tasting without doing a tour, or enjoy both. Every adult tour or tasting ticket comes with a 6 pack of ginger beer bottles of your choice that you choose once your tasting is complete. This is a fun way to enjoy your favourites once you go home!
Location: 147 Bargara Rd, Bundaberg
Opening Hours: 9 AM to 4:30 PM daily on Monday to Saturday and 10 AM to 3 PM Sunday and on public holidays.
Price: It is free to enter The Barrel and make purchases from the storefront. To join a tasting and self-paced tour, it is $15 for adults and $5 for children under 18. Adult tickets include a 6 pack of drinks of your choice to take home.
The Bundaberg Botanic Gardens are a must-visit when you are in Bundy! There is so much to see and do, all while enjoying beautiful gardens and fresh air.
The gardens are quite sprawling and include a large lake in the centre, a restaurant, a playground and a museum on the grounds.
There is a train that takes you around the gardens if you’d rather not walk the whole distance. This is a great novelty for visiting the Bundaberg Botanical Gardens with kids too.
If you love wildlife, you will have some pretty cool sightings as you walk across the walkways around and over the lake. There are turtles and eels living in the lake. Loads of them!
We have seen turtles in the wild before, but never so many in one spot so it was really cool to see. And since you can feed them and the ducks, they are not even a little bit shy.
Just watch all the little heads pop up above the water when they hear your voices.
It was really hard to capture any good photos of the turtles or eels on camera, however, you will have no trouble spotting them when you visit.
And if that wasn’t already enough fun, there is a newly developed playground near the front entrance of the Bundaberg gardens and it’s pretty impressive.
Our kids loved it and could easily have spent hours there if we didn’t have other things to see and do.
Other Things To Do At the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens:
Ride the Australian Sugar Cane Railway
Feed birds, turtles and eels
Enjoy a meal or snack at Cafe 1928
Bundaberg and District Historical Museum
Visit Fairymead House Sugar Museum
Bundaberg Railway Museum
Location: 6 Mount Perry Rd, Bundaberg North
Opening Hours: 5:30 AM to 6:45 daily
Price: Free entry into the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens. There is an admission price for Hinkler Museum and Fairymead House, which can be purchased at Hinkler Museum or online. There is also an admission charge to ride the train around the gardens.
6. Visit the Beaches
Bundaberg is surrounded by some incredible beaches! Some of them are really popular and can get really crowded during the summer weather. But they are still well worth a visit.
Bargara Beach or Elliott Heads are popular choices for beaches near Bundaberg.
Bargara is the main beach area of Bundaberg so this is a popular area to stay and play, with loads of accommodation, cafes and play areas.
It stretches for around 5 kilometres and actually consists of several smaller beaches. Some of the best beaches include Kelly’s Beach, Mon Repos Beach, Boat Ramp Beach, Archies Beach and a few other smaller beach areas.
The most famous is Mon Repos Beach, famous for the Mon Repos turtles that come to lay their eggs each year.
We instead went to a quiet beach a little way outside of Bundaberg – Woodgate Beach.
Woodgate beach is beautiful and stretches a long way up the coast. There is never a lot of people there and it is a great beach to go for a family day out, with swimming or beach activities. A lot of people also come there to dig for bait for fishing.
Low tide is the best time to go as there’s more beach to run around on. Even in the middle of Autumn, the water was really warm too. There were a few people swimming but mostly families and couples enjoying the views and good weather.
Plus the corner store over the road from the beach does some good fish and chips too for a quick bite to eat or a lunch by the water.
The Mon Repos Turtle Encounter is the only ranger-guided turtle encounter on the east coast of Australia. The Mon Repos Turtle Rookery is the perfect place to learn about the life cycle of these amazing creatures, alongside the important conservation work they do.
Turtle season is one of the most popular times to visit Bundaberg with tourists flocking to the region to see these incredible creatures in the wild.
At night, you can take a guided tour to see turtles nesting or hatching and making their way to the water for the first time.
The Mon Repos Turtle Centre is open daily. There is free entry into the educational centre, however, the Turtle Tales and access to the Hatching Hall do come with an admission charge, as do guided night tours during turtle season.
The guided tours include talks by the rangers and a tour of the beach to either witness mother turtles coming to the beach to lay their eggs or the baby turtles hacking and making their way into the ocean.
There is no guarantee you will see turtles on your tour however the chances are high.
Location: 147 Bargara Rd, Bundaberg
Opening Hours: 9 AM to 2 PM
Price: Admission for Turtle Tales & Hatching Hall daytime experience is $13.40 for adults and $9.30 for kids between 4 and 14. Family passes are also available. Bookings for Turtle Encounter Tours commence from September for the November to March season.
8. Visit Lady Musgrave Island
Lady Musgrave Island is a small coral cay located within the Southern Great Barrier Reef, approximately 70 kilometres offshore from Bundaberg. If you want to experience the Great Barrier Reef without heading to Far North Queensland, the Lady Musgrave Experience is perfect for this!
The Lady Musgrave Experience is a day trip that departs from Bundaberg Marina and includes return transfers on the luxury catamaran.
There are loads of different things to do at Lady Musgrave Island during your day trip, from snorkelling or diving off their Lady Musgrave HQ pontoon, complete with an underwater observatory to glass-bottom boat tours and possibly the most exciting of all, swimming with turtles!
There are guided island walking tours, bird watching, buffet lunch and whale watching opportunities, so it all depends on what you want to do with your visit. You won’t regret it though!
You can even extend your experience overnight with a ‘Sleep on the reef’ pontoon accommodation package or camping on Lady Musgrave Island.
It takes a little more than 2 hours each way by catamaran to reach Lady Musgrave from Bundaberg. The catamaran leaves from the Bundaberg Marina in Burnett Heads.
No visit to Bundaberg is complete without a tour of the iconic Bundaberg Rum Distillery! Even if you are looking for things to do in Bundaberg with kids, it’s still worthwhile paying a visit to the famous Bundaberg Distillery.
The tour is around 1 hour long and they typically start on the hour each hour through the day.
Afterwards, the grown-ups can enjoy a tasting experience as part of their tour. You can even create your own rum blend during your visit which is a fantastic souvenir or a great gift idea for someone back home!
Location: Hills Street, Bundaberg East
Opening Hours: Tours run hourly between 10 AM and 3 PM Monday To Friday or 10 AM and 2 PM on weekends and public holidays.
Price: Tour pricing is $28.50 for adults, $14.25 for kids or $71.25 for 2 adults and up to 2 kids.
10. Baldwin Swamp Environment Park
Baldwin Swamp is a hidden gem just a short walk from Bundaberg CBD. Here you can take a stroll across the boardwalk where you will find yourself surrounded by waterbirds.
Bird lovers will love seeing all the different bird species and kids will just love seeing so many birds in one place. You will easily see 50+ different species.
The Environment Park works as a wildlife conservation area.
11. Day Trip To Lady Elliot Island
Another of the most popular day trips from Bundaberg is a visit to Lady Elliot Island, which is located at the southernmost tip of the Great Barrier Reef within a highly protected ‘Green Zone’ coral reefs.
The sanctuary is home to over 1,200 species of marine life, including whales manta rays and turtles. Lady Elliot Island is considered one of the best snorkelling and diving regions in Australia.
The coral cay is situated 80km northeast of Bundaberg and just north of Fraser Island, so there are day trips leaving from both Bundaberg and Brisbane. You also have the opportunity to stay at the eco-resort too.
It is a short 30-minute scenic flight from Bundaberg to Lady Elliot Island. Your day tour includes an island tour, glass-bottom boat or guided snorkel tour, use of snorkelling equipment, buffet lunch, afternoon guided tour and use of towels, reef shoes and sunscreen during your visit.
Prices currently start from $475 for adults and $330 for children departing Bundaberg Airport.
12. Learn to surf at Bargara Beach
Bargara Beach, located just 15 minutes drive from Bundaberg CBD, is a great place to learn to surf
This wide and open beach is patrolled by lifeguards and is perfect for beginners with its gentle waves.
13. Hire a Stand Up Paddle Board or Kayak
Bundaberg is the perfect place to try out stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking with its many waterways to explore.
Are you heading to Bundaberg? Let us know what you’re most looking forward to for your visit. We would love to hear it! And share this post to Pinterest via the image below! Be sure to follow us on Facebook or YouTube for more travel inspiration like this!