Bundaberg is an Australian city on Queensland's coast. It's known for Bundaberg Rum, and the Bundaberg Distillery which offers museum tours and tastings. Bundaberg Botanic Gardens is home to the Hinkler Hall of Aviation, dedicated to solo long-distance pilot Bert Hinkler. Nearby on the coast is Mon Repos Regional Park, home to sea turtles, and offshore is Lady Elliot Island, part of the Great Barrier Reef.
Between November and March at Mon Repos Regional Park, you can join a nightly tour to see green, flatback and the endangered loggerhead turtles nest and hatch on the small beach there. Mid-November to February is the best time to see female turtles laying eggs, while hatchlings usually begin to leave their nests from mid-January. In January you may glimpse both nesting adults and their newly hatched babies, crawling to shore for their first swim.
Over summer, turtles also nest and hatch in smaller numbers on nearby Lady Elliot and Lady Musgrave Islands, the southernmost coral isles of the Great Barrier Reef. These spots are also spectacular sites for snorkelling and diving, with manta rays and fish among the rainbow of resident marine life. Base yourself in the beachfront eco-resort on Lady Elliot Island, home to 19 dive sites. Take a guided reef walk or hike around the island, spotting the abundant birdlife. Lady Musgrave Island is the only coral island on the Great Barrier Reef with a navigable lagoon.
You can’t drive around the Bundaberg region without seeing towering stalks of the local crop – sugarcane. There are three local brands – Bundaberg Rum, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks and Bundaberg Sugar – that rely on the local sugar industry and have helped put Bundaberg on the map. Take a tour of the Bundaberg Rum distillery which dates back to 1888. You can even blend your own rum to take home. Visit Fairymead House, a grand 1890s homestead housing sugar industry memorabilia, a gift from Bundaberg Sugar.
• Bundaberg Rum Distillery
• Mon Repos Conservation Park
• Hinkler Hall of Aviation
• Bundaberg Botanic Gardens
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