We left the Sunshine Coast on Saturday 29th April in the morning and tracked about three and a half hours North to the well-known town of Bundaberg. We were offered some accommodation by an old school friend of mine Steph and her husband Chris with their two kids Ben and Emily. Ben was really looking forward to seeing the Bundaberg Distillery and it was one of the things that we had on our bucket list so instead of going straight to Steph’s to drop off the camper, we ended up visiting the Bundy Factory first. We tasted a little bit of rum and purchased a few nice bottles, enquired about the tours then headed to Steph’s to set up. We knew we would be back at the Bundy Factory before long.
Steph and Chris live in a small town just outside the main part of Bundaberg, called Sharon. They have a spacious property where we were able to set up our camper. That night we had pizzas and chatted. The river that is close to their home is the Burnette River and it is certainly impressive. Like most waterways up here, it is full of life and the water is warm.
We spent a day at Bargara Beach, which is the main tourist beach in Bundaberg. It was fairly quiet the day we went and we all had a great day. The sun was just warm enough and the surf was shallow and calm. We drove the Prado onto the sand and used the awning for shade. Brock and Chev had a great time chasing the ball. I had a swim with little Ben (Steph’s son). We had to resort to calling my Ben ‘big Ben’ and Steph’s Ben ‘little Ben’ to avoid confusion. We all had some good friend and family time together.
Tuesday came and it was time… time to do the Bundaberg Distillery tour. We would like to extend a bid thanks to Steph for driving us around that day and accompanying us on the tour. I have to say, I was not a fan of rum before I did the tour but the factory and the different flavours and variety of Bundaberg really impressed me. I found myself enjoying tasting the different rums and the liqueurs, when previously the smell of rum almost made me gag. I am a changed girl since going to Bundaberg, that is for sure.
Ben, on the other hand, has always loved his rum and this was the only museum and tour I have ever seen him in his glee with. The Bundy Distillery is impressive and has a very noble and historic aura about it, the smell of molasses floats thickly in the air and the vats and storage areas are really interesting to see. The tasting at the end was by far the best part of the tour!
After the Bundy factory Steph, Ben and I caught up with Chris at a cafe and all had a really nice lunch together. Then we headed off the Bundaberg Barrel, which is where you can taste the famous Bundaberg Ginger Beer and range of lovely brewed soft drinks. What a great day we had!
Wednesday came and it was time for Ben and I to go on another road. We took off and headed South to the highly spoken of town called, Hervey Bay. It was absolutely beautiful. The weather was perfect. We found one very quiet little beach where the tide was out, so we walked across the strange hard but mud like sand to reach the water, which was over a kilometre away. We laughed at the soldier crabs who ran in little packs away from us and admired the water and uniqueness of the place. We had lunch at a waterfront restaurant then went to the more touristy areas. The 2.2km pier was long but was extremely interesting and Ben watched enthusiastically as locals fished. Life teams under the pier and the locals told us that the fishing is amazing there. On the way back to Bundy we visited the small towns of Burram Heads, Burram and Woodgate, stopping quickly at Woodgate for a beer and a game of pool.
We can not thank Steph and Chris enough for their hospitality. It was great to catch up, great to have time for a girls movie night (Beauty and the Beast, hell yeah!), great to have nice meals together, play some games and get to spend this time together. Ben and Ben enjoyed their nightly chess games and good times were had by all. Ben and Chris got to go out fishing for a day and explore the Bundy river system a bit more. Thanks again guys!
Yesterday we left Bundy and drove about 50 minutes North to Baffle Creek. We are at a great little campground, called Rocky Point, right by the wide, salty river. We are having fun fishing and relaxing here and we are getting ready to have sweet chilli fresh caught mud crab for lunch. We’ll let you know how we go. Just a couple more sleeps until we meet my family in Agnes Waters. Pretty excited!