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Reefsleep – Us, a Swag, a Pontoon and a lot of water

Reefsleep with Cruise Whitsundays is the ultimate, an overnight sleep under the stars at Reefworld on Hardy Reef. Only a 1 hour 50 minute boat trip 40 nautical miles from the mainland in the beautiful Whitsundays.

Our stay at Airlie Beach in Queensland’s sensational Whitsunday’s wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the pinnacle of Great Barrier Reef adventures.

Only 9 people maximum can be a part of Reefsleep each night, therefore providing an intimate experience, sleeping in swags on the pontoon rooftop under the stars.

Wow!!

Reefworld on Hardy Reef
Reefworld on Hardy Reef - Reefsleep Experience

Departing for Reefsleep

At the marina, Cruise Whitsunday’s staff directed us to our own private lounge seating area on the boat’s mid level just behind the captain’s area.

We were able to watch and listen to the staff as they steered us toward our exciting “pyjama party” on the Great Barrier Reef.

Our other fellow Reefsleep guests, David, Christine and German tourist Angelica were also there. We excitedly talked about what we were expecting would happen.

The onboard staff gave us briefings about our stay and they told us by 3pm we would have the pontoon and snorkeling all to ourselves until 11am the following day.

fellow Reefsleep guests

The Reefsleep Trip out to Hardy Reef

The boat trip took about 1 hour 50 minutes after a brief stop at Hamilton Island to pick up passengers. The Captain let us know ocean conditions would be a little rough but not too bad and that’s how it turned out.

As we entered the reef area the waters calmed and we began to view the incredible colours only a reef provides.

Soon the pontoon comes into view and as we slowly make our way up close we look out at those who enjoyed the experience the night before, looking for clues on what to expect. Nothing obvious stands out.

Our Reefsleep at Hardy Reef

On Arrival

Once we were on the pontoon we were introduced to our Reefsleep guide Natalie who would look after us for the night. A few minutes later and we were ready to begin enjoying the facilities available.

Adele and Matthew quickly chose to join others for a trip on the Semi Submersible Glass bottom boat. Whereas I chose to take a look around and discover exactly what the pontoon had to offer.

I soon found a group getting ready to Scuba Dive and watched as they prepared their Scuba gear and Stinger suits.

I considered for a moment what it would take to join them but decided to venture on and see what else there was to explore.

Semi Submersible Glass bottom boat - Reefsleep Experience

The tide was low and the reef and its coral were on full display.

The colours were amazing with the reef displaying almost a fluro blue colour along with turquoise green and a dark blue for the deep waters.

By this stage lots of people had changed into their swimming attire and began to snorkel the pristine reef.

Cruise Whitsundays provided all the snorkeling gear and had everyone ready and prepared pretty quickly.

Snorkelling - Reefsleep Experience

Adele and Matt returned from the Semi-Submersible Glass bottom boat and we decided to take a look at the Underwater Viewing Room.

From there we could see a vast array of marine life including a lot of big fish.

At night from the viewing room the lights would go on and attract a whole new range of fish including George the enormous big Queensland Groper.

We weren’t in a particular hurry to begin snorkeling, we were going to have it all to ourselves soon enough.

Reefworld Optional Activities

We had lots of choices including, Underwater Viewing Room, a Massage or take a Helicopter Flight over Hardy Reef and Heart Reef. A 2hr Helicopter Flight out of Airlie Beach is also available.

The helicopter flight was $140 each (as long as you weigh less than 110kgs) for a 10 minute flight. The massage was $55 for half an hour.

Book your 2hr Helicopter Flight here>

Optional Helicopter Flight - Reefsleep Experience

Snorkeling Hardy Reef

Adele and Matthew couldn’t wait any longer and were soon in snorkeling with everyone else. I heard the call that lunch was served back on the boat and figured I’d get in early.

I was one of the first people to arrive for lunch and had the pick of everything. A smorgasbord of cold meats, salads, chicken, prawns, wraps and more.

After lunch we decided it was time for me to snorkel and we all donned our wet suits and snorkeling gear and I had my first look at Hardy Reef.

The array of coral and marine life was spectacular. The clams were so big, so colourful. The fish were amazing with how close they would allow you to get to them.

Sometimes I would reach out to grab them but they’d slip through my fingers. Every moment in the water was simply breathtaking.

As night begins to fall

That night Natalie cooked us a big delicious BBQ including steak, sausages, chicken, and seafood while we sat enjoying Champagne and watched an amazing sunset.

The birds began to join us also as the sun went down and the clouds rolled in.

Amazing Sunset

After dinner we spent time having a few drinks and chatting to our new friends. We also enjoyed time in the underwater observatory watching the fish at night.

The birds had joined us in their hundreds and were all mostly around the lower deck. We ventured to the top deck to look out at the moon and stars however cloud had begun to roll in and our view was intermittent.

We made our way to our Swags for an early night. I left the zipper open on my side as it was hot inside the swag and I wanted to look at the stars as I fell asleep. More about our night under the stars soon.

Waking Up on the Pontoon

For breakfast the following morning once again Natalie cooked us a feast! Bacon, eggs, hash browns, tomato and toast.

I had woken early in the morning and was the first one awake. I ventured around the pontoon and soon discovered some big GT (Giant Trevally) as they rounded up bait fish beside the pontoon.

Once they were ready, it would become a feeding frenzy. It was crazy as fish would be flying out of the air and the water would become a thrashing of big fish looking to feed on the small ones.

We watched as this went on over and over all around the pontoon. One moment they would be at the front of the pontoon and a few moments later they’d be at the back.

Sometimes one side and the next they would be the other side. It was fascinating watching Mother Nature at work.

Up close and personal with Giant Green Turtles

Another morning attraction was the appearance of two giant Green turtles who regularly feed off the side of the pontoon.

It was fabulous to get such an up close and personal view of them. We used our GoPro on the extension stick to get video of them as close as possible.

giant turtle reefsleep experience

Fitting in a Morning Snorkel

As soon as breakfast was over we were already together planning to go snorkeling again before the next days sightseers arrived at 11am.

We were determined to have another chance to snorkel before the crowd arrived however a high tide, windy conditions and a cool morning were all challenges we were facing.

The ocean was rough as the winds blew and there was no protection from the reef due to the high tide. The waters were choppy and no-one was prepared to risk swimming in the conditions.

We waited and waited and with just 15 minutes before the boat arrived I decided it was now or never and jumped in for a last snorkel.

The boat was 10 – 15 minutes late giving us some extra time as we all began to enjoy snorkeling again among the fish and coral.

last minute snorkeling

It wasn’t long before the crowd arrived and the energy and enthusiasm of a new group began to enjoy the facilities.

Relax Time - Reefsleep Experience
Great Barrier Reef Adventures Cruise Whitsundays



Did it all go perfectly, well no.

What could go wrong on such an incredible experience?

We can only write about the adventure from our own personal experience and the overnighter did offer up its challenges.

Our Reefsleep Experience

Our Reefsleep experience was amazing, almost breathtaking. It did however have its issues, mostly made worse by not being prepared.

Here are a few things we experienced or noticed on our trip that the glossy brochures don’t tell you.

Reefsleep Experience - snorkel time
  • Fresh drinking water is limited 40 nautical miles out in the ocean as you can imagine. Access to showers is only for the Reefsleep guests and therefore they are only open outside of the day tripper hours.

    They are also closed again when guests from the helicopter charter flights come aboard the pontoon. This is to conserve the water and ensure Reefsleep guests ultimately have enough for their overnight stay.

  • You will need to time it right for when you can have a shower. Talk to the staff they will guide you for when it’s going to be suitable.

  • We don’t drink coffee but the other guys weren’t altogether fussed by the instant coffee that was available.

    Once again, this is more like a camping experience rather than a resort, there’s no cappuccino machine and you may need to lower your coffee standards for one night.

  • You have to deal with the elements of the weather. I recommend you read my blog about researching the weather before booking your Reefsleep adventure – http://indefiniteleave.com.au/always-take-weather-weather/.

    The weather can change quickly and unpredictably. Our weather was predicted 0% chance of showers, but it rained anyway.

Reefsleep pontoons

Just Us, a Swag, a Pontoon and a lot of water

Naturally you are braving the elements that nature has to offer when sleeping in swags in the open air of the pontoon deck, but there were no suggestions from the Reefsleep staff as to what to do if the weather turns bad during the night.

Given this was our first night sleeping in a swag, we were excited at the thought of gazing up at the sky to see the stars when we retired for the evening.

In order to take in the view of the night sky and for some ventilation as well, as the canvas tents are hot, I left the side flaps of our swag open.

pontoon deck - Reefsleep swags

A Wet Swag

Unfortunately unpredicted weather meant we experienced bursts of light and heavy rain throughout the night.

I did not zipper back up completely which caused one side of our swag mattress to become saturated with water.

It was an unexpected early rise to our second day at the outer Reef. If you have any rain, ensure you fully zip up your swag, especially at the base.

Reef from the boat
  • Once we were heading out to the Reef on the boat I was looking forward to a relaxing trip with thoughts of what our next 2 days were going to be like.

    It started so well, we were taken to our own personal lounge only for Reefsleep guests and made to feel special.

The Push for Optional Extra Activities

Soon into the trip to the island staff came to us wanting to sell tickets for the Helicopter ride, Massages and Scuba Diving and the pressure was on as spaces were limited and we might miss out.

We really just wanted to relax at that time, chat with our fellow guests, take in the views and enjoy the experience.

Despite the sales push we were happy we held off until we arrived at the pontoon. You will need to decide when is best for you to book.

The helicopter rides for example are limited and you might miss out if you don’t book early.

We were so excited by the idea of flying over Heart Reef, in fact Adele’s heart was set on it. Sadly we were left disappointed as with no previous limitations being mentioned prior, we were told there were weight restrictions of 130kgs.

If you were over that you had to pay for 2 seats.

Love Snorkeling at Hardy Reef on Reefsleep Adventure

Misguided Information from Helicopter Company

Upon returning to further question this we were then told it was 110kgs.

We were unhappy for this restriction to be in place but even more disappointed that we weren’t notified at any stage prior to the trip and the rules kept changing.

We spoke about it to pontoon staff who told us they were a separate company and we would need to sort it out with them.

I decided if Matt couldn’t go than neither would I and Adele ended up choosing not to go alone.

Very disappointing but we soon found out Angelica had taken a scenic flight from Airlie Beach that looked a much better option anyway.

Book a 60min Scenic Flight from Airlie Beach here>

Hardy Reef Underwater experience
  • The Reefsleep staff are friendly but apart from the host, everyone was busy. We had very little interaction with any other staff.
  • There didn’t seem to be a plan B.

    Being so far from land surrounded by water with not a lot of options of things to do, if you’ve had enough of snorkeling or the ocean gets a bit rough then you have an underwater observatory and that’s about it. You can only take so many sunset photos.

Opportunities to add to the Reefsleep Experience

It was our opinion that they missed an opportunity to further entertain the guests.

Little information was passed on about Reefworld, the Great Barrier Reef and Hardy Reef. An opportunity was there to give more insight into such a unique and world renowned location.

A discussion about the history of Hardy Reef, the damage the reef is undergoing and how it can be protected plus, how the pontoon works and what it is doing to conserve the reef and showcase this amazing reef system.

Also we felt they could introduce all the staff and explain their roles. These are just some of the things that would make it more interesting and beneficial to us as overnight visitors.

I think they are missing the chance to educate their guests.

Hardy Reef Coral and giant clams

This is important!!

I only provide these points to give you a better overall guide to the experience and an understanding of what to expect.

With this information upfront we would have been better prepared for the experience, rather than just the glossy brochures and rave reviews by travel companies.

Despite these thoughts, don’t hesitate, it is absolutely a ‘must do’ experience.

My tips for Reefsleep

  • Make sure you have a camera for underwater photos and videos. We bought a Lifeproof Waterproof case for our iPhone and practiced in the pool before we went. We also took our GoPro to capture lots of quality under water footage.
  • Approach it like you would if you were going camping. It is not 5 Star but it is an experience you will remember forever.
  • Ask questions. Talk to the staff if there’s anything you need to know.
  • Talk to your new friends and enjoy the experience together.
  • Save some energy for snorkeling once the crowd has left and before they return at 11am the next day.
  • Don’t take any bird phobias with you, there’s going to be lots of them with you for the night.
  • Apply plenty of sunscreen
  • Leave the zipper of your swag open and enjoy the amazing view of the stars in the sky.
  • If you do get a shower of rain, make sure you close up the bottom zipper. That was my big mistake. Rookie error!!
  • The Helicopter Flight, Glass Bottom Sub and Massage are only available during the day when everyone, including the day-trippers are there. These features close at 3pm.
Reefsleep Experience

More about Reefsleep

You can read more about Reefsleep as well as our Top 13 Best Things to do in Airlie Beach & Whitsundays or simply book your Reefsleep experience out of Airlie Beach here.

We chose the Swag and our cost at the time was $440 each.
Update December 2020 – The cost now for Reefsleep is $595 each person.

Have you done the Reefsleep or planning to do it soon?

Let us know your thoughts.

Pin – Reefsleep

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Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all of our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/34thTP1  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Where to Find Us

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Annie

    November 28, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks for this extremely informative post! My sister, parents, and I just booked a Reefsleep for early April. We will definitely use your tips. I am enjoying reading your blog and wish you safe travels.

    • Indefinite Leave

      November 28, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Hi Annie, thanks for your comments 🙂
      Hope you have a sensational time. We have been 10 months now travelling Australia and it still ranks in the Top 2 for things we’ve done for me so far. Just don’t expect it to be a Hilton experience 😉
      Let us know how you go 🙂
      Kev & Adele

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Adventurers Diary

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane

21 Things to do in Brisbane

Brisbane is our home town. It’s where we have lived all our lives. We know it, we love it and it is home.

There is so much to love about “Brissy”. Our weather is superb, people are friendly and it’s a big city without being too huge.

Brisbane typifies our States motto “Beautiful one day, Perfect the next”!!

We have great, warm weather almost all year round. Winter in Brisbane is sensational, blue sunny skies, calm weather and mild temperatures.

Here’s a list of 21 Things to Do in and around Brisbane

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - CityCat
Brisbane River CityCat

 

1. Take a CityCat ride on the Brisbane River

These are fast ferries that take you to some of Brisbane’s best places on the River.

Go to Portside and see Cruise Ships, New Farm to the Powerhouse Brisbane, which is home to different arts and creatives, plus New Farm Park.

Stop in at Riverside for great restaurants and bars on the river and take a walk around the City.

The CityCat is a great cheap way to get around Brisbane.

There are stops all the way along the Brisbane river foreshores. A 2 hour ticket is a maximum $5.60 or even cheaper with a Go Card.

It’s a fabulous day out on Brisbane’s CityCats.

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - Brisbane Riverfire
Spectacular Brisbane Riverfire

 

2. Brisbane Riverfire

In September each year the Brisbane River comes alive as 500,000 people or more attend Riverfire.

The skies light up as the Australian Defence Force fly Fighter Jets and Blackhawk Helicopters before the Fireworks are launched from the River, from Bridges and atop City high-rises.

This is a spectacular not to be missed. Get there early and enjoy the atmosphere.

St Helena Island - 21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane
St Helena Island

 

3. Tour St Helena Island

Learn how St Helena Island is steeped in our History.

In 1867 it was chosen as our first Penal settlement due to its location 4kms offshore in Brisbane’s Moreton Bay.

The island is now Heritage listed and fantastic tours are operated by Cat O’ Nine Tails Cruises, the only way you can tour the island.

Learn all about the rugged life of those that called St Helena Island home in those formative years.

https://www.sthelenaisland.com.au/

4. Eat Street Northshore

The Eat Street Markets are located at Hamilton and are a culinary delight for everyone regardless of your preferred tastes.

Enjoy the enormous array of amazing dishes, live bands, great bars and enjoy a few hours of amazing fun by the Brisbane River.

Open every Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 10pm and Sunday from midday to 8pm.

https://https://eatstreetnorthshore.com.au/

5. Eagle Street Pier

The Eagle Street Pier at Brisbane’s Riverside provides amazing views, sensational restaurants and incredible bars directly looking over the Brisbane River and Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge.

Walk along the riverfront discovering the many different shops and see the Kookaburra Queen paddlewheelers which have been doing cruises of the Brisbane River since 1986.

On Sundays, visit the Riverside Markets for lots of locally made crafts, food, drinks and street performers.

Eagle Street Pier: https://www.eaglestreetpier.com.au/

Riverside Markets: https://www.riversidemarkets.com.au/

6. Island time – Stradbroke Island & Moreton Island

Whilst Queensland’s Fraser Island is the most famous island within the state, Moreton Island and “Straddie” are just a short Ferry or Barge trip from Brisbane and are just as majestic.

Go Camping on the islands and feel like you’re in paradise.

Spend time at Tangalooma Resort, snorkel the wrecks, check out Cape Moreton, ride the Sand Dunes and drive the magnificent beaches.

Both Islands are truly amazing.

Stradbroke Island: Book a North Stradbroke Island Day Tour here>

Moreton Island: Book a Moreton Island Day Tour here>

Tangalooma, Moreton Island: Book a Tangalooma Day Trip with Activities here>

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane
Eleven Rooftop Bar

7. Visit the Eleven Rooftop Bar in Brisbane

This amazing restaurant at 757 Anne St Fortitude Valley features spectacular views over the Brisbane Inner City as well as a great bar and fabulous food.

The Eleven Rooftop Bar features in our list of the Best 17 places to Eat and Drink in Brisbane and Gold Coast.

Make sure you book, it does get very busy.

Update: The Eleven Rooftop Bar is now a rooftop Mexican Restaurant and Bar.

http://elevenrooftopbar.com.au/

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - Brisbane Sign Southbank
Brisbane Sign

 

8. Go to Southbank on the Brisbane River

At Southbank you can walk around the gardens, take a ride on the big Brisbane Wheel, visit GOMA (the Gallery of Modern Art) for free, swim in the Lagoon at Streets Beach, ride the Wheel of Brisbane, eat out at the many restaurants and pubs or go at night and visit the markets from Friday to Sunday.

There’s so much to see and do.

Buy your Wheel of Brisbane Tickets here>

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - Wilsons Outlook
Wilsons Outlook

 

9. Wilsons Outlook Reserve New Farm

This park at New Farm has the most incredible views.

Arrive just before dusk, take your camera and watch as the Brisbane City, iconic Story Bridge and the Brisbane River transform into an incredible array of colours and beauty as the lights take effect.

Purchase a Story Bridge Climb here>

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - Bee Gees Way at Redcliffe
Bee Gees Way Redcliffe

10. Redcliffe

Redcliffe is just north of the city and it feels like an island as it is mostly surrounded by water. Access from the south is by the 3.2km bridges spanning from Brighton to Clontarf.

At Redcliffe foreshore there is a great Lagoon perfect for swimming on a warm Brisbane day.

Redcliffe is also considered home to International megastars, the Bee Gees.

Visit the incredible Bee Gees Way to see the city’s fantastic tribute to the family that became worldwide superstars.

Read more about Redcliffe: 17 Reasons to Visit Redcliffe

11. Mount Cootha

Mount Cootha in Brisbane’s western suburbs is where the local TV stations reside but it is also a very popular vantage point for locals who run, ride and cycle their way to the top.

There are stunning views across Brisbane including the city and Brisbane River from the lookout.

The restaurants are very popular and the place of many wedding proposals and ceremonies over the years.

12. Roma Street Parklands

The Roma Street Parklands is on the Brisbane City’s doorstep yet offers 16 hectares of Horticultural beauty with its themed gardens and lush greenery.

Events are held regularly at the amphitheatre with plays performed by the Queensland Theatre Company and others.

You don’t have to have a green thumb to enjoy a stroll through this parkland.

Suncorp Stadium
Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park)

 

13. Brisbane Sporting Stadiums

Suncorp Stadium and The Gabba are Brisbane’s primary sporting stadiums where we cheer on our teams to regular success.

Queenslanders are passionate about their sport and turn out to support their teams whenever they are in town.

Previously named Lang Park the name was changed to Suncorp Stadium in 1994. It now holds crowds of 52,500.

Go the Broncos and the Queensland Bulls!

Boggo Road
Boggo Road Gaol

 

14. Take a Tour of Brisbane’s old Boggo Road Gaol

The Brisbane Boggo Road Gaol once housed Queensland’s most feared prisoners until it was closed in July 1992.

Today you can take tours and hear about the days in the lives of those that found their way inside. At night they also provide ghost tours.

https://boggoroadgaol.com/

Houseboat Gold Coast Broadwater
Houseboat Gold Coast Broadwater

 

15. Houseboating on the Gold Coast Broadwater

It’s a lot of great fun and we have been houseboating several times before we left on our road trip around Oz.

We always used Coomera Houseboats, the staff are fantastic and the boats were perfect for our trips.

https://www.coomerahouseboats.com.au/

16. Climb Brisbane’s Story Bridge

The Story Bridge Climb takes you over Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge.

Walk up the top for an amazing experience, standing high above the traffic overlooking the Brisbane River and the City.

Book your Brisbane Story Bridge Adventure Climb here>

Redcliffe Jetty Markets
Redcliffe Jetty Markets

 

17. Weekends are great for Markets in Brisbane

Every Saturday from 6am to midday the Carseldine Markets on the corner of Beams and Dorville Roads at Carseldine provide superb fresh products and craft ideas.

You can enjoy a fantastic array of foods and juices or coffee in a great atmosphere with easy parking and it’s Free to enter.

On Sunday you can visit the Cleveland Markets near the Bay where you will find many craft stalls, lots of entertainment, great food and fresh produce.

The Cleveland markets have operated for over 30 years and you can see them on Bloomfield Street Cleveland where they are open from 7am to 1pm every Sunday.

The Redcliffe Jetty Markets are located in the main street overlooking Moreton Bay and features many stall holders with a great range of home made products.

There’s a great variety of food and drinks and on a sunny day the position is perfect.

Carseldine: https://www.carseldinemarkets.com.au/

Cleveland: https://www.clevelandmarkets.com.au/

Redcliffe: https://redcliffejettymarkets.com/

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - King Island
King Island

 

18. Take a 1km walk out to King Island

At low tide at the bayside suburb of Wellington Point in Brisbane’s East you can walk across to King Island.

Time it right and you can enjoy a stunning sunset as you walk across the sandy straight to the island.

21 Bests Things to do in and around Brisbane - Camping
Moreton Island camping

 

19. Go Camping

Within 1-2 hours from Brisbane are so many fantastic camping experiences. Noosa North Shore Campground is fantastic or take the Barge across to Moreton Island or Stradbroke Island.

Book a spot at Noosa North Shore

You can go to Somerset Dam west of Brisbane or a short drive to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast Hinterlands all provide amazing places to park the caravan or pitch a tent.

Here you can enjoy the Wildlife, go swimming and fishing and escape city life for awhile.

Beenleigh Rum Distillery
Beenleigh Rum Distillery

 

20. Visit the Gold Coast

Head south just an hour from Brisbane and visit the world renowned Gold Coast with its superb beaches and fantastic waterways.

What we love about the Goldie is there’s always something happening.

Visit the theme parks, hang out at Cavill Mall, dine in the wonderful restaurants at Broadbeach, surf at Snapper Rocks or Burleigh Heads and enjoy some good fishing.

Movieworld, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild –Purchase a 3 Day Pass here>

Dreamworld & WhiteWater World – Purchase a 1 Day Pass here>

Don’t miss Springbrook National Park in the Hinterland and while there visit Purling Brook Falls, Best of all Lookout and Natural Bridge. At night you will see Glow worms and Fire flies.

On the way to the Gold Coast stop into the famous Yatala Pie Shop and do a tour of the Beenleigh Distillery and enjoy some samples of their products.

Book a Springbrook National Park and Gold Coast Tour from Brisbane here>

Read more about: Springbrook National Park

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - Noosa National Park
Noosa National Park

 

21. Visit the Sunshine Coast

Conversely, head north an hour and take in all that is the Sunshine Coast. Much more laid back, the beaches are equally fantastic.

Visit Coolum Beach and Noosa National Park, Buderim Falls, SEA LIFE at Mooloolaba for the marine life and go to the amazing Australia Zoo owned by the family of Steve Irwin.

Climb Mt Coolum or head inland and visit wonderful towns like Kenilworth, Maleny, Montville and Mapleton plus be sure to visit the Ginger Factory at Yandina.

SEA LIFE Sunshine CoastPurchase your General Admission Tickets here>

Australia Zoo – Purchase your General Admission Tickets here>

Ginger Factory – Purchase your Ride Double Deal Tickets here>

The Sunshine Coast is fantastic with so much to see and do.

Read more about Sunshine Coast: 15 Things you must do on the Sunshine Coast

There are so many great places to eat out around Brisbane and Gold Coast.

Check out our: Best 17 Places to Eat and Drink in Brisbane and Gold Coast

If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Brisbane with your Caravan or Motorhome the Lawnton Showgrounds provides the perfect place to stay. Located on Brisbane’s Northside it has power and water for just $25 per night.

It is an easy walk to Lawnton Rail Station and 5 minutes drive either direction to plenty of shopping options.

Find out: How to get to Brisbane and Southbank in your Motorhome or Caravan

You may also enjoy watching https://indefiniteleave.com.au/australia-road-trip-ep-1-springbrook-national-park/

Pin – 21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane

Other interesting blogs that may enjoy reading:

These are just our 21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane. There are heaps more places to see and things to do. Tell us about your Brisbane experience.

Safe travel

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.
Lenses – Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/34thTP1  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Adventurers Diary

Wallaman Falls has the Wow factor

Wallaman Falls

When we left Brisbane in February 2016 and headed north, one of our must see places we had marked was Wallaman Falls, located 49kms west of Ingham in North Queensland. It is the highest permanent single drop waterfall in Australia and we were really looking forward to seeing it.

As we drove up through North Queensland the weather was bleak, overcast, wet and we were advised against doing it in the Motorhome so we didn’t end up seeing it.

With a second opportunity 18 months later we weren’t going to miss it this time but as we came down the Highway we passed bush fires just north of Ingham and the region was under a smoke haze.

Again the opportunity looked unlikely however after staying the night at Ingham we awoke to a clear morning and no obvious signs of smoke filled haze covering the skies.

We quickly packed up and made our way out to the range.

Wallaman Falls - Base of the Falls

The Road to Wallaman Falls

The road all of the way to Wallaman Falls is fully sealed.

The first 20kms approx. was an easy drive at 80-100kmh until the next 5 kms where cows take over and make the road and grassed edges their home. Some move off the road quickly whilst others are in no rush so we had to take it slowly and stop when necessary.

The following 15kms is steep winding road around the mountain. We did it comfortably in our 8 metre Winnebago Esperance Motorhome in the dry conditions however it is not recommended for caravans.

We’ve driven much worse Ranges such as the Gillies Range from Atherton to Gordonvale near Cairns, the Daintree and the Lyell Highway in the South West of Tasmania through Queenstown to Strahan.

Those drives made this seem pretty easy.

You may also enjoy reading: Driving North from Townsville to Cairns Things to See and Do in Cairns Townsville, A Big Country Town in North Queensland

Wallaman Falls from the Lookout
Wallaman Falls from lookout above

Care – The Road is not suitable for some vehicles

A sign at the bottom of the range says it is unsuitable for Trucks, Buses, Caravans and Trailers. I figured we didn’t fit any of those categories and nothing was stopping us now.

There were some tight bends and narrow road but we made it to the lookout 15kms from the top and stopped to admire and absorb the stunning views.

A short drive further around the range and we were at the top.

From here the last 5-10kms was fairly straight road mostly 60-70kmh. Lots of signs saying to watch for Cassowaries which may cross the road with one sign saying don’t exit your vehicle.

Cassowaries are known to be aggressive at times although that didn’t stop Adele last year at Mission Beach when she got close up for some photos.

Making our way to the bottom of the falls

From Ingham it was about an hours drive to Wallaman Falls. If you are heading out from Townsville to Wallaman Falls, it is just over 2hrs.

Also be sure to take another 2.5hrs drive to the north from Wallaman Falls to Paronella Park.

Check out our video reviews of places to stay in the Townsville to Tully area: Rowes Bay Holiday Park Townsville Tyto Self Contained RV Parking Ingham Tully Showgrounds

How to See Wallaman Falls

We found the Wallaman Falls car park and it’s a very short walk to see the incredible Waterfalls from above.

There are 3 view points each providing stunning views to this beautiful waterfall flowing over the edge into the 20 metre deep pool below.

Photo_4

Once we completed our photos and selfies and admired the Falls it was time to decide if we would walk to the bottom of the Gorge.

Adele was talking herself out of it fast and with signs saying it was very steep, needing a certain fitness level and notifying us that people had in fact died attempting to walk this path to the base, I must admit I had plenty of doubts also.

Wallaman Falls – Gorge Lookout

We decided to check out the Gorge Lookout which was just 400 metres away at the top of the walk down and decide from there.

photo_5

The Gorge was equally as impressive and spectacular and it just seemed to be drawing me to it. It seemed natural that I had to explore all that there was to see about Wallaman Falls and with that I began the walk.

Adele quickly followed deciding to start and see how she went.

Wallaman Falls Walk to the bottom

All up it is a 4km round trip from the Top lookout to the bottom and back again. Signs varied but mostly stated it to be a minimum 2 hour walk with one sign saying 2-3 hours.

Photo_6
Part of the path to the base of the Fall

The journey down began and we knew immediately this was going to be a challenge for us. There is a chain rail to the side to assist those climbing up.

As we left the very top I noticed a young girl who had just arrived back after obviously doing the track. She was covered in sweat so I knew immediately we were in for some hard work.

Wallaman Falls Walking Track

The first section is bitumen but gets quite steep.

From there it’s a dirt track, the first part steep but generally ok. Then it gets rough and the further down you go it seems to get worse.

We walked sideways between two rocks which only offered a narrow path, climbed over fallen trees across the path, stumbled over rock outcrops and stealthed along narrow edges but luckily didn’t have to ward off any snakes unlike the German travelers we met at the base of the falls.

Wallaman Falls, the highest single drop waterfall in Australia

They told us how they came across a big black snake on the path.

They jumped up and down in the hope that the vibrations would scare it off but it didn’t work.

Also they threw some rocks near to the snake, not to hit it but just close enough to get it to move but that too was in vain, this guy wasn’t moving.

As a last resort they threw a stone at it. This time it moved along but they waited a few minutes just to make sure it was long gone into the bushes before taking off along the track again.

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How long is the walk to the base of the Falls

It took us 40 minutes to reach the base of the Falls and when we did, it was seriously worth it.

Wallaman Falls from below was majestic.

We could feel its power and were amazed by it’s beauty.

Once we were finished at the base it was time to trek our way back to the top. With an expected minimum 2 hour return and knowing what we had in store I guessed it would be an hour and 15 minutes to make our way back up.

Wallaman Falls 2km Track
Let’s do it again……

We started our walk and took a few rests and one stop to replace the battery in the GoPro. All up we stopped 6 times on our ascent and it took us just 50 minutes.

The challenging walk back up from the base of the falls

At one stage I figured I’d try to take Adele’s mind off the challenges of the walk and get her mind thinking about something else so I asked about our dinner plans.

Adele muttered something inaudible back and so I asked again. Once more I couldn’t understand the answer so I asked a third time.

I was quickly about to wish I hadn’t haha.

Her response left me in no doubt of her thoughts. “Stop asking me questions” she demanded, “I can’t breath, my chest is in pain, I can’t talk and we’re having Kangaroo”.

That was the end of that discussion and any other attempts!!

Wallaman Falls Track 2km
Maybe not haha

Cassowaries and Cows

We didn’t see any Cassowaries but we did see lots more cows on the way out again. We had to stop in the middle of the road and this time a cow didn’t want to move.

It seemed friendly and inquisitive and eventually came over to the Motorhome and began to look at itself in my side mirror.

I put my window down and it began to lick my hand and was happy for a pat. The most amazing and incredible Cow experience.

Every other cow we’ve seen moves away if you get close.

Meeting the cows on the road to Wallaman Falls

Wallaman Falls is a genuinely stunning natural wonder and definitely worth any challenges in getting there and seeing it in all it’s awe.

Wallaman Falls Hike

There are a number of factors to consider before attempting the Wallaman Falls Hike and you also need to be prepared for such a walk.

What to wear

  • Good walking shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Bathers and a towel if you want to swim in the pool at the base
  • A hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Insect repellent, although we didn’t and had no issues but it is rainforest.

What to take

  • Plenty of water
  • Hiking Track Map
  • A good camera
  • Mobile Phone although coverage is limited

When deciding on the hike – What to consider

  • Your fitness level
  • The temperature. It was August 2017 and only around 27c the day we went.
  • Time of day, don’t leave it too late
  • If you are doing it on your own let others know when you expect to be back
  • Allow 3 hours all up, we spent a good hour at the base

Wallaman Falls Camping

There is a Camping Area at Wallaman Falls not far from Stoney Creek.

The campground has picnic shelters with tables and a gas barbecue as well as a public phone. It also has wood fire barbecues, water, composting toilets and even a cold water shower.

The water is not recommended for drinking though so best to bring in enough drinking water both for your stay and for while you are hiking.

The Camping Area is not accessible for caravans. There are two open grass camp sites that are suitable for tents, campertrailers, small motorhomes and campervans only.

You may be lucky and spot platypus in Stoney Creek along with turtles and water dragons as well as see cassowaries in the Girringun National Park.

Have you been to Wallaman Falls?

Tell us about your memories there. Let us know if you have utilised the Wallaman Falls Camping Grounds as well!

Camping next to Stoney Creek would be an amazing experience, perfect for waking up and taking an early morning hike to the falls!

Safe Travels

Kevin & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all of our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses –

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens https://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/34thTP1  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Where to Find Us

Follow us, Subscribe, Like, Share, and Comment on our website and social media here:-

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indefiniteleave/

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Website: https://indefiniteleave.com.au/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/indefiniteleave

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/indefiniteleave/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

___________________________________________________________

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through a link on this page we may receive a small commission. It will not cost you any more, in fact we’ve sourced out some great deals for you. Thank you for supporting us.

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Adventurers Diary

Why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting

There are so many great things to see and do in and around Bundaberg which is why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting.

Bundaberg doesn’t just evolve around Bundaberg Rum and Bundaberg Ginger Beer, it is also the landmark of the southern most part of the Great Barrier Reef and is notable for its sugar industry.

It is also famous for its close locality to Mon Repos. Mon Repos has the largest concentration of marine nesting turtles on the eastern mainland of Australia,

Plus, it’s fast becoming the ‘Drinks Capital of Australia’ with the introduction of a microbrewery, cider house and gin distillery in recent years.

Table of Contents

Bundaberg is worth visiting for its Drink Places

Bundaberg Rum Factory

The Bundaberg Rum Factory is one of the main reasons why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting for a lot of people.

If you are a keen Bundaberg Rum Drinker like Kev, or even if you are not a non-rum drinker at all like Adele, you will enjoy doing a tour of the Bundaberg Rum Factory.

Tours of Australia’s most famous rum distillery, which was established in 1888, run Monday to Friday from 10am – 3pm and from 10am – 2pm on Weekends and Public Holidays. The tour goes for approx. 1 hour.

Bundaberg Rum Tour

Book your Bundaberg Rum Factory Distillery Experience here>

Bundaberg Rum Distillery Museum

It is recommended you arrive 30-45 minutes prior to the commencement of your tour. This enables you have time to check out the museum beforehand. Both the museum and the tour are really interesting.

Kev thought he would score Adele’s 2 free tastings at the end of each of our tours and both times he dipped out!

Adele is definitely not a rum drinker but she discovered she likes the Bundy Tropics especially the Mango & Passionfruit which she sampled on our first visit in 2016 and now the Banana & Toffee Royal Liqueur on our most recent visit.

You can always just drop into the Retail Store and purchase a drink from the bar and make any purchases from the extensive range of Bundaberg Rum, Liqueurs and merchandise.

Bundy Rum Factoery is one of the reasons why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting
Kev feeling very much at home at the #homeofbundy
The Bundaberg Barrel
The Bundaberg Barrell is another reason why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting

Bundaberg Barrel

Take a tour of The Bundaberg Barrel. It is one of Bundaberg’s drink places not to be missed.

It’s perfect for all ages and is interesting and educational. It is a self-guided hands-on tour with lots of interactive displays.

Learn all about the history of the classic Bundaberg Brewed Drinks which date back for generations to 1960.

At the end of the tour, you are offered tastings of their entire range. 19 delicious flavoured soft drinks, including the famous Bundaberg Ginger Beer!

They have a huge selection of the Bundaberg Brewed Drinks and selected merchandise available for purchase and you also have the option to create customised labels.

Bundaberg Brewed Drinks
Taste testing 19 delicious flavours of Bundaberg Brewed Drinks
Why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting
Kev chatting to owners Zoe & Josh of Ohana Cider House & Tropical Winery while enjoying a tasting paddle

Ohana Cider House & Tropical Winery

We love popping into Ohana Cider House & Tropical Winery! Josh & Zoe, the founders and owners of Ohana Cider House & Winery are very welcoming and we always enjoy a chat over the bar.

Be sure to get a tasting paddle along with one of their cheese and bikkies platters. We can highly recommend their tropical wine, fortified wines and ciders.

Adele loves the Mango Moscato and Kev liked the fortified wines so much, he bought two of each to take with us after polishing off a tasting paddle all on his own!

The Ohana Cheeky Tiki Ciders are widely available at different outlets throughout Queensland and at every Queensland Dan Murphy’s store.

Plus, they will soon be launching into New South Wales.

Ohana Cider House & Tropical Winery
We couldn’t walk away from Ohana Cider House & Tropical Winery without buying a bottle of Mango Moscato for Adele and 2 bottles of each of the Fortified for Kev
Kalki Moon Distilling & Brewing

Kalki Moon Distilling & Brewing

Founded in 2017, the Kalki Moon is one of the most recent additions to Bundaberg which is fast becoming the ‘Drinks Capital of Australia’.

This family owned and operated distillery is the first ever gin distillery in Bundaberg.

Not only do they offer gin which comes from the cane fields of Bundaberg, they also produce vodka, liqueurs and soon they will be launching their own rum creation.

Kalki Moon’s Gift Shop and Cellar Door are open 7 days a week. Just check with their experienced staff regarding distillery tours and tastings.

Chatting with the staff at the Kalki Moon
At the bar with the staff of the Kalki Moon Distilling & Brewing Company

Bargara Brewing Company & The Brewhouse

Although the Bargara Brewing Company was founded in Bargara it is actually located at The Brewhouse in central Bundaberg.

The Brewhouse is where all of the brewing of the Bargara Brewing Company’s beer takes place. Inside this micro-brewery is a busy restaurant, bottle shop and a retail outlet.

There’s 8 different taps of freshly brewed beers. They also have an on-line shop.

Mon Repos Turtle Centre is one of the main reason s why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting

Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting for its awesome Attractions

Mon Repos Turtle Centre

The Mon Repos Turtle Centre is definitely worth visiting.  As well as being one of Bundaberg’s most awesome attractions, it is the best place to learn about turtles.

The Turtle Centre is open from 9am – 12pm – 7 days per week with the exception of Christmas Day (25 December) and Anzac Day (25 April). During turtle season, it is also open 7 days per week from 7pm until 12am.

Turtle Season

Turtle season at Mon Repos is from November through to March. The best viewing times for the nesting turtles are from November through to January. For the turtle hatchlings the months from January to March are best.

You can experience either the turtles laying or witness the hatchlings digging their way free and scampering down the beach to the water.

Witnessing the hatchlings at Mon Repos
Turtle hatchlings following the light of the human runway as they clamber to the water

Entry is free into the Hatchling Hall and Gift Shop. Tickets must be purchased online for any one of the three daytime sessions of Turtle Tales.

Sessions are at 9am, 10am and 11am and go for 45 minutes. Nightly Turtle Encounter ticketholders are entitled to free access into Hatchling Hall, Gift Shop and Turtles Tales on the night while they are waiting for the turtle event.

The Turtle Discovery Centre is very interesting and educational. Learn all about the different types of turtles, their migration paths, what they eat and so much more.

Turtle Facts

Here are just a few ‘turtley awesome’ facts:

  • Turtles come ashore several times to lay hundreds of eggs in a nesting season.
  • They come back to the same location to lay their eggs but not necessarily each year.
  • After epic migrations at sea, turtles return to the exact spot where they were born to mate and lay their own eggs.
  • Only around 1 in every 1,000 hatchlings survives to adulthood
  • The sex of the turtle is determined by the temperature of the nest
Adele and Turtle at Mon Repos - Why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting

Turtle Encounter Tours

A Turtle Encounter Tour is one of the reasons why it is definitely worth visiting Bundaberg. It’s one of the most awesome attractions that the Bundaberg region has to offer.

It is absolutely an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience and one we can personally highly recommend!

Touching a Turtle Hatchling on the Turtle Encounter Tour
Adele Getting up close and personal with a turtle hatchling

The most fabulous experience for us was witnessing the baby hatchlings up close.

We were also very fortunate to be all chosen to be part of a human runway as the hatchlings scampered over the sand following the light between our our legs and at times over our feet to reach the water.

Although, we are yet to see a turtle laying her eggs, we have seen turtle tracks on the beach at Mon Repos made the previous night by laying turtles.

Nesting turtle tracks on the beach at Mon Repos
The tracks made by a nesting turtle on the beach at Mon Repos

Note – Bookings for the Turtle Encounter Tours are essential! Tours are hugely popular and often very booked out. So be sure to book well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Bookings can be made through the Bundaberg Visitor Information Centre

Beautiful farmyard surrounds at Tinaberries

Tinaberries

Tinaberries is a strawberry farm located in Woongarra and is just under 15kms from the heart of Bundaberg.

They warmly welcome guests to their farm to enjoy icecream and strawberries.

OMG, the ice cream at Tinaberries is devine! It was only on our 4th visit to Bundaberg that we discovered Tinaberrries. We are so pleased we have found this deliciious ice cream!

It has just skyrocketed to the top of the charts as one of our favourite ice creams that we have had in nearly 5 years travelling around Australia.

Meeting the owners of Tinaberries
We met Bruce and Tina the owners of Tinaberries

Flavours vary on the day depending on the fruits in season.

Strawberry and Passion Fruit were the flavours of the day of our visit. So we bought one of each so we could sample both.

Others flavours include – Dragon Fruit and Lime; Mango and Passion Fruit; Strawberry and Mint; Passion Fruit and Ginger and Blueberries just to name a few.

Tinaberries is another reason why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting
OMG – the ice creams at Tinaberries are awesome!!

Lady Musgrave Island

Although we did our day trip to Lady Musgrave Island from 1770, you can also make your way out to the Southern Great Barrier Reef from Bundaberg.

Lady Musgrave Island is the second most southern island in the Great Barrier Reef and is great spot for snorkelling around acres of coral.

Book your Lady Musgrave Island Day Trip from Bundaberg here>

Lady Musgrave Island is one of the reasons why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting
Our day trip to Lady Musgrave Island
Hinkler Hall of Aviation is one of Bundaberg's attractions definitely worth visiting

Hinkler Hall of Aviation Museum

The Hinkler Hall of Aviation is definitely worth visiting even if you are not an aviation enthusiast. It is a must visit for all ages.

Located in the Bundaberg Botanical Gardens, this amazing museum celebrates Australias’s pioneer Aviator Bert Hinkler.

Everyone will enjoy the interactive displays and unique exhibits while learning the history of flight in Australia and the incredible life of Bert Hinkler.

One of the attractions why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting
Bert Hinkler’sAvro Baby’s first flight was in April 1919

The flight simulator is great fun and you can recreate Bert’s first flight hovering over Mon Repos.

The Hinkler Hall of Aviation is open 7 days Monday to Sunday from 9am – 3pm. 

Don’t miss seeing the Bert Hinkler House, a recreated from his home in England by the Museum here in Bundaberg.

Hinkler's House
Bert Hinkler House

Bundaberg Botanical Gardens

The Bundaberg Botanical Gardens in North Bundaberg has over 10,000 trees and shrubs within its 27 hectares as well as a wedding chapel.

There are magnificent lakes that attract up to 114 different species of birds, shaded picnic areas and a nature themed playground.

The Bundaberg Botanical Gardens - why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting

The best way to explore these fabulous botanical gardens is to take a ride on the steam train. Australian Sugar Cane Railway conducts train rides every Sunday.

They also operate Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays during school holidays and on most public holidays.

Contact the Australian Sugar Cane Railway for ticket prices and further information.

Bundaberg Botanical Gardens is also home to the Hinkler Hall of Aviation, The Fairymead House Sugar Museum, Cafe 1928, the Australian Sugar Cane Railway Museum  and the Bundaberg and District Historical Museum.

Bundaberg and District Historical Museum
Bundaberg & District Historical Museum

Fairymead House Sugar Museum

The Fairymead House, built in 1890, was originally the Manager’s residence at the nearby Fairymead Sugar Plantation.

In 1988, Bundaberg Sugar Ltd who were the owners of the Fairymead Sugar Plantation, gave it to the city of Bundaberg as a Bi-Centenial gift. It was carefully transported in six pieces and relocated to its new site in the Bundaberg Botanical Gardens.

This grand old plantation house which is heritage-listed, has been restored and repurposed as a museum dedicated to the history of the sugar industry of Bundaberg and its pioneering families.

Opening hours are from 10.30am to 12pm Mondays to Fridays.

The Fairymead House - One of the attractions why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting
The Fairymead House
The Hummock

The Hummock Lookout

The remnants of a low-lying volanco is what is commonly known by Bundaberg locals as ‘The Hummock”.

Although it is only 96 metres above sea-level, the Hummock is a great spot to take in the views over the whole of Bundaberg. To the east, the ocean is visible. Sugar cane fields can be viewed to the west.

View of the Hummock from the cane fields
View of The Hummock from the cane fields

5 Essentials – Outside RV Accessories

  1. To plug your RV with standard 15amp in to standard residential 10amp power source you will need a converter. We love our waterproof Ampfibian and after over 4 years it’s still perfect.
  2. Most people carry a Generator for back up power. 4wd Supacentre has a good low cost and popular generator while the Yamaha 2000w is a robust yet quiet excellent performer.
  3. A 20m 15amp Power Lead will ensure you reach your power source in Caravan Parks and Campgrounds.
  4. You will want a good blue Drinking Water Hose. Your typical green garden hose is not suitable for drinking from.
  5. A 4 way tap handle will help you find water whenever you need it

Nearby Beaches are another reason Why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting

It is definitely worth visiting Bundaberg for the number of great beaches nearby.

Being in close proximity from the city centre to the beach is awesome as you only have to drive 15 minutes from Bundaberg and you are at the beach!

Bargara Beach is one of the beaches and why Bundaberg is worth visiting
Bargara Beach

Bargara Beach

The Bargara Beach is the closest of the beaches to Bundaberg. Bargara offers an ideal beachside lifestyle with oceanfront dining.

The kids will love playing on the beachfront playground which is in the shape of a turtle.

Bargara Esplanade
Bargara Esplanade

Can you swim at Bargara Beach?

During normal conditions, both Bargara Beach and Kellys Beach are considered to be relatively safe for swimming but it is safest and best to swim within the flags in the two patrolled areas.

Bargara & Kellys Beach are popular spots for local surfers as well.

How far is it from Bundaberg to Bargara?

By road it is just over 13kms from Bundaberg to Bargara.

Why Bundaberg is worth visiting for the nearby beaches
The Beach at Elliott Heads

Elliott Heads

Elliott Heads is one of the best beaches near Bundaberg. It offers both a surf beach and calmer waters at the mouth of the Elliott River where the river meets the sea.

With Elliott Heads right on the door step of Bundaberg, it is a great place to visit for the day for a swim or a picnic or to stay for a number of days while you explore all the best things to do in and around Bundaberg.

A drone view of Elliott Heads

Can you swim at Elliott Heads?

Both the beach and the river are great for swimming.

The surf beach at Elliott Heads is patrolled from September to May but is considered relatively safe other times of the year. You just need to be cautious of the current in the river.

It is also a very popular spot for kite surfers and jet skiers.

Elliott Heads where the river meets the ocean

How far is Elliott Heads from Bundaberg?

As it’s only 20mins out of Bundaberg, Elliott Heads has the best of both worlds. Not only is it a great spot to stay right on the beach, you are so close to town as well.

Dr Mays Island

Just across the mouth of Elliott Head River is Dr Mays Island. From 1 September to 30 April each year, it is closed to the public.

Very rare birds visit this area for breeding and other birds rest and feed there after flying thousands of kilometres from places as far away as Siberia and the Arctic Circle.

Dr Mays Island

Burnett Heads

Burnett Heads is where river meets the sea and it is home to the Port of Bundaberg.

It is also easily identified by two historic lighthouses.

The original lighthouse was built back in 1873 and now stands next to the Burnett Head Lighthouse Holiday Park. In 1971, the old wooden lighthouse was replaced with the new octagonal concrete structure.

Burnett Heads original Lighthouse
The original wooden Burnett Heads Lighthouse
New octagonal lighthouse at Burnett Heads
Burnett Heads new octagonal concrete lighthouse

Burnett Heads is also very close to the Mon Repos Conservation Park.

Can you swim at Burnett Heads?

Oaks Beach, a 200metre long beach and South Head just 100metres of sand and rocks are the two beach areas just south of Burnett Heads with only 500metres between the two.

These two beaches are not patrolled by Life Savers.

Conditions in these areas are often choppy and prone to rips especially when the surf is up. Therefore people are advised to swim at patrolled beaches.

Burnett Heads

How far is Burnett Heads from Bundaberg?

The distance by road from Burnett Heads to Bundaberg is 16.2kms.

One of the reasons why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting - Woodgate Beach is nearby
Loads of shells washed up on Woodgate Beach

Woodgate Beach

Woodgate Beach is a long white sandy beach approximately 45 mins out from Bundy.

The southern 6 to 7 kilometres of the beach which is part of the Burrum Coast National Park provides 4WD access for beach driving.

Locals warn the sand is muddy and much softer near the Isis river mouth and is a common area for vehicles to become bogged.

Burnett Heads north of the boat ramp
Woodgate Beach north from the boat ramp

Do you need a permit to drive on Woodgate Beach?

You do not require a permit to drive on Woodgate Beach.

There are two access points onto Woodgate Beach.

One south of the Woodgate township and the northern entry off Walkers Point Road takes you down a broken, wooden board track where you need to take care if towing a trailer.

How far is Woodgate Beach from Bundaberg?

Woodgate Beach is just over 57kms from Bundaberg.

We drove out from Bundaberg and enjoyed lunch overlooking the beach and the boat ramp and continued south through Childers stopping at Mammino Gourmet Ice cream, for one of our favourite ice creams in all of OZ.

Memminos Gourmet Ice cream is at nerby Childers and why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting

Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting for RV Travellers

RV Travellers will definitely find Bundaberg worth visiting as it offers a Free Camping area. Plus, Bundaberg has repurposed the old Showgrounds into a low cost RV Park managed by CMCA.

Hinkler Lions Park

The Hinkler Lions Park in Bundaberg, aptly named after the aviation icon Bert Hinkler, is a great place to stay for free as it is only a few minutes from the main city centre.

Hinkler Lions Park is one reason why Bundaberg is worth visiting for travellers
Hinkler Lions Park Free Camp

There’s plenty of space and easy parking for self-contained vehicles. For caravans the suggestion is to go anti clockwise to make it easier to reverse park. It even took us a few turns in our Motorhome.

There are toilets, a drinking water tap, a dump point, bins and even a kids playground.

How long can you stay at the Hinkler Lions Park in Bundaberg?

It is a 24 hour stay at the Hinkler Lions Park. 

Are Pets allowed at the Hinkler Lions Park?

Hinkler Lions Park is pet friendly.

Read all about our stay at: Hinkler Lions Park

Hinkler Lions Park
Hinkler Lions Park Free Camp

Bundaberg CMCA RV Park

The Bundaberg CMCA RV Park is a great spot to stay. Its central location is why it is definitely worth staying here enabling easy access for exploring Bundaberg.

For CMCA Members it’s just $3 per person per night and $15 per vehicle for night for non-members.

It is located at the old Showgrounds behind the Bundaberg Multiplex Sports & Convention Centre.

CMCA RV Park at Bundaberg

How long can you stay at the Bundaberg CMCA RV Park?

Maximum Stay is 5 nights in any 21day period.

All vehicles must be self-contained as there are no toilets and no showers. Also, you must contain your grey water.

Sites are all unpowered but drinking water and a dump point is available.

Are Pets Allowed at the Bundaberg CMCA RV Park?

Yes, it is pet friendly.

There’s heaps of space and it is quiet. Best of all, it is very central and is handy to most places in Bundaberg.

Read about our stay at the: Bundaberg CMCA RV Park

Bundaberg CMCA RV Park campsite
Bundaberg CMCA RV Park

Why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting for the beachside Caravan Parks

Big 4 Bargara Caravan Park

On our first visit to Bundaberg we stayed at the Bargara Caravan Park. Bargara Beach is just a 15minute drive into town which is why its definitely worth visiting Bundaberg.

We enjoyed the best of both worlds being close to town and we were also able to enjoy camping by the beach.

It was an easy drive into Bundaberg to hit up all of the popular tourist attractions including the famous Bundaberg Rum Factory, The Barrel as well as visit a number of Kev’s relatives.

Beach directly opposite Bargara Caravan Park
The Beach directly opposite the Bargara Caravan Park

Bargara Caravan Park is ideally located right across from the beach and the Bundaberg Surf Life Savers Club making it perfect for a swim after a hot day exploring Bundaberg.

The Park is suitable for all sized caravans and RVs, allows tent camping and 1 and 2 bedroom cabins are also available.

Powered and non-powered sites are available. You can choose from grassed or concrete slab sites as well as sun or shaded sites.

Are Pets Allowed at the Big 4 Bargara Caravan Park?

Yes, the Big 4 Caravan Park is dog friendly however it is seasonal so best to check regarding dog access prior to arrival.

Beach at Bargara Esplanade
Bargara Beach near the Esplanade
Drone view of Elliott Hds Holiday Park
A drone view of the Elliott Heads Holiday Park

Elliott Heads Holiday Park

The Elliott Heads Holiday Park was the perfect location to stay when we were visiting Bundaberg the second time around.

Located right on the doorstep of Bundaberg’s most beautiful local beach and just 20 minutes from town, makes it an ideal base to explore Bundaberg as well as a great spot to just relax and unwind by the beach.

The Amenities are in great condition and the park has all the expected features -Water, Power and a Dump Point. The sites are all powered and are a good size with a choice of slab or grassed sites.

Just across the road from the Elliott Heads Holiday Park is a great café and a sheltered picnic area.

Elliott Heads Holiday Park - Why Bundaberg is definitely worth visitng
Our site at the Elliott Heads Holiday Park

Are Pets Allowed at the Elliott Heads Tourist Park?

The Elliott Heads Tourist Park do not allow dogs. It was not possible for us to stay at the
Elliott Heads Tourist Park on our first visit to Bundaberg as we were travelling with our dog MACKS.

Read about our stay at: Elliott Heads Holiday Park

Elliott Heads is one reason why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting
Beautiful Elliott Heads

Burnett Heads Lighthouse Holiday Park

On another of our visits to Bundaberg, we stayed at the Burnett Heads Lighthouse Holiday Park in Bundaberg.

The park is very handy to Mon Repos to see the turtle hatching and is only 15 minutes from the centre of town.

Sites are a good size, it’s close to the ocean and like all of the other Caravan Parks around Bundaberg, there is no pool.

Why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting - Burnett Heads
Burnett Heads Lighthouse Holiday Park located right on the water’s edge

Although the amenities and facilities at the Burnett Heads Lighthouse Holiday Park at the time of our stay were tired, they are clean.

The camp kitchen is good with BBQ’s, Microwave, frying pan and other features ideal for cooking.

A tennis court is available onsite also.

Are Pets Allowed at the Burnett Heads Holiday Park?

Yes, dogs are allowed as it is pet friendly.

Read about our stay at: Burnett Heads Lighthouse Holiday Park

Our site at the Burnett Heads Lighthouse Holiday Park
Our site at the Burnett Heads Lighthouse Holiday Park

Pin – Why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting

Have you been to Bundaberg? We have found first hand why Bundaberg is definitely worth visiting as each time we visit we find new and exciting things to see and do.

Check out these other great blogs:

Safe travels   

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2yQwPed  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/2XlOZ0I – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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