You do not have to be a frequent traveller to consider adding Bundaberg to your bucket list. This place and the surrounding region offer plenty of exciting things to do and discover. It is one of the biggest cities in Queensland and just about 380 kilometres north of Brisbane.
Bundaberg is mostly known for the turtle trail and rookery at Mon Repos. It is also where you can find the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef, which is a wonderful site for snorkelling and diving. If you love the experience, you should not miss the chance to watch the whales. There are whale watching tours, which start from July to November.
If you want a more relaxed time in the city, you can head to the beaches close to Bundaberg. They are just a few hours away by car. The warm climate makes it an excellent place for visiting these sandy beaches. Other attractions you should not miss are the Hummock Lookout and Lady Elliot Island.
However, the most famous is going to breweries or distilleries. Many tourists from around the world drop by to get a taste of iconic rum and other alcohol products. Your trip will never be complete if you do not visit the following breweries and microbreweries in Bundaberg.
The Bundaberg Rum Distillery
For most tourists – and even locals – the rum distillery is one of the most popular attractions in Bundaberg. It is the producer of the famous export, Bundaberg Rum.
Also known as the Bundaberg Rum Factory, this distillery attracts numerous people every year. Australians and other people from across the globe travel to Bundaberg to taste the rum products.
There is a guided tour to the rum factory where you can discover how the rum is made. Of course, you should not miss the opportunity to taste these products. They are available in the tasting bar of the factory.
Even if you are not a rum lover, you will still appreciate this historical figure in Queensland. The Bundaberg Rum Distillery has been around since 1888. “Bundy” as the locals would call it was inducted into the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame back in 2010.
Bundy has an impressive background. The idea was born because the sugar mills in the area had too much waste molasses after extracting sugar. A group of people convened to determine whether or not distilling the excess sugar could be profitable for them.
The company began its operations in 1888, but the rum was introduced a year later. However, the production halted from 1907 until 1914. It resumed production after, but fires caused the distillery to stop from 1936 to 1939.
Fast forward to today, the distillery is open for tours where visitors can witness the day-to-day operations. A museum with free samples of the Bundaberg Rum products is also nearby. Some of the products include:
- Bundaberg Red
- Bundaberg Rum UP
- Bundaberg Mutiny Spiced Rum
- Bundaberg Tropics
- Bundy Wings Heritage Label Original
This award-winning rum sponsors the Wallabies rugby union team. It also supports the Bundaberg Rum Rugby Series.
Bundaberg Brewed Drinks
Another great brewery revered in Australia is the Bundaberg Brewed Drinks. The company has had a long yet successful journey in producing brewed drinks.
Opening in 1960, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks is a family-owned business and has remained so since its inception. Eight years later, the Fleming family purchased another firm. It was their way towards expansion. This business was involved in bottling and fermenting.
The company was first known as Electra Breweries because it was headquartered in Electra Street. In 1973, the company moved to Bargara Road in Bundaberg where it is still located today.
From the 1970s to 1980s, the company had its attention towards the local market. It produced many franchised drinks, which it sold to the loyal customers in Bundaberg as well as in Maryborough.
One of the most memorable products from this brewery is the Ginger Beer, which made its first appearance in the 1980s. It got quite popular, causing the business to distribute the product all over Australia and New Zealand, too. The company become even more prominent as it began to sell non-alcoholic drinks to other parts of the world in 1987.
It was only in 1995 when Electra Breweries was changed to its present name. In 1997, local production was stopped to focus mainly on international distribution.
A few years later, the company built the iconic Bundaberg Barrel, which was just near the brewery itself. It soon became a tourist attraction because it is indeed shaped like a barrel. Interactive tours are available where the Bundaberg Brewed Drinks can showcase how it creates the products.
More products were introduced, including the café range in 2010. There were new flavours as well, including passionfruit, which were introduced in 2012.
Today, the barrel is a famous attraction, which is open to the public for tours every day except during a few holidays. The tours cost $12 for adults, which already pays for tasting and free entry for those below 18 years old. The fee also includes a six-pack of brews that you can take home with you. For those who are interested in tasting only, the tour will cost $10.
Bargara Brewing Company
The Bargara Brewing Company (BBCo) is a boutique brewery located in the Central Business District of Bundaberg. The company is focused on creating high-quality brews using local fruit and vegetables.
Unlike the former breweries, BBCo is a new company that only opened in 2014. However, it has already gained a good reputation in just a few years. Bargara Brewing Company is located on Tantitha Street in Bundaberg, which is only 15 minutes from Bargara.
Although the company is relatively new, the people who work for BBCo have the passion required for their jobs. Additionally, the head brewer Andrew Clark is a nationally recognised titleholder in brewing. He has about 25 years of experience.
Bargara Brewing Company produces craft beer with carefully selected ingredients. The beer is made using Queensland rainwater, which results in a clean-tasting beer. The business takes pride in providing the best products on the planet. Plus, the purity of the water used gives the beers a unique flavour while letting the other ingredients shine.
A few products from Bargara Brewing Company include:
- Session Ale
- Hip Hop
- Drunk Fish Pale Ale
- Thirsty Turtle Bright Lager
- Rusty Roo Red Ale
The fruit beers from Bargara Brewing Company are gluten-free and made from local products.
Kalki Moon Distilling and Brewing Company
Another new player is Kalki Moon, which is a distilling and brewing company in the northern town of Bundaberg. The company only started in 2017 but has already garnered many loyal fans.
Although they have only been around for a few years, the company keeps thriving in the spirits arena. Kalki Moon is family owned and operated. They also have guided tours where visitors are welcome daily. If you are interested in trying high-quality spirits, you should give Kalki Moon a try.
One of the best things about the company is that they allow visitors to explore the facility for free. All trips come with free tastings. You can join your friends, or you can start the tour alone. It typically begins every 30 minutes where you will be introduced to the production and operations around the distillery. Make sure you go in 45 minutes before the distillery closes; otherwise, you will miss the tour.
You will need to book by phone, email, or in-person if you visit with a group of friends. To avoid this hassle, you can just bring with you up to nine people. This way, you can go straight into the facility without going through the booking process.
Most of the time, the tours last up to an hour. You get free tastings during the whole experience. You can try their gin, vodka, and the newly launched rum which was just introduced this 2020.
Waterview Distillery, also known as Waterview Distilling Company, is a Bundaberg firm. It is great for those who like to taste some drinks but also for non-drinkers. Waterview Distillery specialises in a wide range of products, including liqueurs, spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages.
Before the facility existed, it was first an old sawmill. Then, it was later converted into a sugar mill until the distillery was built. For those who cannot buy directly onsite, they can go to the company’s website and purchase from there.
Of course, you can also taste the available products, but the explorations are not as frequent. You will have to wait for the announcement regarding these tours.
The company just opened in 2014. They have received a ton of compliments from their past customers. Waterview Distillery offers different products, including whiskey, gin, rum, and bourbon. Aside from drinks, you can also buy items for your drinking activities, such as bottle openers and hip flasks.
Bundaberg is a place that has acquired a reputation in beers and other alcoholic and even non-alcoholic drinks. With the Bundaberg rum recognised worldwide, there is no reason why you should skip this city for your next adventure.