As you probably know, towards the end of last week I returned home from my 19 day road trip. My journey took me from Brisbane to, eventually, Port Douglas. I have been blogging about it on the way, but as promised, now that I’m back I can let you know more about it.
First stop was Bundaberg.
Home of the Bundaberg Distillery Company, makers of the very popular Bundaberg Rum.
If you read my post Another Australian Road Trip: Brisbane to Port Douglas, you will know that my journey to Bundaberg was through non-stop torrential rain. That rain continued throughout the evening and I can assure you my tour of the Bundaberg pubs was a very soggy one.
The next day though, as you can clearly see from the above photo and all the photos here, was just another sunny day in Queensland. Here are a few pictures from the town…
The pubs looked far more inviting under the blue skies, here are just some of them…
Bundaberg even had a microbrewery called The Brewhouse, you can just about see it across the road…
Unfortunately, it was closed on Sunday evening, so I ended up having a drink in the pub you can see this side of the road to the right of it, the Club Hotel.
Bundaberg, population as at the 2011 census approximately 71,000, is on the Burnett River. Here’s the Riverwalk…
I wasn’t in Bundaberg for long, I arrived Sunday evening after dark and just spent a few hours looking around before leaving at around lunchtime the next day. I did pop over to the coast before I left though, to check out a place called Mon Repos, which has ‘…the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland and has the most significant loggerhead turtle nesting population in the South Pacific region.‘ Source: bundabergregion.org
Unfortunately, turtle season is from November through to March, so I was out of luck for turtle spotting…
My next stop would be Gladstone, but on the way I stopped off at Agnes Water and the wonderfully named town of 1770…
Agnes Water and 1770
This was a delightful drive passing through cane field upon cane field through pretty much deserted countryside roads. These two small towns are right next to each other, there being about five minutes drive between them. With populations of just 1814 and 76 respectively, even if they joined forces they’d still be very small town indeed.
No wonder I couldn’t find the shopping centre or the cinema complex.
As for Bundaberg, I couldn’t possibly tell you what it’s really like to live there, I simply wasn’t around long enough. ‘Just passing through‘, as they say.
If you live here, maybe you could let us know what you think of it in the comments below. What I can tell you though is that it was a pleasant and friendly town and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the area during my brief stay.
There’s more about my visit to Bundaberg here, or go to my next stop, Gladstone.
Julie and I lived in Bundaberg for a while in the early 2000’s. I was working as anaesthetist at Bundy hospital. It’s a small town with a rather parochial ‘small town’ attitude, but the climate is near perfect- I fly as a hobby and we could fly almost the whole year round- the aero club was outstanding. No cyclones, box jellyfish, or major weather events- until the apalling floods. Many friends lost everything, but this was a ‘one in a hundred year event’- very reassuring if your entire life’s work and plans have disappeared down the Burnett river. Property is cheap and the lifestyle relaxed but there is not much in the way of good dining or shopping if that’s your thing.
It’s also 10kms from the beach (Bagara) so not a ‘standard’ East coast city/town. Great place to retire to I would imagine!
Well I do have to agree with you about the climate, I’m not far away down here in Brisbane, and I also think the weather here is pretty close to perfect. Bundaberg, I’m sure, would be even better, just by a little bit.
As for small towns, it’s interesting that a reasonably recent Hilda report found that people in smaller towns are genuinely happier and that ‘the major cities are the least desirable places to live.‘
Small towns may be parochial, I’ve heard that said before, for example about Ayr just up the road from Townsville, but the people are also, apparently, happier. As you say though, places like Bundaberg are probably great for retirement.