This trip was our first trip out of Brisbane since we had been here. Our house mates helped arrange a weekend away, and I was really keen to see the turtles and go on the Bundaberg rum tour; so we ended up planning a pretty packed weekend. They sorted out a rental car and we all travelled to Bagara where we had booked an Airbnb apartment for the four of us.
We set off on Friday for our four hour journey. When we made it to Bagara, we parked up and went into a local pub for some lunch and a drink. After that we made our way to the house to unpack the car, before heading out to the bottle shop. We spent the evening on the beach with a few drinks, just relaxing and enjoying the being by the sea. I love the sea so I was very content.
Saturday was a bit busier. We drove into Bundaberg for some breakfast, and had a little walk around the town. There isn’t much to do there, it reminded me of a small town in Wales, just a few odd shops and some bars. We had prebooked tickets which included three tours; Hinkler Hall of Aviation, Bundaberg Drinks Tour, and the Bundaberg Distillery tour.
The Hinkler Hall of Aviation wasn’t really my thing, but the boys enjoyed themselves. It wasn’t a huge museum either so we were in and out pretty quickly, but there were a lot of interactive aspects to the exhibit which the guys made use of. So after the guys had played pilot, we quickly moved on to the next tour.
The Bundaberg drinks tour was another short and sweet trip. It was a quick educational tour about ginger beer and how it came to Bundaberg. There were lots of interactive bits for kids, so its much more of a family tour. At the end we got to try the whole range of soft drinks which was nice, I found some flavours that I really liked and hadn’t tried before. I also brought a case of ginger beer (to pair with the rum I planned on buying at the next tour!).
The highlight of the day had to be the Bundaberg Distillery tour. We arrived in time for the last tour of the day (they ran every hour), and upon arrival we were given our drinks passes and sent through the museum. We drooled over all the different kinds of rum, read about the origins of the Bundy polar bear, and watched a video about the time Bundaberg flooded and how the distillery helped the local people. It was all pretty interesting but we were keen to get to the good stuff. After the video, our tour guides arrived and walked us around the distillery. We were shown the huge vat of molasses, which is a waste product of other local facilities, and we were then taken through to see where the rum is distilled and the barrels used to flavour the rum. The tour guides were excellent and they made the whole experience interesting and fun. After the tour we were given two tasters per person. Ryan and myself decided to go for the four top shelf rums and shared them between us. I’ve got to be honest, that was the best part. It was interesting to see how different four rums all brewed at the same place could be, and after learning all the work that goes into them, I was able to appreciate it that little bit more. All in all, it was a good day and I would highly recommend the tour to others!
Sunday was more of a chill out day. We headed to Elliott Heads beach to relax in the sun and even had a swim in the sea. As I’ve said, I love the sea so I was really happy just sitting on the beach listening to the sound of the waves.
As there isn’t much to do in Bagara or Bundy, we drove out a little to a marina and had the most amazing lunch. I had a calamari starter, which was cooked to perfection, and then lamb shank with mash and veggies for my main. The food was amazing, it was a bit more pricey than we would have liked but it was so worth it.
The evening activity has to be my favourite part of the whole weekend…turtle tour! We headed to Mon Repos beach eager to see some hatchlings. To anyone thinking of doing this tour, make sure you book it way in advance because Friday and Saturday nights sell out super fast! Anyway, when we arrived the line was already huge, but we ended up being in the second group down to the beach. As we were walking towards the tour guide (the guide radios down to the centre when there is activity, then the guests are lead down), we saw some hatchlings that had already started to make their way to the sea! It was so heart warming to watch. These tiny little guys battling against the elements to make it out into the big wide world.
Once they had made it safely down the beach we headed over to our guide. He showed us the nest, and as we all gathered around they started to emerge, and make their way down the sand. Another volunteer guided them into a ‘safe zone’ until all of the turtles were out of the nest. Once in the safe zone, the guide picked up a couple of the little guys and showed them around (I wasn’t entirely comfortable with this but I guess people pay to see them). After that, we all lined up along the beach and watched as the turtles made their way down to the sea.
Overall we had a great evening and I’m so happy we managed to get on the tour. It has to be one of the best things I have done since being in Australia. The weekend in general was a great break for us, and really encouraged us to get out more. Shortly after the trip we started to look for a car so we could get out on own, and have our own little adventures!
Bye for now