Sensationally-situated at the start of the Southern Great Barrier Reef, Bundaberg and its surrounds has always been known and loved for its fresh produce. Peer through the rows of sugar cane and imagine it being transformed into that world-famous rum which has put Bundy on the map. This is also one of the sweetest of fruit bowls in the state and local growers – including the tomato farmers – take advantage of the fertile, red volcanic soil to produce some of the freshest food around. Here’s the beef on Bundy.
Start your Bundaberg food experience right in the heart of town, at this evocatively-named café down the main drag. The motto here is: we know where it came from and how it was made, and that’s evident in the fabulously fresh food which is not only picked and prepared but nurtured by local producers. And the result – a menu which reads like an ode to local tourism. Launch your adventure with a dry roasted granola with baked orange rhubarb and Gympie yoghurt; or a local black tiger prawn omelette complete with pickled ginger which is grown around these parts. The bacon and egg sandwich has a local tomato relish, among a wide range of local produce on offer for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
After you’ve spent an hour or so wandering through the centre of Bundaberg and enjoying some of the history and heritage on offer, head over to Nana’s Pantry for a mid-morning gelato. There’s much more than ice-cream on the menu board here, but if you had to choose one thing, we’d recommend the handmade gelato prepared onsite. There’s 36 flavours including honeycomb, melon and Turkish Delight. We always knew nana was enterprising.
Grunske’s by the River
One of the key life bloods to Bundaberg is the beautiful Burnett River, known for its fabulous fishing. By lunch time, we recommend you head over to Grunske’s, a bustling seafood market and restaurant, perched on the banks of this main artery. It would be practically criminal not to try the Bundy Barra with a parmesan and macadamia crust; or just some fresh fish and chips plucked straight from the local waterways.
Bundaberg Exotic Preserves
After lunch, have a break and take a drive out towards the Bruce Highway and Appletree Creek, home of Bundaberg Exotic Preserves. This is a virtual jam slam, and you’ll also find a range of relishes, chutneys and sauces to buy here so you can take a piece of tropical paradise home with you.
Hill of Promise
By mid-afternoon, it’s time for a wine, so swing by this promisingly named winery in charming Childers. There’s 10 wines from which to choose, all made without preservatives. You might also have room for an ice-cream, and Mammino is one of the most respected brands around.
End your delicious day with dinner with a twist, and head back into Bundaberg for a Kitchen Confidence cooking class which starts at 6pm. For $50 you receive a 2.5 hour cooking experience and get to eat dinner at the end.