It’s not just families and retirees who are choosing Bundaberg over the big smoke. Young professionals are discovering that Bundaberg has so much to offer.

Freya Penny and her partner Jake moved from Brisbane to Bundaberg over two years ago for the next stage in their careers. Freya works in public relations and Jake is training in his medical career.

Like many people new to the area, Freya knew little of Bundaberg beyond its rum and ginger beer. But it didn’t take long for her to discover the diversity of the Region and fall in love.

“We really are a little hidden gem. You’ve got these amazing beaches. You’ve got the Great Barrier Reef, you’ve got turtles, you’ve got whales. There is so much here that people are unaware of,” Freya said.

A perfect weekend for Freya begins with breakfast at Water Street Kitchen. She makes it to the beach at least once a week, loves to catch up with friends for drinks and will usually take a drive to Bundaberg Roses for fresh flowers. Her partner Jake loves the local fishing.

Freya says she’s a beach girl and her favourite spot is Elliott Heads — which made it the perfect location for our Salt Issue cover shoot.

But it’s not just the natural beauty and relaxed lifestyle that Freya loves about Bundaberg. She’s also loved connecting with the local community.

“We found that the community is overwhelmingly quite welcoming,” she said.

“Everybody wants to get to know each other and everyone wants to say hello when you walk past them. It’s really nice—we’ve found it really easy to meet people.

“A lot of us have met through work and I know a couple of my girlfriends have actually met on the beach because their dogs played together!”

Freya and Jake aren’t the only young professionals choosing to call Bundaberg home. They’ve met many others who have chosen to come from across Australia and even internationally to live and work in the Region.

“There’s a lot of young people in the same position as us — who have moved here to get some experience in regional Queensland but end up falling in love with what we have here,” she said.

Another surprise for Freya was the number of small businesses thriving in the Bundaberg Region.

‘”There’s so many entrepreneurs in this region as well — that was something I had no idea about. So many people starting up different businesses.”

Freya believes there is a lot of potential and opportunity in Bundaberg and is keen to spread the word.

“More and more people are finding out about Bundy and I hope to be a part of that in terms of promoting it with people my age and their friends, and through social media,” she said.

“I really think it is a hidden secret here. We’re really enjoying being here and we wouldn’t change it for the world right now. I don’t miss the city at all!”


 Freya is Crush Magazine’s Salt Issue cover model.