There is something about fresh air and having grass between your toes that makes a simple meal extraordinary. Reclining on a large rug under a tree with your family and friends, snacking and sipping, evokes a level of relaxation that is often elusive in today’s era of 24-7 technology.
Children laugh, in the distance, as they play boules on the lawn. Your partner gently strums a ukulele, as you slowly turn the pages of a magazine (Crush, of course!). There are no errands to run, or calls to return.
The modern picnic we enjoy today has evolved significantly from the English and French pique-niques of the late 1600s, due to our innate desire to dine alfresco.
In recent years, picnics have enjoyed a global resurgence in popularity. Perhaps it’s because champagne tastes that much sweeter when you’re watching waves lap against a shore. We feel a little less guilty about adding chocolate to our scroggin or trail mix after a long bush walk.
Whether you like to sit quietly on a park bench with a simple sandwich, cook a barbecue in a park with your kids or stage a romantic, luxe day-long event for two; a picnic is one of the best ways to enjoy the Bundaberg Region’s culinary delights and stunning scenery.
Leaving the convenience of the dining table to enjoy your food in the great outdoors may seem like more trouble than it’s worth. Most Australians will recall at least one unpleasant picnic story from their childhood. However, insects and inclement weather are rare in the
Bundaberg Region in Autumn and Winter. With little more than a light cardigan draped across your shoulders, it’s still warm enough to kick off your shoes. There is no traffic to endure; no crowds to compete with.
We’ve created a local picnic guide so you can partake in one our favourite past times.
Discover ten of the Bundaberg Region’s most idyllic settings, as well as some of our favourite gourmet food purveyors. We’ve also included a selection of baskets, outdoor accessories and casual picnic fashion. And then there are the fantastic local businesses who can arrange a hamper for you.
White sand and sparkling blue ocean make Elliott Heads a water sport enthusiast’s dream year-round.
Kiteboarders and windsurfers make the most of the strong south easterly winds in the river mouth. When it isn’t too blowy, the sheltered inlet and gentle surf provide the perfect conditions for stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. At the northern end of Elliott Heads, spear fishers test their skill at Double Rock.
If sand is not your thing, and you’d rather admire the spectacular view with your feet firmly planted on grass, picnic tables and barbecues are dotted along the undulating escarpment.
The township underwent a major facelift in 2019, in recognition of its rising popularity, making it accessible for people of most ability levels.
If it’s quality, traditional fish and chips you’re looking for, try the little general store (painted red and green in support of the owners’ beloved South Sydney NRL team) situated on the sharp bend where Elliott Heads Road becomes Lihs Street.
Located opposite Bargara Golf Club, Christsen Park is a firm favourite among local families.
Affectionately referred to as The Basin, it’s a perfect place for young children to wander, explore and use their imagination.
Like many of Bargara’s beaches, volcanic rock had to be moved to expose this stretch of sand to create The Basin. This large tidal rock pool can be examined on foot by rock hopping around the fringes, or snorkel through the centre after a high tide to admire brightly coloured fish.
The neighbouring playground caters for children of all ages, especially those wanting to channel their inner pirate. There is plenty of open space to lay your picnic rug, or enjoy a barbecue. The facility’s compact and convenient design means it’s a very short walk back to the car if you’ve forgotten something.
The Burnett River on a Barbecue Boat
Bring a plate of food and drinks, wear comfortable shoes and pack a fishing rods. and head out on the beautiful Burnett River.
More than 40 tributaries flow into the mighty Burnett River, as it snakes its way through Mundubbera, Gayndah, Wallaville and Bundaberg before spilling into the ocean at Burnett Heads.
You can see it all from the 8m pontoon cruise boats that are available for hire on an hourly, half day or full day rate.
Admire the city of Bundaberg from a whole new angle, where fishing trawlers unload their bountiful, fresh catch on the southern side of the river.
Nestled in one of the Region’s most picturesque landscapes, just 2km north of Childers, Vintner’s Secret is a feast for the senses.
Surrounded by rolling hills of sugar cane and macadamia nut orchards, this is a boutique winery with loads of character.
Make your way up the curvaceous gravel driveway to find a homely little oasis. It’s an eclectic venue, teeming with life.
Telephone ahead to have a picnic hamper of sandwiches, cheese, fresh fruit and cake arranged for you, or enjoy Devonshire tea at Whispers Café.
The hardest choice you’ll have to make is where to lay your picnic rug.
Vintner’s Secret is currently open by appointment. Telephone 4126 1255.
Adventure seekers and outdoor lovers of all kinds will love everything that Mount Walsh National Park has to offer.
This landmark is just shy of an hour-and-a- half drive from Bundaberg or 45-minutes from Childers, just past Biggenden, but it is certainly worth the trip.
Climbing to the top of Mount Walsh is marked and the views are spectacular,
although you do have to work for them – the climb is recommended for those with a good level of fitness.
Another popular trail takes you to Waterfall Creek or Utopia Falls as they are commonly known, with plenty of rockpools and waterfalls to explore.
Four-wheel-drive enthusiasts can drive through to Coongara Rock which offers the beauty of the granite rock on one side and amazing bush on the other.
Picnic facilities are limited, but covered tables are available at the base of Mount Walsh and make for a stunning picnic setting. Be sure to bring everything you need, including water, and be mindful of taking all rubbish with you.
The Bundaberg Region has no shortage of spectacular beaches, but ask any local – there is just something extra special about Woodgate Beach.
The small beachside hamlet hasn’t lost its sleepy seaside village vibe, likely due to being landlocked by national park and kilometres of pacific ocean. The spot is so popular it is a favourite holiday location for visitors and locals alike.
Just 40km from Childers and 55km from Bundaberg, Woodgate Beach offers the perfect seaside picnic spot when you want to get away for the day.
Plan a day to enjoy the fresh air and uninterrupted sound of lightly crashing waves. Build sandcastles and collect seashells. Walk part of the 16km foreshore or one of the national park walking tracks. Take a reel and throw in a line or enjoy one of the parks with the kids.
Barbecue facilities are available at the entrance to Woodgate Beach, Woodgate Community Park and Bankisa Park, with picnic tables dotted along the esplanade.
There are also some beautiful picnic spots to check out at Walker’s Point and Theodelite Creek.
Bundaberg Botanic Gardens
Bundaberg Botanic Gardens is one of those places where you discover something new every time you visit.
Get lost, wandering along the meandering pathways. Find a secluded spot to enjoy your own company. Wrestle with the kids and family dog on the lush buffalo lawn.
If you are someone who doesn’t like to leave any stone unturned, allow yourself plenty of time to uncover its gems. Set across 27ha, the gardens alone are a splendour that can take hours to properly admire.
Chinaman’s Beach is like something out of the opening scenes of 1978 teen romance film, Grease.
Large rocky, ghost-like escarpments frame both sides of the beach, creating a secluded romantic haven.
As you admire the almost ochre sand and sparkling blue sea, hoping to spot a dolphin, arid coastal vegetation sprawls up the hill behind you.
It’s a turtle nesting site from November to April, but is pet friendly for much of the cooler months of the year.
As you wander, collecting shells, you might stumble upon the wooden hut that local beach goers continue to add to, piece by piece.
The waters here can be rough, choppy and unforgiving. Why not enjoy the coastline on foot? There are a number of fantastic bush walks south of Agnes Water.
There is nothing more romantic than a date-night picnic under the stars.
Our dazzling night sky is something we often take for granted in the Bundaberg Region. With very little light pollution or smog, more and more city- dwellers are visiting the Southern Great Barrier Reef to stargaze.
One of our favourite places for a nocturnal picnic is The Hummock.
Sit at the top of Bundaberg’s only hill lookout and watch the sun set over the city lights to the west, while the moon rises over the ocean in the east. Marvel at Mother Nature and just how small we are, as a sprawling galaxy of sparkling diamonds is revealed.
Situated just off the road to Bargara, The Hummock is a volcanic remnant that sits just 96 metres above sea level.
It is the only blemish on an otherwise smooth, flat landscape, making it the ideal place to admire the Milky Way.
You might even be lucky enough to see a shooting star. Who knows; your wish may just come true.
Bustard Bay on the LARC
Currently closed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, once restrictions are lifted book a trip on the LARC to see one of the most beautiful, untouched places in Australia – Bustard Bay
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