Photo: Scuba Diving at Lady Elliot Island
Bundaberg and the Coral Coast are known as the southern gateway to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park with air travel and boat cruises to some 13 islands and more than 20 reefs.
Situated on the Central Queensland coast, this region has glorious beaches with the hinterlands occupied by large green farming areas of pineapple, sugar cane and 14 National Parks.
The climate here can be compared to Hawaii, with its balmy summer evenings and gentle winters. It is also home to Bundaberg Rum, famous for its variety of potent Queensland sunshine grown sugar cane rums.
Mon Repos Environmental Park is known for the giant turtles that come to lay their eggs during the months of November and February. You can visit the Information Centre, there they have videos and plenty of info about these reptiles and the other Australia flora and fauna found here.
This section of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park offers great diving and snorkelling opportunities as well as chances to observe the marine and birdlife. Two of the islands well worth seeing are Lady Musgrave (uninhabited) and Lady Elliot, accessible by boat cruise or air. Great Barrier Reef QLD.
Lady Elliot, like the other islands, has nice beaches, crystal clear waters for swimming and snorkelling with some very enjoyable island coast walks. There is also a resort.
Tours available include taking a boat cruise to the various reefs and islands as well as Fishing and Diving cruises. At the Bundaberg Rum Distillery, there is a visitors centre and they offer distillery tours. They show the whole rum making process from raw molasses through to the final products.
Apparently the sampling part of the tour at the end is quite popular with visitors. Entry fee applies.
Bundaberg and the Coral Coast has accommodation of all kinds, including some fabulous resorts for those keen to make an enjoyable experience even better. There are also plenty of hotels, motels, host farms, country pubs and caravan parks to suit every budget.
Hervey Bay, on the Coral Coast across the water from Fraser Island has developed into a popular Queensland tourist destination. There are numerous beaches, good for families as they are protected from the surf. Hervey Bay is also a great place for whale watching, Humback whales migrate further north through the area every year during the winter months.
Fresh seafood is one of Australia’s trademarks and the variety available here is amongst the best. There are plenty of eateries and restaurants dotting the region to accommodate even the most discerning palate.
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Photo: Turtle Hatchling, Bundaberg