Top things to do in Bargara: Tipples, Turtles, Tastings, Towers & more!

Having just returned from their trip to Bargara, Kat and Kim from Discover Queensland share their travel tips and the best things to do in Bargara to make the most of your holiday.

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What was once a rather sleepy beachside town, Bargara is blossoming into a vibrant yet relaxed town where everyone still says hello as you stroll by.

Bargara is an incredibly family friendly destination (and great for the directionally challenged) with just one main street – Bauer Street. Here you’ll find the essentials including Bargara Beach Hotel (the pub), Bargara Beach Takeaway, the Bargara Beach Bakehouse and the Journey café.

An easy 5-minute stroll down the main strip will lead to straight to the beautiful 2 kilometre esplanade that hugs the coastline making it the perfect pathway for a walk, ride or run. Being treated to this spectacular ocean view, lush shoreline gardens is our first favourite thing to do in Bargara – read on for more! 

Where Is Bargara?

Arriving in Bargara is the reward travellers receive for driving approximately 4.5 hours north from Brisbane. The seaside village is nestled on coast at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, about 15 minutes east from Bundaberg.

What to do in Bargara

You are spoilt for choice in this pristine slice of the Southern Great Barrier Reef, so we’ve pulled together Kim and Kat’s guide to what to do in Bargara:

1. Walk to Mon Repos Walking Track

The Mon Repos Walking Track 4.5 kilometre return is a stunning coastal walk that promises excellent scenery and delivers you to the Mon Repos Turtle Centre where you can learn more about the loggerhead turtle.

Ideally during turtle breeding season from November to March you would also book a Mon Repo Turtle Encounter that departs from this centre. This tour is an entirely unique experience with an expert Park Ranger guiding you to the protected beach at night to witness mother turtles laying their eggs or watching the miracle of baby turtles hatching and taking their first steps towards the ocean. These tours are in high demand, so be sure to book in advance so you don’t miss out!

Price Guide: FREE

Mon Repo Turtle Centre | Top things to do in Bargara: Tipples, Turtles, Tastings, Towers & more! | Discover Queensland

2. Take off to Lady Elliott Island

Lady Elliott Island is a coral cay on the Southern Great Barrier Reef home to the manta ray, sea turtles, some of the best snorkelling in Australia and an award-winning eco-resort. Our favourite way to see the highlights is on a one-of-a-kind day tour that combines experiences from the air, on the shores, and under the water! With no other day tour like this in Australia, it is a must-do when holidaying in Bargara.

Your journey starts at Bundaberg airport where you will take a 30-minute scenic flight to Lady Elliott Island. Upon landing you’ll jump on an orientation tour and be fitted into your snorkelling gear to use later in the day.

Then you’ll be whisked away on a glass bottom boat that glides over the fringing reef, uncovering reef sharks, turtles, starfish, manta rays, an abundance of tropical reef fish and maybe even a tiger shark!
Visit between May to November to see the humpback whales grace the waters surrounding Lady Elliott Island during their annual migration.

After your boating adventure, enjoy a sumptuous lunch on the island before suiting up in your mask, snorkel and fins for an afternoon of underwater discovery. Being a coral cay means you can walk straight off the island into the jaw-dropping display of ancient coral in the Coral Gardens.

Price Guide: From $465 per adult | $320 per child

Lady Elliott Island by @_chasingrivers | Top things to do in Bargara: Tipples, Turtles, Tastings, Towers & more! | Discover Queensland Lady Elliott Island by @_chasingrivers via Instagram

3. Get onboard to Lady Musgrave Island

Don’t miss the opportunity to join the crew on the multi-award-winning day cruise: The Lady Musgrave Experience.  You’ll travel on a 35-metre luxury catamaran out to Lady Musgrave lagoon to spend the day snorkelling, diving, and discovering the reef on a glass bottom boat.

You will also explore the island on a guided tour with commentary to learn the breeding habits of migratory birds that travel long distances to this heritage listed wonderland.

Price Guide: $220 per adult | $120 per child

Lady Musgrave Island by @livelovelaughexplore_ | Top things to do in Bargara: Tipples, Turtles, Tastings, Towers & more! | Discover Queensland Lady Musgrave Island by @livelovelaughexplore_ via Instagram

4. Surfing Lessons

Bargara beach and Kellys beach offer the perfect beginner’s wave, so why not hire a board or jump into some surfing lessons.  You can also try stand up paddle boarding or even kayaking here too!

Price Guide: Bring your own board FREE | Hire a board from $35 per hour or a SUP from $50 per hour | SUP & Surf Lessons from $70 per person for 1.5 hours

Surfing Lessons at Bargara at Enviro Reefs Paddle and Surf School | Top things to do in Bargara: Tipples, Turtles, Tastings, Towers & more! | Discover Queensland

5. Bundaberg Rum Distillery

Visiting Bargara without a trip down the road to Bundie to a visit to birthplace of Australia’s most iconic rum at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery would be criminal.

This Bundaberg attraction is a crowd pleaser, even for the non-rum drinker. You’ll learn the history behind the factory including the two infernos that engulfed the distillery, as well as the craft of distilling rum and the secrets behind what make Bundaberg rum such a unique liquor.

Your tour includes a tasting, which you can use on top shelf rums, liqueurs such as banoffee pie or salted caramel and white rums including pineapple and coconut or mango and passionfruit.

Of course, no trip would be complete without a photo with the Bundaberg Rum polar bear and the enormous bottle in front of the distillery.

Price Guide: Adult $28.50 | Child $14.25 | Family Ticket (2Ad + 3 Ch) $71.25

Bundaberg Rum Distillery by @thetradieandhisladies via Instagram | Top things to do in Bargara: Tipples, Turtles, Tastings, Towers & more! | Discover Queensland Bundaberg Rum Distillery by @thetradieandhisladies via Instagram

6. See the Spectacular Silo Art

Take a drive inland to the small town of Monto, 2 hours and 30 minutes from Bargara and enjoy the incredible, larger-than-life-art work on the town’s water towers and grain silos.

There are several artworks peppered across town by a variety of artists, but the most popular attraction is the Three Moon Silo by famous artists Travis Vinson aka DRAPL and Joel Fergie aka The Zookeeper, which has literally put Monto back on the map.

Read more about Monto Silo Art Trail.

Price Guide: Self Drive – FREE

Art on the Monto Silos by @_thezookeeper and @DRAPL Image by @rocko546 and @moggy99 | Top things to do in Bargara: Tipples, Turtles, Tastings, Towers & more! | Discover QueenslandArt on the Monto Silos by @_thezookeeper and @DRAPL Image by @rocko546 and @moggy99

7. Visit Bargara Beach & Snorkel Bargara Basin

This is the perfect protected spot to snorkel and for young children to swim as this section of Bargara Beach is protected by basalt rock walls and is surprisingly full of fish! You also have the rest of the beautiful beach at your fingertips if you have an appetite for waves.

Price Guide: FREE

8. Indulge in a Luxury Picnic on the Beachfront

The Picnic Basket specialises in creating beautiful picnic hampers to set up in your choice of coastal location. This is the ideal way to spoil your someone special or just enjoy something a little different, while supporting the local community.

Your picnic includes a beautiful and delicious grazing platter with a variety of cured meats, crackers and dips, hard and soft cheeses, seasonal fruit and chocolates as well as bottled water, ice bucket, cheese knives, glassware and plates. The experience is completed with layered rugs, fluffy pillows, lovely décor, fresh greenery and fairy lights or lanterns.

Price Guide: $35 - $100 per person

Magical Bargara Picnics by @the_picnic_basket_Magical Bargara Picnics by @the_picnic_basket_ | Top things to do in Bargara: Tipples, Turtles, Tastings, Towers & more! | Discover Queensland

9. Tour The Bundaberg Barrel

Did you know that Bundaberg Rum and Bundaberg Brewed Drinks that create the famous ginger beer are two separate companies? Take a tour of The Bundaberg Barrel to explore the history and craft of brewing ginger beer and learn about the expansion to other flavours as well as enjoying a tasting and take-home pack!

Price Guide: Adult $15 (including a mixed 6 pack) | Children under 18 $5 (excluding a mixed 6 pack)

The Bundaberg Barrel by @thebundabergbarrel  | Top things to do in Bargara: Tipples, Turtles, Tastings, Towers & more! | Discover QueenslandThe Bundaberg Barrel by @thebundabergbarrel

10. Visit Utopia Falls

Mount Walsh National Park is home to many stunning walks and hidden treasures, our favourite simply has to be Utopia Falls. Less than 2 hours drive from Bargara, the gorgeous rock pools and waterfall slides are well worth the trip! Arrive early on weekends and school holidays - it does get busy.

The walk is a 3 kilometre return track graded as a class 4 track. Be sure to pack your swimmers as it’s the perfect place to take a dip, with the best time to visit being after rain. As the National Park does not have any facilities, be prepared to pack a picnic and take all your rubbish with you.

Price Guide: Self Drive – FREE

Utopia Falls by @dylan__leggett  | Top things to do in Bargara: Tipples, Turtles, Tastings, Towers & more! | Discover QueenslandUtopia Falls by @dylan__leggett

11. Walk or 4WD the Boolboonda Tunnel

This adventure takes you an hour and 15 minutes inland from Bargara where you can walk or drive the longest unsupported tunnel in the Southern Hemisphere, the Boolboonda Tunnel. The heritage-listed feature is an abandoned railway that connected Mount Perry to North Bundaberg and reaches over 190 metres which was quite a feat in its day.

Price Guide: Self Drive – FREE

12. Taste a Cheeky Tiki Cider

Taste a cheeky tiki cider at Queensland's only cider house, Ohana Winery for a sample of the tropical ciders from your classic apple and pear to the more exotic passionfruit, orange and ginger, pineapple, rose cider and more.

You can drop by for a tasting and delicious cheese platter or join a tour of the facilities. If you’re lucky, you’ll be greeted by Otto, the four-legged welcome party who is particularly fond of belly rubs.

Price Guide: Adult Tour $15 | Tasting Paddles from $16

Cheeky Cider at @ohanawinery | Top things to do in Bargara: Tipples, Turtles, Tastings, Towers & more! | Discover QueenslandCheeky Cider at @ohanawinery

13. Visit Kalki Moon Distilling and Brewing

This gin distillery is well established with Kalki Moon gin, vodka and more featuring in bottle shops across the country. The classic gin was entered into the 2020 Australia Day Covent Garden Hottest 100 Gins and took out the No. #1 – making this an easy addition to your list of things to do in Bargara! Be sure to take a tour of the distillery and enjoy a tasting while you’re enjoying one of the area's more recent additions.

Price Guide: Adult Tour $10 departing 11am and 1pm daily.

14. Wander the Banksia Track

​Wander down the exquisite Banksia Track which includes a boardwalk through paperbark as well as a longer stretch of forest. It is part of the Burrum Coast National Park, which offers many gorgeous walks and has the added bonus of being just minutes from Woodgate Beach – so pack your swimmers!

Price Guide: FREE
Woodgate Beach Boardwalk by @morganleecran |  | Top things to do in Bargara: Tipples, Turtles, Tastings, Towers & more! | Discover QueenslandWoodgate Beach Boardwalk by @morganleecran

15. Visit the town's very own Bargara Brewing Co.

Launching in 2014, Bargara Brewing Co was once a saw-mill that was transformed into a sugar mill (very appropriate for the region) and then enjoyed a final upgrade to the magnificent distillery it is today. Bargara Brewing Co not only brews spirits and liquors but non-alcoholic drinks, making it a great stop for the whole family.

Price Guide: Varied

16. Uncover Bundaberg’s Mystery Craters

This experience will have you halfway between Bundaberg and Gin Gin, but the 35 enigmatic sandstone craters will have you in awe! This geological phenomenon was discovered in 1971 and remains a complete mystery! Origins of these beautiful and enigmatic craters have been investigated and theorised, but none have been proven. Take a look for yourself from the viewing platform and see if you can unravel the cryptic crater conundrum. 

There is a kiosk as you enter with souvenirs, gifts and a cafeteria for light snacks, tea, coffee and ice cream available.

Price Guide: $5 Entry

Mystery Craters by by @yurivargasrojas via Instagram | Top things to do in Bargara: Tipples, Turtles, Tastings, Towers & more! | Discover Queensland Mystery Craters by by @yurivargasrojas via Instagram

17. The Hummock

The Hummock offers unique views reminiscent of English pastures of green farmland laid out in a patchwork. The region has long been famous as a producer of sugar cane with a unique flavour attributed to the rich red soil only found in the Bundaberg region. Pack a picnic and enjoy sunset in this quaint spot – be sure to enjoy a stroll along the boardwalk.

Price Guide: FREE

18. Amandine Lavender

Go on an olfactory adventure to Amadine Lavender Farm where you’ll find seemingly never-ending fields of beautiful lavender – the perfect insta-moment. Here you can learn the benefits of lavender essential oils, how to propagate and grow the purple beauty as well as enjoy the gift shop where you can find an aromatic keepsake.

Price Guide: Entry FREE | Gift Shop: Varied.

Amandine Lavender by @ the_tails_of_us | Top things to do in Bargara: Tipples, Turtles, Tastings, Towers & more! | Discover QueenslandAmandine Lavender by @ the_tails_of_us

19. Mouth-Watering Fresh Seafood at Grunske’s

Indulge your tastebuds with a fresh seafood experience at Grunske’s by the river. You are promised riverfront dining with the freshest of scallops, prawns, fish and more, freshly prepared directly from the ocean. Paul and Beryl Grunske have been involved in the local fishing industry for over 40 years – so they know how to impress!

Price Guide: Meals from $15 - $35

20. Snap a Shot with the Big Orange

Head out west to discover one of Australia’s famous giant fruits – The Big Orange. Located in the North Burnett region, Gayndah is known as the citrus capital of Queensland and one of Australia’s oldest towns. The little village was founded in 1849 and maintains its charming heritage today.

From April to October you can enjoy freshly squeezed orange juice and fruit treats; while lunch, tea, other snacks and a photo with the giant orange is a year-round affair.

Price Guide: FREE

21. Pick a Berry at Tinaberries

Tinaberries is a must-do when in the Bundaberg region! Pick your own strawberries between August and September, indulge in a freshly made fruit ice-cream or find a little take-home treat, (or do all three!). There are plenty of choices here with the café serving up treats by the bucket load.

The venue is family-friendly with plenty of seating as well as activities such as giant jenga to keep the kids entertained.

Price Guide: Varied.

Pick your own strawberries at @tinaberries.strawberries | Top things to do in Bargara: Tipples, Turtles, Tastings, Towers & more! | Discover QueenslandPick your own strawberries at @tinaberries.strawberries

Bargara Accommodation

Bargara offers a great choice of accommodation options, choose from the extremely popular The Point Resort with self-contained beachfront apartments, Kellys Beach Resort or the Bargara Beach Caravan Park. Alternatively you can position yourself in the centre of the action with Bundaberg accommodation.
The Point Resort | Top things to do in Bargara: Tipples, Turtles, Tastings, Towers & more! | Discover Queensland

You also have a choice of locations:
Elliott Heads located 10 minutes south of Bargara
Kelly’s Beach, just minutes south of Bargara Beach
Bargara Beach located on the Esplanade
Neilson Park north of the main street of Bargara
Burnett Heads a 10 minute drive north of Bargara
View our latest Bargara accommodation deals or call us on 1300 788 553 to chat with your Queensland Holiday Expert!

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