Bundaberg Region ECO Destination Certification

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The Bundaberg region is now certified through Ecotourism Australia’s world leading ecotourism certification program.

This means that when family, friends and travellers visit our region they know they are supporting a destination that is backed by a strong, well-managed commitment to sustainable practices and provides high-quality nature-based tourism experiences.

Our certification demonstrates our commitment to:

  • Looking after our natural environment
  • Offering quality interpretation and educating guests
  • Supporting and engaging our local community
  • Reducing our carbon footprint
  • Protecting our unique wildlife and endangered species
  • Making real contributions to conservation
  • Helping to preserve Australian Indigenous cultures
  • Providing an unforgettable, high-quality visitor experience

The Ecotourism Australia Certification programs are recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

Banksia Track Trail Head. Image: Nathan White & Bundaberg Tourism.

How can you contribute?

You can get involved by:

Embark on your pathway to sustainability and evaluate your business practices with the Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard. The scorecard will support you to:

  • Learn how your business can positively impact people, the planet and culture.
  • Evaluate your current sustainability performance (in less than a day).
  • Receive personalised and practical insights for continuous improvement.
  • Clarify and simplify sustainability practices through a snapshot evaluation.
  • Showcase your commitment to visitors.

Visit Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard | Ecotourism Australia for more information.

  • Getting a Nature Tourism, Ecotourism or Advanced Ecotourism certification for your business. Visit https://www.ecotourism.org.au/our-certification-programs/ for more information.
  • Getting Climate Action Business, Climate Action Innovator or Climate Action Leader certification for your business. Visit https://www.ecotourism.org.au/our-certification-programs/eco-certification-2 for more information.
  • Swapping your plastic straws with Biopak Art Straws, free of charge, funded by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, here.
  • Developing your own sustainability plan
  • Choosing locally produced consumables
  • Saying no to plastic bags
  • Knowing your carbon emissions and work to reduce them
  • Sharing your sustainability measures with your customers
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle!

Dragonfruit Bowl, Windmill Cafe Bargara. Image: Bundaberg Tourism & Paul Beutel.

What do we hope to achieve?

  • To see our tourism industry, environment, culture and community flourish
  • To lead the way in adopting innovative practices to improve our environmental performance
  • To nurture and promote adopting sustainable practices into the home, at work and during leisure time
  • To inspire destinations in Australia and internationally to implement sustainable tourism practices

Lady Elliot Island. Image: Jeremy Somerville & Bundaberg Tourism.

How you can become ECO Certified

Bundaberg Regional Council is offering local tourism operators the opportunity to strengthen their appeal to high yielding, environmentally conscious visitor markets, by becoming ECO Certified through Ecotourism Australia by way of a cash subsidy to offset the first annual certification fee.

For more information please contact Kate Giles, Tourism Sustainability Officer or complete the ECO Certification – Expression of Interest form here.

How you can become Climate Action Certified

Bundaberg Regional Council is offering all sectors of the tourism industry the opportunity to become Climate Action Certified through Ecotourism Australia by way of a cash subsidy to offset the first annual certification fee. The Climate Action Certification program is dedicated to reducing carbon emissions and assuring travellers that certified products are backed by a commitment to sustainable practices related to addressing climate change.

For more information please contact Kate Giles, Tourism Sustainability Officer or complete the ECO Certification – Expression of Interest form here.

How you can become Sustainable Tourism Certified

Bundaberg Regional Council is offering all sectors of the tourism industry and supply chain the opportunity to become Sustainable Tourism Certified through Ecotourism Australia by way of a cash subsidy to offset the first annual certification fee. The Sustainable Tourism Certification program certifies businesses that are minimising negative impacts and maximising benefits for the environment, communities and culture and is a comprehensive business development tool for all businesses to become sustainability leaders by following global best practice standards.

For more information please contact Kate Giles, Tourism Sustainability Officer or complete the ECO Certification – Expression of Interest form here.

Be part of the Turtle Awareness Campaign

Bundaberg Regional Council encourages everyone, including our visitors, to understand the significance of the Bundaberg Region’s shoreline as a nesting location for threatened turtle species.

Council has developed an easy to use video and turtle awareness materials that local businesses, tour operators and venues are encouraged to display in their businesses to urge residents and visitors to implement the small changes that can have a real impact on turtle hatchling survival rates. These include:

After 7:30pm between October and April help reduce the glow affecting our beaches by:

  • Switching off unnecessary lights
  • Closing curtains or blinds
  • When driving, avoiding using high beam near beaches where possible
  • Only using a small torch on the beach at night.

If you would like to learn more regarding Council’s Reducing Urban Glow Campaign please click this link.

If you are keen to display the turtle awareness campaign video or provide visitors with turtle awareness campaign materials please complete the expression of interest form to register your interest here.


If you have any queries regarding any of these campaigns, please contact Kate Giles, Tourism Sustainability Officer, Bundaberg Regional Council on 1300 883 699 or email kate.giles@bundaberg.qld.gov,au.


Banner photo: Location: Burrum Coast National Park, Bundaberg; Credit: Matt Williams and Bundaberg Tourism

The Bundaberg region is now certified through Ecotourism Australia’s world leading ecotourism certification program.

This means that when family, friends and travellers visit our region they know they are supporting a destination that is backed by a strong, well-managed commitment to sustainable practices and provides high-quality nature-based tourism experiences.

Our certification demonstrates our commitment to:

  • Looking after our natural environment
  • Offering quality interpretation and educating guests
  • Supporting and engaging our local community
  • Reducing our carbon footprint
  • Protecting our unique wildlife and endangered species
  • Making real contributions to conservation
  • Helping to preserve Australian Indigenous cultures
  • Providing an unforgettable, high-quality visitor experience

The Ecotourism Australia Certification programs are recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

Banksia Track Trail Head. Image: Nathan White & Bundaberg Tourism.

How can you contribute?

You can get involved by:

Embark on your pathway to sustainability and evaluate your business practices with the Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard. The scorecard will support you to:

  • Learn how your business can positively impact people, the planet and culture.
  • Evaluate your current sustainability performance (in less than a day).
  • Receive personalised and practical insights for continuous improvement.
  • Clarify and simplify sustainability practices through a snapshot evaluation.
  • Showcase your commitment to visitors.

Visit Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard | Ecotourism Australia for more information.

  • Getting a Nature Tourism, Ecotourism or Advanced Ecotourism certification for your business. Visit https://www.ecotourism.org.au/our-certification-programs/ for more information.
  • Getting Climate Action Business, Climate Action Innovator or Climate Action Leader certification for your business. Visit https://www.ecotourism.org.au/our-certification-programs/eco-certification-2 for more information.
  • Swapping your plastic straws with Biopak Art Straws, free of charge, funded by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, here.
  • Developing your own sustainability plan
  • Choosing locally produced consumables
  • Saying no to plastic bags
  • Knowing your carbon emissions and work to reduce them
  • Sharing your sustainability measures with your customers
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle!

Dragonfruit Bowl, Windmill Cafe Bargara. Image: Bundaberg Tourism & Paul Beutel.

What do we hope to achieve?

  • To see our tourism industry, environment, culture and community flourish
  • To lead the way in adopting innovative practices to improve our environmental performance
  • To nurture and promote adopting sustainable practices into the home, at work and during leisure time
  • To inspire destinations in Australia and internationally to implement sustainable tourism practices

Lady Elliot Island. Image: Jeremy Somerville & Bundaberg Tourism.

How you can become ECO Certified

Bundaberg Regional Council is offering local tourism operators the opportunity to strengthen their appeal to high yielding, environmentally conscious visitor markets, by becoming ECO Certified through Ecotourism Australia by way of a cash subsidy to offset the first annual certification fee.

For more information please contact Kate Giles, Tourism Sustainability Officer or complete the ECO Certification – Expression of Interest form here.

How you can become Climate Action Certified

Bundaberg Regional Council is offering all sectors of the tourism industry the opportunity to become Climate Action Certified through Ecotourism Australia by way of a cash subsidy to offset the first annual certification fee. The Climate Action Certification program is dedicated to reducing carbon emissions and assuring travellers that certified products are backed by a commitment to sustainable practices related to addressing climate change.

For more information please contact Kate Giles, Tourism Sustainability Officer or complete the ECO Certification – Expression of Interest form here.

How you can become Sustainable Tourism Certified

Bundaberg Regional Council is offering all sectors of the tourism industry and supply chain the opportunity to become Sustainable Tourism Certified through Ecotourism Australia by way of a cash subsidy to offset the first annual certification fee. The Sustainable Tourism Certification program certifies businesses that are minimising negative impacts and maximising benefits for the environment, communities and culture and is a comprehensive business development tool for all businesses to become sustainability leaders by following global best practice standards.

For more information please contact Kate Giles, Tourism Sustainability Officer or complete the ECO Certification – Expression of Interest form here.

Be part of the Turtle Awareness Campaign

Bundaberg Regional Council encourages everyone, including our visitors, to understand the significance of the Bundaberg Region’s shoreline as a nesting location for threatened turtle species.

Council has developed an easy to use video and turtle awareness materials that local businesses, tour operators and venues are encouraged to display in their businesses to urge residents and visitors to implement the small changes that can have a real impact on turtle hatchling survival rates. These include:

After 7:30pm between October and April help reduce the glow affecting our beaches by:

  • Switching off unnecessary lights
  • Closing curtains or blinds
  • When driving, avoiding using high beam near beaches where possible
  • Only using a small torch on the beach at night.

If you would like to learn more regarding Council’s Reducing Urban Glow Campaign please click this link.

If you are keen to display the turtle awareness campaign video or provide visitors with turtle awareness campaign materials please complete the expression of interest form to register your interest here.


If you have any queries regarding any of these campaigns, please contact Kate Giles, Tourism Sustainability Officer, Bundaberg Regional Council on 1300 883 699 or email kate.giles@bundaberg.qld.gov,au.


Banner photo: Location: Burrum Coast National Park, Bundaberg; Credit: Matt Williams and Bundaberg Tourism

  • Plastic Free CQ comes to Bundaberg

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    We are excited to announce that Plastic Free CQ will be working with our local food retailers as they adapt to the single-use plastic free future.

    The Qld State Government introduced the first phase of its single-use plastic ban in 2021 as part of a national effort to combat plastic pollution, with more changes to come. Plastic Free CQ will be assisting Bundaberg businesses as part of their transition, with funding provided by the

    Queensland State Government.

    Food retailers, like cafes, bars, restaurants, kiosks & vans are eligible for the program. The focus is on single-use plastic takeaway items that retailers can find hard to eliminate, such as straws, coffee cups and takeaway containers.

    Globally the packaging industry is changing very fast, and it is hard for businesses to keep up and identify products that suit their needs. At the same time, more and more locals are actively looking for plastic-free takeaway options. So we’re thrilled our businesses will be able to receive free on ground support and expert advice with Plastic Free CQ.

    If you, or anyone you know, own a food or beverage related business within the Bundaberg region, you can join at www.plasticfreeplaces.org/cq-join


    Please feel free to contact Kate Giles, Tourism Sustainability Officer at Bundaberg Regional Council for further information on kate.giles@bundaberg.qld.gov.au.

  • ECO Destination campaign set to Go Off

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    To celebrate the region’s ECO Destination Certification an out-of-region destination marketing campaign has been launched to encourage visitors to Go Off in Bundaberg.

    The campaign was developed in-house by Bundaberg Regional Council’s Marketing Team with the support of Bundaberg Tourism.

    Its aim is to share the region’s ECO certified status while staying true to the region and its sustainability goals.

    The term ‘Go Off’ became the hook for the campaign, aimed at representing an ‘Aussie’ lifestyle while remaining short, flexible and something that would stop viewers in their tracks.

    The phrase expands to:

    Bundaberg Region, where nature experiences go off

    Go off… the well-worn path

    Go off.. the deep end

    Go off… the grid

    The design strategically uses white space to draw the viewer into the imagery – and colours – of the Bundaberg Region.

    The typography was leveraged as a vessel for the imagery, creating a “peek-a-boo” of what the region has to offer.

    Speaking at the launch of the region’s ECO Destination Certification, Mayor Jack Dempsey said the Bundaberg Region was more than ready to “Go Off” and share its success with the rest of the country.

    “We’re wanting to take it nationally,” Mayor Dempsey said.

    “To have that marketing and branding and that logo, it’s quintessential Bundaberg Region.

    “We know it’ll be a conversation piece for many people in the streets and at their dining tables.”

    All residents and local operators are invited to be part of the campaign and spread the word by accessing a content kit to share on their own platforms.

    “If they can spread the word, I think we’re all ambassadors for the Bundaberg Region,” Mayor Dempsey said.

    Find out more about the ECO achievement, or apply to achieve ECO certification, here.

    With the support of Bundaberg Tourism, Council’s marketing team will lead the initial promotion of the Go Off campaign throughout Australia.


    Read the full Bundaberg Now story here.

  • Bundaberg the newest ECO Certified Destination

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    The Bundaberg Region has become the second destination in Queensland and fifth in Australia to announce ECO Destination Certification from Ecotourism Australia.

    The globally recognised ECO Destination Certification process through Ecotourism Australia is complex and recognises the efforts of the entire community, local government and tourism industry towards all aspects of regional sustainability.

    Following independent assessment across 91 criteria, the region achieved the certification at the Ecotourism level which is defined as a “nature-based tourism destination with a strong commitment to ecotourism principles. This involves cultural and natural interpretation and education for visitors, and local business engagement in sustainability”.

    The Bundaberg Region is home to some of the most lauded eco-certified experiences on the Great Barrier Reef including Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, Lady Musgrave Experience, Mon Repos Turtle Centre and Kellys Beach Resort.

    Mayor Jack Dempsey said Bundaberg Regional Council had led the certification process with support from a range of stakeholders including Bundaberg Tourism, PCCC and local operators and organisations.

    “It is a massive coup for the Bundaberg Region to achieve ECO Destination Certification and sees our community become one of only a small number in the country to do so,” Mayor Dempsey said.

    “This achievement demonstrates our community’s respect and care for the natural environment and will ensure we continue to grow in a sustainable way into the future.

    “Ecotourism Australia’s independent auditor had some wonderful feedback for our region in making their decision and commended Council for its proactive approach to sustainability.

    “This achievement has obvious benefits for our economy but it will also benefit our environment by providing a framework to constantly maintain and improve sustainability practices.

    “It is also wonderful for our community members who can be proud of the role they play in preserving and protecting this place we are lucky enough to call home.”

    The auditor also noted that, of the top five Bundaberg Region attractions and traveller favourites on TripAdvisor in 2022, three were nature-based and included Mon Repos Turtle Centre, Bundaberg Botanic Gardens and Alexandra Park Zoo.

    Ecotourism Australia Chief Executive Elissa Keenan said Ecotourism Australia was proud to award the Bundaberg Region ECO Destination Certification at the Ecotourism level.

    “Bundaberg Regional Council’s rigorous efforts to implement sustainable destination management practices at a global standard mark a strengthened environmental focus for the region’s tourism industry,” Ms Keenan said.

    “Achieving ECO Destination Certification not only supports local Ecotourism Australia certified operators but inspires local tourism businesses to implement sustainability and achieve certification.

    “Bundaberg Regional Council shows an ongoing commitment to developing the region’s responsible tourism product by engaging operators to uptake Ecotourism Australia’s globally recognised programs, through our legacy ECO Certification, and now new sustainable tourism programs available to the wider tourism industry.

    “Bundaberg’s application demonstrated a passion for, and dedication to, holistic sustainability within the region, championing initiatives such as the One Million Trees Project and the popular Milbi Festival.

    “Congratulations to the Bundaberg region on this significant achievement.”

    Bundaberg Tourism played a key role in supporting the ECO Destination Certification process which CEO Katherine Reid said was set to make the region even more popular with travellers.

    “The tourism industry of the region has long believed that experiencing our internationally significant but fragile natural assets is the greatest way to educate people about the need for conservation,” Ms Reid said.

    “The community and our tourism industry take great pride in our role as custodians of the Great Barrier Reef and the precious land, water and sea Country of the Traditional Owners on which we live and ECO Destination Certification is formal acknowledgement of this.

    “The Bundaberg Region continues to shine as one of Australia’s most exciting emerging tourism destinations, with people flocking from around the nation and the globe to experience our unique offerings.

    “The knowledge that their holidays are underpinned by respectful, sustainable and, in some cases, regenerative business practices will only strengthen our desirability as a destination.”

    What is an ECO Certified Destination?

    The ECO Destination Certification program assures travellers that certified destinations are backed by a strong, well-managed commitment to sustainable practices and provide high-quality nature-based tourism experiences within the region.

    Becoming a certified ECO Destination means regions will be demonstrating internationally recognised ecotourism credentials to visitors, stakeholders and the community in a manner that is credible and authenticated.

    In other words, it’s not just regions saying they’re sustainable – it’s independently assessed, verified and audited.

    Read the full Bundaberg Now story here.

  • Childers Nature Camp sets eco goal

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    The family behind Childers Nature Camp is putting eco-tourism and sustainability at the top of their to do list after signing on to become one of the region's eco-certified businesses.

    Matt and Reen Roberts operate the local tourist park and said the chance to gain extra credentials through Bundaberg Regional Council's ECO certification incentive was something they had jumped on.

    The aim of the incentive is to grow visitor economy and promote ecotourism by providing a 50 per cent cash subsidy to eligible businesses/operators to offset the first annual certification fee payable to Ecotourism Australia.

    “It assists us to build a better eco sustainable tourism business for future generations to enjoy,” Matt said.

    “Eco-certification means a lot to our business and community because it means we can help preserve nature rather than destroy it.

    “It helps guide our business practices in the right direction and helps us grow and co exist with nature and for everyone to enjoy.”

    Childers Nature Camp is situated at 264 Cooks Road, South Isis and was established in 2018.

    “We wanted to create a place where people can come and enjoy nature at its finest,” Matt said.

    “Particularly people with a disability as there was not a lot to offer people around the area at the time where you can get away from technology and the busy town or city life and go to and learn and experience nature.”

    Since then, Matt and Reen have been establishing a range of processes to protect their surrounding environment at Childers Nature Camp.

    “We currently recycle most of our customers' waste by supplying a bin for each waste product such as bottles, cans, paper, cardboard and compost bins,” Matt said.

    “We also have a tree planting program and have planted over 300 native species around the camp to date and our koala habitat area has been planted out with 100 blue gum trees.

    “All our camp is off grid, solar powered and we collect and store rain water in large tanks and dams to provide for the camp's wildlife and the day to day operations.”

    Matt said gaining eco-certification was another step in continuing to create a space that celebrated the environment.

    “Childers Nature Camp is about getting back to your grass roots enjoying what we have created for others to enjoy, preserving what little natural surroundings we have left,” he said.

    “We are passionate in what we do and it reflects on how we strive to provide a memorable and educational experience showing people how fragile our ecosystem is and how it needs us to do the right thing now and into the future.”

    Read the full Bundaberg Now story here.

  • Have your say on tourism strategy

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    Bundaberg Tourism is encouraging the community to have a say on the latest Destination Management Plan tourism strategy that aims to take the region into the future.

    Chairman Ross Peddlesden said tourism was a major driver of the region's economy and there would be plenty of opportunities to showcase Bundaberg across the next decade.

    “As we look ahead to the next 10 years, there are many opportunities on the horizon, not least of all the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, putting Queensland as a destination on the world stage,” he said.

    “As the reputation and offering of the Bundaberg Region continues to grow, it is vital that we have broad response from right across the region into this valuable piece of work for the future of Bundaberg as a destination.

    “A healthy and sustainable tourism industry supports a prosperous economy and can influence economic, social and environmental outcomes for the region.”

    Bundaberg Tourism CEO, Katherine Reid said the opportunities that the tourism industry generated had wide-reaching impacts for the entire community.

    “With the world evolving rapidly since the major disruptions of COVID, there is untapped opportunity for our region as we boom as both a desirable leisure destination and an exciting place to live and work,” she said.

    “We are calling on the entire community to help us co-design a visionary and progressive strategy for the future of the Bundaberg Region, and would really value your input into the survey”.

    A survey has been made available to gather insights and sentiments for the Bundaberg Region as a destination, and its future.

    It will take approximately 20 minutes to complete and be accessed here.


    Read the complete Bundaberg Now story here.

  • Kellys Beach Resort always thinking green

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    One of the businesses leading the way in the Bundaberg Region's bid to gain Eco Destination certification is Kellys Beach Resort and its focus on connecting people with nature.

    Nestled on a creek, just a block back from the famous Bargara beach, Kellys Beach Resort gained eco-certification through EcoTourism Australia in 2015.

    Internationally recognised, this certification allows guests to relax in the knowledge that the resort is doing everything it can to protect the natural beauty of the Bundaberg coastline and the waters of the Southern Great Barrier Reef while they holiday.

    Loni Hammond, who helps run this family-owned business with her mother and sister, moved to Bundaberg 18 years ago.

    She was immediately struck by the beauty of the region and a desire to protect the natural resources at the heart of Bundaberg Region life.

    “We have a real sense of responsibility, as business owners, to do our bit to promote the conservation of how beautiful it is here,” she said.

    The family embeds caring for the environment into every aspect of their business, reducing their carbon emissions by 35 per cent over the past eight years as a result.

    While the resort reduces its energy, waste and water use behind the scenes, staff also ask guests to ‘think green’ wherever they can.

    “At several touchpoints guests are invited to make a positive difference during their stay,” Loni said.

    “At the point of booking, guests are invited to plant a tree with Kellys through Greenfleet.

    “At the rubbish bin, guests can contribute to Containers For Change and recycle in a way that provides money to the local Sea Turtle Alliance organisation.”

    Loni said the key was connecting with guests and working together to make an impact.

    “It's us doing it together (with guests) that brings about positive, sustainable change,” she said.

    “The response from guests is overwhelmingly positive.

    “There’s a lot of people who thank us for what we are doing!”

    Eco-cleaning keeps waterways clean

    Kellys keeps its eco-villas clean and green by avoiding harsh chemicals that can build up on surfaces.

    Nothing is more important to guests than checking into a clean and tidy room.

    Kellys keeps its eco-villas clean and green by avoiding harsh chemicals that can build up on surfaces.

    German-designed fibreglass cleaning cloths and bicarb-based cleaning products keep the villas sparkling for guests.

    Not only are such methods beloved by asthmatics and people who can’t tolerate fragrances, Loni said this approach led to a superior clean.

    “It actually breaks up dirt and germs rather than just putting a chemical on top of it, which more germs stick to!” she said.

    She said this kind of cleaning helped to protect the waterways that flow into the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

    “A lot of the water goes straight out to that creek, so the less chemicals there are, the better,” Loni said.

    Get your business Eco Certified

    The ECO Destination Certification Program is a world first by Ecotourism Australia and Council’s goal is for the Bundaberg Region to become certified as an ECO Destination.

    Bundaberg Regional Council is offering local tourism operators the opportunity to strengthen their appeal to high yielding, environmentally conscious visitor markets, by becoming ECO Certified through Ecotourism Australia by way of a cash subsidy to offset the first annual certification fee.

    The ECO Destination Certification program assures travellers that certified destinations are backed by a strong, well-managed commitment to sustainable practices and provide high-quality nature-based tourism experiences within the region.

    You can find out more here.

    Read the full Bundaberg Now story here.

  • BUNDABERG, AUSTRALIA – WHERE GREAT CARE BEGINS

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    Now more than ever are we looking for ways that we, as consumers, can travel sustainably, while forging deeper connections with people and place, and seeking experiences that feed the soul. One destination leading the way with exceptional eco-experiences that help protect and preserve our backyard is the Bundaberg region with local eco-tourism warriors, supported by a passionate local community and proactive local government, are striving to achieve Eco Tourism status and encouraging visitors and locals alike to travel sustainably – Welcome to where great care begins in Bundaberg.


    Welcome to Bundaberg, Queensland

    Welcome to Bundaberg, the town the turtles call home on the Southern Great Barrier Reef, where iconic drinks are always world-class, your plates are always full of fresh local produce and pristine beaches await. The Bundaberg region is truly where great begins; the Great Barrier Reef, great tastes, great beaches, great memories, and great care.

    Located at the southernmost gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and just north of Brisbane, the Bundaberg region is overflowing with natural wonders, tantalising flavours, and as passion for sustainable experiences that protect and preserve our beautiful backyard.

    Renowned for being home to international award-winning drink brands, Bundaberg Rum and Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, these icons not only deliver on taste, but experience while continuing to weave the importance of sustainability into their evolving narrative through their day-to-day productions and ensuring care for our environment and the town that shares its name is at the forefront of what they do.

    Just a stone throw from the regions pristine coastline are the ladies of the reef, Lady Elliot Island and Lady Musgrave Island. Surrounded by vibrant blue sun-kissed waters, these coral cays are abundant with giant marine life year-round, as curious turtles and giant manta rays play and feed among the coral gardens.

    The town turtles call home

    Commonly referred to as the town the turtles call home, come swim alongside curious turtles year-round as these ancient creatures feed among the plankton rich waters of the Great Barrier Reef, and witness nesting and hatching turtles scurry to the sea between November to March, during the regions annual turtle season. Home to the Mon Repos Beach, the largest turtle rookery for endangered Loggerhead nesting turtles in the Southern Hemisphere and only ranger-guided turtle encounter on the Australian East Coast, this stretch of beach plays an integral role for turtle research and conservation.

    Every day the people in our community and our local businesses make sustainable choices to help preserve our natural surrounds for generations to come. From implementing eco-friendly packaging, to no-waste policies and practices that minimise run-off into our oceans, we are proud to be a region continually striving for, and innovating to be even more sustainable.


    An emerging eco destination in the making

    The region’s spectacular natural environment plays a significant role in the communities’ daily lives, from the curious sea turtles that swim among the coral-filled waters just off the coastline, to the majestic manta rays and giant marine life that feed on the Southern Great Barrier Reef, to the hardworking locals responsible for providing fresh produce to 25% of the nation 365-days a year. The regions passion for protecting and preserving shines through in the sustainable choices and visitor experiences every day.

    As the first city of the Great Barrier Reef and southernmost gateway, understanding and adapting to climate change has remained at the forefront, with Bundaberg Regional Council and the community supporting and implementing local Eco initiatives such as banning single use plastics to reduce waste, and reducing urban glow to protect the turtles who frequent the regions beaches, as artificial light from surrounding towns is known to effect turtle hatchlings navigation to the sea. These are just a few ways which the community is committed to enacting change and there are many more initiatives which visitors can take part in.


    Getting there

    Located north of Brisbane, Queensland, you can arrive in just over 4hrs by car or 45minute flight from Brisbane. Not a fan of flying or driving? Queensland Rail Travel offers a relaxed and smooth journey from Brisbane to Bundaberg letting you sit-back and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

    As conscious travellers, reducing our urban footprint is important and to help combat our emissions when flying, Qantas Airlines offers passengers the opportunity to offset their emissions through their not-for-profit Fly Carbon Neutral Program, which supports accredited projects that offset your carbon footprint, and make a positive impact on the planet. Find your most sustainable flights to Bundaberg here.


    How to be a sustainable visitor while in region

    Caring for our backyard is about connecting, protecting, and sharing our experiences with those near and far, encouraging and educating friends and relatives on the wonders of the world so they will feel inspired to experience it for themselves and continue to spread great care for our environment.

    When in region, local eco-warriors are dedicated to helping you experience a sustainable holiday, whether it be in the form of your bio-degradable takeaway cup from the Windmill Café in the coastal town of Bargara, or spending a night at Eco-Certified, Kellys Beach Resort, it’s never been easier to travel sustainably and here are a few highlight experiences that will not only leave you with memories to last a lifetime, but care deeply.


    MUST-DO SUSTAINABLE & ECO-FRIENDLY EXPERIENCES

    Witness a miracle at Mon Repos

    Nestled on the coast of Bundaberg is Mon Repos, home to the largest turtle rookery for endangered loggerhead turtles in the Southern Hemisphere, and just a stones throw away from southern coral cays, Lady Musgrave and Lady Elliot Islands. Each year during November to March, Mon Repos Beach comes alive at night with turtle tracks painting the shore as mother turtles heave themselves up sandy dunes and baby hatchlings make their first steps as they scurry to the sea, where only 1 in 1000 will survive the odds.

    Mon Repos Turtle Centre

    Guided by Turtle Rangers with more than 50 years of turtle research under their belt, come take an unrivalled peak behind the curtain of this natural wonder and witness first-hand the incredible conservation work of Mon Repos Conservation Park with a Mon Repos Nightly Turtle Encounter, knowing that funds from your ticket goes back into critical turtle research, saving the turtles one ticket at a time.

    Visiting during turtle season? Do your part and help reduce urban glow by taking part in the Bundaberg Regional Council’s reduce urban glow initiative by ensuring outside lights on balconies are turned off, close curtains to keep light from your TV from spilling outside and distracting the turtles, and help them journey to the sea.

    Mon Repos Turtle Encounters Link: www.bundabergregion.org/turtles

    Bundaberg Regional Council Reduce Urban Glow Link: https://www.bundaberg.qld.gov.au/environment/reducing-urban-glow


    Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort

    Just a short 25-minute flight from Bundaberg airport is the first lady of the Great Barrier Reef, Lady Elliot Island. Rich in biodiversity both above and below the surface, this southern coral cay is a safe haven for more than 1,000 species of marine life within a highly protected Green Zone, and is one of the first Islands of the reef to be recognized as a ‘Climate Change Ark’ by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

    Surrounded by pristine fringing reefs and abundant with giant marine life, Lady Elliot Island makes for a snorkeler and diving wonderland with majestic manta rays, turtles, tropical reef fish and whales frequenting these plankton rich waters.

    Offering both day-trips and overnight accommodation, Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle and reconnect with nature. As an advanced Ecotourism leader and with many Eco credentials and awards under their belt, Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort continues to safeguard the reef. From spending your days exploring an underwater playground, you’ll be sure to leave with a deeper connection and appreciation for our environment and creating change.

    Link: www.bundabergregion.org/lady-elliot-island


    Lady Musgrave Experience

    With more than 3000 acres of thriving reef, Lady Musgrave Island is just a hop, jump and skip away from Bundaberg with a luxury boat ride on board Lady Musgrave Experience departing from Bundaberg Port Marina. Upon your arrival you’ll be greeted by sun-kissed waters and breathtaking corals acting as an abundant paradise full of marine life which awaits just beneath the surface. Spend your day exploring with giant turtles as your local guides as they lazily swim beside you. Snorkel alongside manta rays and dance with dolphins before diving deeper and exploring some of the most remote and untouched outer reefs.

    Once you’ve arrived you won’t want to leave and with the launch of Lady Musgrave HQ, a bespoke three tier sustainable and Eco friendly pontoon, you can now sleep on the reef and wake to 360 degree views of crystal blue waters. From glass-bottom boat tours, scenic island walks with a reef expert and diving expeditions plus more able to be had during your time in this haven the Southern Great Barrier Reef, you can also enrich your experience and become a marine biologist for a day learning alongside Master Reef Guides and capture important data of the reef, giving back to important research. An experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation, Lady Musgrave Experience is the complete citizen scientist and reef-lover experience.

    Link: www.bundabergregion.org/lady-musgrave-island


    Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience

    Recently awarded the title of World’s Best Distillery Tour at the 2021 International Spirits Challenge, the Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience is a must-do, attracting thousands of rum lovers from far and wide each year, and an icon of the region. Where world-class blends have been distilled and bottled since 1888, sustainability has always been a part of the Bundaberg Rum story and shines through in everything that they do.

    After exploring the distillery museum where stories of past master blenders are housed, go behind the scenes with a Bundaberg Rum expert, into the beating heart of the fully working distillery, and uncover the secret to what makes their Rum world renowned. Upholding the Bundaberg mate-ship spirit, discover how they continuously reimagine ways to be more sustainable and use waste to support local farmers, before sampling the range for yourself feeling the warmth of this liquid gold that’s recognized as Australia’s favourite spirit.

    Link: www.bundabergrum.com.au


    Bundaberg Brewed Drinks

    Naturally brewed and born out of Bundaberg for more than 50 years, Bundaberg Ginger Beer has been an Aussie favourite since 1968. With their range now extending to 15 flavour-filled drinks, this family owned and operated internationally renowned brand, continues to brew their crafted drinks using locally sourced ingredients and the same time-honored family recipes that have paved their way to success.

    Visit the home of this great Australian brew and uncover their passion for crafting quality brews on an immersive self-guided tour where you can understand their unique process and taste the range to pick your favourite 6 flavours ready to take home and enjoy later. With the motto ‘brewed to be better’, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks share great care for the land seeking to always innovate and strive for sustainable productions partnering with Bundaberg’s local university, CQUniversity, to share their innovations with local farmers, working behind-the-scenes to create change. An experience that is uniquely Bundaberg, you won’t want to miss this taste-bud tingling attraction!

    Link: www.bundabergregion.org/bundabergbreweddrinks


    Macadamias Australia

    Did you know Bundaberg is the largest producing region for Macadamia’s in Australia? With more than 2000 tones of nut in shell harvested each year, Macadamias Australia is the largest producer of quality macadamia nuts and live a legacy which has been showcasing sustainable farming for more than three generations. Having been brought up with a deep respect for the land which produces this native nut, the Macadamias Australia family have continued to innovate their business and production to protect and preserve the region they love. Taking that next step towards enhancing and educating others about the importance of sustainability while sharing their quality macadamia nuts, visitors can now see their passion with the launch of their new Visitor Experience which opened in 2021.

    Nestled among their original macadamia orchard, make your way through lush macadamia trees before weaving your way into the Visitor Experience Centre. Journey past towering pillars made from the macadamia trees that were recycled from the original orchard and travel through time learning the history of how this family owned and run establishment came to be. Sample their quality products with a guided tasting of their premium nuts or by taking a seat at the onsite, Orchard Café, which also showcases local produce and admire the legacy and sustainable build of the Centre itself among the lush surrounds of macadamia trees, bringing together a unique tree-to-table experience.

    Link: https://www.macadamiasaustralia.net/visit or https://www.macadamiasaustralia.net/sustainability-environment/


    Discover Beautiful Beaches

    Stretching from Woodgate Beach in the south to Baffle Creek in the north, the Bundaberg region is blessed with beautiful beaches. Known as the Coral Coast where the Southern Great Barrier Reef is just off the shore, the regions coastline is surrounded by fringing corals, reefs within reach and pristine beaches perfect for your next seaside escape. Committed to preserving these havens, Bundaberg Regional Council’s Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy helps protect and preserve these for all to enjoy.

    Soak up some vitamin sea where river meets reef at Elliott Heads Beach or Burnett Heads. Learn how to snorkel among the calm waters of The Basin in Bargara or pack a picnic and dip your toes in the sand at Kellys Beach. With more than 16km of stretching beach and ample space for you to choose to relax and disconnect, Woodgate Beach and Moore Park Beach offer a tranquil escape. No matter where you choose to make a splash, the Bundaberg region has plenty of picturesque beaches.

    Link: www.bundabergregion.org/beaches


    Accommodation with Kellys Beach Resort

    Nestled on a creek, just a block back from the beach, Kellys Beach Resort gained eco-certification through EcoTourism Australia in 2015. Internationally recognised, this certification allows guests to relax in the knowledge that the resort is doing everything it can to protect the natural beauty of the Bundaberg coastline and the waters of the Southern Great Barrier Reef while they holiday.

    With Kellys Beach Resort committed to thinking green, guests can have peace of mind knowing that while they are relaxing in the natural beauty of Bundaberg and the Southern Great Barrier Reef, Kellys is doing everything they can to protect it. With their lush open garden surrounds, close proximity to the heart of Bargara and Bundaberg, Kellys Beach Resort ticks all your sustainable accommodation needs without compromising on experience and quality with more than 40 eco villas for you to make yourself at home.

    Link: www.bundabergregion.org/kellys-beach-resort

    By Bundaberg Tourism

    You can read the full Fly Green story here.

  • A SPLASH for Manta Ray Research!

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    In 2021, Ballistic Beer pledged that 10c from every 'Reef' beer sold on Lady Elliot Island would go towards Project Manta - The manta rays of Australia which undertakes critical research of manta rays on the East Coast of Australia.

    Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort and the contribution from Ballistic Beer Co. enabled the purchase of a SPLASH satellite tag which was attached to a pregnant manta ray last week as part of the winter fieldwork for #ProjectManta. This tag will allow the team to track this female over the next few months, potentially providing insight into the reproduction, pupping locations and movements of pregnant females, of which little is known on the East Coast of Australia.

    We invite you to follow this individuals journey as well as numerous other tagged species on #ReefTracks by Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef below

    https://citizensgbr.org/explore/reef-tracks

    Project Manta is part of the Leat to Reef research program and the Great Barrier Reef Foundations Reef Islands Initiative, delivered by the University of the Sunshine Coast in partnership with Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort.

    Read the Facebook post here.


    Photo: BenandDi



  • Businesses offered Climate Action Certification support

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    Businesses wishing to embark on a quest to become more environmentally conscious will be provided incentive support from Bundaberg Regional Council through a new initiative.

    On top of ECO Certification support that is already offered, Council has also begun supporting businesses to gain Climate Action Certification.

    The aim of the ECO certification incentive is to grow visitor economy and promote ecotourism by providing a 50 per cent cash subsidy to eligible businesses/operators to offset the first annual certification fee payable to Ecotourism Australia.

    Environment portfolio spokesperson Cr Wayne Honor said certification was an important part of letting travellers know that tourism products – including tours, accommodations and attractions – had a primary focus of nature.

    “These levels of certification assure travellers that products are backed by a strong, well managed commitment to sustainable practices,” he said.

    “In a region made up of a range of nature-based opportunities, certification is an important process in recognising and respecting our environment and encouraging travellers to do the same.”

    Cr Honor said ecotourism was one of the fastest growing sectors of global tourism.

    “Council’s advocacy position is to grow the region’s visitor economy through market development as an ECO Certified Destination,” he said.

    “This would enable the Bundaberg Region to become a high-quality and recognisable destination to visitors while further increasing the sustainability credentials of our businesses.”

    To find out the eligibility criteria or to apply for ECO Certification or Climate Action Certification click here.


    Read the full Bundaberg Now story here.

  • Eco-tourism forum highlights region’s capability

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    The Bundaberg Region’s eco-tourism credentials are being highlighted on the national stage among industry leaders.

    The region is actively working towards eco destination certification and was recently named in the top 100 sustainable destinations in the world.

    Continuing the positive momentum, representatives from Bundaberg Tourism and Bundaberg Regional Council attended the recent ECO Think | Destination Forum.

    The forum allowed leading destinations from around Australia to contribute to the national strategy to develop a more sustainable approach to destination management and tourism.

    It was Ecotourism Australia’s (EA) first major event focused solely on destinations, building on the organisation’s growing work with councils and regions across Australia through its ECO Destination Certification program.

    Acting Mayor Bill Trevor said achieving Eco Destination certification was one of Bundaberg Regional Council’s advocacy priorities.

    “Ecotourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in global tourism and we’re working with local industry to ensure our region is ready to take advantage of the opportunities this presents,” Cr Trevor said.

    “Our economy will benefit as we take a piece of the pie in this multi-million dollar industry, our environment will benefit as we work together to actively achieve and promote sustainability and our community will benefit because we can celebrate our natural assets with pride.

    “It’s fantastic to take opportunities like these forums to promote our ambitions and what we’re already achieving in this field.”

    The three day eco destination forum focused on knowledge sharing between destinations which are ECO Destination Certified or working towards certification and ECO Certified local tourism operators to create a vision for the certification program into the future.

    Bundaberg Tourism Trade and Industry Development Executive Loni Hammond said the tourism industry had an opportunity to lead the way in taking care of the natural environment.

    “To be invited to be a part of the discussion on how to make that happen is an amazing opportunity for our destination,” Loni said.

    “We have engaged in robust and positive conversations with our peers, and we are bringing back great tools and learnings from others’ experiences to continue to help our community and our visitors to continue being actively involved in protecting our natural areas in our region.”

    Bundaberg Tourism CEO Katherine Reid said as international borders reopened, the consumer demand for sustainable, quality nature-based visitor experiences continued to grow.


    “Our tourism industry and wider community have proven time and again our commitment to ensuring the long-term health and preservation of the environment we live in, for our future generations and our visitors.

    “Bundaberg Tourism has been working closely with Council in support of the ECO Destination Certification since the commencement of the project in 2020.

    “It is an enormous undertaking that requires collaboration across all sectors of the region, and we are proud to be representing a tourism industry that is leading by example in owning our role as custodians of the environment in which we live.”

    Anyone interested in learning more about Council’s Eco Destination certification application or would like to learn more about its incentive scheme for Bundaberg Region operators looking to become certified can head to the project page.

    Read the full Bundaberg Now story here.

    (Picture: Kyle Taylor, Flickr)


Page last updated: 22 May 2024, 01:37 PM