Great to catch up with friends Jamie and Jan again in the lovely city of Bundaberg, famous in Australia for what else but Bundy RUM – Australia’s favourite spirit! So off we went on a visit to the distillery that was set up to use the molasses left over after sugar was refined. They certainly faced hardships over the years with two enormous fires – in 1936, the rum escaped into the adjoining Burnett River, and the local paper noted:
‘Strong men stood with bowed heads and a suspicion of a tear in their eyes as they watched the bubbling toddy just stream past them.’
True tragedy Australian style!!! Tasting the array of rums and liqueurs was fun even for non-rum drinkers like us. Unfortunately no photographs could be taken on the tour and Ian had to take out his hearing aids as well (supposedly the batteries could cause an explosion) so as far as he was concerned it was pretty underwhelming…
The Botanic Gardens were pleasant to walk through although the main draw-card for us was the amazing bird life (apparently 100+ species) concentrated on a large island in the middle of the lake. Ian took some great photos….
The magpie geese were just so funny – these big birds land on the most tiny little tree branches creating a constant seesaw motion for them all.
The Hinkler Museum is also located in these gardens. Bert Hinkler was born here in 1892 and was a famous pioneer aviator throughout the early 1900s. The Bundaberg community is justifiably very proud of him. For example, the home he built in Southampton while he was designing and flying experimental aircraft in England has been dismantled and rebuilt alongside the museum. It now overlooks the lagoons where as a boy he sat and studied the ibis in flight – probably dreaming about the famous Ibis aircraft he would later build and fly!
Next stop – Hervey Bay and Fraser Island…