Experience the true spirit and culture of Childers Festival - Bundaberg Region
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Experience the true spirit and culture of Childers Festival

Guest Blogger Bio Jess Marsellos

Victoria might have the event that stops the nation, but closer to home we have the event that stops the Bruce Highway for a whole day. Welcome to the Childers festival, which has grown into a four day extravaganza, celebrating local wine and food, historical tours, sugar cane fires, arts, and lots of music with both local and visiting artists (hello, Kate Cebrano!) and even an opera by the lake. 

Enjoy a long dinner at a local winery, take a bus tour to visit the sugar mill and watch a cane fire burn bright against the dark sky, meander through the main street learning about those who have paved the way before us on these very streets and then enjoy the main event - festival day with food, music and entertainment roving the main street of Childers. Meet you there!


Day1: Start off right with bubbles at the Childers Festival Long Table Dinner.

After settling into your accommodation kick your Childers weekend off with bubbles! A long table dinner at Hill of Promise Winery set amongst the wine and port barrels is a delightful and intimate way to kick it all off with Mary and Terry Byrne. A two course meal highlighting seasonal and local produce with accompanying wines produced right where you are eating. Bon Appetit! Book your place at the table by calling Mary on 0408 875 305.

When: Thursday 22 July, 2021
Time: 6:30pm arrival for a 7pm sit down
Where: Hill of Promise Winery, 8 Mango Hill Drive, Childers
Cost: $70 per Person, Bookings are essential. Contact 0408 875 305.


Day 2:  Food, history, food, art, cane fire! 

7:30am: Sustenance for the day ahead

Grab a delicious coffee and some breakfast at Insane Caffeine, with its trailing walls of greenery, street art and vintage wares, its cosy, comfy and has delicious coffee and food. The asparagus scrambled egg complete with smoked salmon or the burnt butter waffles will keep you going all morning. 

When: Friday 23 July, 7:30am until you're belly is full
Where: Insane Caffeine, 79 Churchill St, Childers 


9am: Take a historical tour

The best way to get familiar with the Childers area is to go on a historical walking tour, lucky local historian Scott Stedman will captivate you with his knowledge as you walk through Christ Church Childers and along the picturesque main street including the Kanaka Memorial and many historic buildings along the way. You will end up at the Old Pharmacy which has a wonderful display of pharmaceutical implements and medicines of the last century. 

When: Friday 23 July, 2021
Time: 9am to 10:30am
Where: Departs from Christ Church, Childers
Cost: $10 per person

11am: Art deco theatre revived

Visit The Paragon Theatre, a rare and majestic gem from the 1920’s which is now home to live shows, theatre and an espresso bar street side. Marvel at her restored beauty by local Marissa Riccardi (who’s family also now own and operate Mammino Gourmet Ice Cream) and take a minute for a mid morning cuppa (or ice-cream, whatever takes your fancy).

When: Friday 23 July, 11am
Where: Paragon Theatre, 75 Churchill St, Childers


11:30am: Art for all of the senses

Stroll across the road to Childers Arts Space (CHARTS), which is also home to the Palace Backpacker memorial. The current exhibition showcases artists from the Bundaberg and Childers regions including a variety of mediums such as visual, sculpture, textile and more. A visit here will give you a window into what a vibrant arts community our region has. 

Where: 72 Churchill Street, Childers


1pm: Ruben and beers to go 

Drive a short 5 minutes up the road to Apple Tree Creek and feast Canadian/Australian style at Mollydookers. You may never need to eat again with the size of some of the burgers and meals on offer - check out their awesome menu including the best poutine and a whopper of a ruben. They have a great selection of drinks with craft beer, spirits and more. 

Where: Mollydookers Cafe and Bar, 29399 Bruce Hwy, Apple Tree Creek


2:30pm: Nap time! 

You deserve a nanna nap! Get a little snooze time ready for your evening’s adventures. 

4:15pm: Watch a cane fire in the fields

Sugar is an everyday item we often take for granted, follow the journey from paddock to plate, from crop to crystal where you experience the spectacular sight of a cane fire and finish off with a delicious BBQ dinner in Childers. Tickets are limited, get in here. 

When: Friday 23 July, 2021
Time: 3pm to 9pm
Where: Departs 3pm from Riverside Parkland, Quay St Bundaberg or 4.15pm from Crescent St car park, Childers
Cost: $45 per Adult; $18 Child (under 12)


Day 2: Bakery, arts in the park, pat a snake, kick off your festival right

8am: Breakfast at the bakery

Childers has a new bakery and sandwich bar in town and where better to grab a bite before your day's adventures. Childers Bakery Salad and Sandwhich bar is an easy pit stop on the highway and has lots of fresh rolls, salads, wraps and usual bakery treats up for grabs.  

9am: Enjoy some art in the park

Arts in the Park runs all day and there is an opportunity to try your hand at weaving, circus performing, origami and also contribute to works by the Childers visual art group to add to the Childers streetscape. Visiting 3D Chalk artist Dom Intelisano will also be creating works to immerse yourself in. It's on in Millenium Park, Childers main street. 

When: Saturday 24 July, 2021
Time: 9am to 3pm
Where: Millennium Park, Childers
Cost: FREE

10am: Handle a snake and take a pic with a croc

Head to Snakes Down Under for a reptilian adventure. Venomous (and non) snakes, crocodiles, turtles, Radiated Tortoises, variety of lizards and skinks. There are also a tree kangaroo, koalas, kangaroos and emus. Owner Ian Jenkins is about to make a tree change to Brisbane and hand over the reins to some new owners, but be sure to visit the snake and croc show with Munga and Alice around midday where Ian can share his extensive knowledge on the crocs he loves so much. 

Where: Snakes Downunder Reptile Park and Zoo,  51 Lucketts Rd, Childers
Cost: Entry fee $25 Adult; $20 Students/Seniors; $15 Children (4-12) or $75 Family Pass (2x Adults, 2x Children).


 2pm: Crescent Street Family Festival kicks off

Celebrating everything that is wonderfully Childers and the community, this festival is a great way to spend your afternoon and evening with a variety of entertainers and lots of food and drink options. The locals kick it off with the local school orchestras and Nutbush dancers and then some visiting entertainers such as Walisuma, Blues Brothers Show, Danny Faifai Trio, Fiesta fire show and Killer Queen round out the evening. Full program here. 

When: Saturday 24 July
Time: 2pm to 9pm
Where: Crescent St, Childers
Cost: FREE (But be sure to bring some pocket change for the delicious food and drinks available for purchase).

Day 3: Festival day

It’s the festival that closes the Bruce Highway all day and what a packed schedule of events. You will be able to eat, drink and enjoy a variety of arts and cultural events all day with over 300 stallholders and three stages. This truly is a festival you can spend a whole day at! Be sure to pack a hat and sunscreen, keep hydrated and shake a tailfeather to the many different beats you will hear throughout the day. Roving performers will move about the crowd but some of the festival highlights not to be missed are stuntman Joel Fenton (9:40am at Broadhust St end), Pacific Belles (11:15am on Crescent St stage), first nation dance performance (12:35 - 12:50 on Paverock Quarry stage) and from 1:15pm on Paverock Quarry Stage Rebecca O’Connor as Tina Turner and Kate Cebrano. 

When: Sunday 25 July, 2021
Time: 9am to 3pm
Where: Childers Main Street - Bruce Highway (trust us, you won't miss it)
Cost: FREE Entry

Please note: Childers Festival is a pet free zone but Red Collar Rescue the legends are offering a pooch minding service nearby for festival goers, amazing! 

If parking stresses you out - no probs! There is a free park and ride service operating all day from the Childers Showgrounds so you can avoid the crowds and arrive in style. For full Childers Festival info you can visit the website here.



Looking for somewhere to rest your head while in town? There are a variety of accommodation options available in Childers, such as Hill of Promise Winery and Cellar Door's very own Mango Hill B&B and Childers Oasis Motel. If you're looking for something that's also within reach, Childers is just a short drive from Bundaberg and the beautiful beachfront town of Woodgate Beach that also offer a range of accommodation options and additional attractions for those wanting to extend their festival holiday.

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