RECONNECT ON THE REEF - Bundaberg Region
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RECONNECT ON THE REEF

Schools out, beach days are in! The familiar smell of sunscreen on your skin, the feeling of finishing a book you wish you could read again for the first time, and snoozy sleep ins tucked under the cool top sheet – with the life moving faster than ever, here in Bundaberg, we live for these little moments and long summer days! And where better to relax, recharge and reconnect with the whole family than on the Southern Great Barrier Reef!

With the themes of reconnecting and rejuvenating in mind, we’re sharing with you a bit of inspo for your next family adventure, exploring a bevvy of incredible experiences that have the eco-certified tick of approval. This means that they are dedicated to sharing our world-class wonders with travelers and are always doing the right thing by the environment, so future gens can experience the Southern Great Barrier Reef magic too.

This way, you and your family can Travel for Great, and focus your energy on things like choosing whether to snorkel in the lagoon or coral gardens, if you need 2nd farm fresh ice cream for the day or which top shelf rum to taste😉

Lady Musgrave Experience
Advanced Ecotourism Certified | Climate Action Certified | Respecting Our Culture Certified

Come aboard the Reef Empress and sail just two hours away to Lady Musgrave Island for the kinda once-in-a-lifetime experiences your kids will be shouting about from the top of the playground when back to school begins. Snorkel or scuba through the underwater aquarium, glide along the crystal-clear waters on a glass bottom boat tour and weave your way through the Pisonia forest on a guided island walk – surely this is every kids dream way to spend their Summer Holidays!

Hosted by real deal Marine Bios, you can all play Marine Bio for a Day with Lady Musgrave Experience! Visit the island and have a sneak peek of the reef ecosystem before hopping into the lagoon for a private 30 minute guided snorkel. The valuable data collected is submitted to an online database to be used by experts such as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority – you are literally making a difference right there and then! So, whether your offspring dream of being a mermaid, astronaut or rockstar when they grow up, (or maybe you feel like you missed your true calling in life haha) the Marine Bio for a Day program is a taste of the kinda 9-5 we have on the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

Kelly’s Beach Resort
Eco Certified Nature Tourism | Eco Certified Green Travel Leader

Welcome to Kellys Beach Resort, where your home (for a week or a while) boasts tranquil eco-villas spread across 5 acres of lush gardens, just a block back from the beach. After a days adventuring, if the little ones aren’t kaput, they can have a swim in the pool, a hit of tennis or get involved in one of the awesome school holiday activities (did someone say Laser Skirmish?!)

Family-owned Kellys Beach Resort are pretty legendary in the eco-world! Not only were they the first Eco Certified mainland resort on the Southern Great Barrier Reef, but they also partner with the likes of Greenfleet, to offer guests the opportunity to go halves on a tree with them – you beauty! During your stay there, be sure to pop your old containers in one of the Containers for Change collection bins on the resort, where 100% of the proceeds go straight to the local Sea Turtle Alliance organisation.

Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort
Advanced Ecotourism Certified | Climate Action Certified | Eco Certified Green Travel Leader

Wave goodbye to the wifi and save the phone for selfies as you hop on your 30 min scenic flight the Southernmost island on the Great Barrier Reef – Lady Elliot Island. This Eco Resort is a haven for the young and the young at heart. Spend your days swimming alongside turtles and manta rays on a snorkel safari, playing I-spy on a reef walk with a marine bio or quenching your thirst for knowledge in the Reef Education Centre, before you’re evenings are spent with sunset drinks at the lighthouse, a beach walk under the stars, and an early bedtime ready for tomorrows adventure.

With awesome humans like Peter Gash as custodians of this pristine coral cay, they are making some serious waves in the restoration and regeneration game! Throwback to the 1800s, Lady Elliot Island was a far cry from the little slice of paradise it is today. After being mined for guano, the island was left as a moonscape with only bare rock and a scarcity of wildlife to call it home. Flashforward to today, thanks to the Island Restoration Program, they’ve revegetated over 7.5 hectares and planted over 4,000 native trees, resulting in a 125% increase in turtle activity on the islands main nesting beach since the initiative began!

And the even better news? You can play a part too! Pick up a CoralWatch Coral Health Chart from the education centre before your snorkel, scuba dive or reef walk and share what you see. This info goes to the University of Queensland to assess coral health and any effects of climate change – how awesome!

Bundaberg Rum
Sustainable Tourism Certified

Okay so this one is definitely more for the adults of the group but say g’day to Australia’s first Sustainable Tourism Certified experience! The home of Australia’s most famous (and loved) rum, the Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience is always a good time (even for non-rum lovers!).

Hop on a tour of the distillery with one of the local legends (aka tour guides) and learn about the zero waste ethos that’s been at the heart and soul of their spirit since the beginning. What happens when a couple of mates come together to work out a way to use up excess molasses from the local sugar production? Well, rum duh!

Mon Repos Turtle Centre
Advanced Ecotourism Certified | Climate Action Certified | Respecting Our Culture Certified

An unassuming stretch of sand, that comes alive for 6 months of the year, as home to the largest population of nesting loggerhead turtles in the South Pacific, Mon Repos sure is something special. But what’s even more special is the marine turtle research, protection and education the Queensland Parks & Wildlife Rangers do year-round.

Visit the Turtle Centre from November – March to see the awe-inspiring moments a mama crawls ashore to lay her nest, or the goosebump inducing eruption of 120 hatchlings making their dash to the ocean on a ranger-guided Turtle Encounter tour. (Bookings are essential so secure your spot here). During the rest of the year, you can explore the immersive Turtle Tales, watch an inspirational movie in the mini theatre, savour wattle seed scones in the Milbi Café and gaze at the local First Nations artwork that adorns the walls.

Here's to creating summer memories to last a lifetime on the Southern Great Barrier Reef!

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Friday, 08 December 2023

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