Your 4 Day Guide to Milbi Festival 2022 - Bundaberg Region
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Your 4 Day Guide to Milbi Festival 2022

Guest Blogger Bio Jess Marsellos

Tick conservationist, turtle expert, beer taster, gallery goer, coral enthusiast, stand up paddle board novice, cultural tour attendee and restaurant reviewer off your packed 4 day stay as you soak up the best natural environment alongside some quality events as part of the Milbi Festival, a 10 day celebration of vibrant Indigenous experiences, foodie events, arts, culture and everything turtles from October 28 to November 6. 
 Image: Courtesy of River Nations Indigenous Corporation

To get you started these accommodation options are a good base to check out as most of these events span both the Bundaberg, Bargara and Mon Repos areas throughout the festival. 

Family friendly Kelly’s Beach Resort have 2 bedroom self contained, large and stand alone eco-villas which makes it a good option with the family in tow (can have up to 7 family members in a large eco villa). There is a pool, restaurant on site and it's just a short walk to the main swimming beach at Bargara. 

Big 4 Breeze Holiday Park Bargara offers a variety of camping, cabin and caravan options starting at $38 per night. Hear the waves roll in as Neilsons Beach is just across the road and it’s located close to coffee shops and other amenities. 

Villa Mirasol Motor Inn is centrally located in Bundaberg and has both single, couple and family options. Friendly staff and a pool on site, you will be in the thick of the action here. 

Thursday 3 Nov - beach clean up, coral and gallery tours

Join the Tangaroa ReefClean beach clean up crew at Oaks Beach in Burnett Heads to help keep our coastline and beach turtle (and people) safe. Registration is required but a free event to take part in, take care of the environment and the marine life that call it home. 
Register: Tangaroa ReefClean Beach Clean Up 
When: Thursday 3 Nov, 10am to Noon
Where: Oaks Beach, Burnett Heads

All that walking, picking up litter and exercise has helped you muster up a hungry tum. Get your fill for lunch at the Lighthouse Hotel, cold drinks, great pub menu and daily specials including locally caught fish (which is always delish). 

Still in the Burnett Heads area and just around the corner you will find Monsoon Aquatics where you can take a coral tour and find out how the organisation are pioneers in coral propagation and spawning. A super interesting, up close and personal journey with the natural life that lives just under the surface. 

Book: All things coral with Monsoon Aquatics
When: Thursday 3 November, 3:45 - 4pm
Where: Monsoon Aquatics, 145 Buss St, Burnett Heads

Pop back to your accommodation to freshen up for an evening of art and wine ahead. Pop into Bert’s on Bourbong St for some light bites and refreshments like tantalising Nepalise Mo Mo’s (dumplings), garlic scallops, wagyu beef sliders, steaks, risotto and more. With an extensive drinks menu including lots of cocktail options using local produce and distilleries  you will be spoiled for choice. 

Join co-curator and Gallery Director Rebecca McDuff for a special Milbi after hours intimate event. Emergence showcases the work of local, young, First Nations emerging artists from the region. Participants will have an opportunity to speak with some of the artists and enjoy the exhibitions in the quiet of the evening. 
Book: Emergence After Dark guided gallery tour 
When: Thursday 3 November, 6:30 - 8pm
Where: Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, 1 Barolin St, Bundaberg

Friday 4 - Self guide snorkel, arvo ice-cream and sunset beats and eats

Rise and shine and seek…coffee! If your staying at Bargara, head to Nielsons for your morning swim and coffee fix from The Beach Mill, nestled underneath the surf club, with light bites such as smashed avo on sourdough and pastries perfect to fuel you for a days adventuring.

Next hop in the car and head to Barolin Rocks, be sure to check the tides and also weather conditions and note that this area is not patrolled so always go with a friend. There is some amazing snorkelling just off-shore with hard and soft corals in varieties of colours, reef fish, turtles and rays. A really good option for exploring the reef within reach. From the carpark make your way over the rocks and stick to them along the coastline for the best views of fish and other marine animals in action. 

Another great spot to check out and accessible via Bargara Headlands Estate is the yarning circle (as this site is of cultural significance to the Taribelang Bunda peoples) with some awesome mosaic totem animals (thanks to Paul Perry) and first nations language, dreamtime serpent (Duggan) made of sandstone blocks and a waving whale on the headland. Just down from this spot are some wonderful rock pools to go and hop and explore with hermit crabs, soft corals, anemones, sea cucumbers, crabs, starfish and more. 

Your last stop for the day is at the Ballistic Bargara Taphouse, in the centre of town. Here you will be entertained by Raw Ordio, sample Milbi inspired pizzas and have a taste of the specially brewed Milbi beer. Very chill vibes and good times with added arcade games and pinball machines a must (they are right down the back). 

Book: Sunset Beats and Eat at Ballistic 
When: Friday 4 November, 5-9pm
Where: Ballistic Bargara, 14 Tantitha Street, Bundaberg

Saturday 5  - connect with country, gallery visits and frock up for the ball

Head over the beautiful Burnett bridge to Oodies Cafe for an early breakfast and coffee before meeting your tour guide and group at the Taribelang Aboriginal Corporation office on Perry St. 

Join the Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow Tour for intimate insights, truth telling and local First Nations knowledge around the Bundaberg region, including language names, historical and sightseeing information. You might even get to taste the bush tomato relish and lilly pilly jam made by 92-year old Elder Eileen Rowe (it’s delicious). It’s a wonderful sharing space of trust and truth and to look back so we can walk together moving forward.

Book: Taribelang Bunda Cultural Tour 
When: Saturday 5 November, 9:30 - 1:30pm
Where: TAC Office, 53-55 Perry St, North Bundaberg (right near Catalyst Directions)

Following your tour and the river sights you have taken in, head to Grunske's By The River for uninterrupted Burnett River views and the freshest, most delectable seafood around. The hot and cold seafood platter to share, washed down with a local cider or beer is a must. 

Time to frock up and feel fabulous for the Milbi Gala Ball. Canapes, cocktails and great entertainment in this immersive underwater themed evening. There are fundraising raffles and auctions held on the night to protect our turtles and seas and the ticket is all inclusive.

Book: Milbi Gala Ball, 6:30pm for a 7pm start
When: Saturday 5 November
Where: Bundaberg Multiplex, 1 Civic Avenue

Sunday 6 - stand up paddleboarding, tapas and beers, everything turtles

Salt and sea is on the menu today, but before you get going stop by The Windmill on See St in Bargara for delicious breakfast nosh, wholesome smoothies and great coffee. Their dragonfruit smoothie bowl is something else! 

If you didn’t know how to paddle board, then you will soon! Join in a Stand Up Paddle Board session in the calm of Kelly’s Beach lagoon - either 9am - 10am or 10:15 to 11:15am and learn from local-long time boarder how to stand, paddle and turn with ease. 
Book: Stand Up Paddleboarding, either 9-10am to 10 - 11:15am
When: Sunday 6 November
Where: Kelly’s Beach Lagoon, best accessed via Miller St

After your dip in the ocean and mad paddle board skills, indulge in a pub feed of pizzas and snittys at the Bargara Beach Hotel.

Next head to Mon Repos Turtle Centre and take part in a Traditional Knowledge Tour with proud Taribelang man and Land and Sea Ranger Des Purcell. Des will guide you through the Mon Repos Conservation Park to explore the native flora and fauna, understand the cultural significance of the Milbi and learn what Mon Repos means to Aboriginal Peoples. 
Register: Traditional Knowledge Tour (it’s free but registrations are required)
When: Sunday 6 November, 1 - 1:30pm
Where: Mon Repos Turtle Centre, 141 Mon Repos Road, Mon Repos

Then join in the opening of the turtle season celebrations at the Milbi @ Mon Repos event. Celebrate the beginning of our turtle season with First Nations performances, entertainment and light refreshments as we showcase the importance of the Milbi to our First Nations People and how the Mon Repos Turtle Centre and local community are integral to the conservation of the incredible marine species.
Book: Free to attend
When: Sunday 6 November, 2 - 5pm (other activities running throughout the day)
Where: Mon Repos Turtle Centre, 141 Mon Repos Road, Mon Repos

We hope all of the sun, sea, new experiences, cultural, visual and natural experiences leave you wanting to come back for more next Milbi Festival.

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