Adventure to regional Qld a thrillseeking experience
Bundaberg’s beaches, brewery, local produce, and Lady Musgrave Island are on the list of thrillseeking adventures developed by Toyota Australia, as a survey revealed eight in 10 Australia’s have turned to local outdoor getaways during the COVID-19 pandemic as an escape mechanism.
A YouGov survey commissioned by Toyota Australia showed 79 per cent of participating Australians prefer local thrillseeking adventures as their holiday of choice, with two-thirds of those doing so as an escape mechanism during the coronavirus restrictions.
In response to the growth in domestic travel, Toyota partnered with four state-based tourism authorities, including Queensland Tourism, and developed a series of “passport to adventure” trips.
They feature the ultimate top 10 destinations and associated adrenaline-fuelled activities to be found off the beaten track across the country.
With 52 per cent of Australians planning to travel since the easing of restrictions, Toyota Australia chief marketing officer John Pappas said the guide provides people with new locations and experiences to explore.
“While 64 per cent of families and 62 per cent of Millennials typically travelled overseas prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s great to see the nation embarking on adventure travel and road trips and exploring more of what their own state has to offer,” he said.
Mr Pappas also said their new 2020 HiLux was the country’s ultimate adventure vehicle “perfect” to get to those “out-of-the-way” hidden gems.
Among the Queensland adventures is a four-day trip to the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef – the official start of one of the world’s greatest wonders.
There you’ll be sipping on Bundaberg’s famous craft brewed non-alcoholic beverages, sampling fresh local produce, off-road exploring of Burrum Coast National Park and snorkelling with manta rays and turtles in the crystal-clear waters off Lady Musgrave Island.
The other local adventure is a four-day trip taking in a jet ski tour to an offshore sand cay, four-wheel-driving on Fraser Island and swimming with manta rays off Lady Elliot Island.
Developed by Bundaberg and Fraser Coast Tourism offices, the short getaways offer the chance to explore the best of regional towns and learn a thing or two about them.
Such as how Bundaberg Brewed Drinks crafts its 16 non-alcoholic beverages such as sarsaparilla, burgundee creaming soda, traditional lemonade, pink grapefruit, and the almighty and original Bundaberg ginger beer.
The taste testing will teach you that their apple cider smells like green apples but tastes like red apples; the lemon lime and bitters has the longest brew time of seven days; and that the special edition spiced ginger beer that is released at Christmas time is used by a lot of people to make mulled wine.
The Bundaberg region also produces 20 per cent of Australia’s fresh fruit and vegetables from its lush red soil.
Much of the produce is sourced and used by local eateries like the Windmill Cafe and Water Street Kitchen, which are also two stops on the trip.
Local eggs, fish, and veggies are all collected and purchased right on the doorstep of every cafe and restaurant such as these, supporting locals whose trade thrives off passion.
Recognised as a chilled-out tea garden, the Windmill Cafe, that is literally shaped like windmill, also makes “some of the best” coffee in town on filtered rainwater.
Like you’ll experience in both Passport to Adventure trips, adventure in the region begins on land and extends to the sea and the reef, with old and new tourism endeavours on the move.
Splitters Farm, just 10 minutes north of Bundaberg, recently added a range of accommodation to their offerings, including a two-bedroom deluxe safari glamping tent.
It first started in 2017 as a safe haven and sanctuary for rescued farm animals who had been neglected or abused, but most come to them as a result of drought and the subsequent financial burden for farmers.
The new unique rural camping and farm stay experience on the 160-acre property bordered by Splitters Creek will see you surrounded not only by farm animals, but also native Australian animals like wallabies, platypus, barramundi and the occasional sneaky monitor lizard.
A popular part of the farm are the pet farm animals like Marlow and Stevie – two “teenage” bulls who both had a rough start to life.
But the jewel of the Southern Great Barrier Reef – Lady Musgrave Island – and the snorkelling and turtle-spotting experience is probably one of the most sought-after part of the adventures in the region on board the Lady Musgrave Experience.
While the back of the premier, purpose built 27m, high speed, three level catamaran is known to be reserved for those whose stomachs can’t handle the windy ride over, the airconditioned inside plays documentaries about the ocean, and the open air sundeck has stunning views.
What you witness once immersed in the protected, calm water, almost crystal-clear lagoon within the reef off the island, is as some would describe “breathtaking”.
Snorkel with turtles, manta rays and over 1200 fish species; tour the reef in a glass bottomed boat; learn to scuba dive and take a guided island walk on the Lady Musgrave Island itself.
If you’re there for the right seas, you might also catch birds nesting, turtle hatchlings emerging from the sand or migrating humpback whales blow and breech.
Lacee Froeschl was a guest with Toyota Australia Passport to Adventure. For more information, click here.