Australian Wing Riders Association (Qld) Inc

A club for riders of Honda GoldWing and Valkyrie motorcycles

Bundaberg and Back

Hi, I’m Daniel Bradford.  I’ve been on a couple of previous rides with the group but this ride is one I went on with my dad.  Our ride up the coast of Queensland lasted three days.

Our first day started when we left our house at around 7:30.  The night before we had struggled to fit everything in/on the bike.  Unfortunately Tuesday the 6th was overcast and sure enough, we encountered rain shortly after leaving the Gateway Bridge.  Nevertheless we continued through the rain and were rewarded with a break.  Just as we pulled in for fuel, it poured down. Preparing to have to wear wet weather gear, the downpour stopped as suddenly as it started. 

After riding through Gympie, Kilkivan and Goomeri, we stopped at Ban Ban Springs for lunch.  Beginning our search for the Lake Coalstoun volcanic crater, we originally missed the turn off and had to u-turn.  We thought there was only going to be a 100m walk, but we were wrong.  As we didn’t want a punctured tyre on the rough track, we began the climb up the mountain.  Reaching the top we were able to view the crater and then had an easier walk back to the bike.

All day while riding we experienced more scattered showers but we were soon through them.  Next we pulled up at the Mystery Craters near Bundaberg.  After thirty years of wondering, there is still no definite explanation for why they exist.  We were baffled by them and noted the even distribution of red ochre through the sandstone.  Almost like a cake mix.  Some of the craters were empty, others were filled with either milky white or murky brown water. 

Soon afterwards we hit the road again and entered Bundaberg, becoming lost as dad searched for where they used to live.  Eventually we found the house and it was much the same as they left it.  Then we rode to Mon Repos where the turtles come ashore to lay their eggs.  We set up camp and, much to our disappointment, discovered that turtle season had finished. 

The second day also started at around 7:30.  Leaving the tent we were greeted with a clear sky with no rain in sight.  After struggling with packing up a table for twenty minutes we set off once again and headed back into Bundaberg.  Our first destination for day two was Schneider’s Cooperage and Craft Centre.  We looked at many different things for sale then began to watch a glassblower at work.  Fascinated, we then went to see a cooper working.  The wood was being shaped so it could fit perfectly without any glue. 

The Bundaberg Rum Distillery was our next place to tour.  Once we signed up we were told no cameras or any other electrical appliances, as this could start a fire.  The tour began by watching a short video on the distillery then entering the main area of the building we saw all the molasses.  Informing us of the name of the yeast used, we were challenged to remember it.  After viewing more parts of the process we were asked who could remember the ingredient.  I was the only one to put a hand up and I had the general sounding of the four syllable ingredient correct (I can’t remember it now).  I was rewarded with a postcard and tattoo.  We then saw the vats where the rum is stored for two years to mature and finally we saw the bottling process as the bottles were cleaned, filled, capped, labelled, and then boxed.  After receiving complementary alcohol and soft drinks, we visited the souvenir shop and left. 

Our next spot was the Bert Hinkler museum.  Hinkler lived in the early 20th century.  He piloted planes on pioneer flights to various cities and one of his achievements was flying solo from England to Australia.  The museum is his actual house that they had shipped from England.  His Australian house had already been demolished.

We then decided to go to Maryborough and look at another house that our family used to live in.  Dad found this house with ease and we began to head south.  The place where we would stay tonight would either be another caravan park or a friend’s house.  Dad had tried to ring the friend earlier but the phone wasn’t answering so we left a message.  As we were leaving Maryborough the phone rang.  By the time dad tried to answer it, the ringing had stopped.  As we called back we were told the phone was unavailable. 

Beginning our journey to the stopping point we drove past many cane fields on our way.  While we were still riding, the phone began to ring again.  This time dad pulled over and hit answer before he took his helmet off.  For some reason there was no one on the other end.  We stopped at Gympie for fuel and continued south.  After five minutes the phone rang.  This time a conversation took place and we were going to stay in Mooloolaba for the night.  We drove through Tewantin where we had planned to stay and down the Sunshine Coast arriving in Mooloolaba a little after dark.  We caught up over dinner.

We left the house on the third day at 7:00.  The plan was to go to the Glasshouse Mountains.  On the way through Montville we saw a turn off for Kondalilla Falls and decided to visit as we had a lot of time.  Walking through the rainforest we reached the large waterfall and decided to go down for a better view and completed the whole 5 km circuit.  

Maleny was the first lookout we planned to visit for a view of the Glasshouse Mountains.  Thursday was also a little cloudy and while this obscured our vision, it wasn’t too heavy and we managed to view some of the mountains.  Visiting Maleny, we saw many of the art and craft stores that are in that town.  Finally we rode near the mountains and I took some more photos as we rode and from another lookout.  Arriving back home at 3:30, we set about unpacking our gear.

See you on a ride