City Of Dreams

The many attractions in Bundaberg are sure to impress.

The Queensland city of Bundaberg is crammed with traffic, with franchised fast food outlets, and with shopping centres tucked into air-conditioned cocoons that isolate them from the outside world. At an initial glance it appears to be merely a clone of many other Australian cities, but if you take the time to look beyond the veneer of concrete and glass, you’ll find that there’s more to this bustling metropolis than initially meets the eye.

It’s a city shaped by people with grand visions of the future, and the stories of the passion and the determination that converted their dreams into reality unfold in a picturesque location that’s a quiet retreat from the hullabaloo of city life.

At the close of the 19th century, bureaucrats dreamt of creating a botanic garden on the northern side of the Burnett River that bisects the city. In politics, even at the local level, words are often transformed into action at a speed rivalling that of a pedal car with square wheels, and it was almost 100 years before another generation of councillors glimpsed a similar vision and set plans in motion to transform an area dominated by swamps into an inviting recreational precinct.

Today, the 27 hectare gardens are crammed with more than 10,000 trees and shrubs, and whether you explore the gardens on foot or take the leisurely option of viewing the landscape from a seat on the steam train that, every Sunday, announces its presence with its piercing whistling and clattering voice, you’ll quickly realise that you don’t have to be passionate about plants to find something of interest at this extensive complex.

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