Sweet ways to see the Burdekin
03 March 2022
There’s nothing sweeter than a family road trip, that is of course unless you’re heading the sweetest region…right next door! The Burdekin is the sugar cane capital of Australia, but there’s more to this thriving rural community beside the Great Barrier Reef than meets the eye.
Officially the sugar cane capital of Australia, the Burdekin is a short drive south of Townsville and makes for the perfect weekend getaway. And while agriculture is one of the more well-known features of this charming location – connected by the Silver Link (the Burdekin Bridge), the region boasts a range of attractions and activities for all ages to discover. From pristine beaches, world-class fishing, unique cultural attractions to boutique shopping, there really is something for everyone.
If you’re an eager angler, then the bountiful Burdekin is second to none with numerous creek systems, offshore reefs, pontoon, beach and river fishing. The entire region is well known for its crabbing, and accessible to anglers with and without boat access. A local favourite is Groper Creek located towards the mouth of the Burdekin River about 15 kilometres from Home Hill. Get all the latest details in the latest Fishing Guide – pick yours up from the local Visitor Information Centres.
World-class shipwreck diving
Did you know the Burdekin is home to one of the world’s best diving experiences? Divers from across the globe have the Burdekin on their bucket list as it’s home to the SS Yongala. Renowned for being home to mega marine life, you’re likely to encounter giant gropers, giant marble rays and giant trevally. Yongala Dive, operating out of Alva, offer dive and snorkelling trips to the Museum of Underwater Art, Stanley Reef and the infamous S.S Yongala Wreck. The history and marine life of the Yongala Wreck will have you in awe and quick to understand why it is listed as one of the top ten dive sites in the world.
On the way out of Ayr is Plantation Park, a brand-new nature-based play area with all abilities swings, a fortress-themed lookout, and rock and rope climbs. While the kids are burning off all that energy grab a coffee at Gudjuda Deck Café, and sample one of the many tasty sweets.
Once you've finished that coffee head off to find the Juru Walk, marvel at the Gubulla Munda monument, which is a walking trail that showcases the cultural importance of Plantation Park to local traditional owners and provides a learning space for the community. Before you leave pop into the Visitor Information Centre and grab a copy of the Burdekin Art Trail Map - you will need it for later in the day.
PARK RUN: While you’re here, get active and follow the well-worn paths of the local Park Run! Saturday morning events are 5k and take place in parks and open spaces. On Sunday mornings, there are 2k junior parkruns for children aged four to 14.
World’s largest achacha plantation
The Burdekin is home to some incredible and diverse fresh produce including the unique achacha fruit! The Achacha Plantation, located near Palm Creek in the Burdekin, is the world’s first and largest plantation whilst also being certified organic and using regenerative agriculture practices. You can visit the stunning 123-hectare property which boasts 16,000 trees and other gems including horses, beehives, chickens and an array of other fruit trees. Property owners offer farm tours where you can see the plantation for yourself and learn about the history of the Achacha and their organic farming methods.
Take in a local view
Whether you are an early bird or a night owl you need to head to Mt Inkerman for either a sunrise or sunset. This newly updated lookout provides 360-degree views over the Burdekin region and is the perfect spot for a picnic breakfast or nibbles. If you are lucky enough you might even see the local paragliding club using the hill as a launching pad - jealously is an understatement.
While there why not spend a little extra time and do the Mount Inkerman Nature Trail - a 30-to-45-minute return walk that explores some of the region’s native bushland.
If hiking isn’t your thing, then take in another local view – a plate of delightful produce. There is one thing in the Burdekin that we know you will all love and that's the FOOD! For a small region they sure know how to punch above their weight with local produce featured in nearly every cafe, restaurant and pub throughout the towns. Some of our favourites include Del Santos Deli, Q Street Grill and Claredale Pastures. Don't forget to grab a few extra things for the trip home!