On a recent working trip to Rockhampton we decided to drive rather than fly and stopped over in Bundaberg. Going north we accessed Bundaberg via the Isis Highway and regained the Bruce Highway via the Gin Gin Bundaberg Highway. The same route was followed south except that we travelled from Bundaberg to Childers via the Goodwood Road. Apart from providing relief from the appalling Bruce Highway these routes offered some interesting sights.
Lunch a must at Gin Gin
The Travellers Rest Cafe claims to be the home of Gin Gin’s award winning pies and they are indeed excellent. Whenever travelling on the Bruce Highway we time our arrival in Gin Gin for lunch.
On our journey south from Gin Gin we stumbled across the Mystery Craters attraction on Lines Road off the Gin Gin Bundaberg Highway. The turn off is on the right going to Bundaberg (S24 56 21 E152 08 45). Google Earth has a sign for the Mystery Craters. The attraction offers other items such as a coin collection a rock and fossil display and antique machinery but the main attraction is the craters. It’s worth a visit.
The rock formation is a set of mysterious crater–like structures of sandstone with red ochre nodules evenly distributed throughout and an estimated age of 25 million years (photos below in Gallery). They were uncovered by a farmer in 1971 when clearing overlying silt and sand. No one has come up with a suitable explanation for the origin of these craters. Various suggestions include a meteorite strike, hot spring activity, sink holes from volcanic activity, roof of a subterranean lake etc. Some of the craters hold water and some don’t which adds to their mystery.
Open 7 days 9:00am to 5:00pm.
Our aim in taking the Goodwood Road from Bundaberg to Childers was to locate a species of the white-trunked Goodwood Gum (Eucalyptus hallii). This species occurs in the Bingera National Park and is restricted in its distribution to the lowlands around Bundaberg (no walking trails in this park or information on Dept Environment and Resource Management website). Our search was successful with plenty of specimens growing close to the road.
The Goodwood Gum like all smooth barked gums sheds its bark annually and its new bark is orange. Other smooth barked gums (mostly spotted gums) we saw on our trip north from Brisbane were creamy white.
The Goodwood Road is quite a pleasant drive passing though agricultural land and forested areas. At one stage the road runs alongside the Bingera National Park for quite some distance.
Childers has a number of excellent historical buildings and we felt like we could spend more time there. There is an unusual dentist sign and to the right of the dentist is an historical chemist shop established in 1894 and called not surprisingly “The Old Pharmacy”. It claims to contain the largest Australian collection of early pharmaceutical history.
We were informed by the Childers Visitors Centre that the Chemist Thomas Gaydon was also “the Dentist, the optician, the Vet, he was also the Town Photographer, he was: the anaesthetist at the hospital; he was the Shire Chairman for many years; and he served on the first management committee for the new Childers hospital and was the driving force behind the building of the Methodist Church in Childers; and in his spare time he played lawn bowls”. Thomas Gaydon was certainly a busy man.
The displays of bottles and chemist paraphernalia in the Shop are an instant and brilliant attraction as is the tiled floor. We asked permission and were allowed to photograph the interior. Also on display are original dental and photographic equipment, historical photos, specimen jars, medicine bottles and books. This Shop is definitely worth a visit.
Open Monday to Friday 9:00am to 3:30pm.
If you are travelling through the Wide Bay District and have some time to spare these drives are a pleasant diversion from the Bruce Highway and Bundaberg is a pleasnant place for a stop-over. It has a number of attractions including a Museum to one of Queensland’s famous aviators Bert Hinkler who achieved the first solo flight from England to Australia. The aircraft that he flew for this epic journey now resides in the Queensland Museum and to see it is to marvel at his achievement. His story is quite remarkable.
Our thanks to the Childers Visitors Centre for information on The Old Pharmacy and permission to take photographs.