While we were in Bundaberg recently we cycled the Turtle Trail bike and walking path that runs from Kelly Beach south of Bargara up the coast to the Burnett Heads harbour area in the north. You can extend it further with a very short and quiet on-road cycle to rejoin the path and continue around the top into the Port of Bundaberg. I’m not a great cyclist so I’d swear it was the aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting from the marina cafe that spurred me on that extra 3 km.
The Turtle Trail with Marina add-on offers 25-30 km (return) of safe cycling on a dedicated path. The trail runs along the beachfront, under the trees through the Mon Repo National park and along the cliffs tops high about the waves and rocks before rejoining the beach and continuing on to Burnett Heads lighthouse. The views are stunning along the way with plenty of quiet bays to stop for a swim or picnic. For the birding enthusiast, this is also a great piece of coastline.
It’s been a lot of years since I’ve been on a bike and I’m not one of those fit, lycra-clad and knobby shoe type cyclists so I was a bit cautious about setting out on a bike trail. It was the promise of seeing more of this stunning coastline and lots of rest stops that convinced me.
The trail is actually ideal for the relaxed local or visitor, for the family and for those that want to enjoy the scenery. Not so much for the road racing crew. The paths are all well-formed but wider tyres and the more comfortable suspension of a mountain bike made it more fun. If you’re not a regular cyclist you might find more than just the odd muscle reminds you later that it spent a few hours on a bike seat.
All up the Turtle Trail is an excellent way to spend a day on the Bundaberg coast. All kudos to the Bundaberg Regional Council for an excellent facility both for its community and tourism in the area.
How to get there
You can start the cycle from either end, Kellys Beach in the south or Burnett Heads harbour in the north. If you are after something shorter you can pick and choose anywhere in between that works for you.
If the full ride seems to much then any section along the way is enjoyable but we particularly love the section through Mon Repo and up on to the cliff tops with the best views over the sparkling water. Make sure you watch for whales in season, there’s a perfect view from up there.
Note: At December 2019 a section of the trail around the Turtle centre is temporarily closed due to maintenance taking place on the facility.