Road Trip: Southern Great Barrier Reef – Wrap Up

Sponsored by Tourism and Events Queensland

I long to be back on this beach in the middle of the ocean! I’m reflecting back on our busy long weekend in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region and writing a wrap up retracing our travel steps.  I did the same thing after our road trip from Brisbane, right down to Canberra in 2011. 

Lady Elliot Island

Southern Great Barrier Reef

The Southern Great Barrier Reef stretches from Bundaberg — includes Lady Elliot, Lady Musgrove, Herron, Wilson and Great Keppel islands — through to Gladstone and up to the Capricorn Coast.  There are higher profile areas of the Great Barrier Reef, which what makes the southern part so fun to visit: it’s a hidden gem of a place to explore and you can find many quiet spots of beach magic along the coast. The region is family friendly, stunningly beautiful, the weather is conducive to all kinds of outdoor fun (even during Winter), and there is a natural, relaxed pace.

Southern Great Barrier Reef Region

Day 1: Exploring Childers

Childers is an archetypal Queensland town full of charm and character nestled amongst the cain fields.  See pictures and read more about our day in Childers here.

Day 2: Exploring Lady Elliot Island

The highlight by far!  The kids keep saying “I can’t believe we swam in the Great Barrier Reef!” We were all blown away by this experience; if you get the chance do it, the memory lasts a lifetime.   More of this special day here.

Day 3: Exploring Bundaberg

The capital of the Southern Great Barrier Reef: an historic sugar town and a great place to base yourself when exploring this amazing region.   What we did in Bundaberg is here.

Southern Great Barrier Reef - Bundaberg

Southern Great Barrier Reef - Bundaberg

Even though we managed to cram a lot into the weekend, there seemed to be so many more things we could have done had we had the time.  Bundaberg is only 4 hours from Brisbane and we will be back, to enjoy the things we loved and explore those we have yet to experience.

Our Route 

Queensland Road Trip - Brisbane to Great Barrier Reef

Southern Great Barrier Reef

Travel Stops

1. Brisbane QLD 

2. Kybong QLD (There’s a huge Matilda travel station here; a great place to stop)

3. Lake Redbrook Holiday Retreat, 122 Farnsfield Rd, North Isis QLD 4660

4. Snakes Downunder Reptile Park and Zoo, 51 Lucketts Rd, Childers QLD 4660

5. Mammino Gourmet Ice Cream, 89 Churchill St, Childers QLD 4660

6. Kellys Beach Resort, 6 Trevors Rd, Bargara QLD 4670

7. Bundaberg Airport, Airport Dr, Kensington QLD 4670

8. Kellys Beach Resort, 6 Trevors Rd, Bargara QLD 4670

9. Lady Elliot Island Resort, Lady Elliot Island QLD 4216

10. The Bundaberg Barrel, 147 Bundaberg-Bargara Rd, Bundaberg QLD 4670

11. SSS Strawberries, LOT 2 Rosedale Rd, Oakwood QLD 4670

12. Grunske’s by the River, 11E Petersen St, Bundaberg QLD 4670

13. Playground near Lake Ellen, Bundaberg South, Queensland 

14. Gympie QLD

15. Brisbane QLD – Home again

In Words & Pictures

I need to finish this off by throwing out some words and pictures.

Explorer hands

Southern Great Barrier Reef - Lady Elliot Island



Blue, blue water

Snorkel right off the beach - Lady Elliot Island

Beach curls

beach curls

Colours, everywhere

Coloured coral

Watching my husband as a father

watching my husband father

New experiences

Southern Great Barrier Reef - Lady Elliot Island

A sense of wonder


Seek tenderness

Cuddling a snake

The wind, the sky and a smile

the wind and the sky

That joy!

strawberry picking

Other Posts

Hidden Treasure Challenge – Southern Great Barrier Reef

Day 1: Southern Great Barrier Reef (Childers)

Day 2: Southern Great Barrier Reef (Lady Elliot Island)

Day 3: Southern Great Barrier Reef (Bundaberg)

Wrap Up Video

Thank to Tourism & Events Queensland for working with me on this little project. I aim to continue to showcase more of this beautiful country we live in!

Exploring The Southern Great Barrier Reef

Sponsored by Tourism and Events Queensland

A good thing resulting from our many and continued house moves is the opportunity to see more of this beautiful country we live in.  In the early years of marriage, Matt and I lived in Newcastle, New South Wales. We lived in a small old cottage.  There was no hot water in the kitchen, most of the sash windows didn’t work and it was oh-so-cold inside during Winter, but we loved it there because the big block and had views of the ocean.   The house was tired and old but it had character and felt like home.


cottage newcastle

Months before we moved from Newcastle there to Queensland, we spent weekends exploring the surrounds with our two small children.  I remember driving up to the blue mountains with two small children in tow, and it snowed on the day we were there!  It was exciting!  As I look back, there was a defining moment for me on that particular drive and I’ll tell you why.  I realised how important it was for our family to experience adventure together as we value this country we live in.  It’s  vast, varied and beautiful here in Australia.

2005 (pregnant with child no.3)

Blue mountains snowing 2004

We are in a making memories stage of parenting and so as a family, we are constantly looking for ways to marry our love of adventure, the treasure that is our country Australia and family memories. It’s a thing we do: at every place we move, we explore.   We are currently in Brisbane, Queensland, and on one of our day-trip adventures was to the Queen Mary Falls near Killarney.  On our last visit, there was no one was there but us. Best.  And then when we have the opportunity, we explore further afield on camping getaways and road trips.  One of our favourite holidays so far was a driving holiday back in 2011 and you can see where we went here: 2011 Road Trip.  

Queen Mary Falls

Exploring the Southern Great Barrier Reef

I will continue to showcase more of this beautiful country through the blog in the upcoming years because it’s something I’m passionate about.  This coming long weekend, I’m working with Tourism and Events Queensland to showcase a gem that is the Southern Great Barrier Reef starting from Bundaberg — including Lady Elliot, Lady Musgrove, Herron, Wilson and Great Keppel islands — through Gladstone and up to the Capricorn Coast.  The region boasts of coral reefs, stunning beaches, bountiful wildlife, shopping, agriculture, gem fossicking and more. We’ve haven’t explored the area before and the kids are beside themselves with excitement.  For this Hidden Treasure Challenge, we have a map clues to follow so we don’t even know exactly what we are doing yet (we will wait to open the clues).  It will be exciting all round and you can follow along over this coming June long weekend.

Our Southern Great Barrier Reef Hidden Treasure Challenge Pack

Southern Great Barrier Reef

Follow Along – Southern Great Barrier Reef Hidden Treasure Challenge

Follow along this long weekend as we explore by following:

The blog: I’ll do a quick update each day we are away, so look out for posts on Saturday night, Sunday night and Monday night (8,9,10 June).

Instagram: I’m @beafunmum on instragram and I will update regularly using these hashtags #BAFM_Travel #SouthernGreatBarrierReef #ThisIsQueensland

Facebook page:  There will be snippets on the Be A Fun Mum Facebook Page too

Here’s to adventure! Here’s to memory making. Bring it on.


More Travel Posts

Entertaining Kids When Travelling Long Distances

Games & Activities You Can Play on the Go

Camping: What Gear You Need

Camping: Organising and Packing Food

Africa Safari


This is a S1 post. You can read my disclosure policy here.