Photo shows the Town Reach at Bundaberg on the Burnett River. You can anchor right near the heart of town now as the 2013 flood destroyed the marina, the up river moorings and many of the boats. The flood reached the Burnett Bridge shown in the background and was a frightening experience for many Bundy residents.
We are anchored in the Town Reach just by the Bundaberg city centre, waiting for the Go West! rally boats to disappear from the Port Bundy marina so we can put Saraoni in it for a few weeks while we hunt for boats near Brisbane.
Bundy has changed very little over the last 12 years. It used to be Australia's equivalent of Whangarei, with many cruisers choosing to spend the cyclone season either upriver near the city or downstream at Port Bundaberg. Climate change is gradually taking its toll on Oz. We have arrived yet again in the middle of a dreadful drought, although the Burnett's banks seem green enough.
Two bad floods that 'should never have happened' destroyed the city moorings, marina and many upstream yachts, making it no longer a harbour of choice for locals and visitors during the wet season.
Bundy is still a very useful city to provision from. It's an unpretentious place, surrounded by vege and sugar fields, its vistas stretching to the ever flat horizon. The coastal settlements of Burnett Heads, Bargara, Coral Cove and others have attracted retirees in their hundreds like many other East Coast locations.
For us, apart from the easy and free access to the city centre, the attraction lies in the abundant birdlife that is probably finding the city attractive because of the dry conditions elsewhere. The huge fruit bat colony that once existed just beyond the Burnett Bridge, has relocated since the 2013 flood to the safety of the Baldwin Swamp, where many birds and other creatures make their home. As in 2006, hundreds of birds, especially herons and ibises, are nesting noisily in the Botanical Gardens just a few kilometres away.
We have had a busy social life since arriving in Bundy. Heather and John, who we have known since 1998, live here and still have their Adams 30, 'Kindred Spirit' moored down the river, while there are many other yachties nearby we know, some we met either in New Zealand or across the oceans.
Bundaberg is home to hundreds of noisy birds and other creatures. From the top and from left to right: darter, pukeko (Aussies call them purple swamp hens), sacred ibis, rainbow lorikeet, fruit bat, pied stilt, pelican, cattle egret in breeding plumage, bearded water dragon.