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Bundaberg Region

This painting is my interpretation of the Bundaberg Region, I was asked by the Bundaberg Regional Council to come up with a painting design that they could use in promotional material and products to promote the region to the many tourists that visit Bundaberg each year.

The top left of the painting represents agriculture and the wide variety of produce that is locally grown all over the region from bananas, avocado, macadamia nuts, chillies, tomatoes, zucchini, sweet potato, capsicum, sweet corn, mangoes, watermelon, strawberries, cherry tomatoes and grapes with the wine bottles and glasses representing the many vineyards that produce both red and white varieties of wine in the Childers area.

The masks, film reel and tickets represents the Moncrieff entertainment centre which is in the heart of Bundaberg, it is a theatrical theatre as well as a cinema. The theatre was renamed the Moncrieff Theatre in honour of Bundabergs first lady of yesteryear, singer Gladys Moncrieff.

The bridge represents the Burnett Bridge which has heritage listing and was built from 1898 to 1900 and was officially opened on August 24th 1900 by Queensland Governor Lord Lambert replacing a ferry service. The Burnett River flows under the bridge and it is home to the Queensland lungfish which is one of the most ancient of the vertebrate species. The river and bridge are circled at times by planes landing at Bundaberg airport.

The butterflies and assortment of flowers represent the botanical gardens located on Mt Perry Road on the city’s northern outskirts, the Botanic Gardens sprawl over 27 hectares of land and feature a variety of 10,000 trees and shrubs. A magnificent lake, creating a habitat attracting up to 114 species of birds, is centrepiece of the Botanic Gardens, while a wedding chapel, plant nursery, shaded picnic areas, themed boardwalks, Japanese gardens and children’s playground enhance the appeal of one of Bundaberg’s favourite lifestyle precincts. The gardens boast a coal fired steam locomotive with rides for the family, the Bundaberg and district historical museum, Hinkler hall of aviation, Hinkler house, Fairymead house, café 1928 and the nearby Bundaberg railway museum.

The Bi-plane represents famous local identity Bert Hinkler who was one of the world's greatest pioneer aviators. Hinkler flew the first solo flight between England and Australia, departing England on 7 February 1928 and arriving in Darwin on 22 February 1928 and back in his home town of Bundaberg on 27 February 1928. This reduced the England-Australia record from 28 days to just under 15½ days. The aircraft used was an Avro Avian, registration G-EBOV. The Bert Hinkler Hall of Aviation is located in the Botanical Gardens and is a major tourist attraction that provides visitors with a fascinating insight into early aviation, and the contribution made by local pioneers.

The top right of the painting represents the coastal region of Bundaberg and the many things to see and do along the coastline. The coral and fish represent the start of the Great Barrier Reef and the easy access to Lady Musgrave and Lady Elliot islands. Take a cruise to Lady Musgrave Island and Lagoon which is the only Island and lagoon combined in the outer Great Barrier Reef where big vessels enter the Lagoon. Once on the island you can take a guided tour on a glass bottom boat, snorkel amongst the most amazing coral formations and marine creatures, hand feed fish in the lagoon or take a guided reef walk. Lady Elliot Island is home to a small eco resort and an airstrip, which is serviced daily by flights from Bundaberg or take one of many day cruises. Lady Elliot Island is one of only three island resorts on the Great Barrier Reef, tour the reef in a glass bottomed boat, learn to scuba dive, feed the fish, take a guided reef walk or stroll to a deserted beach.

The hatching turtles represent Mon Repos Conservation Park which supports the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland. At Mon Repos visitors can take a walk to explore the park during the day and participate in Connect with Nature—Turtle Encounters at night. Tourists can witness one of nature's most fascinating spectacles, the annual pilgrimage of sea turtles. Each year, adult female turtles come ashore to lay eggs on Mon Repos beach. About eight weeks later young sea turtles emerge from the eggs and race to the sea. Mon Repos information centre tells stories about the special journeys turtles and people have taken at Mon Repos, and about the adjacent Great Sandy Marine Park.

The assorted seafood represents the abundance of the freshest locally caught seafood from the area which is available at many outlets and restaurants fresh from the trawler. Red emperor, sweet lip, coral trout, whiting, Spanish mackerel, snapper, prawns, crabs and shellfish are all abundantly available.

The scuba equipment represents the many diving and snorkeling locations available in the Bundaberg region with dive sites that are suitable for snorkelers and divers of all levels of expertise. Bundaberg's diving consists of beautiful reefs, wrecks and some of the best shore dives in Queensland including Barolin rocks, The Fitzroy reef lagoon and lady Musgrave and lady Elliot islands.

The lighthouse represents the Old Burnett heads lighthouse which was constructed in 1873 from timber. The lighthouse was manned by a lighthouse keeper from 1873 until 1932 and stands 22 feet high. The lighthouse was replaced by a modern structure in 1971 and has since been re-located one kilometre from its original site to the park in the main street of Burnett Heads where it has been restored.

The boats and anchor represent the Bundaberg port which is a destination for ships from Australia and overseas. Port facilities began in the town reach of the Burnett River and as this site became unsuitable for larger bulk ships the port moved to the mouth of the river and was opened in 1958. A bulk terminal for the export of sugar and molasses is located near the port and the Bundaberg port marina offers 160 floating berths. Being an official Port of Entry clearance facility for inbound and outbound visitors, the Bundaberg Port Marina, for the last four years, has consecutively cleared more international vessels than any other Port of Entry in Australia. Humpback whales pass close to Bundaberg's coastline en route to the blue waters of Platypus Bay at the northern end of Fraser Island and whale watching cruises operate from the Bundaberg port during the season and they can also be seen from Lady Elliot Island.

The bottom right of the painting represents the hinterland of the Bundaberg region which is a contrast to the coastal parts of the region, rugged gorges, imposing mountain ranges, serene rural views and towns offering country hospitality and history. The mountain represents the Hummock lookout with the Hummock being a dormant volcano reaching 96 metres above sea level. It gives visitors a very rare opportunity to view Bundaberg from an elevated point looking out over the ocean and the coloured patchwork of fields. It is located approximately 10 minutes from the CBD accessible via Bargara Road and Windermere Road. The Taribelang Aboriginal people were the first humans to inhabit the area. Their 'burning mountain' is the 'Sloping Hummock' of today. There is a large Aboriginal art mural at the site which depicts the violent story of Paddy's Island at the time of European settlement. Paddy's Island can also be seen from the Hummock.

The golf clubs and hole 18 represent the many golf courses available in the region from Bargara, Biggenden, Bundaberg, Coral Cove Resort, Eidsvold, Gayndah, Innes Park, Gin Gin, Isis, Mt.Perry and Oakwood all offering 9 to 18 hole courses.

The animals represent Bundaberg’s Alexandra Park zoo which is in the heart of the city within walking distance from the CBD. The zoo is free and hosts kangaroos, wallabies, cassowaries, dingoes, spotted tailed quolls, snake and reptile area and several bird varieties. The zoo is along the banks of the Burnett river with a walkway and next door to Alexandra park with its historic Band Rotunda and Colonial artillery pieces is an iconic area for families to visit.

The boomerang pays tribute to the traditional owners of the lands and elders past and present from the many aboriginal clans that inhabited the Bundaberg Region and their descendants who still live in the region today.

The barramundi and rods represent the home of the biggest barra catch Lake Monduran in Gin Gin. The lake has a holiday park and is a great holiday destination for those who enjoy big barramundi fishing, boating and kayaking in a family friendly environment with a range of accommodation and leisure options to choose from.

The wildflowers represent the Vera Scarth-Johnson wildflower reserve which is a beautifully protected area of natural vegetation with rare plants, masses of colourful wildflowers and a diversity of birds and other wildlife only 17kms south-east of Bundaberg near the Kinkuna National Park. The Reserve is named in honour of Vera Scarth-Johnson a botanical collector, artist and conservationist who lived nearby from the 1940s until 1972. The majority of vegetation in this reserve is known as “Wallum”. This is an aboriginal word for the Banksia aemula plant which is often the tallest plant in this type of vegetation. All year round there are some kinds of flowers in bloom from wedding bush, boronia, golden candlesticks, vanilla lilly, wild may, eggs and bacon and the rare Melaleuca cheelii. Free identification guides are available from Bundaberg Regional Council during office hours.

The bottom left of the painting represents the whole of the Bundaberg Region with the sugar cane and cane train tracks representing a major industry in Bundaberg which is sugar. Many kilometres of cane train tracks and hectares of sugar cane fields surround the Bundaberg Region which produces a significant percentage of Queensland's sugar crop. Bundaberg sugar is Queensland's largest cane grower and owns and operates sugar mills throughout Queensland. Most of the sugar produced in the district is raw sugar which is shipped out from the Port of Bundaberg. However, Bundaberg Sugar's Millaquin Mill has significant refining capacity and the familiar yellow packs of Bundaberg Sugar and other sugar products are produced here including the sugar cane by-product molasses.

The sporting equipment represents the many sporting clubs, activities and organisations in the Bundaberg Region from cricket, basketball, hockey, soccer, lawn bowls, tennis, rugby league, rugby union, ten pin bowling, rowing, netball, Australian rules and softball. Bundaberg also boasts walking trails, bicycle networks, skate parks and several playgrounds in the region.

The koalas and kangaroos represent the abundance of wildlife that lives in the Bundaberg region and the barrel represents Bundaberg Brewed drinks with the big barrel a major tourist attraction. Established in 1960 Bundaberg brewed Drinks now exports to over 30 countries worldwide and a Sampling Bar at the barrel offers free product tastings of their whole range of brewed drinks. In 2005 "The Bundaberg Barrel" was built to show visitors how Australia's number one ginger beer is made. The popular tourist facility includes interactive displays and educational material highlighting the unique brewing process which delivers Bundaberg's distinct flavour.

The bottles and cans represent the spirit of Bundaberg, Bundaberg rum which was established in 1888 when a band of sugar millers had an oversupply of molasses and came up with an ingenious solution which is now known as Bundaberg Rum. Sugar men first began to think of the profits that could be made from distilling and a vital meeting was held at the Royal Hotel on 1 August 1885, W M C Hickson served as the chairman, and other notables in attendance included all the big sugar mill owners of that time, W G Farquhar, F L Nott, S McDougall, T Penny, S H Bravo and A H Young, all to become the first directors of the Company. The Bundaberg Rum distillery is open to visitors for tours of the facility. There is also a museum which offers free samples of Bundaberg Rum products for visitors.

The sun in the middle of the painting represents the perfect weather and climate that all Bundaberg residents enjoy all year round.

aBy Chern’ee Sutton

Age – 17 years.

The copyright of this painting was donated to the Bundaberg Regional Council.


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