Things to do in Childers, Queensland, Australia

Childers, Queensland

Things to do in Childers, Queensland, Australia

  |   18 Comments

Childers, Queensland, Australia

Red soil along the roadside marks the entrance to the small Queensland town of Childers. It’s a deep volcanic red – the kind of colour that is trying to make a statement. Contrasted with the green fields of sugar cane and fruit trees planted in the soil, it’s even more vivid. You can’t help but notice the soil on the way to Childers.

And that’s the thing about the town itself – you can’t help but notice it. For a place with a population of less than 1500 people, it has more than its fair share of attention. Sadly, many people still remember it as the scene of a horrific attack in 2000 when an arsonist set fire to a backpackers hostel and killed 15 young travellers.

Flying High Bird Sanctuary, Childers, Queensland, Australia

Rather than try to forget the story, Childers has tried to grow stronger from it. The hostel building was rebuilt and opened two years later as a memorial, an art gallery and a visitor information centre. Meanwhile the community dedicated itself to presenting a welcoming and friendly environment to tourists.

As well as visiting the memorial and seeing some of the heritage-listed buildings in the old town, there are several tourist attractions that are worth a visit. The highway through the town is a busy one so these sights give weary drivers an excuse to stop. They could also be enough reason to make Childers the destination for a drive from nearby Bundaberg or Hervey Bay.

Childers, Queensland

Flying High Bird Sanctuary

This is the largest free flight aviary in Australia and has more than 3000 birds inside its netted enclosure. Most of the birds are Australian but there are also some exotic species from other continents. You can walk through the aviary and many of the birds will fly past you. Some of them are in cages for their own safety, though.

The sanctuary has expanded recently and there’s also an outside area with kangaroos, emus, a cassowary and even a Tasmanian devil. This is a great place for children with plenty to see and explore. Make sure you have a chat to the owners who will tell you all about their favourite birds.

You can find more information here about the Flying High Bird Sanctuary

Flying High Bird Sanctuary, Childers, Queensland, Australia

Flying High Bird Sanctuary, Childers, Queensland, Australia

Flying High Bird Sanctuary, Childers, Queensland, Australia

Snakes Downunder Reptile Park

This reptile park is smaller than the average zoo but that allows staff to give you the personal touch. They’ll be happy to walk around with you, chat about the animals and even give demonstrations. Snakes Downunder started as a snake show but then added crocodiles, lizards and other native Australian reptiles. It also has an area with kangaroos and emus and recently some koalas joined the park.

It would be a good idea to check the times of the shows on the day you’re planning to visit and try to be there for them. Seeing the staff handle the animals and explain more about them is one of the best parts of any visit.

You can find more information here about the Snakes Downunder Reptile Park

Snakes Downunder Reptile Park, Childers, Queensland, Australia

Snakes Downunder Reptile Park, Childers, Queensland, Australia

Snakes Downunder Reptile Park, Childers, Queensland, Australia

Hill of Promise Estate Winery

The winery is right on the highway and is an easy place to stop for a drink and to pick up some souvenirs from a trip to Childers. It’s a small boutique operation run by a local couple. They used to grow their own grapes on the land but now they just focus on production.

The wine-tasting they offer on site also includes information about what foods go best with each variety. In fact, Hill of Promise Estate is more than happy for you to bring along your own picnic and eat it with a bottle of wine on their front lawn.

You can find more information here about the Hill of Promise Estate Winery

Hill of Promise Estate Winery, Queensland, Australia

Hill of Promise Estate Winery, Queensland, Australia

Hill of Promise Estate Winery, Queensland, Australia

Mammino Gourmet Ice Cream

This ice cream shop is a local institution and is just as popular with locals as it is with visitors. All the ice cream is homemade at the small shop in Childers and you can choose from almost ten flavours. The most popular is the classic macadamia which is one of the main products grown in this area.

Although there’s a small shopfront in the main street, it would be better to visit the shop and factory around the corner from there. This is where it all happens and you’ll meet the owners who’ll be able to recommend a flavour and chat to you about their history.

You can find more information here about Mammino Gourmet Ice Cream

Mammino Gourmet Ice Cream, Childers, Queensland, Australia

Mammino Gourmet Ice Cream, Childers, Queensland, Australia

Mammino Gourmet Ice Cream, Childers, Queensland, Australia

Time Travel Turtle was a guest of Queensland but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.

18 Comments
  • Devlin @ Marginal Boundaries | Mar 6, 2014 at 5:45 am

    I had never known about that tragic event Childers, though it’s nice that they rebuilt the place in such a thoughtful manner.
    Devlin @ Marginal Boundaries recently posted..Las Calles de Playa del Carmen: Nuestro Nuevo HogarMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Apr 4, 2014 at 7:00 am

      I think it was particularly sad for everyone because most of the guests who died were foreign. There was a sense that the town had been a terrible host by not being able to protect its visitors. My feeling is that part of the care that went into the rebuilding was trying to make up for that.

  • TammyOnTheMove | Mar 6, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Wow, I have never heard about the fire in the hostel. How sad. I am glad that the residents are trying their best to make Childers attractive again. It looks like a great place for travellers.
    TammyOnTheMove recently posted..Surviving The World’s Most Dangerous RoadMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Apr 4, 2014 at 6:58 am

      The fire was quite a while ago now and was just one very unfortunate event in an otherwise quite peaceful history. I do feel a bit bad bringing it up because I think it’s something the town would love to stop being known for… but, at the same time, they’ve never tried to hide the tragic story and have tried to build something stronger from it.

  • Trevor Morrow | Mar 6, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Wow, what a resilient town. Sounds like a special place (plus homemade ice cream, wine and crocodiles…count me in!)

    • Michael Turtle | Apr 4, 2014 at 6:57 am

      Be honest… it was the ice cream that really got you, wasn’t it? (Or maybe it was the crocodiles!!) 🙂

  • Frank | Mar 8, 2014 at 6:09 am

    Sounds like a fun place with lots to do! Love the Koala pic.
    Frank (bbqboy)
    Frank recently posted..‘Outside my Front Door’ – Montreal, Quebec.My Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Apr 4, 2014 at 6:52 am

      The koala is very cute – but, then again, they always are. Yeah – I was surprised there was a lot to do. It’s quite a cool little place!

  • Stephanie - The Travel Chica | Mar 9, 2014 at 7:34 am

    I could occupy myself for days between the ice cream shop and the winery 🙂
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Alternative transportation revolutionMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Apr 4, 2014 at 6:51 am

      And I’m sure many people do!! 🙂

  • Mary @ Green Global Travel | Mar 17, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    What an interesting place. I’m glad to hear that they were able to rebuild and get past the tragic event. Looks like there is a lot to do there. Thanks for sharing!
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..“Improve Your Writing” & “Blogging for Business”: GGT Expands Mentorship PackagesMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Apr 4, 2014 at 6:19 am

      There’s a lot to do for such a small place. I guess when you’re on a main highway, it’s nice to create some reasons for people to stop!

  • Jennifer | Mar 26, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Winery. I’m sold!
    Jennifer recently posted..Top Spots to Lunch and Brunch in Monte CarloMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Apr 4, 2014 at 4:48 am

      Ha ha – you’re an easy woman to please!! 🙂

  • Toni | 2 Aussie Travellers | Jun 18, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    It’s worth a stop for the Mamminos macadamia farm and ice-cream alone – I’d highly recommend macadamia and ginger, so creamy and with chunks of nuts right from the farm and crystalised Buderim ginger … so good!
    Toni | 2 Aussie Travellers recently posted..Eikan-do Temple in KyotoMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Jun 24, 2015 at 11:35 am

      Great tip on the flavour! And, yeah, everyone should stop in at the very least and have a break and check out a couple of the things in town.

  • Chas Borg | Sep 1, 2016 at 5:41 am

    Arrived Childers this morning at about 10:30 am on the 1/9/16 and the whole town was a buzz and could not find a car space on the main street. The smaller school children were in fancy dress and street clowns were entertaining the gathering. I have no idea what was going on but I will return another day when I can find a park space.

  • Marni | Sep 29, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Going to Childers on Monday – public holiday though, maybe not a lot open…

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