The Bundaberg Rum Distillery is a Queensland icon and one of the Q150 landmarks, the distillery was established in 1888 making use of the molasses waste from the sugar industry.
Production of rum ceased twice in its history from fires. The first in 1907, resuming production in 1914. The second fire came from a lightning
The rum was only sold in barrels until the 1960s, with bottling and labelling did by the distributors. By the 1970s, Bundaberg Rum Distillery brought all bottling in house.
Bundaberg Rum was available in two strengths, UP (Under Proof) and OP (Over Proof). These are still available today, joined with a large variety of rums.
The coffee and chocolate rum liqueur has long been an exclusive treat, dating back to the 1950s. For a long time, it could only be bought directly from the bond store. It still is, however, these days it can be ordered online and delivered, making it more accessible across Australia.
The coffee and chocolate liqueur have been joined with salted caramel, and banana and toffee flavours. These can be bought mixed in packs of 3 or 6.
The UP and OP rums have been extended with a smoother filtered rum (Bundaberg Red), a spiced rum, old aged rums, and special and limited release rums.
The bond store also contains a range of Bundaberg Rum merchandise and souvenirs, such as stubbie holders, glasses, caps, shirts, cooler bags, wooden barrels, and more.
The bond store is free to access (until you start buying rum and goodies), the museum and tours require tickets to be purchased. Tickets can be purchased online, with a 5% discount to purchasing them onsite , it is worth purchasing them beforehand.
The museum is self-paced with interactive features along the way, learning about the history of Bundaberg Rum and the distillery. As a bonus, adults receive two tastings of top-shelf range of rums when completing the self-guided tour through the museum.
A more thorough tour is run every hour (on the hour), taking you through the operational distillery in addition to the museum. It starts from the Molasses well and continues through the distilling process and to the barrel house.
For those who want to be more hands-on, the Blend Your Own Rum Experience teaches you the art of tasting run straight from the barrel, then selecting your favourites to make your own blend and take two bottles with you, one to drink and one to keep… maybe both to drink.
The bond store is a much larger replacement to the older house located behind the current bond store. The big rum bottle used to be in front of the old bond store, now relocated to the front of the new bond store.
Bundaberg Rum Distillery can become busy, especially Saturdays and during holiday periods when there are a lot more tourists around. Attending during the week out of holidays will help avoid the queues.
The museum and tour are expensive, so on return visits (to get a top-up of liqueur), the museum and tour are likely to be avoided. For this reason, it is better to go for the guided tour with the informative guides, as it isn’t much more than just the museum by itself.
To get there:
From the Bundaberg Visitor Information Centre, you can walk 200m to the entrance of the Bond Store. Head out of the information centre along Avenue St behind the back of the Bond Store. Turn left onto the side road along the length of the Bond Store and left at the end to go to the entrance.
The side road is one-way so if you want to drive, follow Avenue St to Alexandra St and turn left, then the next left into Hills St. The Bundaberg Rum Distillery is 250m ahead with the parking area on the right at the end of the street.
From the main part of town in Bundaberg, head east on Bourbong St crossing the Kennedy Bridge. From the bridge, continue for 1km on Bourbong St, becoming Scotland St. Turn left at the lights into Process St, then after 750m turn left into Whittred St with a brown sign for Bundaberg Rum Distillery. After 200m, turn right into Alexandra St. Follow for another 200m and turn left into Hill St. The Bundaberg Rum Distillery is 250m ahead with the parking area on the right at the end of the street.