As you travel along the Bruce Highway you will drive through some awesome little towns. Quite often we don’t stop in them because we are set on reaching a larger destination. On our recent trip to Bundaberg we decided to stop for lunch in the small town of Childers and I’m so glad we did.
We spent about an hour and a half wandering the main street. It was definitely enough to convince us that we must visit again – and soon!
FREE STOP OVER FOR VANS
The bottom end of the main street wasn’t overly busy but we couldn’t see a really good spot to pull up with the van. Then I spotted a big sign with the giant ‘P’ for parking on it and a caravan underneath it. So we promptly turned left and found ourselves in a free camp area one block behind the main street.
We couldn’t believe that this awesome facility was right in the centre of town. Stays are limited to 20 hours, which will give you plenty of time to do some exploring. There was room for about 10 caravans and three or four buses. There was also an overflow area just on the next corner.
From there it was just a short walk through a park to the main street.
As we stopped right on lunchtime we were on the lookout for somewhere quick and easy to grab a bite to eat. Spying a bakery on the other side of the street we wandered across and found ourselves in an old style bakery just like you would expect to find in a small country town. After enjoying a couple of pies from the Childers Hot Bread Shop which we ate at tables set up on the footpath, we went for a walk to see what was about.
There were a couple of other places to eat as well including a very nice looking coffee shop and a couple of pubs.
THE OLD PHARMACY
Childers main street is lined with buildings that still hold the old world charm of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Think pressed metal roof linings and stained glass windows.
The first place I saw that caught my eye was a shop called The Old Pharmacy. Sadly it was closed but I was able to see in the front doors and I was charmed by what I saw. It was like time had stood still as I gazed at an amazing array of pharmacy paraphernalia from days gone by. From the lead light windows over the front door to the mosaic tiled floor I just wanted to go inside to look more closely. But it will have to wait until another time.
CHARMING OLD PUBS
Like many smaller country towns, Childers has a couple of old style pubs. You know the ones I mean with wrought iron round the verandahs, big balconies and cool and spacious rooms where you can happily enjoy a cold beer on a hot day.
The Federal Hotel really appealed to me. I will definitely be dropping in for a beer next time we are in town.
CANE FIRE CHEESE HOUSE
At the bottom end of the main street (right next door to The Paragon Theatre) I discovered Cane Fire Cheese. I’m a big fan of cheese, especially when partnered with a glass of wine or two, so I was very pleased with this find. Owned by Peter and Rosa they sell a range of cheeses selected by them from local cheese-makers. They also make a sun-dried tomato and basil feta which sounds delicious. But they had sold out on the day of my visit, so no sampling for me!
I did however get to sample a Manchego cheese, a Wasabi, a garlic and a Tuscan Romano. It was tough choosing which were the best but I ended up with a Manchego and a Wasabi which excellent.
Peter and Rosa are passionate about the products they sell as well as the local Childers area. Make sure you drop in and say Hi if you are passing through. Cheese tastings are available on Saturdays and Sundays.
THE PARAGON THEATRE
Right next door to Cane Fire Cheese is the Paragon Theatre and Espresso Bar. The theatre was established in 1927 and has been owned by the same family since the 1960’s. The present owners Merissa and Nigel have restored the theatre and it now operates as a cinema and entertainment venue.
It is a popular venue for a variety of functions including weddings and also shows the odd old movie. Or you can just drop in for a coffee and some fresh, home-made treats featuring produce from the local Childers area.
So our time in Childers may only have been brief and I know I have only just touched the surface of what this lovely little town has to offer. We can’t wait to visit again and soon!
Have you been to Childers? Did you love it as much as we did?