Things To Do in Childers, Queensland, Australia

Things To Do in Childers, Queensland, Australia

There's a small town in Queensland, #Australia that it reinventing itself. Childers was once best known as the site of a terrible fire that killed 15 backpackers. However, the town is bouncing back from tragedy. Come visit the backpacker's memorial site, but stay for an amazing #zoo with a personal touch, and a #winery where the owners don't mind if you use their lawn for a picnic.


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. 

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 1,500 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.

A kangaroo! How cute!
A kangaroo! How cute!

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.

The red soil is such a striking welcome
The red soil is such a striking welcome

Flying High Bird Sanctuary 

This is the largest free flight aviary in Australia and has more than 3,000 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.

from  $20

Visit Flying High Bird Sanctuary

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 Apple Tree Creek, Queensland, Australia
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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.

The owners, who are fantastic people
The owners, who are fantastic people

Snakes Downunder Reptile Park & Zoo

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. 

Recently some koalas joined the park!

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!

from  $22

Visit Snakes Downunder Reptile Park & Zoo

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 Childers, Queensland, Australia
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Visit Flying High Bird Sanctuary

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.

A crocodile
A crocodile

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.

Bring along your own picnic and eat it with a bottle of wine on their front lawn.

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.

Time to taste wine
Time to taste wine

Mammino Gourmet ice Cream 

This ice cream shop is a local institution and is just as popular with locals as it is with visitors. 

The best ice cream in town
The best ice cream in town

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.

So much diversity
So much diversity

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.

Watching the ice cream being made is so fun
Watching the ice cream being made is so fun

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.

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