It was an uneventful drive from Hervey Bay to Bundaberg today although we did spend some time on the journey to visit Childers – another place we had on our ‘must see’ list. Childers is the town where on 23 June 2000, an arsonist (he received a 25 year prison sentence for deliberately setting the fire) set fire to the Palace Backpackers Hostel that took the lives of 15 backpackers sleeping in the hostel.
Since the fire, the Palace has been rebuilt and the upstairs is now a memorial to the backpackers who lost their lives. The memorial consists of a glass wall, 7.7 metres long and 2.7 metres high. Within the wall are 15 separate ‘3D memory boxes’ that contain photographs that reveal the story of each of the deceased persons life with latest photographs in the front and early or childhood pictures in the rear. It is a sombre place but a fitting memorial to the tragedy. We are glad we took the time.
A new 115 bed backpacker hostel has been constructed directly behind the new Palace. There is always plenty of work in the Bundaberg area agricultural industry for travellers.
We are now tucked into our spot in Bundaberg and just about to have a wee Pino before cranking up the bar b que for dinner. The weather is not that smart but it’s good enough. It is 5pm, cloudy but the thermometer in the van is saying 23 degs.
Our big visit tomorrow is to the Bundaberg Rum Distillery – but you all knew ‘we’ would end up there. Rod’s not to keen on Bundy Rum but apparently they do a great Bundy Liqueur. I am sure you will be informed.