Don Pancho Resort
Don Pancho Resort
We recently had the pleasure of spending two relaxing weeks in Bargara at Don Pancho Beach Resort. We’d heard this was an older style property, so imagine our surprise to find the unit fully refurbished with new appliances, soft furnishings, floor and window coverings. Our studio apartment had plenty of room and the kitchen was a good size. The majority of units have been completed and they’ve done a great job!
Bargara is a 10 minute drive from Bundaberg, toward the coast and if you’re old enough to have enjoyed ‘classic’ Aussie summer holidays when you were a kid, you’re going to love this place. The main street is like a small village and reminded us of Byron Bay before it got too glitzy. The atmosphere is very relaxed and the whole place has an ‘aura’ of calm that instantly puts you in the mood for a holiday.
Don Pancho is located in the very best part of town – right on Kelly’s Beach – a stunning calm water beach that is more like something you’d find on a tropical island. Depending on the day, you’ll have the beach almost to yourself. You certainly will never feel crowded. We took a dip almost every morning and afternoon, straight from the resort onto the beach. We also took advantage of the resort’s kayaks which was magical.
Everything in this place is so handy, and incredibly family-friendly. Each evening you can walk along the beach to the main street, dine al fresco on a good selection from 5-star cuisine to great pub meals, then stroll back to the resort as the moon rises over the ocean.
We had a special treat, as we were there during a ‘red moon’, so we spent an evening sitting on our balcony watching the incredible sight of a full and very colourful moon rise over the ocean – so romantic
It costs a bit, but we couldn’t resist a day trip to Lady Elliott Island. Only a short flight from the Bundaberg Airport in a 12-seater plane, this little jewel is so unspoilt you just don’t was to leave. The snorkelling was a highlight.
A visit to the Bundaberg Rum Distillery is a must, whether you drink Rum or not. The guided tour, which is full of laughs and fun is fascinating, and includes a couple of standard drinks of your choice at the end. Take your wallet – the merchandise is very high quality and you will not be able to resist.
The Lavender Farm, just out of town is also worth a visit – the stunning gift shop contains a gorgeous selection of ‘all things lavender’, including heaps of purple and lavender coloured gifts. As a ‘purple’ lover, I went a bit crazy here!
We took our clubs and had time for 18-holes on the beautifully conditioned course, which is right across the road from the resort. It’s a beaut course and the 19th hole overlooks the ocean, so we stayed for lunch.
If you’re a bit of a geek, we’d recommend you take the lovely country drive to the Mystery Craters. I don’t want to oversell this very modest attraction, but we found it totally fascinating, because there’s some really weird stuff going on here and geologists across the world have been unable to explain how they were formed.
One fantastic experience we missed is the sea turtle rookery at Mon Repos which is only a short drive out of Bargara. The laying and hatching season runs from November to March and we missed it, but it’s a great excuse for us to return.
Management and staff at Don Pancho were exceptional beyond our expectations. You’d struggle to find a friendlier and more obliging bunch. Nothing was too much trouble and everything was done with a smile. We class this destination as Number 1 for a safe, relaxing Aussie Beach Holiday. It’s a hidden gem and we couldn’t recommend it highly enough.