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Great Australian Bites picnic brings nostalgic feeling

A decorated train for the Railway Picnic at Bargara in 1931.

Picnic hampers filled with delicious local goodies will be available for purchase at this year’s Australia Day 2020 event.

Hosted by the Rotary Club of Bundaberg City Daybreak, the festivities will transform Nielson Park into a smorgasbord of fun and flavour when celebrated on 26 January.

Rotary president Moe Turaga said the picnic hampers were part of the Great Australian Bites event to pay tribute to the historic Railway Picnics that were once enjoyed by families throughout the Bundaberg Region.

“The Railway Picnics are still fondly remembered by many in our community,” he said.

“They were an important part of our region’s history and we wanted to pay tribute to these connections. 

1947 Railway Picnic
Crowds at the 1947 Railway Picnic. Photo: Margaret Lye, donor.

“The hampers are an ideal way for families to come together and celebrate what Australia Day means to them.”

Moe said HSG at the Gardens had designed the picnic hampers for two, utilising products and produce from the region.

“There will be adult hampers for two and single kids hampers available to pre-purchase,” he said.

“These hampers include local small goods, assorted cheeses and crackers, local fruit, baguettes with Barritt’s ham, cheese and tomato relish. 

“Kids hampers will have a cheese and vegemite scroll, local fruit salad cup and a cookie.”

Railway Picnics of the past a treat for many

Bundaberg history buff Paul Tramachi vividly remembers the Railway Picnics of the past and said the events always experienced a large turnout.

“I used to go as a kid, as did many people, and the event was extremely popular,” he said.

“The first Railway Picnic was held in the 1920s and then, in 1944, Siren of the Surf was an added component to the event.”

Siren of the Surf competitions were made into a main event of the Railway Picnics from 1946-1972.

Siren of the Surf
Siren of the Surf – BCC Girls team. Photo: Robert Farthing

“The event involved groups of girls and women marching, lifesaver style, in teams along the beach. One woman was judged the Siren of the Surf,” he said.

“People would take the train from Bundaberg to Bargara to head along and let me tell you, it was always absolutely packed.”

Paul said in the past, the Railway Picnic event raised money for prisoners of war and had many activities featured throughout the day.

He said the introduction of a new Railway Picnic for Australia Day was “magnificent” and something that would delight all ages.

“I think the idea is brilliant and the whole community will really get a kick out of it,” he said.

Order your hamper for GAB event

Picnic hampers for the Great Australian Bites event must be pre-ordered online here.

  • Adult Hampers $31
  • Kids Hampers $8.50

Limited at 100.

Hampers can be collected on the day from The Rotary Club of Bundaberg City Day Break.

Great Australian Bites is presented by Bundaberg Regional Council in partnership with the Queensland Government and the National Australia Day Council and proudly supported by Triple M and the Rotary Club of Bundaberg City Daybreak.

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