HomeHistoryBranyan Retreat Bed and Breakfast reopens

Branyan Retreat Bed and Breakfast reopens

Branyan Retreat Bed and Breakfast owner Sue Barletta.
Branyan Retreat Bed and Breakfast owner Sue Barletta. Photo: Natasha Harth.

A well-known Branyan building's history as a homestead, museum, teahouse and venue has been shared as new owners reopen the bed and breakfast.

Branyan Retreat Bed and Breakfast is located on Branyan Drive and is familiar to many locals, with its two authentic pioneer timber slab huts overlooking the scenic Burnett River.

Since 2020, during the Covid pandemic, the property closed and remained unoccupied.

Now, as its new host, Sue Barletta is excited to provide a unique space for visitors to enjoy.

“Branyan Retreat Bed and Breakfast is a unique accommodation experience,” Sue said.

Guests can stay in authentic pioneer huts offering all the essential comforts and modern conveniences.

Each hut can accommodate one couple with a queen bed, kitchenette, lounge room, bathroom and veranda.

Wagons, a windmill, and old farm implements add to the rustic atmosphere throughout its lush gardens

Sue said Branyan Retreat Bed and Breakfast had stood the test of time and had an interesting history.

“It was originally part of land holdings at Branyan owned by Bundaberg’s first Mayor, Walter Adams, from 1875 to 1884, and a homestead was built in 1887,” she said.

“The property changed hands a number of times and was owned by George Bock (after whom Bock’s Road was named) or his family, from 1925 to 1973.”

Three authentic pioneer slab huts were transported from the surrounding area to the homestead in 1973 when the Chapman family bought the property.

Under the Chapman family ownership, the huts were opened to the public as the Blue Anchor pioneer museum, featuring furnishings and personal items dating back to the nineteenth century.

It was renamed Birra-Barra in 1976, when acquired by Ian and Margaret Michael,  who continued to operate it as a museum, teahouse and facility for hire.

“Some of the local schools arranged excursions to the museum so students could view the huts and appreciate part of the life and times of the early pioneers,” Sue said.

Subsequently a third of the property was subdivided in 1980 and sold to new owners, the Devlin family.

Noel Devlin restored the historic slab huts to accommodate guests and the Branyan Retreat Bed and Breakfast evolved.

Sue said she was thrilled to have the opportunity to open the pioneer huts once more, providing guests with a comfortable, relaxing alternative to a motel room or unit.

View the website for more information here.

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  1. oh dear, Pastoral runs Bingera 1,2 & 3, Mr. R.P. Marshall, the Ridler Brothers, have been errased, not to mention Alexander Walker who has been refereed to as the Father of Bundaberg. Bingera Parcels were consolidated first, and then Branyen (Branyan) was consolidated. Leases being what they are were subject to the government taking back parts (Resumptions) and cutting them up into farm or agriculture blocks. Anything to do with Walter Adams is way down the track, historically speaking. There are records on Land Sales, survey maps and land applications. unfortunately, the applications are rather difficult to get to at the moment. i have been advised that land file records are being digitized at the moment.

  2. Good to see something reopen considering where at record visitor numbers. Now where are those Hotels they said were coming. Jewel at Bargara not built, Hotel near Brothers Sports Club not built, Quay street Motels & Apartments not built, Bargara Golf Club accommodation?

    Many hotels in town were often full before COVID & are starting to get that way again.

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