FIRED UP: Hop on one of two Childers Sugar Tours.
FIRED UP: Hop on one of two Childers Sugar Tours. PAUL BEUTEL

Mystery of cane revealed on local tour

THE sight of crackling flames leaping high into the night sky as a field of sugar cane is set alight is something Bundaberg residents look forward to each year.

Here we are surrounded by reminders that Childers is a dynamic sugar-producing area but many have little idea how those crystals they pour into their morning cuppa make the journey from the cane field once the crop has been burned.

The council has joined with Isis Central Sugar Mill and the Rotary Club of Childers this year for two nights where the mysteries of the industry will be revealed.

Community services spokeswoman Judy Peters said the bus tours would depart Bundaberg and Childers on Thursday and Friday, July 26 and 27.

"The tours have been run for the past two years and numbers have continued to increase,” she said.

"The tour takes in a trip to a cane field to watch a mechanical harvester in action, a view of one of the mill's diesel cane locomotives hauling the cane trucks away to the mill for crushing, followed by a brief stopover at the mill to learn of the different types of sugar produced.

"The most popular part of the tour is the trip to a canefield to watch a block of cane being burned. This is a visually stunning experience.

"Over the years it had become increasingly difficult to be able to source this form of insight into what is a dominant local industry couched in a wealth of history, but thanks to the Isis Central Sugar Mill many more people are now aware of the industry.”

Cr Peters said the event was the perfect lead-up to the 23rd annual Childers Festival, to be held on Sunday, July 29.

The tour costs $42 for adults ($18 for children under 12) and includes bus collection from Riverside Parklands (2.45pm) or the Crescent St car park (3.30pm) plus a tasty barbecue, including dessert.

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