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“Bogie River Bush Retreat made our year!”
Review of Bush Bunks

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Bush Bunks
Ranked #9 of 16 Speciality Lodging in Bowen
Reviewed 7 August 2014

So this review may be a little out of date: we stayed with Ernie and Glenda for two of the 12 months we spent in Australia in 2002/2003 and are really pleased to hear that their business is still thriving. My, now husband and I travelled around the whole of Australia during our gap year and these two month are some of our fondest memories, even the back breaking fruit picking was extremely 'character building' ( although those may not be the exact words I used at the time!) and gave us the money we needed to complete our travels. We spent half of our time staying in the backpackers accommodation and half in the main house. Any time we did not spend working we spent with the orphaned kangaroos and wallabies which Glenda so charitably hand rears, riding the rescued horses (having caught and groomed them), cooling off in the pool, whizzing down the flying fox or socialising by the fire pit. Having read some of the other reviews people have posted I think that some people possibly arrive here with the wrong assumption, Bogie River is the perfect place to relax after a hard days work but not only that it is Glenda and Ernie's home and if people respect that they should be just fine.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank dannyandkate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John V, Public Relations Manager at Bush Bunks, responded to this reviewResponded 29 January 2015

HI there Dan & Kate
So pleased you found the time to priase the Bogie that you enjoyed so much
Ernie and Glenda have now sold the business and left it t up to us to carry on the tradition
We are still working on it but we hope our clients still enjoy the Bogie Experience

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Reviews (36)
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6 - 12 of 36 reviews

Reviewed 16 April 2014

I stayed here on my way home from Cairns to Gladstone and will now make this my halfway stop every time I do the drive between Gladstone and Cairns.
I was running late so they thoughfully tried to call me to see if I was ok. I tell you what, it was a welcome sight to pull up to this idyllic little spot after driving for over 8 hours, enduring painful roadworks and kamikaze drivers on the Bruce. Terry and John welcomed me, took care of my bags and handed me an ice cold beer before serving a delicious home cooked meal, it was supposed to be a 3 course meal but the portions were so generous, I decided to just go the main and nibble on some cheese afterwards.
The bush house is a curious little building but very comfy, almost like something out of the Hobbit.
The bed was comfy, atmosphere peaceful and quiet and the whole experience was really relaxing.
Brekkie was bountiful and tasty with proper coffee.
To top it off, the hosts Terri and John are so thoughtful, friendly and make the time to chat and show you around and ensure that you enjoy yourself while you are there.
Honestly I could not fault the Bogie River Bush House one bit and strongly recommend this place. A fantastic place to wind down after a hard days driving!

Room Tip: All rooms are top notch
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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Thank yvst S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John V, Guest Relations Manager at Bush Bunks, responded to this reviewResponded 29 April 2014

So good to have people that drop in on a referral and great when you enjoy your stay with us,it was a pleasure to meet you, thanks for the encouragement,hope to see you again one day when your travel passes this way

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Reviewed 9 March 2014

what a great place food was fantastic service was friendly staff very helpful kangaroos friendly good selection of beer and spirits very neat clean and tidy all in all a very pleasant experience was enjoyed by us all thank you very much

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Harry K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John V, Guest Relations Manager at Bush Bunks, responded to this reviewResponded 29 April 2014

Thank you for taking the time to review your lunch time experience with us, we are glad that you enjoyed your time here and hope to see you again one day

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Reviewed 11 January 2014

I was in the Bogie River for farm work for a few weeks which felt like a lifetime! Alot of backpackers staying there call it the bogie prison and to be fair they are not far off! First off the accommodation is awful! 20 people 1 shower, 1 toilet, 2 gas rings, no tv, Internet that never works and is turned off by management constantly! The beds are so old mattresses and pillows completely worn, no storage space the list is endless! I worked with the other guys on a local farm, the farm work was fine we were just glad to get out of the place for the day! The girls who worked there weren't as lucky! I cannot speak about woofing from my own experience as I was lucky enough to never have to do it but you could hear and see how others were treated it was horrible!! Management expected people to work over their required number of hours in order to finish jobs assigned this would be fine if it was a once off thing however this happened on a daily basis!! Other hostels in the same area only require you to do two hours work in return for your accommodation in the bogie it's four hours!!

The overall attitude of the owner was horrible! She spoke to us like kids! Gave out about everything and to be honest seemed like she hated being there!! As paying customers who are paying way above the odds for accommodation that you couldn't even describe as basic you would expect a little more than to be barked at constantly! The rules are endless no sitting here, no doing washing between certain times, water is turned off for hours during the day which means no showers, dirty dishes no wifi!! Lights on no wifi!! Clothes hanging on the balcony to dry no wifi! You get the picture! I have never stayed anywhere like this in my life to say it was an awful experience is a massive understatement!! I'm just glad I didn't have to endure it for too long!!

My advice avoid this place at all costs!! It is not worth it!! There are plenty of hostels in Bowen or Ayr which have loads of farm work go there or drive around to farms and ask about work!!

People who treat you like the way I and everyone else was treated does not deserve your money!!

  • Stayed: October 2013
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2  Thank Belgian234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John V, Guest Relations Manager at Bush Bunks, responded to this reviewResponded 14 January 2014

Many thanks for your review, sadly it would have been more constructive to air your views whilst here working and using the facilities which are not charged for to assit travellers to save as much as possible. After a few short weeks our internet has been upgraded, we are busy getting ready for the next season, building something up takes time !

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Reviewed 30 December 2013

Was here on my travels, mainly due to work. accomodation is below average and poorly maintained, owners attitude sucks. You never know what mood she'll be in. Very remote, wifi is tempermental along with the owner. Since leaving and having spoken to other travellers and hostel staff this place is very well known for mistreating its guests. Animal sanctuary is basically a few tame old roo's, bald chickens and a blind owl. If you're looking for your 88 days, look elsewhere, I wish I had! Had the nerve to charge 18 people $7.00 each for a plastic deck chair that was mistakenly broken. The deck chair cost $12.00 at most. Local farms have mentioned they won't be renewing their agreement with the bush bunks due to the amount of people complaining.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank PaulyD508
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John V, Guest Relations Manager at Bush Bunks, responded to this reviewResponded 14 January 2014

Thankyou for your review, constructive criticism is always looked at but better said at the time and not found out later with embellishments. After a few short weeks we are working to address any issues.

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Reviewed 21 December 2013

we went to bogie river house and it is a fantastic place, beautiful tidy accomodation, gorgeous grounds, very australian experience...loved it...fabulous hosts, Terry & John. they are very proud of the hard work they put into the property and are obviously endeavouring to raise standards beyond backpackers who don't abide by australian customs and rules....well done to bogie river staff....we will come back and bring our family and friends, life is beautiful out there terrific wildlife, great pool and nice bar with country hospitality....certainly a great experience, and we don't blame them for keeping the bad types out...especially if you don't pay your bill Mr. Backpacker and friend....

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Bianca s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John V, Guest Relations Manager at Bush Bunks, responded to this reviewResponded 14 January 2014

Thankyou for staying with us in our ealry stages, it was wonderful to meet new people and share expereinces and ideas. we hope to see you again one day

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Reviewed 20 December 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for 7 nights, at first the owner Terri was nothing short of helpful. That soon changed once we were in the door and she had our passports as a "security deposit". I worked on a nearby farm and my travel partner worked in the Bogie River Bush Bunks to cover both our accommodation costs. Slowly Terri's attitude started to change and she began to become more and more unappreciative of the work my travel partner was doing (mostly cleaning and bar work) talking down to her, belittling her and making her feel very isolated. Working 16 hours a day at one point with no pay. We had decided to move on but weren't sure exactly when due to external factors we made Terri aware of this, however when I stopped working Terri's attitude to me changed dramatically and she snapped at me telling me that my travel partner was working and that I would have to wait until she was finished to speak with her and that I didn't belong here. 15 minutes later my partner comes to our caravan sobbing asking to leave immediately. I confronted Terri and told her we would be leaving straight away and that her attitude as a business owner to her customers was shocking. Speaking to us like kids in a very condescending manner. At which point she hit me with "you both owe me $165 as you haven't given me a weeks notice to leave" needless to say I refused to pay, after all the only reason we wished to leave prematurely was due to her terrible people skills. This then turned into a full scale argument between me Terri and her husband, he proceeded to call me a wan*er and nothing short of arrogant and she refused to return both passports saying that she would call the police. I left without my passport and without paying and immediately went into Bowen police station (it takes around 30 mins to get into bowen) to report what had happened. The police called and spoke to Terri who said she has posted our passports to the British High Commision in Canberra which was all lies as the post service is very infrequent due to the rural location and it would have taken Terri around 30 minutes to physically go to the post office in the closest town Collinsville therefore how could she have been there and back at this point? we have therefore been left with a bill to replace our passports which I will be forwarding on as I'm extremely doubtful they will turn up. In summary Terri is a manipulator, she lures you into the Bush house with the promise of work, takes your passport and then relies on the fact that it's difficult to leave, the location is remote, there is no mobile signal at all. She does provide free wifi however when she is in one of her uncontrollable mood swings she switches it off as punishment, leaving you completely cut off from the outside world. As someone who doesn't own a car in Australia we felt bery much trapped. Very unprofessional and damn rude. Accommodation was dark, dingy and filthy when we arrived. Ants infesting the whole caravan, we didn't expect five star but we also didn't expect to have our passports stolen. The facilities are clean however there are loads of ridiculous rules like not being able to swim when there are guests, bar closes early when she feels like it, limits on alcohol and signs for everything! I even got told off for putting a washing on too late (it was 20:00).

My advice would be to avoid at all costs and stay somewhere either in Bowen centre or Barnacles the other working hostel in the area.

  • Stayed: December 2013
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4  Thank Kevin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
glendascharli, Manager at Bush Bunks, responded to this reviewResponded 9 January 2014

We have many backpackers who work from here and save their money for their travels and this years have been great BUT there are a small minority that don't come on the same agenda. Kevin C obtained work within one day but was sacked by his employer after one week, he left owing a fellow backpacker money, he signed an agreement to give a weeks notice, he choose not to pay a security bond. It is not our policy to hold passports, each persons circumstances are different. A person agrees and signs to this affect if they have no money for rent or bond. If a person changes their mind or lets down the employer, we strive for an amicable arrangement but in this case we had to report the incident to the law for advice and items were returned to their respective embassy with a letter explaining the circumstances. Our role as an intermediary between the employers and those seeking work is a free service we provide to assist the local community and travellers looking for work.

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Additional Information about Bush Bunks

Address: The BogieRiver Bush House | 284 Normanby Road, Bowen, Queensland, Australia
Region: Australia > Queensland > Bowen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 16 Speciality Lodging in Bowen
Price Range: £15 - £98 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Bush Bunks 2*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Its hard to find a more relaxed atmosphere than the Bush House located a short 40 minute drive West of Bowen in Whitsunday region. The property is set on 25 acres of virgin bushland on the banks of the Bogie River with visiting wildlife and houses built from recycled materials. The B&B accommodation consists of 11 Queen rooms, 2 also have single bunk beds for families, all B&B rooms are air-conditioned. The main B&B lounge area has a large flat screen TV with most channels and movies, limited wireless internet is available.The bunkhouse has 4 rooms and sleeps 12 people and has ceiling fans.The Licensed Restaurant is open to the public as well as catering for house guests and also has a large flat screen TV, games room including darts, pool and table tennis free of charge. The swimming pool which is 12m x 6m and in the shape of Australia is set in tropical palms beside the restaurant. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Bogie River Bush House Hotel Bowen

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