Fresh air and open fields one of Bundy's best attractions
WALKING through Cynthia Hoogstraten's elegantly furnished East Bundaberg Queenslander and on to an open deck overlooking Baldwin Swamp, it's easy to understand why she loves calling Bundaberg home.
The rain-touched banana trees in her back yard glisten in the sunlight and Ms Hoogstraten shows around the NewsMail, looking as though she's just touched down from two months in Bali.
In 1963, Ms Hoogstraten's family made the move from Holland to Bundaberg and 51 years later, she says she's still basking in beauty of the Sugar City.
"Bundaberg's been very good to us; you just have to make the most of it," she said.
"We came here looking for an opportunity and I'm grateful for that - for the fresh air and the open fields."
And despite watching the floodwaters wash through her much-loved home last year, Ms Hoogstraten radiates nothing but positivity for the place she loves to call home.
"I can't understand when people say there's nothing to do here when there's so much in the community they can do," she said.
Ms Hoogstraten attended Kepnock State High School and later moved to the Sunshine Coast for 20 years.
"As with a lot of people you tend to leave - but I came back," she said.
Ms Hoogstraten shared one of her favourite drawcards to the region.
"It's a bit cliché, but I love the beach," she laughed.
"I love that I can go to the beach and have a coffee - I love the Cool Spot (coffee shop).
"To me, that to me is very therapeutic."
The Bundaberg beauty is well known for her work with young women through her grooming and deportment classes.
She said the interest was sparked in high school when she received a book called Secrets of Poise, Personality and Model Beauty.
"They used to provide prizes for academic students and they had books we could pick as a prize," she said.
"And I picked this one book. I just loved it and I based a lot of my classes on what I learnt from that book."
And while Ms Hoogstraten has taken a step back from the classes to care for her father, she said she's still as enamoured as ever with Bundaberg.