In the heart of the Great Barrier Reef lies the stunning Whitsundays. Hamilton Island, Heart Reef, Whitehaven Beach… all names you’re likely to recognise. But did you know there’s a little town just 1 hour north of Airlie Beach (and Proserpine Airport) that boasts a swag of awards, incredible natural beauty and iconic landmarks? Here’s five reasons you should put Bowen on your travel itinerary.
The Salad Bowl of Australia
If you love mangoes, you’re in luck. Bowen is home to the delicious Kensington Pride and The Big Mango, a 10m tall icon. The area is also known for the huge variety of fruit and vegetables grown there. Other industries include beef cattle, live fish processing and a salt works.
History and Movie Buffs
Bowen is the oldest town in North Queensland; its rich history stems from early port beginnings to a thriving mango trade. We recommend heading to the Bowen Historical Society & Museum for an interactive tour of the town’s evocative past. Remember the picturesque town with beautiful heritage buildings that featured in the movie “Australia”. Yep, that was Bowen. Hundreds of locals appeared as extras too.
Award Winning Beaches
Eight to be exact – Horseshoe Bay, Murrays Bay, Rose Bay, Grays, Kings and Queens Beaches, the Town Beach and Dalrymple Point. Most of the beaches are postcard worthy – Murrays Bay in particular, where access is down a narrow dirt track. Queens Beach, however, offers all sorts of fun activities. It has tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course, bowling green and old-style cinema.
Locals and Murals
This is classic North Queensland, so be prepared to have complete strangers – the locals – talk to you like you’ve been mates for years. The town oozes a raw charm and the distinct lack of BS and no development mantra just adds to its appeal. There are 25 murals painted on buildings around the CBD, some by well-known artists like Ken Done. And the Bowen markets take place on Sunday mornings at Hansen Park between 8am – 12pm.
Just like the Whitsundays
Except quieter, quainter, more down-to-earth and cheaper. It’s the perfect tropical holiday and we’re in love. Start by checking out Bowen’s accommodation range, where there is high proportion of positive reviews for all hotels in the area. This is mainly to do with good old fashioned service levels. How refreshing!