Where is Bowen?
By Michael Osborne
Most of us have been to the Whitsundays and have found that there is enough going on to keep your holiday time as busy as you want. So when we received an invitation to once again visit Airlie Beach and catch up with many recent developments, we naturally accepted. But there was also mention of a visit to Bowen! Quick research (Google Maps), made us realise that it is very close to Airlie Beach and just to the north of Proserpine Airport.
I might be a very mature traveller, but I still have a keen sense of adventure, so to have the chance to visit somewhere I have never been before was too good an offer.
So exactly where is it?
Bowen is situated in the northern section of the Whitsundays and is approximately 90km from Airlie Beach. (Airlie Beach Location - The Whitsundays is located in Australia, on Queensland’s central coast, approximately 1120km north of Brisbane and 630km south of Cairns. More specifically, Airlie Beach is situated on the Whitsunday Coast, approximately 149km North of Mackay, 272km South of Townsville.)
Famous for: Mango farms, beautiful beaches and snorkelling.
Bowen is one of the many charming towns on the Whitsunday Coast, with eight award winning; palm fringed beaches, beautiful bays and a warm tropical climate. Situated in the northern region of the Whitsundays on the shores of Edgecumbe Bay, it is a picturesque seaside town that offers a beachcomber’s paradise.
The Bruce Highway leads us towards Bowen and the road is good. On the edge of town, we arrive at the Big Mango, which is also the Bowen Visitor Information Centre, the first port of call for all visitors. While enjoying a sensational Mango Sorbet, the wonderful staff are explaining all I need to know, to make my stay as informative as possible.
First impression - Not a high-rise in sight, older style buildings and shops that have been well maintained, wide streets and plenty of parking. I know I am going to like this place!
My accommodation is at Coral Cove Apartments, situated on the edge of the Coral Sea, with unbelievable views across the dancing waters. These fully self-contained, luxury apartments are equal to the best of any I have stayed in.
Another surprise was the in-house restaurant, not only was the food wonderful, but the sunset views across the pool and Grey’s Bay were an absolute delight.
Even if playing golf is not your go, you still should visit this par 70 course. I didn’t have the chance to play, but I took the opportunity to shoot around most of the course in a hire buggy. I think I would have found the views across Queens Beach and the bay very distracting.
Bowen Yacht Club, well actually it is really called North Queensland Cruising Yacht Club offers visitors the chance to go sailing, a chance I wasn’t going to miss. Colin Tait took us out in his racing yacht ‘Deception’. We sailed across the bay to Stone Island and as the wind picked up, we all got a good soaking, but who cared. This was so exhilarating.
Want to but the absolute freshest of local seafood; go to the Bowen Fisherman’s Seafood Co. You pick the catch and they will cook it for you, if you wish. This is what we did and we took it to a picnic area and devoured it while we watched another sunset. Do I have to go back to Sydney?
The historic Summergarden Theatre
A fascinating building steeped in local history. Styled on the classic movie houses of California, it was built by a local grazier in 1948. It was used as the set for the Slim Dusty Movie and for all the pre-screening and launch of the noted film Australia by Baz Luhrmann, staring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. Australia was filmed in Bowen.
The Larrikin Hotel
Situated at 69 Herbert Street in Bowen is the ideal venue for a cold beer and sensational counter lunches and evening dining.
The pubs history is well presented, with historic photos lining the walls.
360 Café on Flagstaff
If it’s food with a view that takes your fancy, then this is the place. Run by the local indigenous company of Girudala. 360 is well known for their breakfast, lunch and takeaway menus. But be warned, the servings might be known as very generous.
Please check out their web site for full information.