At the north of the Whitsundays, Bowen is positioned within 5
kilometres of eight pristine beaches and bays. Named after the state's first governor, Bowen was established in 1861 – the first settlement in north Queensland. The town and surrounding area is well known for its mangoes, the Big Mango being testimony to this fact. Bowen has more recently gained fame as the film set for Baz Luhrmann's epic movie,
Bowen Visitor Information Centre, Bruce Hwy; (07) 4786 4222
Nearby national parks
Situated in the rugged Clarke Range, high above the surrounding plains, this mountainous national park is rent by deep gorges and contains...more
Cape Hillsborough National Park is renowned for its beautiful sandy beaches nestled between rocky headlands. Rhyolite boulders are scattered...more
Lying within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Paluma Range National Park offers mountain-top views and picturesque waterfalls. The Mount...more
Proserpine is the inland sugar town and service centre of the Whitsunday Shire. It was named after the Roman goddess of fertility,...more
Airlie Beach is at the centre of the thriving Whitsunday coast. This tropical holiday town offers a cosmopolitan blend of bars, restaurants...more
This busy town south-east of Townsville is surrounded by sugarcane fields – the most productive in Australia – and is the largest...more
Historical murals Around the buildings and streets of Bowen's town centre are 25 murals by local and national artists, each illustrating an aspect of the region's history. The mural by Australian artist Ken Done was displayed at Expo ’88. A new mural is commissioned every 2 years.
Historical Museum: covers history of area; open 9.30am–3.30pm Mon–Fri, 10am–12pm Sun Sept–Apr, closed Feb and Mar; Gordon St.
Summergarden Theatre: styled on the classic movie houses of Southern California. Used now to screen films and stage performances; Murroona Rd.
Bays and beaches Choose from 8 excellent spots for swimming, snorkelling and fishing in spectacular surrounds. Rose and Horseshoe bays are connected by a walking track with panoramic views over the ocean; a sidetrack leads to Murray Bay. Impressive corals and fish can be found at Grays, Horseshoe, Murray and Rose bays. Diving enthusiasts should head to Horseshoe and Murray bays. For a more exclusive swim, visit secluded Coral Bay. Details and directions from visitor centre.
Big Mango: tribute to the local Kensington Mango, grown since the 1880s. A shop sells all things mango-related – the mango ice-cream is a highlight; Bruce Hwy, Mt Gordon; 7 km S.
Gloucester Island National Park: group of secluded islands 23 km offshore, part of the Great Barrier Reef, boasting beaches and rainforest. Campers must be self-sufficient and obtain a permit. Access via private boat from Dingo Beach, Hideaway Bay, Bowen or Airlie Beach; (07) 4967 7355.
Cape Upstart National Park: remote granite headland flanked with sandy beaches; self-sufficient visitors only; access by boat, ramps at Molongle Bay and Elliot River; (07) 4967 7355; 50 km NW.
Collinsville: coalmine tours can be arranged at Bowen visitor centre; 82 km SW.
Fishing spots near town
Lake Proserpine 41 km
The closed season for barramundi in Queensland runs from November to February, but some of the best barra waters are exempt and this includes the fabulous Lake Proserpine, often called Peter Faust Dam, 26 km east of... Find out more
Eco-friendly activities around town
Wildlife tours - Rockhampton to Townsville 55 km
Proserpine River Eco Tours runs an eco-accredited all-day wildlife safari in which you have a fairly good chance of seeing saltwater crocodiles, agile wallabies, mud crabs and frillnecked lizards. The tour combines a... Find out more
Hiking the Whitsundays Great Walk 58 km
In the past few years a 30-kilometre walking track – the Whitsundays Great Walk – has been established, from Brandy Creek to Airlie Beach, through Conway State Forest. The two main camps, Repulse Creek and... Find out more
Camping - Whitsundays and Keppel Islands 77 km
If you want to camp on one of the Whitsunday Islands but do not want to kayak and do not own a boat, Camping Whitsundays and Island Camping Connections run a drop-off and pickup service, supply camping gear and food if... Find out more
Golf courses around town
Hamilton Island Golf Club 81 km
When Hamilton Island was being built in the 1980s it
was a playground of the rich and famous. The island’s
owner and developer, Keith Williams, knew a golf course
would add to the tourism value of his island... Find out more
Campsites around town
Bona Bay camping area (boat-based camping) 21 km
This large shaded campground, with beach views, is on the south-west side of Gloucester Island. The site can hold up to 36 campers, making it suitable for large groups, but you need to be completely self-sufficient. The... Find out more
East Side Bay camping area (boat-based camping) 24 km
This site is on the east side of Gloucester Island between 2 rocky headlands and adjacent to a seasonal freshwater lagoon. It’s a small campground suitable for a maximum of 6 people and there are no facilities.... Find out more
Saddleback Island camping area (boat-based camping) 31 km
On the western side of Saddleback Island, this campground has space for 12 people. The only facilities are picnic tables, so you need to bring all self-sufficient goods and equipment.... Find out more
Camp Kanga 42 km
Powered sites are available at this campground, 24 km north-west of Proserpine on Crystal Brook Rd. It’s just 1.5 km from Lake Proserpine (also known as Peter Faust Dam) and offers handy extras such as laundry... Find out more
Armit Island camping area (boat-based camping) 43 km
This campground in the south-west corner of the island has space for 12 totally self-sufficient campers. Access to the southern beach and Little Armit Island is prohibited Oct–Mar each year, for regeneration.... Find out more
Grimstone Point camping area (boat-based camping) 48 km
This low-key, quiet campground is accessible by boat only. Pit toilets and picnic tables are the only facilities here so bring all self-sufficient goods and equipment (including insect repellent).... Find out more
Coconut Beach camping area (boat-based camping) 50 km
Coconut Beach has no facilities and suits self-sufficient campers. Access is by boat only; beware of marine stingers Oct–May and beware of estuarine crocodiles year-round. The campground is surrounded by the waters... Find out more
BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort 54 km
This modern 26 ha camping and caravan park is located in Cannonvale, 4 km from Airlie Beach’s town centre. The facilities are top class: ensuite powered sites, plenty of shade, concrete slabs, and 3 amenities... Find out more
BIG4 Airlie Cove Resort Van Park 59 km
This modern tourist park with excellent facilities is located 2.5 km from Airlie Beach town centre on Shute Harbour Rd. The campground features a Polynesian-style camp kitchen with fridge, microwave, hotplates and other... Find out more
Bloodwood camping area (walk-in camping) 61 km
Hikers on the Whitsunday Great Walk can camp at this site, 11.5 km (5–6 hrs) from Repulse Creek camp and 8.5 km from the end of the walk at Airlie Beach. The track from Repulse Creek follows a ridge to the summit... Find out more
Caravan parks around town
BIG4 Bowen Coral Coast Beachfront Holiday Park 3 km
Bowen is a popular coastal town and this park has absolute beach frontage, with excellent facilities and spotless amenities. Swimming, snorkelling and walking are all popular activities here. Beachfront sites are... Find out more
Wangaratta at the Beach Caravan Park 4 km
Great for a winter break, this is a very neat and tidy council park on the waterfront, adjoining the golf course. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more
BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort 54 km
This is a top quality park in an exceptionally popular holiday destination. The park has many features including a kids club, a tennis court and minigolf. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay... Find out more
Proserpine Tourist Park 55 km
In a quiet off-highway part of Proserpine, this is a very neat park that adjoins the town swimming pool, golf course and bowling green. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more
Flametree Tourist Village 60 km
This is a well-known park in the heart of a popular holiday destination. Enjoy the pool, covered barbecues and other features. This is a good place at a reasonable price in this busy coastal strip. Bookings are required... Find out more
O’Connell River Whitsunday Tourist Park 72 km
Located alongside the highway 22 km south of Proserpine, this place has good basic facilities and is for an overnight stop. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more
Travellers Rest Caravan and Camping Park 86 km
There are no more sandflies or midges at Midge Point than elsewhere, but there is a lovely beachside caravan park with lawns, large shady trees and a host of other great features. We really enjoy staying here. Bookings... Find out more
BIG4 Ayr Silver Link Caravan Village 100 km
Easily accessible from the highway, this park is in a quiet, off-the-road position not far from the main shopping area. It has good facilities, and sites under numerous mango trees. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more
Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town
Rose Bay Resort
The Coral Sea is almost at your doorstep in these one- and two-bedroom apartments and studios with private balconies and views across the water. The atmosphere is very relaxed and casual, and the parkland at the... Find out more
Rest areas around town
Mount Gordon park area 4 km
60km N of Proserpine (R) or 8km S of Bowen (L)
Just off the highway and overlooking a beach.
Guthalungra rest area 44 km
Just off the highway and opposite the roadhouse.
Home Hill rest area 95 km
At Home Hill
Near the tourist information centre on Eighth Ave (west of the main street).