We rolled into Bowen on a Saturday morning and after having breakfast on the Front Beach by the jetty, we went for a drive up to Flagstaff Hill for brilliant views of the town and surrounding islands off the coast. It was fairly quiet so we spent some time checking out the murals around town that depict various aspects of the region’s history.
Two groups of settlers that were exploring the area met at Port Denison and created a settlement, and then founded it as a town the next day in April 1861. Port Denison was later renamed Bowen in 1865 after Queensland’s first Governor. These days, the main industries that support the area include mining, fishing and agriculture – particularly mangoes, hence the Big Mango, which was erected in 2002 as part of a community campaign to revitalise tourism.
Things To See And Do
One of the prettiest beaches we have visited in Queensland. Surrounded by rocky headlands, it’s well sheltered and has a few corals just off the beach. We explored the rocks and snorkelled in the warm water before moving on.
This bakery is a local favourite and has been operating since 1963. They’ve won awards for various loaves and pies, so we couldn’t resist having a bite. We got one of their Bowen Pies with tomato, onion and mango chutney, as well as a bacon and cheese pie. Both were delicious, as expected, and fuelled us all the way to dinner.
About 45 minutes south east of Bowen is Proserpine. This little town is located within the Whitsunday Region but misses out on the tourism because of nearby Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday Islands. Sure, it’s a small town, but it has three pubs, a major supermarket, and two of the coolest shops we have ever seen.
Colour Me Crazy is the most colourful shop you will ever see. They sell jewellery, home wares, clothes and various odds and ends, and each room is styled and colour coded to match whatever tastes you have. Just around the corner is Garden Art Alley, another shop that is almost like an art gallery! They sell statues and fountains, and cool outdoor furniture.