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A local history of the Grand View Hotel

The McLean Family owned the Grand View Hotel from 1919 – 2018. The first owner BJ Magee (Bernard John) lost his sight at age 60, and his daughter Mary Kathleen (May) and her husband John Norman McLean took over after selling their property Pinnacle Station outside of Mackay.

May and John took over not only the Grand View Hotel but also The Grand Theatre, The Grand Café, and just next door to the Grand View, BJ Magee’s General Store.

The black and white photos of the original property wrap around the bar, each owning it’s own unique piece of history of the Hotel.

The Grand View’s history of being destroyed twice by fire and twice by cyclone only added to the charming resilience of this astonishing building, which then led to Baz Luhrmann’s famous Hollywood film ‘AUSTRALIA’ staring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman being filmed here in 2007.

​All of the old yacht pieces including the mast that stands in the Beer Garden are from “GRETE” which was built in 1937 Denmark. ​”GRETE” was abandoned in the Bowen Boat Harbour and ordered to be demolished because of her hull rotting from the waterline down. ​ What could be salvaged of the boat was saved to be used throughout the venue before the remainder was eventually destroyed. The boat was built of Northern Hemisphere Pine – Douglas Firr.

The yacht “Grete”, which was salvaged and used throughout the Grand View Hotel.

These days, inside the recently renovated hotel you will find a rich and fascinating history hanging from the walls, which blend in with the modern yet classic décor. You really do appreciate the best of both worlds. Fourth generation owners John, Lachlan and Michael McLean renovated the hotel with an emphasis on great cuisine, friendly service, beautiful ambience and entertainment for all ages.

In late 2018 Waymark Hotels, a privately-owned Australian hotel and property group, acquired the Grand View Hotel. Built over a period of more than 60 years and with a heritage originating in the Northern Territory and Queensland outback, the group has been leading projects that have brought vital infrastructure and amenities to communities since the 1950’s. ​

Grand View Hotel has recently undergone a brand refresh, and the new logo seeks to incorporate the local history and the important role it has played in shaping the hotel. 

The logo is inspired by Bowen’s history and the role the hotel has played throughout its time as the heart of the town. The image of the Catalina Flying Boat is significant, as Bowen was the main scheduled stop for such aircraft after leaving Sydney en route to London, with the Grand View Hotel being the only 5 star accommodation available locally. In addition, during WWI, the Air Force base was also situated just outside the Hotel.

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