Nestled at the edge of the Great Barrier Reef in Far North Queensland, the coastal town of Bowen has so much to offer the adventurer at heart.
Buckle up and discover the top 10 must do’s in Bowen that will have you leaving with heartwarming memories.
1. Horseshoe Bay
The most popular beach in Bowen, Horseshoe Bay, has been rated as one of the top 10 beaches in all of Australia. Protected by two granite outcrops, the unique landscape has created a magnificent environment for marine life to bloom.
The shoreline is hugged by colourful corals that provide a home to a massive range of colourful tropical fishes. Naturally, Horseshoe Bay makes for a popular spot to snorkel, dive, and explore the beautiful waters.
The bay also acts as a premier location for watersports, including jet skis, kayaks, stand up paddle boarding, wakeboarding, and much more. With an abundance of marine life around, fishing is a fantastic option for the angler looking to throw in a hook.
For those who would rather keep dry, the shady foreshore offers spectacular views across pristine, blue ocean waters and rocky outcrops. Bring along a picnic basket filled with snacks and cool drinks, and enjoy the view ahead.
2. Horseshoe Bay Rotary Lookout
Get the best panoramic views of Horseshoe Bay from the top at the rotary lookout. Access is easy from the car park at the cove with clear signposts taking you to the engineered gantry nestled on a large rock.
The 360 degree views are worth every bit of sweat it takes to get up there. And don’t forget to bring a camera!
3. The Grand View Hotel
After adventuring around Horseshoe Bay, head to the Grand View Hotel for a true local experience that will impress even the seasoned traveller.
An exceptional dining experience awaits you, with an extensive menu curated by skilled chefs made from the freshest locally caught seafood, juiciest steaks, authentic Italian cuisine, mouthwatering desserts, and so much more.
Soak in the spectacular waterfront view as you take in the live entertainment and are served by excellent customer service. A meal at the Grand View Hotel is truly a Bowen experience not to be missed.
Oh, and the Grand View Hotel was also an iconic feature in the blockbuster hit ‘Australia’ starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman. Another reason you should check out its vintage looks and movie history.
4. Grays Bay
One of Bowen’s prettiest beaches, Grays Bay offers calm, clear waters that are great for swimming, snorkelling and adventuring.
With a two lane boat ramp that makes it perfect for jet skiing, kayaking, canoeing and indulging in watersports, Grays Bay is known to be the best spot for watersports this side of the Whitsundays.
Wait til the evening and watch some of the most beautiful sunsets you would ever lay your eyes upon. And don’t forget to take a picture that’ll make Instagram jealous.
5. Queen’s Beach
If you’re looking for an excuse to walk, head to Queen’s Beach. Spanning over 5 kilometres long, it’s the longest beach in Bowen.
Go for a stroll in perfect summer weather as you listen to the serene sounds of gentle waves followed by wispy winds. A peaceful way to embrace the beach, and with so much space, you can easily find a quiet spot to enjoy all to yourself.
Queen’s Beach has excellent facilities with plenty of tables for you to picnic at, great walking and bicycle tracks, numerous exercise machines, barbecue pits and plenty of shade and shelter.
6. Summergarden Theatre
What a gem of a theatre, walking into the Summergarden Theatre is as good as taking a step into the past. The 1940s art deco theme breathes life into the walls with friendly staff who provide first class service to all their patrons.
The owner, Ben DeLuca, is usually there to personally greet and direct you to your theatre. With affordable prices and great movies, including the latest blockbusters, and a great vibe, the Summergarden Theatre is the place to go for a movie in Bowen.
7. The Big Mango
When we say Big Mango, we definitely mean BIG. This massive statue is a great depiction of Bowen’s pride produce - mangoes! The mangoes in Bowen are simply the best, and The Big Mango statue clearly shows that.
Snap a picture with this iconic landmark and head to the Bowen Visitor Information Centre beside it and learn all about this wonderful place. Don’t forget to grab yourself an icy mango sorbet, simply tropically refreshing.
8. Bowen Water Park Playground
A great place for the kids to play, Bowen Water Park Playground happens to be situated on the waterfront too, giving it some amazing ocean views.
The classic tipping bucket is a hit while kids can cool off constantly with spray jets and water features. The water park is strategically located on the esplanade meaning there is plenty of space for a picnic with great facilities such as toilets nearby.
9. Bowen Historical Society and Museum
For a low fee of only $5 an entry, the Bowen Historical Society and Museum is packed full of information about Bowen’s history. The volunteers make the place amazing with a wealth of knowledge that will have you leaving the place in full appreciation of this magnificent small town.
10. Flagstaff Hill Lookout
Spectacular views of Bowen await you at the steep point of Flagstaff Hill Lookout. Be mesmerised by the 360 degree panoramic views of the town and catch glimpses of the Abbot Point coal part as well as the Whitsundays.
With a gazebo shelter at the top, don’t forget to bring along a picnic to enjoy the amazing views.
Image credit: Queensland