Start the morning off with the most important meal of the day. A scrumptious breakfast at one of the many cafés in the area will satisfy the appetite while you soak up the great surrounding ambience.
Turtle time: Bowen’s Jetty, off Front Beach, was built in 1867 and stretches 750 metres into the Coral Sea. You can take a stroll along this piece of living history, which has seen cargo loaded on and off ships for many years but is now used mainly for fishing. And if you’re lucky, turtles will pop up to say hello!
History tour: Bowen was established in 1861 and the still-operating salt works attests to its being at the centre of Queensland’s salt industry in the 20th century. Be sure to visit Bowen Historical Society & Museum, on Gordon Street, and also the Catalina museum and memorial, which celebrates the brave pilots who used Bowen as a base in World War II.
Quiet time: Relax at Muller’s Lagoon – 23 hectares of pretty parkland with a superb botanical garden and wetland habitat. Take a well-earned break in the shady picnic area – there are free BBQs and a playground – and use the helpful display boards to help you spot some of the 170 bird species that call the lagoon home.
Bowen sits on a square peninsula and is surrounded by eight beautiful beaches to the north, east and south. Walk and fossick along the endless sands of Kings Beach or Queens Beach; or swim and snorkel in picturesque bays flanked by granite boulders. Some fringing coral reefs are just metres from the beach.
Horseshoe Bay and Rose Bay are top spots for snorkelling and are also great for the whole family.
Iconic: Go back in time during lunch by stopping in to the great historic pub in Bowen which featured prominently in the movie Australia, starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman.
Insta-moment: Head up to Flagstaff Hill for absolutely spectacular views of Cape Edgecumbe Bay, the North Island Lighthouse and Whitsunday Islands. Then turn around in the opposite direction and the whole of Bowen and its surrounds are spread out before you, as far as the eye can see. This is one spot you won’t want to be without a camera!
Dinner: By now you will have worked up an appetite so why not head to the marina where there is an array of delicious seafood on offer. Eat your fish and chip supper while looking out at the tinkling boats moored up for the evening.