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Your Whitsundays Experience Starts Here...

Your Whitsundays experience starts here...

More to Explore…

The Whitsunday Region in North Queensland is known for its 74 islands and close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef but did you know it is also home to picturesque hinterland dotted with waterfalls and lakes and historic country towns?

From the lush green of the tropical rainforest of Conway National Park, to the swaying canefields of Proserpine and the reds and browns of inland Collinsville, the Whitsunday hinterland is a rich tapestry of colours and cultures.

Bowen in the north of the Whitsundays, just a 45 minute drive from Airlie Beach, is situated on a peninsula, with ocean on three sides. Eight beaches surround the town including Kings Beach, Queens Beach, Horseshoe Bay, Murrays Bay, Greys Bay, Rose Bay, and Front Beach.

The coral reefs around Bowen have several shipwrecks, including the SS Gothenburg, which sank in 1875, and during World War 2 Bowen hosted an air force base, flying Catalina seaplanes to search for enemy ships and submarines.

Numerous relics of Bowen's history, from the Aboriginal past onwards, are on display at the Bowen Historical Society's museum. You can also visit the locations used in the Baz Luhrmann blockbuster 'Australia', which was filmed in Bowen.

About one-and-a-half hours’ drive inland from Bowen is Collinsville, a small country town known for its historic mining attractions and traditional country Queensland hospitality. One of the main highlights for history buffs is a visit to the Coalface Experience Museum and Pit Pony Experience.

There's also a small air strip for recreational planes, a large dam for fishing and watersports and excellent outback four-wheel driving – there’s also free RV parking! The Collinsville region also plays host to the Bowen River Rodeo and Camp Draft on the Queen’s Birthday weekend each June.

Proserpine, meanwhile, is the administrative centre of the region and was established in the 1870s on the back of a thriving sugarcane industry.

Sugarcane farming is still very much a part of everyday life for most people in Proserpine, with the sugar mill working around the clock in the crushing season to process the one million tonnes of cane harvested every year.

The town, which prides itself on its friendly atmosphere (it won the Tourism Queensland Friendliest Town Award in 2007) is located along the banks of the Proserpine River, affording fantastic fishing and also a rare chance to view crocodiles in the wild as they sun themselves on the muddy banks.

There is also the Peter Faust Dam about a 20-minute drive from Proserpine, where you can throw in a line and catch the iconic Barramundi, a much loved eating fish in North Queensland.

If you want to go ‘off the beaten track’, the secluded beach townships of Hydeaway Bay and Dingo Beach, just a 45-minute drive from Airlie Beach, really are a hidden gem.

Quiet and secluded, these little hamlets are perfect for those seeking rest and relaxation on long, sandy beaches with hardly another soul in sight. Do some beachcombing or some fishing – Dingo Beach has a tidal boat ramp - or explore the calm bays in a kayak or on a stand-up paddle board.

And of course, not forgetting the vibrant resort town of Airlie Beach, the stepping off point for the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands, including Hamilton Island and Palm Bay Resort, on Long Island.

The Airlie Beach main street is lined with cafes, bars and restaurants, and there is a variety of shops offering everything from souvenirs and postcards to clothing, jewellery and artworks.

So there really is more to explore in #lovewhitsundays – find out more at www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au

Delve a little deeper into the Whitsundays and you will discover a hinterland with lush rainforest, walking trails, waterfalls and windswept promontories.

If you drive west towards Proserpine and hang a left towards the coast, and you will come across Conway Beach, a stunning and solitary stretch of sand where kites fly overhead and the only sound is the rustling of palm trees and the sighing of sheoaks.

Make sure you stop off at Cedar Creek Falls on the way back – a beautiful natural amphitheatre of bushland surrounding the crashing falls as they tumble into the pool below, providing a year-round swimming hole.

You can also walk the Great Whitsunday Walk, which hugs the skyline through the Conway National Park from Brandy Creek to Airlie Beach, and get up close and personal with any number of birds, lizards and plant varieties in one of Australia’s longest stretches of sub-tropical rainforest.

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