Ben laps it up in Bowen.
Ben curses at his lobster.
Some of Australia's most beautiful and laid-back beaches surely must be the eight along the coastline of Bowen.
Some of Australia's most beautiful beaches surely must be the eight which are along the coastline of Bowen, and unlike most other Whitsunday towns, there is no parasailing, no pontoons on the reef, no sky diving. It's just a laid-back place where you can enjoy the beaches to the fullest.
Around 6500 people live in Bowen and the quiet seaside town is a pleasant discovery for those who have not been there before. It's about halfway between Mackay and Townsville and was first settled in 1816, making it North Queensland's oldest town.
Its history can be traced at the Bowen Historical Museum, and there are many houses and buildings reflecting its early origins. Coal, salt production and fruit- and vegetable-growing are important to the area, and gem fossickers still find sapphires, amethysts, crystals and opalised wood. Fishing is a thriving industry as well as being a pleasant pastime. You can fish from the beach, or head out with a day operator to try for mullet, whiting, coral trout and red emperor.
Bowen has 19 murals depicting the early history of the town. They were commissioned and painted by local artists who re-do them every two years to keep them looking good.
Horseshoe Bay is popular for swimming, and won a recent competition for North Queensland's cleanest beach. It has a sandy beach with big granite outcrops on either side. Grays Bay won the prize as friendliest beach. Kings Beach and Queens Beach are very long and great for walking. Rose Bay and Murray Bay are very pretty, and there is a good 2.5km walk linking them. Stingers can be a problem between October and April, but there are nets at some beaches.
The Coral Coast Caravan Park is located on Queens Beach and has 80 sites, including 10 villas and 11 on-site caravans. The villas sleep five and are fully self-contained. There is a swimming pool and a wading pool for children. For easy holiday eating, there are barbecue facilities on the beach and around the pool. The amenities block is very modern.
The RSL bowling club welcomes visitors to play a few ends, enjoy the facilities and meet a few locals.
Queensland's north coast, 1165km north of Brisbane.
Coral Coast Caravan Park has villas for $77 a double a night.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.
Bowen Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (07) 4786 4222www.bowen.qld.gov.au/index
Coral Coast Caravan Park
Ph: (07) 4785 1262
Fax: (07) 4785 1428
Coral Coast Caravan Park is a wheelchair friendly environment.