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(This post about things to do in Bowen was updated in March 2019)

 

If you are a grey nomad or simply taking a road trip around Northern Queensland then a stop in Bowen for a few days or more should be on your itinerary!

 

The great towns along the coastline of Queensland are fantastic places to stop off and relax for a few days (or longer) and although Bowen may be slightly in the shadow of its southern neighbour and gateway to the Whitsundays – Airlie Beach – I would recommend planning to enjoy some time in Bowen if you can.

 

Bowen holds the title of North Queensland’s oldest town and was officially declared a town in 1861.

 

If you are unsure of what there is to do and see when you visit then check out my 5 things to do in Bowen QLD!

 

mango and sunset in Bowen Australia
Beautiful sunsets and tasty mango – expect both in Bowen!

 


1. TAKE A SELFIE WITH THE BIG MANGO


Bowen is famous for its mangoes and so what better way to show this than to stop off for a selfie at the big mango by the Bruce Highway on your way into town!

 

The big mango is also next to the Bowen Visitor Information Centre  so stop off, take a photo and check out what the area has to offer! There is also a smaller mango in Bowen itself.

 

The big mango and its smaller sister in Bowen
The big mango and its smaller sister which can be seen in Bowen

 


2. VISIT THE FABULOUS BEACHES


 

Bowen beaches sign

 

Beautiful bays and magnificent palm fringed beaches surround Bowen. With so many beaches to choose from – 7 in total – you will be spoilt for choice!

 

We stayed in Rose Bay which is a beautiful area but we did venture out to check out the other beaches. Unfortunately the weather was not on our side and it was a very windy weekend when we were in Bowen. It was still hot though and there were plenty of people enjoying the sand and sea.

 

Rose Bay itself is a lovely little bay with great views across to Gloucester Island. There are also plenty of rock pools for the kids to explore too at low tide!

 

Rose Bay Bowen
Rose Bay – great views and rock pools!

 

The most popular beach in the area is Horseshoe Bay which has been rated in the top 11 of Australia’s beaches. As the Tourism Bowen website states “the beach is protected by two granite outcrops, which provide a haven for a wonderful range of fish and coral just a short swim from the beach.” This is a popular spot for snorkelers and divers.

 

Murray’s Bay can be found between Horseshoe Bay and Rose Bay and is popular with runners and walkers.

If water sports is your things then head to Gray’s Bay where there is a two lane boat ramp perfect for the jet skiers amongst you!

Foreshore is a favourite with families and is found at the end of the main street in Bowen. Stand at the jetty and try to spot some of the amazing sea life that frequent the waters off Bowen.

Queen’s Beach is the longest beach in Bowen at 5 kms long. Enjoy a stroll or bring some food and enjoy a BBQ!

With great views King’s Beach offers peace and quiet for those who seek a tranquil few hours relaxing on the sand.

 

Whichever of the many beaches appeals to you it is worth remembering that with an average sea temperature in the summer of 28 degrees and even 22 degrees in winter you are sure to enjoy a beautiful day on the coast whenever you visit Bowen!

 

Horseshoe Bay
The beautiful Horseshoe Bay

 

READ MORE – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SEEING KANGAROOS ON THE BEACH AT CAPE HILLSBOROUGH! YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE

 


3. ENJOY SOME SNORKELLING, DIVING AND/OR FISHING


 

The waters off the coast of Bowen host millions of beautiful fish. Hard and soft coral can be found just meters from shore and keen snorkelers can feast their eyes on the underwater beauty.

 

If scuba diving is your thing the most popular areas are at Rose, Murray and Horseshoe Bays where the water is only 6/7 meters deep.Fishing is also popular in Bowen with plenty of places to reel in that catch of the day!

 

 

READ MORE 25 BEAUTIFUL BEACHES YOU HAVE TO VISIT IN AUSTRALIA!! 

 


4. CHECK OUT THE WALL MURALS AROUND TOWN


 

I love street art and the murals in Bowen are interesting as they reflect the history of the town from it’s early settlement to present day.We managed to take pictures of a few of them. There are 27 in total were painted in 1988. They can be found in the town centre in Bowen.

 

It did pique my interest to find out more about the history of the town but unfortunately the Bowen historical museum is closed at a weekend.

 

 


5. EAT THE WORLD’S TASTIEST FISH AND CHIPS!


 

I kid you not I have never tasted fish like it – it was absolutely beautiful. I highly recommend a visit to Bird’s Fish Bar if you are in Bowen!

The restaurant/shop is on the harbour and the fish was so fresh it literally melted in my mouth. This alone is one of my reasons to visit Bowen again. Although they don’t have a website page you can check them out on Facebook. They can be found at Henry Darwen Memorial Drive in Bowen.

 

Fish and chips and fishing boats in Bowen Queensland

 

As well as the amazing fish and chips we had a lovely brunch at Le Sorelle -The Sisters Coffee House – do yourself a favour and pop in there when you are feeling peckish!

 


RECOMMENDED PLACES TO STAY IN BOWEN


ROSE BAY RESORT 

If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Bowen then I highly recommend Rose Bay Resort. Rooms are literally meters away from the beach. These fully equipped apartments are comfortable and we thoroughly enjoyed our short break there. There is a pool on site, parking is in a designated parking bay and free wi-fi throughout your stay.

We found the one bedroomed apartment perfect for our needs and we will definitely planning to stay there again soon!

 

Rose Bay resort
Our one bedroom apartment at Rose Bay

Sit, relax and enjoy the view – it is truly jaw dropping.

 

If a relaxing stay on a beautiful beach with stunning views is for you book your stay at Rose Bay Resort below!

 

CLICK HERE FOR PRICES AND AVAILABILITY AT ROSE BAY RESORT 

 

Rose Bay Resort view of the hotel
View of the Rose Bay Resort

 

CORAL COVE APARTMENTS

Another fabulous choice of accommodation in Bowen are the Coral Cove Apartments. If you want amazing views, a fabulous beach front location and a luxurious apartment this is the place for you!

All apartments are fully equipped and have free WiFi, air conditioning, and access to a garden and outdoor swimming pool. 

 

 

Coral Cove Apartments

 

CLICK HERE FOR PRICES AND AVAILABILITY AT THE CORAL COVE APARTMENTS

 

BUDGET OPTION – HORSESHOE BAY RESORT

For a more budget friendly option check out the Horseshoe Bay Resort. This is a great option if you are traveling with kids (or grandkids) and want a beach location.

 

Horseshoe Bay Resort

 

CLICK HERE FOR PRICES AND AVAILABILITY AT HORSESHOE BAY RESORT

 

 


TIPS IF YOU ARE STAYING IN BOWEN


STINGERS

Stinger season is from October to May and therefore stinger suits are advised if you are planning to go into the water. The 2 main stingers that can be found in these waters are the irukandji and the box jellyfish. Make sure to read the signs at the beaches and follow their instructions.

 

Marine stingers warning signs

 

BOWEN MUSEUM

If you want to go to the museum as we did take note that it is not open at a weekend. As we were only staying in Bowen for the weekend that was slightly disappointing as it has an excellent reputation.

 

 

THE SET OF THE FILM AUSTRALIA

The 2007 film Australia starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman  was shot in Bowen. There there are a lot of pictures and information about it at Front Beach if you are a fan. You can also also find the smaller mango I mentioned at the beginning of the article here.

 

Australia the film was shot in Bowen

 

WHITSUNDAY DAY TRIPS

Day trips to the Whitsundays are possible from Airlie Beach which is an hour south of Bowen. I would highly recommend a visit to Airlie and booking a trip to Whitehaven Beach if you have the opportunity!

 

 

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST DON’T FORGET TO RELAX!

 

views of the Coral Sea and palm trees from Rose Bay Resort

 


FURTHER INFORMATION FOR VISITING QUEENSLAND


I have lots of posts all about visiting Australia and a number of these are focussed on the beautiful state of Queensland. With an enviable climate, wonderful wildlife, stunning beaches if Queensland is your destination these posts will help you get the best of your visit! If you are seeking some inspiration these 15 photographs will have you booking the next flight!

 

 

 

 

  • If you are traveling along the coast check out my posts about Mackay too.

 

 

 

 

PIN FOR LATER! THINGS TO DO IN BOWEN

 

My top 5 things to do in Bowen My top 5 things to do in Bowen

 

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Queensland quiz - how much do you know about the Sunshine State?

 

CLICK FOR EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO MY TRAVEL RESOURCE LIBRARY

 

 



 

Author: Tracy

Over the last 50 years I have lived and worked in 7 countries on 4 continents and travelled to many more. I enjoy exploring and learning about new places and meeting people on my travels. History, reading, photography, nature and wildlife are my interests and I am ALWAYS researching and planning my next trip (preferably by train)

With a lifetime of travel experience, and a network of friends all over the world, I share genuine insider guides, recommended best book lists and train journey inspiration to help YOU travel authentically to some of the most beautiful places on earth.

Come and join me as I travel the world one country (and train journey) at a time!

This post may contain compensated links. Please read our disclaimer for additional information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

15 thoughts on “Top 5 things to do in Bowen Queensland

  1. Kreete says:

    Great list Tracy! I visited Bowen last year during our Melbourne to Cairns road trip and it was great. Even though we only had a day to enjoy it, the big mango was indeed impressive and snorkelling off the beach was excellent too!

  2. Carmen Baguio says:

    I made the mistake of reading this post right before my lunch. Fish and chips sounds a whole lot better than the leftovers I’m about to eat. I can just picture myself on the beach, drinking and eating while watching the waves roll in and out!

  3. Angie (FeetDoTravel) says:

    I didn’t visit Bowen but it is beautiful and I will definitely check it out when we return to Oz. I have watched the movie “Australia” but didn’t know it was filmed here! Don’t you just love all their “Bigs” lol, the Big Cassowary was my favourite although the Big Prawn is pretty funny looking 😀 #FeetDoTravel

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  5. Stephanie (1AdventureTraveler) says:

    Love the stinger suits…first time to hear that term. The water sounds amazing and a great place to snorkel and scuba dive except during jellyfish time. Now that is a huge Mango, but the real ones sound yummy! Bowen looks like a great place to visit. I must visit Australia. I pinned this for my trip there in the future. Happy you shared! #feetdotravel

  6. Katy says:

    Ha ha ha the giant mango! Of course there’s a giant mango. Love it Tracy. I think I would go to Bowen just to see that. I’m looking forward to some Whitsunday sun sooner rather than later. Thanks for sharing on #farawayfiles

  7. Hilary says:

    Oh my gosh the Mango! We have a giant artichoke here in California, that we’ve often visited! These all look like great reasons to stop and enjoy Bowen! I’ve never been to Australia, but I hope to someday. #farawayfiles

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