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Whitsunday Coast


Road to Horseshoe Bay ... following the curve of the sea

Road to Horseshoe Bay ... following the curve of the sea

© Tourism Queensland

Close to Queensland's Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday resort islands, the seaside town of Bowen is a place for lazy beach holidays with a spot of snorkeling and scuba diving and barbecues in the park.

The better-known Airlie Beach acquires its reputation from being a jump-off point to the Whitsundays, such as Daydream Island, Long Island and the Molle island group.

Bowen is no more than 40 minutes north of Airlie Beach.

Film location

Aside from its pristine beaches, picnic grounds and parks, Bowen is known for being one of the film locations for the Baz Luhrmann film, Australia.

In the film, Bowen stands in for 1940s Darwin in the period surrounding the time of the Japanese air attacks early in the Pacific War. Filming was also done in Darwin itself, and the Western Australia town of Kununurra was another Australia filming location.

Starring Australian actors Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, the Luhrmann movie reaches its climax during the bombing of Darwin.

Seaside town

Bowen is in the northern region of the Whitsundays on the shores of Edgecumbe Bay. It lies roughtly between Townsville in the north and Mackay in the south, linked by the coastal Bruce Highway.

Among Bowen's popular beaches are Horseshoe Bay and Queens Beach. Most of the beaches in the Bowen area feature facilities such as barbecues, picnic tables, children's playgrounds, and parklands.

Fringing reefs lie just metres offshore, attracting snorkelers and divers. Various tropical fish inhabit this section of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Getting there

Access to Bowen by air is through the major airports on the Whitsunday Coast (Proserpine) and Hamilton Island. Alternatively you can fly to either Townsville or Mackay and drive to Bowen. The trip by road should take about two hours from either Townsville or Bowen.

Access by road from points north and south of Bowen is through the Bruce Highway.

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