When my partner James and I first visited Bowen, it was not at all what we expected! We knew it was home to an abundance of delicious mango orchards and beautiful beach coves, however, we never got the chance to explore them! Two years later and we’ve returned, taking in the full Bowen experience over three days. Here is what we love about it!
Beautiful beach coves
There are multiple beach coves in Bowen to spend your days wandering along. You can literally walk around the rocks of each beach to uncover another one! Our favourites were Grays Bay, Horseshoe Bay, Murray’s Bay, Rose Bay and Queens Beach.
Grays Bay is easily top of our list! It was the first beach we pulled into. Walking down to the water’s edge we found little rocks pools you could take a swim in. They were shallow, making them the perfect spot to wade in and relax. If you look closely, you might also be lucky enough to find some cowrie shells.
Tip: From Grays Bay Point you can watch the sunrise and sunset, just look out for the nudie beach!
One of the more well-known beaches in the area is Horseshoe Bay. Surrounded by beautiful, big boulders, this small beach cove is utterly amazing to view the sunrise from. We witnessed some pretty gorgeous mornings here. You can also easily swim out to the reef if you fancy a bit of snorkelling.
Directly across from Horseshoe Bay is little cafe named Meraki. It’s a really serene spot for breakfast. (It doesn’t open until 9am though, so keep this in mind!)
You can find Murray’s Bay between Horseshoe Bay and Rose Bay. We took the windy Murray’s Bay Road down to this beautiful spot. You’ll find this bay is more protected than some of the others in Bowen, especially on those windy days. We loved to watch the sunset here sitting on the rocks. The palm trees that line this beach offer a beautiful backdrop for your photos, too.
Idyllic views of Gloucester Island can be viewed from Rose Bay. It looks especially picturesque on cloudy, rainy days when it gives off a tropical vibe. There’s a little closed down corner shop across the road from Rose Bay which makes you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time. It has old school Pepsi signs plastered along the top.
Whilst not a cove, Queens Beach is stunning! It stretches on for 5km giving you a nice leisurely afternoon walk. We pulled into a lovely spot here just underneath some palm trees. On low tide, you can walk right out and look at all the beach snails and crabs moving around in their shells.
You’re still in the Whitsundays
Bowen is at the top of Whitsundays, meaning you’re within minutes of coral reefs and brightly coloured fish. Just pop your snorkel on and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll find so close to the bays! Plus, you’re only a one-hour drive from the “gateway to the Whitsundays” – Airlie Beach, making Bowen the perfect base if you want to experience the Whitsundays in a quieter, more relaxed setting.
Two amazing nearby destinations are Hydeaway Bay and Dingo Beach. We took a day trip out here and loved what we found! Again, only a one hour drive from Bowen, these destinations make for a fun little excursion or stop-off on your way down the coast.
The Big Mango
On the drive into Bowen, you just have to stop at the Big Mango and take a photo. It’s fun to do and will also give you a chance to pop into the tourist information centre and have a chat with the friendly staff who work there. They have loads of local knowledge to share and are just waiting to tell you all about Bowen!
Where we stayed
During our time in Bowen, we stayed at the Queens Beach Tourist Village. We couldn’t get over how peaceful it was! Each site in the park is separated by lush greenery and palms, giving you the perfect amount of privacy.
The park’s facilities were also impeccable. The level of cleanliness is something we hadn’t come across during our trip yet! The bathrooms were spotless. You can tell the park owners really go to the effort of making your stay feel like home, with vases of flowers and music in the bathrooms. The owners and reception staff are extremely friendly and made us feel so welcome when we arrived. They also have so much local knowledge to share with you.
Bowen’s just waiting to be explored!
Bowen is a quiet town just waiting to be explored. We found the locals to be completely welcoming of the tourism as well – they’re practically calling out for you to come and spend some time here for yourself. With no crowds, multiple beaches to choose from and delicious mangoes, what more could you want?
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