Bowen - Travel Article
Travel Article: Drink the mango daiquiri, then down the Bowen Berocca

Travel Article: Drink the mango daiquiri, then down the Bowen Berocca

If Airlie Beach is the party animal of the Whitsundays, then Bowen must surely be the Berocca. In the cocktail shaker of Queensland tourist destinations, Bowen is the mango daiquiri to Airlie's martini. With its yawningly wide streets and gracious heritage buildings, Bowen's charm is captured in the canvas which still adorns its movie theatre streets.

The eight award-winning beaches positioned in delicate bays lend Bowen much of its understated charm. Rose Bay Resort, which offers absolute beachfront accommodation, is a gorgeous bud on the tip of the Whitsundays tree.

From the front yard of the four-and-a-half-star property, you can snorkel over delicious coral 50 metres off shore, or laze in a bath tub with a view of the ocean.

Around the corner at Horseshoe Bay, take the time to dine at the cafe where delights made from local produce await. There's also the more upmarket 360 On The Hill, a gastronomical gem which serves panoramic views of Bowen's sleepy hollow along with five-star dining.

And if that's not enough to whet your appetite for Bowen, make sure you visit one of her many fruit or vegetable factories before you leave. You'll never look at a capsicum the same way again.

The Whitsundays wears many faces; one of her least seen personas is her ecological side.

One of the best ways to sink your teeth into the ecological side of things is on a Whitsunday Crocodile Safari along the Proserpine River. Here, in the murky depths, there are said to be 150 crocodiles in existence, and the tour has an almost 100 per cent strike rate of sighting one of these reptiles.

If you're lucky on this trip, you'll also see a mud skipping fish which walks on land. The trip includes an open-air wagon wetlands tour, nature walk, mud crab capture and display, barbecue lunch and bushman's billy tea and damper.

For those more interested in the ecology of the Great Barrier Reef, take a Fantasea day tour out to Reefworld where you'll snorkel and scuba dive in the world's largest marine park. You'll almost certainly stumble across Wally, a giant Maori wrasse fish so friendly you half expect him to do the haka.

Reefworld also offers tourists the chance to sleep on the Great Barrier Reef through ReefSleep in a kingsize bed or four bunks on the giant pontoon. 

Back on the mainland and in search of another eco adventure, Salty Dog Sea Kayaking may have the answer with its variety of tours. A typical half-day tour may take you to the tiny national park island of White Rock and over to abandoned shacks on Cane Cocky's beach before kayaking with the turtles back to Shute Harbour.

And after all that adventure, one of the best places to relax with a bird's eye view of Airlie Beach, is Pinnacles Resort and Spa. The five-star resort offers uninterrupted 180 degree views of the Coral Sea and out towards the islands through its 29 Queensland tropical apartments.

Take a dip in the 20m wet edge pool or, better still, have a spa knowing you've sucked in all the essence of another wondrous Whitsunday day.

Just like a Bowen mango.

By Christine Retschlag