Located at the end of the main street, the foreshore is a popular spot for locals and visitors to stop and relax at one of the many picnic tables along the shore. The Water Park and playground are a great hit with the kids, which makes the foreshore a favourite with families. The foreshore is also ideal for water sports, including paddle boarding, wakeboarding, tubing and water skiing. The nearby jetty is a wonderful vantage point to enjoy a walk and spot some amazing sea-life, including turtles and stingrays.
Horseshoe Bay is probably Bowen’s most iconic beach – a favourite for locals and visitors alike. The Horseshoe Bay Café & Beach Bar is close to the beach making this spot a perfect location to start your day.
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. Horseshoe Bay is a top spot for divers and snorkellers.
Rose Bay is a beautiful little bay with an unbeatable aspect. It has views that reach across to the magnificent peaks of Gloucester Island.
With plenty of space, Rose Bay beach is a great place for the kids to explore the rock pools at low tide, while family and friends can relax and make use of the BBQs and picnic tables.
The northern end of the beach is an ideal launch point for kayakers and paddle boarders, whilst divers and snorkellers can enjoy the fringing reef that hugs the shoreline.
Murray bay is positioned between Horseshoe Bay and Rose Bay. The bay is protected from most winds and is one of the more secluded bays and beaches in Bowen. It is popular with the many keen runners and walkers who enjoy the Cape Edgecumbe walk daily and is also another great launch zone for snorkellers and divers.
Grays Bay is just so picturesque! The azure water, white sand and numerous boats that frequent the bay set a beautiful scene. This bay is a favourite for those who enjoy water sports. With a two-lane boat ramp, it’s easy to launch your boat or jet ski, and there is plenty of parking for trailers or for those with stand up paddleboards, canoes or kayaks. As the bay is sheltered, water-skiing, tubing and wakeboarding are perfect activities from this location.
Adjacent to Grays Bay is the Pocket beach where shaded picnic tables and free BBQs are located.
With views over Gloucester, Middle and Stone Islands, Kings Beach is a beach of contrasts. Large granite boulders protect the mangroves of Magazine Creek, and offer a rare glimpse of a delicate eco-system. Beautiful and often deserted, this sweeping long stretch of sand is ideal for those who wish to relax and enjoy the quiet life, although you may see the occasional fishermen or kite-surfer doing exactly the same.
Queens Beach is a great beach to enjoy a leisurely stroll and at 5km, is the longest beach in Bowen. Free BBQs dot the beachfront and there is a large playground. A shared walkway and bicycle circuit make it a great spot for exercise. At the most northern end of Queens Beach lies the mouth of the Don River and with onshore winds and lagoons creating tide and sand movement, this location makes perfect conditions for Kite surfing.
The North Queensland Cruising Yacht Club on Starboard Drive offers free harbour sailing. Check in at the Yacht Club at about 12pm on a Wednesday or Saturday to see how many boats have room for guests. It’s a great way to see the magnificent Edgecumbe Bay.
Snorkelling & Diving
Bowen is one of the few places on the Queensland coast where you can walk off the beach and head underwater to see the living reef. Bowen has some of the best fringing coral in Queensland, literally metres from the beaches. Snorkellers will be amazed at the abundance of marine life just waiting to be discovered.
Scuba divers will not be disappointed either. Horseshoe, Rose and Murray Bays are the most popular for diving from the mainland, where the depths are only six to seven metres.
A WW2 landing craft (the Barge) lies about 18 metres underwater off Queens Beach, and makes for an interesting dive. Holbourne and Middle Islands are two of the most popular offshore dive islands, and give you the opportunity to enjoy a day trip out on the water, on your own adventure.
If you are interested in scuba diving, are looking to venture out further for more depth or to find a wreck or two, you will need access to a boat. Contact local dive specialists Aussie Reef Dive for further information.
Fishing is one of Bowen’s biggest attractions, with numerous creek systems, coral studded islands, offshore reefs, and most importantly, abundant fish life.
Bowen has many creek systems, which hold healthy numbers of Mangrove-jack, Bream, Whiting and Barramundi (closed season Nov 1st-Feb 1st).
South of Bowen, you’ll find Adelaide and Duck Creeks, which can be accessed by sea around the top of the tide only, via beach ramps.
To the north of Bowen, try the Bob Moses, Boat and Meatwork Creeks which can also be accessed by sea, around the top of the high tide, from the Don River Boat Ramp.
It is important to keep in mind that access to all of our creeks is limited. All may be entered by sea at high tide, but many become landlocked by the tidal flats at low tide.
Bowen offers a multitude of offshore fishing options, and you will only need to go a short way to access many of the inshore islands and reefs, which hold good numbers of Coral Trout, Sweetlip and Mackerel.
These islands include Lighthouse, Stone, Middle and the magnificent Gloucester and Holbourne islands, all of which, have abundant reef for both line and spear fishing, especially for the very tasty painted crayfish.
Bowen is renowned for its Spotted and Spanish Mackerel fishing, and from June through to September, the bountiful Bowen Mackerel patches are only a short, 5km boat run from the Grays Bay Boat Ramp. These fish arrive in huge numbers and when they come to the bite, the fishing is simply world class.
Fishing from the Mainland
Even if you don’t have a boat, there are plenty of land-based options in Bowen, including the Bowen Jetty, the rocks at the southern end of Kings Beach and the rocky outcrops at Horseshoe, Grays and Rose Bays. They often deliver good sized fish, as well as squid on jigs in winter. Whiting are caught around creek mouths in the town area, including Magazine Creek near the boat harbour, Doughty’s Creek at the western edge of town and Sandhills Creek at Kings Beach.
There are 7 public Boat Ramps in and around Bowen. All ramps are dependent on tidal movement, so please check tide times before planning your fishing or sailing trip.
-Bowen Harbour Ramp, which accesses the Bowen Marina, is located on Starboard Drive. Concrete, with two lanes.
-Grays Bay Boat Ramp on Horseshoe Bay Road, is also concrete with two lanes.
-The mouth of the Don River at Yasso Point, Queens Beach. This ramp is not suitable for large craft, has a single lane, but is also concreted.
-Adelaide Creek ramp is a 15-minute drive south of Bowen. Access is only for 4-wheel-drives and the ramp is not concrete.
-Brisk Bay ramp: Travel south from Bowen for 20 minutes, turn left onto Heronvale Road; this ramp is also a beach ramp.
-Molongle Creek boat ramp: Turn right off the Bruce Highway, onto Molongle Beach Road, 55 kilometres north of Bowen. The Molongle Creek Boat Club offers modern facilities and they are open to the public. There are four concrete boat ramps.
-Elliot River boat ramp: Turn right off the Bruce Highway onto Wally Sproule Road, 50 kilometres north of Bowen. Not concreted.
One of the best ways to enjoy Bowen’s coastal scenery is to explore the many beautiful tracks.
Hanson Park to Horseshoe Bay (2.6km)
Boasts some of Bowen’s prettiest views, and follows Queens Bay around to Horseshoe Bay. It’s a wide paved track making it wheelchair and stroller friendly.
Kings Beach Walk (1.8km)
An easy walk along the sandy beach, starting from the car park area below Flagstaff Hill. Access to the beach can also be made from Rose Bay or via a short, unsealed road off Queens Road.
Queens Bay Beach Walk. (1.6km)
Follow Queens Beach, from the Don River estuary to Golf Links Road. This path has beautiful views of both the bay and the suburb of Queens Beach.
The Bowen Foreshore and Jetty (few hundred metres)
Enjoy the foreshore parklands or walk the planks of the town jetty. A great way to observe the turtles, dugongs and stingrays that cruise the shallows when the tide is in.
Cape Edgecumbe Walking Trail. (2.5 km)
With its many elevations and beautiful views, the walking trail starts from Horseshoe bay, traverses Murray Bay and terminates at Rose Bay. Nature lovers will be impressed by postcard-worthy lookout views of the bays and beaches, whilst having the opportunity to see native wildlife up close. You can walk the entire circuit or just part of it, as there are entry points at Horseshoe, Murray and Rose Bays.
Bowen’s premier lookout is Flagstaff Hill and is a must do whilst visiting Bowen; featuring a lookout tower and binoculars, it offers the best view in the Whitsundays. Other lookouts include Mt Nutt Reservoir, Horseshoe Bay lookout (access from the Cape Edgecumbe Walking Trail), Grays Bay and the Bowen Reservoir Hill lookout.
Parks and Gardens
Bowen features a number of beautiful green spaces that encourage a variety of outdoor activities, from outdoor markets to picnics and parties.
Muller’s Lagoon is 23.57 hectares of picturesque botanical gardens and wetland habitat, conveniently situated in the centre of Bowen.
A walking track around the lagoon features an array of native and exotic shrubs, with displays of dry climate palms and perennials. At any time, take a break under a shady tree and watch the birdlife on the lagoon or picnic with family and friends. There is a playground, picnic area with facilities and free barbecues for all to enjoy.
Hanson, Case, Lions & Ethel Barker Parks- Horseshoe Bay Road
These parks stretch along Horseshoe Bay Road, and are the venues for many of Bowen’s outdoor activities. There are picnic tables, amenities, playgrounds, and exercise parks. Hansen Park, adjacent to the Big 4 Coral Coast Beachfront Caravan Park, hosts Sunday Markets almost year round.
Rotaract Park, Mount Nutt Road, Queens Beach
Hosts markets on every first, third and fifth weekend of each month. Home to a great shady playground, skate park and amenities.
Bowen is a town that enjoys all kinds of outdoor and indoor sports. Queens Beach boasts a nine-hole golf course with sweeping views of the ocean. Within walking distance are tennis courts, and the bowling green of the Wangaratta Bowls Club. The Bowen Bowls Club is situated in Livingstone Street with a modern, shady facility.
If you prefer to watch your sport, visit our local teams, the Bowen Mudcrabs (Rugby Union) and The Bowen Seagulls Junior Rugby League for a great day out and lend your support.
Water-based sports are enormously popular in Bowen, given the number of areas available. These activities include stand-up paddle boarding, skiing & tubing and kite surfing.
The PCYC Bowen offers a number of indoor sporting activities including squash, volleyball and basketball.