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Stories from Bowen, Top of the Whistundays

Thinking about visiting Bowen? Check out the stories about Bowen below, covering all you need to know about our region!

Big Mango Fun Facts!

Travellers throughout Australia know that their trip isn’t complete without a collection of selfies with the 'Big Things' synonymous with the great Aussie road trip! The top pick – of course it’s the famous BIG MANGO in Bowen at the Top of the Whitsundays!

The 10-metre-high roadside sculpture is a great photo opportunity not to be missed. Erected in 2002 it cost almost $90,000 to design and build and was part of a community campaign to revitalise the local community and boost tourism. The giant piece of fruit is located at the Bowen Visitor Information Centre at Mt Gordon, 5kms south of the town.

The star of many selfies, the Big Mango is painted in the lush colour of the Kensington Pride mango that was introduced to Bowen from India in 1871. After the initial flurry of interest, nationally and internationally, about whether it was built upside down or not, people now accept it as another one of Australia’s BIG tourism drawcards, alongside the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, the Big Pineapple near Nambour and Gayndah’s Big Orange - you can't make a big fruit salad without collecting the lot!

In early 2014 the Big Mango was involved in a heist where it mysteriously disappeared overnight. The news of the ‘missing mango’ made global headlines within hours. It was mentioned in 3149 media reports reaching over 25 million people worldwide with a total public relations value of nearly 13 million dollars. It was later revealed the popular restaurant chain; Nando’s was responsible for the stunt in light of promoting their new mango and lime flavour. The stunt put Bowen back on the map to tourists, not only from Australia but worldwide.

So why a Big Mango? Bowen is famous as the birth place of the modern eating mango, with the Bowen Mango, also known as the Kensington Pride or Bowen Special, being the cream of the crop.  How did this all come about? In the second half of the 1800’s a thriving horse trading business operated between North Queensland, centred in Bowen, and India, where mangoes originally come from. The Bowen harbourmaster and customs officer, Mr.GE Sandrock, collected a quantity of mango seeds from the sailors and planted them on his property, called Woodlands, just south of Bowen. As the initial stock came into fruit, seeds from the better quality trees were given to a Mr McDonald, who planted them on his property at Adelaide Point, south of Bowen. Fast forward to 2018 and the Bowen and Burdekin farming region produced over 1.5 million trays of fruit for market this season - that's a lot of juicy, delicious goodness!

Mango season lasts from approximately November to February - but never fear if you #visitbowen out of season; along with a great Big Mango selfie, the visitor centre also sells delicious frozen mango sorbet, made from locally grown fruit picked ripe in season! 


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