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Bowen biking & Proserperine - North QLD


Heading out for the day with my new friend Barry, we travelled north to explore Bowen on his Vulcan 1700 Nomad
Bowen is a friendly seaside town which boasts seven beautiful beaches that remain largely undiscovered by tourists. Bowen is home to the Bowen Mango, that is exported around the world, and is Queensland's oldest town.
The Big Mango, costing $90,000 to create, was erected in 2002 as a tourist attraction at the Bowen Tourist Information Centre. In February 2014, the 10-metre high, seven-tonne fibreglass structure was stolen in an overnight operation.[8] The mango was found the next day and it was later revealed that the theft had been a publicity stunt.

Bowen is located on the north-east coast of Australia, at exactly twenty degrees south of the equator. In fact, the twentieth parallel crosses the main street. Bowen is halfway between Townsville and Mackay, and 1,130 kilometres by road from Brisbane.
Bowen sits on a square peninsula, with ocean to the north, east, and south. On the western side, where the peninsula connects with the mainland, the Don River's alluvial plain provides fertile soil that supports a prosperous farming industry
Captain James Cook named Cape Gloucester on his voyage of exploration up the Australian coast in 1770. This "cape" turned out to be an island, and Gloucester Island dominates the view from Bowen's eastern beaches. Behind the island is a bay that forms an excellent port, which the town came to be built around. This bay was eventually discovered in 1859 by Captain Henry Daniel Sinclair, in response to a reward offered by the colony of New South Wales for finding a port somewhere north of Rockhampton. Sinclair named Port Denison after the colonial governor of New South Wales.
Two years later, Sinclair led one group of settlers by sea, and George Elphinstone Dalrymple led another party overland from Rockhampton. They met on 11 April 1861 at Port Denison and founded the town of Bowen on the next day, 13 April 1861. By this time, the separate colony of Queensland had been established, and the town was named after Queensland's first colonial governor, Sir George Bowen.
Port Denison Post Office opened on 1 April 1861 and was renamed Bowen by 1865.

Bowen Jetty
Bowen Jetty was completed in 1866 and first ship docked was A.S.N Company's ship the tinonee.
The jetty eliminated laborious unloading of ships as they laid in the harbour. Prior to the jetty, ships were unloaded by smaller boats which were in turn met by drays being driven out as far as possible at low tide.
The jetty and rail line of which some relics remain, have played an important role in the mining and agriculture industries for the Bowen region. The coal loading facility on the land adjacent to the pier was operational until the 1980's.
The Ports Corporation Queensland today use the sheltered harbour and Bowen Jetty as the operational base for the tug boats
which service the important Bowen Basin and Abbot Coal loading terminal which lies to the north of Bowen.
Looking off the jetty, we saw several turtles
and a large mantaray
and stopped to watch the fishermen catching squid,
and avoiding their squirting ink

As we walked off the jetty, the sand seemed to be moving, as I looked closer there were hundreds of soldiers crabs,
marching along
this video shows their movements

Baz Luhrmann brought international and Australia acclaimed actors Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Bryan Brown and Bradon Walters to Bowen to create the classic movie Australia. Hundreds of locals also signed up to become cowboys, soldiers, servicemen and women, drivers and policemen during the six weeks of filming.
Filming in Bowen in 2007, each day hundreds of actors, crew and service personnel worked from early morning to late at night. Work started in earnest more than two months before the film crew arrived to transform the Bowen Front Beach and wharf area into Darwin of the 1940's.
Bowen streets were layered with hundreds of tonnes of specially mixed red gravel and existing buildings were retrofitted with period facades and signage.
New and prefabricated buildings were hastily put together and all signs of modern construction were removed.
The two storey Territory Hotel was the centrepiece of the large and detailed set which included a Police Station, the full size outdoor 'Pearl' theatre, Chinatown, a blacksmith and even a brothel.
Similarly to the real Darwin during WWII, when the 'bombing' commenced the set was also 'destroyed' with fires, craters, wrecked vehicles and buildings.
Once filming was completed, Bowen was returned to the 21st century over a four week period.

Riding up Flagstaff Hill, we stopped for a coffee,
before admiring the views over the ocean
and along the beaches
down to Rose Bay
along to Murrays Bay
Horseshoe Bay

and as we rode through the town, we noticed a stream of people walking out to a lighthouse island
Apparently, each year, at the lowest tide, people cross the shallow waters to picnic on the island

As Sea eagles sored overhead, we watch the rain clouds heading over from the directions we needed to be going
but it produced a beautiful rainbow for the journey hom
Heading back from Bowen, we rode passed numerous fields of sugar cane

and on towards Proserpine is a charming, typical Australian country town.
Here's a video of our adventure:

A great day, on a great bike!

Posted by charlystyles 13:18 Archived in Australia Tagged bowen

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