The road between Townsville and the rural town of Ayr winds through the verdant patchwork of sugar cane fields and snaking rivers of the Burdekin region to the rural town of Ayr (90 km south of Townsville). The Burdekin is well-known for its barramundi, mudcrabs, estuary species and off-coast reef fishing while Ayr is devoted to sugar cane, melon, and mango farming. Pick up tourist brochures at the visitor center on the south end of town for things to do in Ayr.
Bowen is Australia’s mango capital so naturally it has a big mango that you can pose in front of. Bowen is a coastal rural town with wide streets, wooden Queenslander homes, a slow pace, and friendly locals. There are plenty of things to do in Bowen. Grab a tray of mangoes, view the town’s 24 murals depicting historical events (grab a walking map from the visitor centre), swim at picturesque Horseshoe Bay, which has a walking trail through enormous granite rocks as well as a campervan park if you fancy staying the night. Drive the campervan to the top of Bowen Hill Lookout and take in the 360 degree views. Grab a homemade pie from Jochheim’s, enjoy a long lunch with sea views from Cove restaurant, or knock back a beer at the Grandview Hotel. The Bowen Foreshore is a great place for a picnic.
If you’d like to discover one of Queensland’s best-kept secrets, venture off the highway just north of Airlie Beach to Dingo Beach and Cape Gloucester, a surprisingly beautiful and undeveloped part of the coast. Cape Gloucester has two beachside resorts, one lively the other quiet and private, where you can enjoy the coastal scenery with a spot of lunch, then sleep it off in a poolside deck chair. Dingo Beach and Cape Gloucester are worth visiting before the developers discover it.
Cape Gloucester Beach Resort
127-129 Richmond Rd,
South Australia 5033 Phone: 1800 216 223
344 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach, Queensland 4802 Phone: 1800 216 223
20 Noble Avenue,
Northgate, Queensland 4013
Phone: 1800 216 223
440 Sheridan Street,
Queensland 4870 Phone: 1800 216 223
2/11 Northview St, Mermaid Waters QLD 4218 Phone: 1800 216 223
273 Elizabeth Street,
Victoria 3058 Phone: 1800 216 223
23-25 Erskine Rd,
Sydney, NSW 2229 Phone: 1800 216 223
14 Langton Street,
Queensland 4814 Phone: 1800 216 223