Darwin or bust - a short drive up the road travel blog

View from our room at Airlie Beach

View from Shute Harbour

neap tide reveals sea life for a short period

A star is born

fishing trawlers at Bowen

Bowen Mango - big!

Horseshoe Beach at Bowen


Mackay is nicknamed the sugar capital of Australia because this region produces more than a third of Australia's cane sugar. There is an extensive network of narrow gauge railways all around the area built purely for moving harvested cane. The main street of the town had some lovely Art Deco buildings.

Arriving at our accommodation at Airlie Beach and looking out at the wonderful view from our balcony we can't help feeling that the Whitsunday Coast is truly paradise. Palm lined beaches and an endless horizon of turquoise water dotted with yachts and emerald like islands.

Cyclone Debbie hit the Whitsundays hard last year and some of the shops are still closed and other buildings surrounded by scaffolding. You can see tape still crossed over glass windows which was to stop the glass breaking and falling in.

There was a market on Thursday morning down by the beach as a cruise ship was in town. I had the best mango sorbet, all natural and no added sugar, yummy!

Drove on to Bowen and had an amazing walk out to North Head island at neap tide, something that is only recommended on three days a year and we coincidentally arrived on one of those! We saw coral, various types of starfish, sea cucumbers and giant molluscs. It was an amazing experience and hard work.

We've learnt that the movie "Australia" starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman was filmed in Bowen. None of the set remains only an empty block of land which is now for sale.



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