I asked my New Zealand guests, friends and Sky View family members, Barry and Jeanette, who have been staying with us since 2007 to jot down why they chose Bowen and in particular why they stay at Sky View.
13 years!!! They have become part of the family and we look forward to June when they arrive from NZ. Anyway, below is why in their words …….
Bowen Time, The Beginning
The first visits.
Our first awareness of Bowen and the Whitsunday Islands came from mutual sailing friends here in Hamilton. They had a daughter in Airlie Beach who with her husband was running a yacht charter business. Our friends used to spend a couple of months during the winter helping them run the business.
In 1999 Jeanette and I spent a few days in Airlie Beach scoping the place out for a possible family get together location. During that time, we visited Bowen for the day and were greatly taken by Horseshoe Bay.
In 2000 we had the family get together when we hired a 40 ft yacht at Airlie Beach and sailed the Whitsunday Islands.
While waiting for the family to arrive we spent a few days at Skyview and during the time Queens Beach School had a Gala day where we stocked up with vegetables, fruit and cake for the charter. A big success!
In 2006 we decided to spend some time in the Mid and North coast of Queensland to see if we could find a place to spend 3 months of our winter. We were prepared to spend up to 7 weeks searching for a town to suit our wintering over needs and would stay in each place a week.
We decided that the place had to have:
- Good all tide beach, a nearby coral reef a bonus
- Not a Tourist town, as they tend to have tourist prices
- Probus club in town
- Adequate shopping facilities
- Nearby access to scheduled air services, within reasonable driving distance
- Accommodation suitable for longer term stays
- Agreeable climate!!
Deciding which town would be best suited to our needs we started in Mackay, skipped Airlie Beach which we were familiar with and it being a tourist town didn’t appeal.
On to Bowen where we stayed at Sky View, then on to Magnetic Island. On to Cairns checking out the small towns on the way. Cairns area, tourist town, OK for a week but not for 3 months. Last stop Cooktown, with a new sealed highway it was still a bit remote.
We drove back to Cairns for the flight down to Brisbane and reviewed our experiences and observations of the different towns. We decided Bowen ticked all the boxes except the locality did not have a local airport, but a 2-3 hour drive from Mackay or Townsville.
We decided that in Australia we would have to get used to driving just “down the road” to get to places. Bowen would be OK.
In 2007 we flew into Townsville, rented a car with experience and stayed for 12 weeks at Sky View.
We joined all the happy “Grey Nomads” on the beach each morning and we snorkelled on the reef. We went to the local Probus Club, and met some great local folk. We learned to play lawn Bowls in Bowen and spent many happy afternoons at the club. On Saturday afternoons we went to the local cruising yacht club and as experienced “yachties” we were welcome on the boats during the afternoon races. We would arrive back at Sky View ready to BBQ fresh Aussie prawns. Does life get any better.!!
We have continued to spend winter months in Bowen ever since, always staying at Sky View.
With Bowen as our centre we make trips to Airlie Beach, Proserpine, Hydeaway Bay, and Collinsville. The climate is very agreeable, cool nights and warm sunny days. Friendly, smiling, happy people everywhere.
At Skyview the 1 bedroom units are spacious, serviced each week, clean and comfortable. The Owners Shane and Jackie are welcoming, friendly and like family. They have allowed us to make it a home away from home, in that we leave in storage with them our expresso machine, laptop printer, wetsuits, masks etc and a heap of other personal gear that make a comfortable apartment into a home, and all for a very reasonable price.
As long as we can fly the Tasman and drive a car, and there isn’t a Pandemic on, we will come to Bowen in the winter. This year 2020 we are missing our Bowen time. Roll on next year.
Why don’t you come and try Bowen for a winter holiday. Barry