LIGHT­ING THE WAY

Life & Style Weekend - - ESCAPE -

Just off the main­land of Bowen is a tiny is­land, North Head Reef, home to one of Queens­land’s old­est light­houses.

Built in 1866, this six-sided wooden tower light­house pro­tected ships en­ter­ing the busy port be­tween Mid­dle, Stone and Glouces­ter is­lands.

While it was ex­tin­guished in 1985 and the orig­i­nal lens moved to the Bowen His­tor­i­cal Mu­seum, the lo­cal land­mark was re­stored by com­mu­nity groups last year.

In the cooler months in Bowen (rel­a­tively speak­ing – it never gets re­ally cold up here), with the win­ter low tides, the is­land is con­nected to the main­land by a sand­bar.

The town of Bowen comes out once a year in Au­gust for the Walk to the Light­house fes­ti­val… pretty self-ex­plana­tory, re­ally.

Fit­ted with reef shoes, lo­cals and tourists ven­ture out to the light­house via shal­low wa­ters, pass­ing the fa­mous gi­ant red starfish and green sea tur­tles slid­ing over sea­grass beds.

Kids par­tic­u­larly love the squirt­ing sea cu­cum­bers, and the lo­cal dugongs may make an ap­pear­ance as they graze in the shal­lows.

Look out for the mer­maid tail.

There are four chances to Walk to the Light­house in 2018 and the tim­ing is par­tic­u­larly per­fect on Au­gust 11.

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