The Bowen Film Location for Australia the Movie was chosen by Baz Luhrmann after a stop at the local Jochheim's Pies. The owner of the bakery, and proud descendant of the explorer who founded Bowen, Merle Jochheim thought Lurhmann and his wife were tourists and invited them into her shop to show them a wall of historic photos and boasted about how wonderful Bowen was. Little did she know at the time, that she was playing a pivotal role in the decision to film Australia the Movie in Bowen. Bowen was used in the film to replicate Darwin during the bombing in World War II. Now, after filming, there are no specific Bowen Australia the Movie tours as the only original structure was the Bowen Police Station, however, its charm and location to the close by Whitsunday Islands now draws tourists to this small, ‘uncommercialized', friendly and ‘real' town.
Bowen is an unusual and attractive tropical town characterised by a lazy and easy charm. There is a sense in which Bowen is an absolutely classic north Central Queensland town. The wide streets, the easiness of the lifestyle, the simple unpretentiousness which makes no concessions to development or visitors from the south, the languidness of a city slowly melting under a hot tropical sun. There is something which makes the visitor think of the 1940s and 1950s. This is a charming old-style town in an area where the rest of the world has moved on. And yet the great appeal of Bowen lies not in the town itself but in the unspoiled bays to the north which boast some of the most beautiful beaches in the tropical north.
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