Proserpine, named by explorer George Dalrymple after the Roman goddess of fertility, is the administrative and service centre for the Whitsunday Shire. It is a sugar town 20 or so kilometres inland from Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour, the major port linking the mainland with the stunning islands of the Whitsundays
Sugar still drives the economy and there are guided tours of the sugar mill during the crushing season from June to November.
Main Street has some delightful art deco shop fronts. Proserpine Historical Museum is located at the end of Main St and has an interesting collection of historical memorabilia from the local area. The Cultural Hall displays local Aboriginal artefacts and geological specimens.
Properpine has some great parks: Pioneer Park and Mill Street Park both have picnic tables, toilets and playgrounds, while Rotary Park has a playground and a pre-World War I steam locomotive.
Lake Proserpine at Peter Faust Dam is 20 km west of the town. Here you can join the locals at play as they swim, fish and water-ski in the waters of the lake. Nearby Cedar Creek Falls, set in a natural rock amphitheatre, has a tempting swimming hole, perfect for a hot day.
Laguna Quays Resort, set on 1850 hectares of Repulse Bay bushland, boasts the Whitsunday's only 18-hole championship golf course.
Proserpine has rail, bus and air links to other parts of Australia, and thousands of tourists each year pass through en route to the fabulous resort islands of the Whitsundays. Or if you want absolute privacy and solitude, the tour operators can even arrange to drop you on your very own, uninhabited island.
Conway National Park features forested hills with woodland and patches of rainforest and stunning secluded beaches (but beware of marine stingers from October to May). There are walks and lookouts with gorgeous views over the magical Whitsundays.
To the south lies Eungella National Park, one of Queensland's most ecologically diverse parks. Its forested mountains, often shrouded in mist, are home to an amazing variety of plants and animals, including several which are found nowhere else. The park is dissected by gorges, with open eucalypt woodland and rainforest areas. There is a scenic drive through the park, or several walks will take you to vantage points with great views.
Things to do:
Sugar mill tours - in the crushing season
History - art deco shop fronts, Proserpine Historical Museum, Cultural Hall
Parks - Pioneer Park, Mill Street Park, Rotary Park
Lake Proserpine - swimming, fishing, water-skiing
Cedar Creek Falls - swimming hole
Golf - Laguna Quays Resort
In the area:
The Whitsunday Islands
Conway National Park - forests, beaches, walks, views
Eungella National Park - ecologically diverse, gorges, forests, scenic drive, walks, views
Find out more about The Whitsundays.