Calen, about halfway between Mackay and The Whitsundays, is a small Bruce Highway town where a pub, cafe and picnic area at the St Helen’s Bridge offer a choice of rest spots.
A turn-off at Calen to St Helen’s Beach takes you to a dirt road leading to a quiet, picturesque beach in St Helen’s Inlet, a popular fishing spot which opens on to the islands of the Newry National Park.
One of Queensland’s newer resorts, Laguna Quays, is set on Repulse Bay, just a few kilometres south. Centrepiece of the resort is a top-class, 18-hole golf course designed by ex-pat Australian and former US PGA champion David Graham.
Calen lies just to the north-east of Queensland's largest rainforest national park, Eungella. Spread over 50,000ha, the Eungella forests are pitted with waterfalls and crystal-clear streams and rock pools in which normally reclusive platypus cavort, seemingly oblivious to human audiences.
Local and visiting musicians, poets and singers gather at Camerons Pocket near Calen every May for the Wintermoon Folk Festival.