North Queensland Showgrounds

North Queensland! The very name conjures up visions of white sandy beaches, toasty days and balmy nights. Delicious tropical fruits, succulent seafood and holidays on sandy coral islands.

For over a hundred years, sugar cane was a predominant part of the landscape up in the north and while it is still an important industry, it now takes a back row to industries as diverse as tourism, coal mining and fruit growing.
The Great Barrier Reef is a marine park and a world heritage listed natural feature. The reef was first encountered by Europeans when Captain James Cook sailed his ship, the Endeavour, up the coast of this vast great southern land in 1770.

On a reef near the present day town named Cooktown, the Endeavour ran aground on the coral which punched a gaping hole in the hull below the waterline. The quick thinking captain was able to save the ship by having a sail positioned under the hull to stem the flow of water and by the operation of the deck pumps by his crew. Beaching the ship in the nearby Endeavour River, repairs were effected before the exploration continued.

Townsville is a major port and transport hub in North
Queensland. Much of the mining output of Queensland passes through this city for processing or export. There are smelters and other heavy industry here. The city also serves a major primary production area and is an important tourism centre, being close to the Great Barrier Reef.

Bowen is often associated with mangoes, but another crop is what makes Bowen important. Eighty percent of Australia's tomatoes are grown here, with its own micro climate of excess sunshine with a ready supply of irrigation water to bring the rich red fruit of the vine to our kitchens around the country.