When you look at it, there are a number of rather interesting similarities between Bowen and Gladstone, and that's without any reference to the vexed question of industrial development.

Going back to the early settlement of both places, you're looking at towns that started as the administrative centre for a pastoral district and were later overshadowed by other centres.

Both locations had better ports than their rivals, but other considerations kicked in, and one assumes that Gladstone, before the boom years in the seventies, was in much the same situation as Bowen was twenty years later.

Travelling along the highway, the majority of travellers tend to go past both centres. That's understandable in Gladstone's case since the main highway passes well wide of the city, but if you turn off at Mount Larcom, after you've passed through some surprisingly pleasant country, the vista close to Gladstone is as unprepossessing as the entry to Bowen.

Assuming that you do make the decision to turn off the highway, in both cases the routes into the city centre and back out again bypass both centres' most attractive features.

Bowenites are frequently told that we don't want the town to turn into 'another Gladstone' which might be fair warning assuming that Gladstone is as bad as that sort of reputation suggests.

As previously stated, the drive in and out of the city doesn't traverse the most inspiring of vistas, but a detour through BITS (Boyne Island and Tannum Sands) reveal a couple of rather pleasant dormitory suburbs comfortably removed from the industrial zone.

Given the fact that Gladstone presents a convenient stopping point on the road between Bowen and Southport, and would also fit comfortably into a couple of other itineraries, we'll probably be stopping there fairly frequently as the years go passing by, and it definitely seems like a place that deserves further investigation.

© Ian L Hughes 2021