Your Ultimate Guide to Proserpine
1st August 2023
Proserpine in a nutshell
Found in the Whitsunday Region of Queensland, Proserpine is a small town of approximately 3,500 people. Named by the explorer George Dalrymple – after Persephone the Greek goddess of fertility – the town is recognised for its the fertile qualities and stunning green landscapes. Located near some of the most incredible scenery in the world, the town offers easy access to sites and attractions such as the Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island, Airlie Beach, Conway National Park, Lake Proserpine and lots of other areas of natural beauty. There are countless things to do in Proserpine and the surrounding landscapes. In fact, the friendly town is the perfect location from which to explore the best of the Whitsunday Region!
Proserpine is located on Gia land, a land known for its wonderful diversity and tropical flora and fauna. The region was once inhabited by the traditional custodians; the Gia people. Whilst very little is known and recorded about these people throughout history, it is estimated that their land extended a whopping 4,100 square kilometres. The first British colonists arrived in the region in the early 1860s, after Proserpine’s establishment by Europeans in 1859. Since then, cattle grazing and sugar cane have contributed greatly to the local economy. Top tip: the eerie glow of cane field fires make a spectacular sight at night from late June onwards.
Looking for accommodation in Proserpine? Scroll to the bottom of this guide.
Things to do in Proserpine
Surrounding the charming town of Proserpine, visitors will find beautiful peaks, tropical islands, lush rainforest, winding rivers and tranquil lakes. For a nature-lover, it truly is paradise. Wildlife watching is resultantly a popular activity here, with crocodiles one of the main drawcard sites of the region.
In Proserpine itself, a number of pubs, restaurants and cafes, a museum, retail outlets and a friendly local atmosphere make for relaxing weekend getaways. On the town’s Main Street, visitors will love the Art Deco style of the buildings; a strong reminder of how life used to be in the region.
It’s safe to say that there are endless things to do in Proserpine and its surroundings. You just have to know where to look and what to see. In this ultimate guide, we will share some of the best things to in Proserpine and beyond, helping you plan the perfect getaway.
Drop into Proserpine Visitor Information Centre
A great way to start a trip to Proserpine is at the Visitor Information Centre. Located at the Whitsunday Gold Coffee Plantation – where you can grab a beautiful fresh coffee and some local produce – the visitor centre provides important information about the local area. Also here, find a small animal park and bird aviary (which are free to enjoy) as well as an indoor air-conditioned children’s play centre. Chat to the friendly staff inside the centre and learn a little about the area. Pick up some leaflets – it’s time to explore the region!
Embark on a Proserpine crocodile safari
When in Proserpine, don’t miss the chance to see estuarine crocodiles in their natural habitats. Nowhere else in Queensland can you experience so much in one location, as on the river here. With Whitsunday Crocodile Safari, explore the habitats of these prehistoric creatures and the unique tropical environment of the Whitsunday coastline. Discover a mangrove ecosystem with commentary from professional guides and spot all kinds of local creatures as you cruise. Of all the things to do in Proserpine, this has to be at the top of the list!
Snorkel or scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef
It is of course nothing new that the Great Barrier Reef is a world-renowned destination for snorkelling and diving. It offers a diverse array of marine life and colourful coral reefs that are sure to impress even the most seasoned of divers and snorkelers. During a visit to Proserpine, take advantage of your proximity to the reef and select a day trip. Snorkelers can enjoy the shallow waters and observe the vibrant coral and tropical fish, whilst divers can explore the deeper parts of the reef and discover the rich diversity of marine life.
The Great Barrier Reef is home to over 1,500 species of fish, 400 species of coral, and numerous other marine creatures including sea turtles, dolphins, and sharks. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it one of the most protected marine environments on earth. Whilst you’re so close, don’t miss your chance to visit one of the most incredible natural sites in the world.
Explore Conway National Park
Conway National Park is a thick coastal oasis of green and tropical sea views. The park offers visitors a taste of Queensland’s raw natural beauty. Featuring lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and stunning beaches, Conway National Park’s can be enjoyed through a range of activities such as snorkelling and diving, kayaking and canoeing, hiking and bird watching. The park’s main feature is the Conway Peninsula which is covered by the largest area of lowland tropical rainforest in Queensland (outside Tropical North Queensland). Conway boasts a variety of flora and fauna and has great opportunities for wildlife spotting. Spend a day exploring the park – it’s the perfect place to explore and reconnect with nature.
Walk to Honeyeater Lookout Point
One of the best things to do during a stay in Proserpine is to visit a viewpoint! Honeyeater Lookout is a fantastic lookout which can be reached from the Main Street in Airlie Beach. Starting your trail at Nara Crescent – a 15-20 minute walk from Main Street – head to the start of the trail. Recently upgraded, the trail is in great condition and its surface is made of loose gravel. Honeyeater Lookout trail is quite steep at the start, and you’ll be walking for about two hours. The first 25 minutes is the steepest with the rest of the uphill walk relatively easy. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with an expansive view over Cannonvale and Airlie Beach.
Hike the famous Whitsundays Great Walk
Ready for a real challenge? The Whitsundays Great Walk is a difficult hike that offers breathtaking views of the Whitsunday Islands. The trail takes you through diverse landscapes, including rainforests, beaches, and rocky cliffs. The trail is approximately 57km long, and it takes around 4-5 days to complete. Although the famous Whitsundays Great Walk isn’t an easy undertaking, it is a great way to explore the natural beauty of the Whitsundays. The trail is however well-maintained, providing a safe and comfortable experience for hikers.
Spend a morning in Cannonvale (20 mins from Proserpine)
Cannonvale is a picturesque suburb located in the heart of the Whitsunday Region of Queensland. Located only 20 minutes from Proserpine, the area is sprinkled with bays, beaches and walks. Known for its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, it’s a popular destination for tourists. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, including snorkelling, diving, and kayaking here. Head over to Cannonvale for a dinner or some drinks with sea views, or drop by during the day and enjoy a coffee and a coastal walk alongside joggers and dog walking locals.
Visit Cedar Creek Falls
Cedar Creek Falls, tucked away in the Whitsundays, is a secluded paradise of clear water and natural beauty. The natural waterhole is a getaway by itself and entices visitors throughout the day for a cool down and an escape from Airlie Beach. Cedar Creek Falls is surrounded by cedar trees, a rocky wall, and a cascading waterfall, making it the perfect spot for a refreshing dip. The path leading to it is surrounded by trees and bushes, giving it a secluded feel. Take a cool shower under the waterfall or enjoy a dip in the clear water and admire the birds and butterflies that live in the area.
Take a trip to Peter Faust Dam
Peter Faust Dam, located in the picturesque region of Proserpine in Queensland, is a haven for fishing enthusiasts and nature lovers. This man-made reservoir is known for its abundant barramundi population, attracting anglers from far and wide. Surrounded by lush vegetation and offering stunning views, Peter Faust Dam provides a serene setting for outdoor activities such as boating, kayaking, and picnicking. Whether you’re seeking a thrilling fishing adventure or simply a peaceful escape in nature, Peter Faust Dam delivers a memorable experience.
Explore Airlie Beach
Staying in Proserpine? You’ll be located only 20 minute from Airlie Beach. Known for its staggering beaches, crystal-clear waters and proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach is a popular spot for swimming, snorkelling and diving and the itself town offers a variety of restaurants, and a lively nightlife. Take a trip to the nearby Whitsunday islands from here or simply sit back and enjoy views of the islands from the mainland whilst enjoying a lunch. A number of walks and trails starting in Airlie Beach will help you immerse in the natural beauty.
Discover the Historical Proserpine Museum
Between days spent walking along the coastline and enjoying the beach, why not head to a museum and learn a little about the region? Proserpine Museum is a historical museum located in town, showcasing the rich history of the area, including the sugar cane industry, the indigenous culture and the early settlers. The museum also features a collection of photographs and artefacts that tell the story of the town’s development over time. You’ll learn about the first inhabitants – the Juru, Gia, Bira and Ngaro people – as well as the early European pioneers and post war settlers.
Make the trip to Whitehaven Beach
Whitehaven Beach is a world-renowned, 7-kilometre slice of paradise on Whitsunday Island, and there’s no wondering why. Upon arrival at this breathtaking beach, you won’t believe your eyes; with crystal clear waters and bright white sand ahead, you’ll feel like you’ve arrived in heaven. Accessible by boat, seaplane or helicopter, this is an absolute must-see for anyone in the region. It’s totally worth a day trip!
Whitehaven Beach is perfect for sunbathers, snorkelers and swimmers looking for a day of utter tranquility away from the crowds. Visitors can also take a guided tour or hike to the Hill Inlet Lookout to enjoy a panoramic view of the beach and the surrounding islands which are sprinkled across the horizon.
Relax or go fishing at Lake Proserpine
Just 30 minutes from the little town of Proserpine, Lake Proserpine is a serene day trip destination that attracts tourists and locals alike for fishing, water sports and picnics. In fact, Lake Proserpine is renowned for having more barramundi over a metre in length than any other impoundment in Australia! The dam has no closed Barra season, so you can fish all year round. Kids can also join the fun here, by catching Redclaw crayfish with crab pots. A trip here is certainly one of the best things to do in Proserpine!
Visit the Saturday morning Airlie Beach markets
A weekend escape isn’t complete without a visit to a local market. For those enjoying the beautiful Whitsundays Region for only a few days, visiting the local Saturday market is one of the best ways to spend a Saturday morning. Lining the streets from 7am to 1pm, the Whitsunday Markets showcase the soul of Airlie Beach. Fresh produce, art, craft, souvenirs, scrumptious food and handmade goodies are all sold here each week. The markets are located just next to the beach, so once you’re done, enjoy a quick dip and a walk along the coast.
Restaurants and cafes in Proserpine
Situated close to the buzzing Airlie Beach, Proserpine is lucky to benefit from access to some incredible bars, restaurants and cafes. However, in the town of Proserpine itself, there are a number of spot to enjoy a snack, meal or a drink. One of the best things to do in Proserpine – without a doubt – is to enjoy a beer with the locals or sample a pub meal and soak up the friendly atmosphere. Below are some great spots within which to do just that:
Whitsunday Gold Coffee
Did you know that the Whitsunday region is home to one of Australia’s largest coffee plantations? Located at the gateway to the Whitsundays, Whitsunday Gold Coffee is one minute north of Proserpine. Enjoy beautiful scenery and a great coffee amongst a rich fertile valley.
Busy Bees Plants and Palms
Busy Bees Plants and Palms is a family–owned and operated Nursery just outside of Proserpine. Located in the beautiful surroundings of the Whitsundays and the lush, tropical rainforest of the Conway National Park this spot offers a great coffee and a snack.
Head to Whitsunday Bakery for a tasty treat before heading out and exploring the region. Try a coffee alongside a tart, pastry or pie.
Prince of Wales Hotel
Head to the Prince of Wales Hotel in the heart of Proserpine for a high quality bistro meal at a renewed local pub. Enjoy Australian classics combined with some interesting Korean flavours.
Graze Cafe & Sushi
Sushi fans will love Graze Cafe & Sushi for its incredible fresh sushi and tasty cafe style food. Prepared fresh daily, food here is of great quality and the delicious homemade desserts are irresistible.
Aus Weekend Escapes’ Top Pick
Stay at the historic Prince of Wales Hotel during your stay in Proserpine. Book one of eleven well-appointed rooms, each kitted out with timber flooring, chic furniture, air conditioning and a Queen or King size bed. Downstairs, enjoy a bar and bistro where cold beers and classic Australian pub food with a Korean theme are served.
To book your stay at the Prince of Wales Hotel or to find out more about the property, click here.