Is Proserpine Worth Visiting?
Updated Wed 11 Oct 2023
Most travellers to Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays will begin their journey in Proserpine. Home to the Whitsunday Coast Airport, Proserpine is just a 30-minute drive from Airlie Beach. Travellers often fly into the airport and then book airport transfers directly to Airlie Beach. Your driver may highlight some fun facts about the town on the drive, but is Proserpine itself worth visiting?
Is Proserpine Worth Visiting?
Proserpine is a quaint rural town near Airlie Beach that is definitely worth visiting for a couple of hours. Affectionately known as the “sweetheart of the Whitsundays” and "ProsVegas", Proserpine was established in the 1890s as a sugar cane and cattle grazing town. With a population of just over 8,400 people (2018), Proserpine is full of old-world charm and warm country hospitality, especially among the art-deco facades of the Main Street. This small town has a number of attractions to explore and it’s worth popping in for a good counter lunch at one of the Main Street pubs or a sweet treat from the bakery.
Things To Do In Proserpine
If you are popping into Proserpine, whether as a day trip from Airlie Beach or on your way to or from the airport, there are some fun activities to keep you busy. Proserpine is very small and non touristy, so you don't need more than a day here. Airlie Beach also has much more to offer in terms of entertainment, accommodation, facilities, and nightlife, so you're better off spending most of your time there. But to get a taste of rural Queensland, try some of these things to do in Proserpine! If any of these activities appeal to you, Proserpine is worth visiting!
Proserpine Sugar Mill
The Proserpine Sugar Mill was constructed in 1897 and acted as a central mill system for the many cane farmers in the area. The Mill, and the addition of the tram network and wharf to transport the sugar cane, substantially increased the local population and the town of Proserpine was founded not long after. Over the years, the Mill has changed hands many times and is currently owned by Wilmar Sugar (Sucrogen). During the sugar cane season, the Proserpine Sugar Mill is run 24 hours a day, seven days a week and in 2017 it processed 1,434 million tonnes of cane!
Colour Me Crazy
Colour Me Crazy describes itself as ‘the most amazing, beautiful and unusual shop you will ever see’ and it does not disappoint. This quirky little shop stocks a huge range of fashion and jewellery, homewares and gifts made both locally and around the globe. Whether you are after hand-made jewellery, a brightly coloured sundress, unusual pottery or Kisii Stones from Kenya, there is something for all tastes at Colour Me Crazy.
Whitsunday Gold Coffee Plantation
Calling all coffee lovers! The Whitsunday region is home to one of Australia’s largest coffee plantations and the 140,000 Arabica coffee trees of Whitsunday Gold are located on the edge of Proserpine. Why not take a tour of the plantation or try a cup of award-winning coffee in the café or licensed restaurant while the kids take on the playground. There's even a tropical bird aviary to enjoy while the kids play! If you're a coffee lover, Proserpine is worth visiting just for this spot!
Proserpine Historical Museum
The Proserpine Historical Museum houses an extensive collection of information, photos and memorabilia relating to the historical sugar cane and cattle farming in the area. Run entirely by volunteers, the Museum also hosts travelling exhibitions, book fairs and local arts and crafts. Located on Main Street, the Museum is open from 9.00 am - 4.00 pm Monday to Friday. This is one of the best things to do in Proserpine for history lovers.
Whitsunday Crocodile Safari
Have you ever wanted to see a saltwater crocodile in the wild? The Whitsunday Crocodile Safari takes you deep into the estuaries and wetlands of the Whitsundays, home to over 150 “salties” and a huge variety of birds, mammals, reptiles and marine animals. Following the guided river cruise you will experience the Goorganga Plains on a tractor-drawn wagon train and discover the abundant bird and animal life of the freshwater wetland. The Safari lunch includes Aussie damper and billy-tea followed by a tasty BBQ. This is a unique Australian eco-tour is definitely one of the best things to do in Proserpine.
Peter Faust Dam (Lake Prosperine)
The Peter Faust Dam, located 26 km west of Proserpine, is a picturesque spot perfect for picnics and water sports. The Dam is famous for barramundi fishing and is restocked annually with over 20,000 barramundi fingerlings! It is also said to have more “barra” over one metre in length than any other place in Australia. The Peter Faust Dam features a boat ramp, barbeques and a good campground right on the edge of the lake. It is a great place to sit back, relax and put your feet up by the water's edge.
Ask our local travel experts about car hire so you can visit Proserpine on your own!
Or book the Airlie Hopper which will take you to the best local attractions if you don't have a car.