Look out for the ‘Community Welcomes Recreational Vehicles’ signage on your next trip and rest easy knowing that your destination is equipped to welcome you and your caravan, camper trailer, motorhome or campervan. This month we are profiling Ayr.
These towns have made a commitment to offer easily accessible long vehicle short term parking within the town centre and have clear directional signage to their local visitor information centre.
Ayr lies on the northern side of the Burdekin River, situated just over 80km south of Townsville in the heart of Northern Queensland’s Burdekin Shire.
Named after the Scottish birthplace of Thomas McIlwraith, 3-time Premier of Queensland between 1879 and 1893, Ayr is the main rural hub of one of Queensland’s most productive growing regions. Famous for sugar cane and fruit and vegetables, the town contributes approximately 1.25million tonnes of raw sugar and one third of Australia’s Mango harvest annually.
Ayr’s charm hails from its historical buildings and sugar cane history. Take time to follow the Heritage Town Walk where you’ll find 19 historical sites and buildings dating from the early 1900s within a two-block radius. The walk will take you past such sites as the Clock Tower, Burdekin Hotel, Masonic Temple, Anzac Memorial Park, Queen’s Hotel, Old National Bank Building, the Courthouse, Post-Office and Delta Cinemas.
Travellers driving through Ayr will no doubt notice the famous Burdekin River Bridge, known locally as the Silver Link. Spanning the Burdekin River between Ayr and Home Hill, the road and rail bridge is Australia’s only bridge with no firm foothold and the longest of its type in the country. Just south of the bridge near Inkerman Sugar Mill is the Burdekin Diorama which provides a fascinating history lesson on the sugar industry and the natural surrounds of the region.
The natural beauty of the region stems from the mangrove-lined estuaries and creeks of the Burdekin River and the miles of unspoilt sandy beaches along the coast. Mangroves are natural fish nurseries lending to excellent fishing opportunities where your chances of landing a Barramundi, Fighting Fish, Mangrove Jack or Trevally are high. The region is also a local sanctuary for over 280 species of birds including the endangered Cotton Pygmy-Goose, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise.
For the adventurous, try diving the Yongala Shipwreck on the Great Barrier Reef. The Yongala is listed as one of the world’s top 10 dive sites and is the largest, in-tact historic shipwreck on the reef. Here you’ll be delighted by colourful coral and abundant gigantic marine life such as gropers, rays, trevally, turtles, barracuda and bull sharks. Alva Beach is your hub for all things on the Great Barrier Reef and a great place to learn to dive, take a day trip, windsurf or fish – the choice is yours.
For more information, please visit the Community Welcomes website.