10 of the biggest Bowen stories in 2020
Bowen residents breathed a collective sigh of relief as the clock struck 12 last week, bidding good riddance to 2020.
But last year wasn't all hand sanitiser and social distancing.
Here are some of the biggest stories that made headlines in 2020.
Curious find at Bowen crime scene
After police specialists spent hours investigating reports of a body found wrapped in a blanket near Bowen, the investigation ended with an odd find.
District specialists and Bowen police officers attended the scene on a walking track off the Bruce Highway near Bowen on May 19.
They began a land search after a member of the public phoned police believing they had discovered a dead body.
Detectives declared a crime scene around the area with State Emergency Service personnel and police searching the nearby bush.
The cordon preserved what could have been a crime scene until specialist forensic officers arrived at the location and determined the wrapped body was a lifelike sex doll.
Bowen's out of this world plan
A proposal to launch rockets into space from Abbot Point is tipped to create thousands of jobs by 2036 and pump millions into our economy.
As part of a wider plan to lure businesses in "future" industries to Queensland, the State Government announced it would begin consultation to become an Australasian leader in space launch technologies.
The Abbot Point State Development Area was identified as a potential location to develop an orbital rocket launch site based on technical, operational, environmental and infrastructure-related considerations.
Whitsunday Regional Council mayor Andrew Willcox said the plan was more than just a "daydream" and hoped a detailed business case would be ready by early 2021.
Muddies dig deep in grand final
Despite a stellar season, the Bowen Mudcrabs could not secure the top spot in the rugby union final in October, suffering a devastating loss to Mackay City.
Mackay City came out strong and led from the outset with strong defence during the first half.
The Muddies dug deep with the support of a home crowd to narrow the margin to 19-12 at half time.
However, Mackay proved superior in the end with a strong second half that brought the score to 38-22 at the final siren.
Coach Tom Andison said it was disappointing to have a loss on home turf but congratulated the Muddies on a strong season.
A man was charged with attempted murder after allegedly shooting another man in the stomach in June.
Jacob Eric Beauchamp, 26, from Collinsville, appeared in Proserpine Magistrates Court, charged with attempted murder, after police allege he shot a 29-year-old Collinsville man, at 12.45am on Saturday, May 30.
Along with attempted murder, Mr Beauchamp was also charged with acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm, receiving tainted property, unlawful possession of a weapon used to commit an indictable offence, possession of dangerous drugs (cannabis) and possession of drug utensils.
Police allege three men arrived at a home on Bowen Developmental Road in Collinsville where a verbal altercation occurred with a resident of that address before one man was shot in the abdomen.
His matter is still proceeding through court.
Whitsunday Paradise gets tick of approval
Whitsunday Regional Council gave a long-awaited $1.1 billion housing estate in Bowen the green light in October.
The Whitsunday Paradise estate will be a masterplanned community with 2000 houses for up to 5000 people, boosting the Bowen population by 50 per cent of what it is today.
The estate will include a commercial centre, sports fields, parks, a service centre with food outlets and the potential for tourist accommodation.
End of an era: Bowen store to close after 70 years
Hearing the words "I love my mattress" ring out across the supermarket is among the cherished memories David and Bronwyn Rynn shared when they announced they would be closing the doors of their historic Bowen store.
The Bowen Furnishing Co owners paid tribute to the longstanding shop, which has occupied a grand building in the centre of Bowen for 70 years.
The pair extended thanks to their staff over the years, the community and their family for their support.
"The closing of a successful family owned and operated business after 70 years of operation is the end of an era," Mrs Rynn said.
"We acknowledge that this is yet another loss to our town and community of which we are very much a part.
"When it has been such a big part of our lives, it is hard to have it come to a close.
"However, it is time to start the next chapter of our lives, be kinder to our backs and knees, spend more time with family, enjoy our grandchildren and to have time to smell the roses."
Visitor at Bowen Golf Club
Like a scene right out of Happy Gilmore, players at Bowen Golf Club stumbled across a new visitor last year.
The club confirmed they had several sightings of a small crocodile, which the Department of Environment and Science (DES) said was a freshwater crocodile, discovered by the course's groundskeeper.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Environment and Science said wildlife officers worked with the Bowen Golf Club to find an appropriate facility to rehome the animal.
Bowen's green and growing future
The new recycled water network in Bowen opened in February, meaning greener parks and public spaces for the town.
The $4.047 million initiative was jointly funded by the council and the Queensland Government's Building Our Regions program.
The new recycled water network reuses water to irrigate a range of public spaces including Bowen Golf Course, Bowen Cemetery, Bowen foreshore and Mullers Lagoon parkland.
GAME-CHANGER: Desert plant 'best thing since the R2E2 mango'
Blue agave was labelled the 'greatest innovation for the Bowen agricultural industry since the R2E2 mango' as Bowen sat at the forefront of the emerging industry.
Agave crops were planted at a farm off the Bruce Highway in February and by December, they were thriving.
The agave plants will eventually become a uniquely Australian spirit, modelled on tequila in Mexico, and will be distilled on the same block of land they were grown on.
Property manager and agricultural scientist Chris Monsour, of Prospect Agriculture in Bowen, was engaged by Melbourne distiller Top Shelf International to set up the agave farm on their behalf.
Now construction on another phase of the project - a distillery - is set to begin in the new year.
Tumultuous year for Flagstaff Hill
There were high hopes work would begin on the Flagstaff Hill Cultural and Conference Centre in 2020 with a tender awarded for the rebuild to Beep Beep Pty Ltd, trading as Richardson's Building Service.
However, the company withdrew its tender in late June because of COVID-19.
In August, the council resolved to reopen a design and construct tender for the project.
In their last ordinary meeting of the year, Whitsunday councillors awarded the tender for the design and tender of the centre to Hutchinson Builders.