Bowen enjoys a diversified and prosperous economy based on agriculture, fishing, tourism, and mining. Bowen's unusually dry climate for a tropical location, plus its fertile alluvial soil, makes it the ideal place to grow a wide variety of small crops, and much of the Bowen area is used for beef cattle.
The fact that Mackay ( south of Bowen) is not an absolutely fantastic and desirable commercial hub and that Townsville (to the nth) is just too far away for a return day journey has meant self sufficiency and a spend/invest locally has determined Bowen’s economic ‘success’.
The film Australia starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, will be filmed in Bowen. Memorabilia is on display in the Grand View Hotel should be visited. Memorabilia at the North Australian Hotel likewise. The infamous cricket underarm incident against the Kiwis and others is on display.