Our park is home to a wide range of Australian wildlife, which our guests enjoy encountering throughout their stay. Look out for Kangaroos and Wallabies, lizards,frogs and a huge variety of birdlife including Sunbirds, Frog Mouth Owls,Lorikeets, Black Cockatoos and Kookaburras.
There is plenty to explore, a low tide makes for excellent beach combing, with lots of small crabs, shells and a diversity of bird life to see. On high tide enjoy swimming and a cool off.
Established in 1926 and one of the oldest in Queensland Ayr Surf Lifesaving Club patrols the beach on weekends during the summer.
The site of Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse can be accessed by traveling north up the beach, please note there is limited shade and no facilities at the site. This is one of the few regions where quad bikes and vehicles are permitted on the beach.
The district is a well-known fishing mecca with access to the famous Barracuda, mud crabs, prawns many estuary species and off coast reef fishing.
Cast a line off the beach or launch a tinny at the Plantation Creek or Ocean Creek boat ramp a short distance from the park. It is also possible to launch directly onto the beach via the FWD track located off the back of the park. There is great off shore fishing for the more adventurous.
Scuba Diving/ Snorkelling. Yongala Dive operates out of Alva Beach daily running out to the wreck of the SS Yongala, they also take dive and snorkelling trips to the Outer Reef. The SS Yongala wreck is rated as one of the top 10 dives in the world. The ship went down in 1911 in a cyclone killing all 122 passengers. It lies on its side in 14-28 metres of water, it is 100m long and is one of the largest, most intact historic shipwreck in Australia. The wreck is now home to and amazing array of marine life. Giant groupers, and rays, schools of giant trevally, barracuda, and mangrove jack inhabit the artificial reef. An unforgettable experience.
If speed is your thrill then catch the breeze and fly across the bay. Outer sand bars create inshore lagoon areas popular with kite surfers on weekends. Alva Beach was also the site of the World Kite Surfing Champs.
The Ayr region is full of beautiful wetlands where you will have the opportunity to take amazing photos with all the contrasting colours, plants and wildlife. The more you look, the more things you see. You won’t have to go far Alva beach has wetlands just behind it.
If you’re not a scuba diver and not a fisherman, then bird watching may be the best thing to do in Ayr for you. Just by walking or driving around the countryside, you will spot of diversity of bird species in the fields or flying above. The Horseshoe Lagoon Reserve 30km North of Ayr is must for bird-lovers to visit.
The Burdekin Bridge
The Burdekin Bridge is less than 10km south of Ayr. Longer than the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Burdekin Bridge is called the Silver Link: it is a crucial connector during floods. Before the bridge, when the Burdekin River came up during the wet season, the Bruce Highway was closed, and people were stuck on each side.
Those interested in bridges will be surprised to find out that the 1-kilometre bridge does not have firm rock foundations: it is built on sand. They sunk massive concrete caissons 30m deep into the river sandbanks to sustain the bridge, which was not an easy exercise with the scuba diving equipment from the mid-20th century. The Silver Link has been recognised as a National Engineering Heritage Landmark.
Mount Inkerman Lookout
Less than 20km from the Burdekin Bridge, and less than half-an-hour from Ayr, Mount Inkerman Lookout offers extensive views of all the Burdekin region.
Alligator Creek, Bowling Green Bay National Park
hiking activities near Ayr, have a look at the Bowling Green Bay National Park. It’s a 45-minute drive from Ayr, on the road from Townsville to Ayr. You’ll find short easy hikes (Mount Elliot boardwalk – 200m return, Alligator Creek lookout – 1km return) and more challenging ones (Cockatoo Creek – 3km return, Alligator Falls – 17km return).
Always keep in mind crocodiles inhabit the area and water levels can rise rapidly.
Bonus in September: The Burdekin Water Festival
Ayr gets very busy every year for the Burdekin Water Festival. Local entertainers, guest artists and a big parade transform the place into a big party.
Check out their Facebook page for the latest information: https://www.facebook.com/BurdekinWaterFestival/
Ayr Nature Display
This wonderful display was created in the 1960’s by Allan and Jess Ey. Massed specimens of each species of butterfly are on show, with complete murals created from pinned butterflies and beetles- literally thousands of them. There are also extensive collections of shells. The address is: 119 Wilmington Street, Ayr, Qld 4807