Proserpine is the admin and service centre for the Whitsundays region. Proserpine was named by the explorer George Dalrymple, after Persephone the Greek goddess of fertility, recognising the fertile qualities in the region. Since the late 1800s, cattle grazing and sugar cane have been the economic mainstays here. The eerie glow of cane field fires make a spectacular sight at night from late June onwards. Now tourism is a major drawcard.
Although it has many modern facilities (including a hospital, schools, library and sporting facilities), the town's Main Street is a reminder of how life used to be – particularly the 'art deco' period evident in the shop architecture which has been well preserved. Old-fashioned courtesies still survive in Proserpine, particularly at many of the charming retail outlets and country-style hotels.
You will find an excellent counter lunch at any of the Main Street pubs and soon find yourself yarning with the locals.
There are pleasant picnic grounds at Pioneer Park near the town entrance, Mill Street Park and the Cultural Centre. The bus stop for Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour is at the Mill Street Park which has an enormous historical shady fig tree. Rotary Park in Faust Street has a childrens playground.
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