Being a port city, Gladstone's local commerce is primarily
industrial-based and include large-scale industrial plants include
alumina refineries, aluminium smelting, heavy chemicals and shale oil.
Due to its close proximity to the Southern Great Barrier Reef and the
Capricorn Bunker group of Islands, Gladstone has also become a popular
destination for holiday makers and sea changers alike.
Where is it?: Queensland: Capricorn Coast. Gladstone is 532 km north of
Brisbane and and 100km south-east of Rockhampton, via Bruce Highway.
Lookouts: Auckland Lookout, at the end of Auckland Street, has
panoramic views over the mouth of the Colliope River, the port area and
Lake Awoonga (25km south) draws many visitors, with free barbecues,
swimming, landscaped walking trails, as well as a cafe and caravan
park. The lake has been stocked with several fish species since 1996,
and over 2 million barramundi have been released, with the largest
caught at the end of 2005 weighing in at a hefty 30.3kg. Lake Awoonga
is the primary source of Gladstone's water supply.
Capricorn Bunker group
Gladstone is the set-off point for dive trips to the Capricorn
Bunker group, snorkelling in deepwater coral lagoons, personalised reef
fishing tours, or the simple pleasure of watching turtle hatchlings
enter the water for the first time. Island destinations include Fitzroy
Reef, Heron Island, Lady Musgrave Island, North West Island, Boyne
Island and Wilson Island.
Heron Island is a coral cay located near the Tropic of Capricorn in
the southern Great Barrier Reef, 72 km north-east of Gladstone. The
eastern half of the island is protected and forms part of the
Capricornia Cays National Park, with a permanent ranger's station
onsite. The island has a holiday resort.
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Calliope River Historical Village
Calliope is a vibrant rural community, about 20 minutes drive west
of Gladstone near the cross-roads of the Bruce Highway and the Dawson
Highway. Just north along the highway is the Calliope River Historical
Village, which captures some of the early history of the Port Curtis
Gladstone is a major stop on the North Coast railway line, with many
long-distance passenger trains operated by QR TravelTrain stopping in
the area. Freight trains also pass through the region. Gladstone is
serviced by the Gladstone Airport with daily flights to the state's
capital city Brisbane and other locations around the state. A train
station is serviced by the famous QR Tilt Train and other state trains.
In the past few years the city has experienced major growth booms with
industries setting up and expanding, new services have been provided to
cope but are not doing quite well. The city centre is being
re-developed (and currently open) to attract visitors back to the city
instead of outer suburban malls.