Rockhampton

Rockhampton, the centre of a prosperous agriculural and mining region, is a city of considerable charm, with many fine stone buildings dating back to the late 19th century. Rockhampton experiences over 300 days of sunshine each year, which lends itself to tourism activities all year round and an abundance of outdoor activities.

Where is it?: Rockhampton is on the Tropic of Capricorn 797 km north west of Brisbane on the Bruce Highway. Rockhampton, on the Fitzroy River, is 40 km from the river mouth.

Things to see and do

Quay Street is an outstanding street of late 19th century buildings and is one of the best examples of commercial streetscape in Australia. The mostly two or three storey buildings, of rendered brick, were built to accommodate a great variety of uses mostly associated with the life and development of the port. The Quay Street precinct occupies three consecutive city blocks.

Riverbank Parklands, a riverfront parkland attraction located on the banks of Fitzroy River.

Rockhampton Botanic Gardens have been lauded for containing some of the most extensive examples of indigenous flora and fauna in Australia. The Rockhampton Zoo, located in the Gardens' grounds, has chimpanzees, koalas, several bird species, and much, much more.

Lookouts: The lookout in Mount Archer National Park provides magnificent views of the city and showcases a spectacular range of native Australian flora and fauna. Mount Archer National Park lies on Rockhampton's north-eastern outskirts. The National Park protects bushland remnants in the Berserker Ranges, a scenic backdrop to Rockhampton.

Surrounding area

The Capricorn Coast is a coastal strip of deserted beaches, sparkling white sands and small seaside villages between Yeppoon (40km north east) and Emu Park. The Capricorn Coast region is spared the higher temperatures and humidity of North Queensland. As a result visitors in summer often find the more temperate climate easier than the extremes further north.

Great Keppel Island

Just a 30 minute glide across the waters from Yeppoon lies Great Keppel Island, one of the most famous islands on the Great Barrier Reef and the biggest of the Keppel group of islands. Fringed by stunning, coral gardens, turquoise waters and sun drenched beaches. The island's interior abundant with native wildlife and acres of bush land scattered with winding walking trails. The island has a Resort and Holiday Village.

Dreamtime Cultural Centre

Dreamtime Cultural Centre (6km north) is Australia’s largest indigenous attraction. Guided tours throughout the centre include a highlight of watching a didgeridoo performance inside a cave and learning the different techniques that are used to produce the fascinating animal sounds.


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Capricorn Caves

25km north of Rockhampton, are a unique system of above-ground caves in a limestone ridge. Tours range from easy walking, wheelchair accessible caves to wild caving adventure tours.

Mt Morgan

Mt Morgan (38km west) is one of, if not the most charming former mining town in Australia. Home to one of the world's richest gold discoveries Mount Morgan's history is a quintessentially Australian story. It tells of great hopes, vision and great tasks undertaken and accomplished.

Brief history

Small amounts of gold were found at Canoona, to the north of the site of Rockhampton, in 1859. Miners rushed to the new field, using the site of Rockhampton on the Fitzroy River as the nearest navigable port. The Canoona field proved to be very disappointing and thousands of would-be gold seekers were left stranded at Rockhampton. Although many returned south, others stayed, adding to the infant town's population.

Although the Canoona gold rush of 1859 proved to be short-lived, it established Rockhampton as the seaport for Central Queensland and the centre for the growing pastoral industry. In 1882, following the discovery of gold at Mount Morgan, Rockhampton entered a new phase of its development as a port for the export of gold. As a result, Rockhampton experienced a boom. Rockhampton had been surveyed and laid out in 1857 in a rectangular grid pattern with the principal streets parallel to the river bank and the minor streets at right angles. From the opening of the railway to the south in 1903, the problems of silting combined with the diminished importance of the port, and the wharves fell into disrepair.

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