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
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
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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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 (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
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.