Botanical Gardens, Courtesy of Tourism Queensland

Population 42902

Gladstone is a modern city on the central coast of Queensland. Matthew Flinders discovered Port Curtis, Gladstone's deep-water harbour, in 1802, but the town did not truly develop until the 1960s. Today it is an outlet for central Queensland's mineral and agricultural wealth – a prosperous seaboard city with one of Australia's busiest harbours. Set among hills with natural lookouts over the harbour and southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, Gladstone is popular for swimming, surfing and fishing – especially for mud crabs and prawns.

Visitor Information

Marina Ferry Terminal, Bryan Jordan Dr; (07) 4972 9000

Nearby national parks

  • Cania Gorge National Park

    Cania Gorge, a dramatic landscape of gullies, caves and spectacular 70-metre-high sandstone cliffs, is the centrepiece of this national park...more

  • Isla Gorge National Park

    Isla Gorge National Park, in Queensland’s Central Highlands, lies at the southern end of the Dawson Range and features rugged...more

  • Great Sandy National Park

    Great Sandy National Park encompasses World Heritage–listed Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world; nearby Woody Island;...more

Nearby towns

  • Miriam Vale

    Miriam Vale lies south-east of Gladstone, in the hinterland of the 'Discovery Coast'. The town is renowned for its charming hospitality, its...more

  • Mount Morgan

    Located in the Capricorn region south-west of Rockhampton is the quaint historic mining town of Mount Morgan. Said to be the largest single...more

  • Rockhampton

    Rockhampton is a prosperous city that straddles the Tropic of Capricorn. It is known as the beef capital of Australia, with some 2.5 million...more

In Town

Tondoon Botanic Gardens: displays of all-native species of the Port Curtis region with free guided tours on weekends. Also offers a recreational lake and Mt Biondello bushwalk; Glenlyon Rd.

Regional Art Gallery and Museum: local and regional art with history exhibitions; closed Sun; Cnr Goondoon and Bramston sts.

Maritime Museum: artefacts and memorabilia document 200 years of port history; open Thurs and Sun; Auckland Pt.

Potters Place: fine-art gallery and craft shop; Dawson Hwy.

Gecko Valley Winery: tastings and sales of award-winning wines; closed Mon; Bailiff Rd.

Barney Point Beach: historic beach including Friend Park; Barney St.

Waterfall: spectacular at night when floodlit; Flinders Pde.


Capricornia Cays National Park This park, 60–100 km offshore from Gladstone, protects the 9 coral islands and cays that form the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. The islands are important nesting sites for seabirds and loggerhead turtles. North West Island has walking tracks through forests dominated by palms and she-oaks. The most popular activities are reef walking, diving and snorkelling in the spectacular reefs or visiting the renowned dive sites on Heron Island. The island has resort-style accommodation (maximum 250 people). Access is by private boat or charter from Gladstone; air access to Heron Island. There is seasonal closure to protect nesting wildlife. (07) 4971 6500 (same number for all national parks in the area).

Boyne Island: with beautiful foreshore parks and beaches; home to the Boyne–Tannum Hookup Fishing Competition in June. The Boyne Aluminium Smelter is Australia's largest and has an information centre and tours every Fri. The island and its twin town of Tannum Sands are linked by bridge; 25 km SE.

Tannum Sands: small community offering sandy beaches with year-round swimming, picturesque Millennium Way along the beach and 15 km of scenic walkways known as the Turtle Way. Wild Cattle Island, an uninhabited national park at the southern end of the beach, can be reached on foot at low tide; 25 km SE.

Calliope: small rural community with excellent fishing in nearby Calliope River with abundant mud crabs, salmon and flathead. The Calliope River Historical Village documents Port Curtis history in restored buildings and holds regular art and craft markets; 26 km SW.

Lake Awoonga: a popular spot for swimming, skiing (permit required) and fishing. It has walking tracks and recreational facilities, and holds the Lions Lake Awoonga Family Fishing Festival each Sept; 30 km S.

Mt Larcom: spectacular views from the summit; 33 km W.

Castle Tower National Park: a rugged park of granite cliffs and the outcrops of Castle Tower and Stanley mountains. Only experienced walkers should attempt the climb to Mt Castle Tower summit, where there are superb views over the Boyne Valley and Gladstone. Access by foot or boat from Lake Awoonga; access by car from Bruce Hwy; 40 km S.

Kroombit Tops National Park: this mountain park is on a plateau with sandstone cliffs and gorges, waterfalls and creeks. Drive the 90 min return loop road to explore the landscapes and walk to the site of a WW II bomber crash; 4WD recommended; 75 km SW via Calliope.

Curtis Island National Park: at the north-east end of the island is this small park with a variety of vegetation and excellent spots for birdwatching. There are no walking tracks, but the 3- to 4-day hike along the east coast is worthwhile; access by boat from Gladstone or the Narrows.

Great Barrier Reef tours: cruises depart from the Gladstone Marina; Bryan Jordan Dr.

Fishing spots near town

Lake Awoonga 27 km

The jewel in the crown of the Bass to Barra Trail, Lake Awoonga is Queensland’s premier barramundi impoundment. Clean waters, the result of a largely undisturbed watershed, contain barramundi, mangrove jack,... Find out more

Lake Callide 85 km

Built on upper Callide Creek, a Dawson River tributary 20 km east of Biloela (pronounced bilo-wela), this lake supplies cooling waters for the nearby coal-burning power station that’s part of the Boyne Island... Find out more

Fitzroy River 91 km

Great fishing rivers flow through some of our best known cities: the Yarra in Melbourne, the Swan in Perth and the Derwent in Hobart, to name a few. One of the best city rivers I have come across is the Fitzroy, which... Find out more

Cania Dam 93 km

Located close to Monto, Cania Dam holds yellowbelly, silver perch and Australian bass to 3 kg. Cania’s big drawcard though is the saratoga. Initially stocked with only 200 individuals, the saratoga have bred to a... Find out more

Yeppoon 95 km

Yeppoon, about 30 mins drive north-east of Rockhampton, is the main port for visitors wanting to go to the Keppel Islands. In the harbour at Rosslyn Bay I met up with fourth-generation cattle producer Richard Wilson and... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Caving - Rockhampton 92 km

Escape the sunshine for a while with an hourlong, eco-certified tour of Capricorn Caves, 23 kilometres north of Rockhampton. These caves feature intricately sculpted formations and the tour includes an optional... Find out more

Campsites around town

The Oaks camping area 11 km

This campground has 35 sites for self-sufficient campers within a skip of Oaks Beach on the north-west side of Facing Island. It is 2 km from the ferry drop-off point and suits self-sufficient campers. Bring a gas/fuel... Find out more

South End Settlement 12 km

South End Settlement is just over 1 km from the ferry drop-off point on Curtis Island and is suitable for small caravans and camper trailers. It’s an open grassy area with plenty of shade and 20 allocated... Find out more

Lake Awoonga Caravan Park 25 km

Catching huge barramundi is easy at Lake Awoonga – or so the locals say. If you fancy yourself as an angler, this caravan park provides a comfortable base. Set on the lake’s edge, there are plenty of bonus... Find out more

Sandfly Point camping area (bush camping) 36 km

This site for self-sufficient campers is on the western boundary of the national park. As the name suggests, sandflies and mosquitoes are a major problem here, so bring repellent and wear appropriate clothing. The boat... Find out more

Yellow Patch camping area (boat-based camping) 39 km

There is bush camping at the north-eastern end of Curtis Island at Yellow Patch, known for its bright yellow sand. It is suitable for self-sufficient campers, with no facilities on site, and can only be accessed by boat.... Find out more

Masthead Island camping area (boat-based camping) 59 km

Up to 50 people can camp at this site on the north-west corner of the island. Suitable only for self-sufficient campers, there are no facilities and no generators permitted. Masthead Island is known as an important... Find out more

The Wall camping area (bush camping) 61 km

This grassy clearing on the south bank of Annie Creek can be reached on the 4WD loop road near the bomber crash site. There is a maximum of 20 campers allowed, but there are no defined sites and no facilities. Bring... Find out more

Middle Creek camping area 62 km

About 35 km north-west of Agnes Water, this campsite can be accessed by boat or by 4WD (off the Eurimbula Access Rd). Bring your own drinking water, rubbish bags and a gas/fuel stove, as fires are prohibited.... Find out more

The Barracks camping area (bush camping) 64 km

A clearing suitable for bush camping is located opposite the old forestry barracks (now a ranger station), 4 km south of the Tableland Rd entrance. It can be reached with 2WD only in dry weather. There is a maximum of 10... Find out more

Divided Island camping area (boat-based camping) 69 km

Self-sufficient campers can pitch a tent at this small campground. The maximum number of people permitted to camp at the site is 6; there are no facilities. The beach on the western side is a recommended spot for... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

BIG4 Barney Beach 2 km

This is a quality park with a good range of facilities and spotless amenities. It is in a quiet area away from the centre of town and just 80 metres from the beach. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Tannum Beach Caravan Village 17 km

Close to Gladstone and across the road from the beach, this spotless park with good facilities is ideal for a few days or convenient for an overnight stay. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Lake Awoonga Caravan Park 25 km

A picturesque park overlooking Lake Awoonga, this spot is 9 km from the Bruce Highway along a sealed road. The dam is stocked with barramundi, making it a popular fishing destination. There is a well-stocked shop with a... Find out more

Seventeen Seventy Camping Ground 73 km

It is hard to resist the excellent, absolute beachfront location of this council-owned park. Here in a subtropical hideaway it is almost possible to tie the dinghy up to the caravan. The popular park has good basic... Find out more

Bell Park Caravan Park 79 km

This is a great council park with large grassy areas on a picturesque coastline. Just walk over the dunes to the beach or stroll to the centre of town. There is a pool and playground beside the caravan park. Bookings are... Find out more

Island View Caravan Park 84 km

This is a popular, good quality park opposite the beach, just 14 km south of Yeppoon. It is in a great holiday area; bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies over Christmas and Easter.... Find out more

BIG4 Capricorn Palms Holiday Village 88 km

Set back from the coast this is a spacious quality park on a large parcel of land. There are extensive facilities and it is a great place for a holiday. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Mount Morgan Motel and Van Park 91 km

A very tidy basic park, ideal for an overnight stay or a few days in Mount Morgan, this spot allows you to explore the historic town from a very suitable base.... Find out more

Southside Holiday Village 91 km

This is a quality park on the southern approaches to Rockhampton, 3.5 km from the city centre. Enjoy the heated swimming pool and the camp kitchen here. This is a good base for a stay in Rockhampton. Bookings are... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Auckland Hill B&B

There are six ensuite rooms and one luxury suite with a spa bath in this large, award-winning heritage house built in 1874. Many rooms have harbour views and private verandahs, and the location in the heart of the... Find out more

Rydges Gladstone Hotel

Gladstone’s largest hotel complex has a range of spacious and comfortable accommodation, from city-view and harbour-view rooms to executive suites and spa suites. It’s close to Gladstone Harbour and in the... Find out more

Xenia Central Studio Accommodation

While the property is popular with corporate travellers, it is also family friendly and an affordable stop for holiday-makers. The studio rooms and suites have kitchenettes for self-catering, and the place is close to... Find out more

Glassford Creek 
Station Farmstay

This working cattle station is family run and owned, and set in rugged mountains and bushland. Accommodation is guesthouse style, with shared bathroom facilities and all meals included. There is a variety of horses to... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Wilson Island 90 km

Only six couples are allowed at a time on this tiny 2-hectare coral cay, staying in minimal-impact luxury tents with wooden floors. All power is provided by solar power and batteries, and the eco-accredited resort uses... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Calliope River rest area 16 km

T/O 21km N of Benaraby (L) or 30km S of Mt Larcom (R)

Well off the highway and overlooking the river.

Boyne River rest area 20 km

31km N of Bororen (L) or 1km S of Benaraby (R)

Just off the highway among trees on the riverbank.

Mount Larcom park area 28 km

At Mt Larcom

Just off the highway in front of a cafe.

Bororen park area 50 km

At Bororen

Adjacent to the highway. In the middle of town.

Granite Creek rest area 95 km

63km N of Gin Gin (R) or 36km S of Miriam Vale (L)

Well off the highway among some large trees.

What's on around town

Markets: Calliope River Historical Village; selected dates (6 times a year).

Sunfest: youth sports and arts program; Jan.

Harbour Festival: includes the finish of the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race; Mar.

Woodworker's Art and Crafts Weekend (Calliope): July.

Multicultural Festival: Aug.

Seafood Festival: Sept.

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