Beef-capital of Australia statue, Courtesy of Tourism Queensland

Population 68832

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 cattle in the region. Quay Street is Australia's longest National Trust–classified streetscape, with over 20 heritage buildings set off by flowering bauhinia and brilliant bougainvilleas. Watch out for the bent-wing bat exodus in summer at Mount Etna, just north of the town, and the summer solstice light spectacular in early December to mid-January at the Capricorn Caves.

Visitor Information

Rockhampton Heritage Village Visitor Information Centre, 296 Boundary Rd, Parkhurst; (07) 4936 8680

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

Nearby towns

  • 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

  • Yeppoon

    The popular coastal resort of Yeppoon lies on the shores of Keppel Bay. Yeppoon and the beaches to its south – Cooee Bay, Rosslyn Bay,...more

  • Gladstone

    Gladstone is a modern city on the central coast of Queensland. Matthew Flinders discovered Port Curtis, Gladstone's deep-water harbour, in...more

In Town

Mt Archer National Park On the north-east outskirts of Rockhampton in the Berserker Ranges, this park provides a backdrop to the city. Take a scenic drive up the mountain to Frazer Park for panoramic views. Explore the open forest and subtropical vegetation of the mountain on the 11 km walk from top to bottom. Be advised that the return trip is quite strenuous. Other, shorter walks lead to scenic lookouts. Access to the summit is via Frenchville Rd; to the base via German St; (07) 4936 0511.

Botanic Gardens Set on the Athelstane Range, these heritage-listed gardens are over 130 years old. There are tropical displays, an orchid and fern house, a Japanese-style garden and the bird haven of Murray Lagoon. The city zoo has free entry and koala and lorikeet feedings at 3pm daily. Access via Spencer and Ann sts.

Customs House: this heritage building (1901) houses the visitor centre and 'Rockhampton Discovery Centre' exhibition, which introduces the visitor to the history, culture and lifestyle of Rockhampton; Quay St.

Archer Park Station and Steam Tram Museum: interactive displays document the history of rail transport in Rockhampton. A fully restored Purrey Steam Tram operates 10am–1pm every Sun; closed Sat; Cnr Denison and Cambridge sts.

Kershaw Gardens: follow the Australian native flora Braille Trail; Bruce Hwy.

Art Gallery: changing exhibitions featuring various well-known Australian artists such as Sidney Nolan; Victoria Pde.

Great Western Hotel: operates weekly rodeos at an indoor arena; Stanley St.

Fitzroy River: a great spot for watersports, rowing and fishing. A barrage in Savage St that separates tidal salt water from upstream fresh water provides opportunities for barramundi fishing.

Capricorn Spire: marks the line of the Tropic of Capricorn; Curtis Park, Gladstone Rd.

Heritage walk: self-guided trail around city centre; brochure available from visitor centre.


Dreamtime Cultural Centre: displays on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture set on ancient tribal site. Guided tours available; open 10am–3.30pm Mon–Fri; 7 km N on Bruce Hwy.

Old Glenmore Historic Homestead: National Trust–classified complex of historic buildings and displays; open by appt only; 8 km N.

Heritage Village: heritage buildings with unusual Time after Time clock collection and Life before Electricity exhibition; Parkhurst; 9 km N.

St Christopher's Chapel: open-air chapel built by American servicemen; Emu Park Rd; 20 km E.

Capricorn Caves: guided tours and wild caving adventures through limestone cave system. Visit in Dec for Carols in the Caverns; 23 km N.

Mt Hay Gemstone Tourist Park: thunder-egg fossicking and sales; 38 km W.

Capricorn Coast Scenic Loop tourist drive: through coast and hinterland.

Great Keppel Island: catch the cruise boat from Rosslyn Bay to visit the beautiful white sandy beaches and clear blue waters of the island; perfect spot for snorkelling and watersports.

Fishing spots near town

Fitzroy River 2 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

Yeppoon 38 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

Waterpark Creek 56 km

Unlike its namesake Corio Bay at Geelong in Victoria, best known for its snapper and King George whiting, Corio Bay in north Queensland produces trevally, barramundi, threadfin salmon and a host of other tropical... Find out more

Golf courses around town

Capricorn Resort (Championship course) 44 km

The late 1980s and early ’90s were days of a course building boom in Queensland, on the Gold Coast especially. But one developer, the Japan-based Iwasaki Group, chose a relatively isolated location near Yeppoon,... Find out more

Campsites around town

Pelican Island camping area (boat-based camping) 41 km

Camping is restricted to 6 people at any one time on rugged, isolated Pelican Island, and no facilities are provided. It is suitable for self-sufficient campers only. Bring water and a gas/fuel stove.... Find out more

Divided Island camping area (boat-based camping) 44 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

Miall Island camping area (boat-based camping) 48 km

This tiny camping site behind the foredunes only has space for 6 self-sufficient campers and there are no facilities besides picnic tables. Bring water and a gas/fuel stove. Reefs on the south-eastern and northern sides... Find out more

Middle Island (Southeastern Beach) camping area (boat-based camping) 49 km

This campsite, behind the dunes of the smallest of Middle Island’s 3 beaches, offers excellent access to the large reef to the west of the island. Picnic tables are the only facilities on the island, so this site... Find out more

Humpy Island camping area (boat-based camping) 51 km

The national park’s most popular camping area, Humpy Island has space for up to 60 self-sufficient campers. The campground is on the island’s northern beach; taps throughout the site provide bore water not... Find out more

Upper Stony camping area 51 km

Adjacent to Stony Creek, this campground is in a great location, close to swimming areas and bushwalking tracks. There are 18 numbered sites and some are suitable for vans and camper trailers. Automated barbecues are in... Find out more

North Keppel Island (Considine Beach) Campground (boat-based camping) 52 km

This site with space for 75 self-sufficient campers is at the southern end of Considine Beach on the western side of North Keppel Island. Bring water, rubbish bags and a gas/fuel stove. Sandflies and mosquitoes are... Find out more

Conical Island camping area (boat-based camping) 53 km

Conical Island has a small camping area with space for 6 campers. There are picnic tables but no other facilities, so you need to be self-sufficient, bringing water and a gas/fuel stove. Coral reefs to the west of the... Find out more

Sandfly Point camping area (bush camping) 56 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

Scouts camping area (bush camping) 58 km

Accessible only by boat or walking at low tide from Corio Bay carpark, this small campground on the northern side of Corio Bay has room for just 20 campers and no facilities. It’s suitable for self-sufficient... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Riverside Tourist Park 1 km

This is a very popular council park on the banks of the river, a short walk across the bridge from the city centre. It is a place that will suit those looking for a quality, no-frills stay. Bookings are required in peak... Find out more

Southside Holiday Village 2 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

Discovery Holiday Parks – Rockhampton 4 km

This is a great park on the north side of Rockhampton, easily accessible from the highway. There is a licensed restaurant, half tennis court, mini golf course, pool and coffee shop. This is a good base in Rockhampton.... Find out more

Capricorn Caves Tourist Park 24 km

This good quality park forms part of the Olsens Caves complex. It is just walking distance from the caves, which are worth a visit. The park has a cafe. We enjoyed our visit. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Mount Morgan Motel and Van Park 33 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

Island View Caravan Park 34 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

Bell Park Caravan Park 35 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

BIG4 Capricorn Palms Holiday Village 36 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

Beachside Caravan Park 38 km

This is a popular beachside park with good basic facilities, located on the shores of Keppel Bay. Bookings are required in peak holiday periods.... Find out more

BIG4 Barney Beach 94 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

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Coffee House Luxury Apartment Motel

Right in the CBD, this property is only a few minutes’ walk to the riverside, shops and restaurants. It’s popular with corporate travellers, so it is wise to book ahead for midweek stays. Accommodation... Find out more

Henderson Park Farm 

Choose to fish, swim, canoe or bushwalk on this working property with its 1200 head of cattle – a very appropriate place to stay in this part of Queensland, famous for its beef production. Accommodation is in two... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Yaamba rest area 31 km

At Yaamba

Just off the highway and next to a roadhouse.

Mount Larcom park area 68 km

At Mt Larcom

Just off the highway in front of a cafe.

Marlborough park area 89 km

At Marlborough

Next to the swimming pool via the main street through town.

Calliope River rest area 92 km

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

Well off the highway and overlooking the river.

What's on around town

Garden Expo: Apr.

Beef Australia: every 3 years, May.

Rocky Swap Meet: Aug.

Big River Jazz: Sept.

Rocky Barra Bounty: Oct.

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