Affectionately known as ‘Rocky’, Rockhampton is the administrative and commercial centre of Central Queensland. From frontier town to bustling river port and gold rush city, the Rockhampton of today was built on the back of the 19th-century mining and beef industry boom. The result is a historic city centre graced with fine Victorian buildings along the heritage-listed main streets.
There’s much to discover in and around the Beef Capital, with a Rockhampton tour to suit every visitor. Nature lovers, history buffs, foodies and adventurers will all be at home here. Rockhampton makes for a great base to further explore the Capricorn Coast. Yeppoon is just a 40-minute drive away and gives you access to the Southern Great Barrier Reef and beautiful Great Keppel Island.
Make tracks for Queensland's central west on the Spirit of the Outback, an historic rail journey like no other. Then delve deep into outback life staying in Longreach, Toogunna Plains Station and Roma. Visit the Stockman's Hall of Fame and Qantas Founders Museum. Take a Station tour and Thomson River sunset cruise. Unearth dinosaurs in Winton, Waltz with Matilda, take a station tour with insights to the land overseeing all of Queensland’s iconic outback.
Take advantage of discounted low season fares and make tracks for Longreach on the Spirit of the Outback, an historic rail journey like no other. Then delve deep into outback life visiting The Stockman's Hall of Fame, Qantas Founders Museum, Camden Park Station and a trip to the Age of Dinosaurs exhibit in Winton. We then depart the Outback and make our way to the Town of 1770 where we spend 2 nights. Take in the highlights of Agnes Water by land and sea onboard a unique LARC amphibious vehicle.
Experience the charm of Picnic Point Toowoomba and a night in Roma, where you'll witness a live cattle auction alongside local graziers. Explore Charleville with a local guide and take in the historic Hotel Corones. Don't miss the enchanting twilight tour and stargazing at The Cosmos Centre. Venture further into the Outback with a local guide to Quilpie before indulging in 2 nights of deluxe cabins at Toogunna Plains Station. Explore the Eromanga Natural History Museum, where prehistoric fossils come to life, and savor a Taste of the Outback dinner. Immerse yourself in the vast Mitchell Grass Plains of Longreach with 3 nights of glamping. Delve into the ancient past at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs museum and explore the Waltzing Matilda Centre. Pay tribute to Australian stockmen at the Stockman’s Hall of Fame. Cruise the Thomson River at sunset, dine under the stars, and enjoy an authentic outback show. Conclude your adventure with an overnight rail journey in sleeper cabins aboard the Spirit of the Outback.
There are plenty of ways to fill your Rockhampton holiday.
Follow the heritage architecture trail to learn about Rockhampton’s colonial past. Take a stroll through the Botanic Gardens, see 100-year-old trees and pop into the Rockhampton Zoo. Look out for beef industry icons in the shape of giant bull statues dotted around the city. Drive out to Mount Morgan and delve into what was once one of the world’s most productive gold mines. Or check out the works of art in and around the Riverside Precinct.
Rockhampton's 'Beef City' nickname comes from its strong association with the beef and cattle industry.
The city has historically been a central hub for cattle farming and trading, playing a significant role in Australia's beef production. It has a rich history of processing and exporting beef products, including live cattle, meat, and hides.
Rockhampton hosts the annual Beef Australia event, which is a major international beef industry expo and trade fair that showcases the city's deep connection to the beef industry.
You’ll find accommodation for all budgets in Rockhampton. If you opt to stay on the southern side of the Fitzroy River (Tunuba to the traditional land owners), you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the river, hinterland and city and be near beef steak houses, bars and event venues. To really get a handle on life in the beef industry, choose a local farm stay; there are plenty on offer. If you can’t make it to a farm, the Great Western Hotel in town is an undercover rodeo arena with weekly live bull rides that will give you some serious country cowboy vibes.
Planning on using Rockhampton as a base to venture further afield? Visit the Capricorn Caves to discover ancient geological history, early explorers and intriguing wildlife. Head to Yeppoon and jump on a boat to spend the day at Great Keppel Island. Or get up close with the resident crocs at the one-of-a-kind Koorana Crocodile Farm.
For keen anglers, the Fitzroy River is famous for Barramundi, pronounced “bardda moon di” by the Darumbal people. Warmer months will give you the best chance of catching a trophy Barramundi, whereas King Threadfin Salmon can be targeted all year round.
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