Rockhampton is located 635km northwest of Brisbane on the banks of the Fitzroy River. Affectionately known by the locals as “Rocky”, the big city in a rural setting offers some beautiful botanic gardens, a free zoo, cultural and heritage centres and scenic views from Mount Archer.
Rocky's Botanic Gardens are on Spencer St. They are open daily from 6am to 6pm and entry is free. The Gardens feature a variety of different garden types including Tropical, Cactus, Fernery, Rainforest and Japanese. A tranquil waterfall, pond and lagoon are beautiful water features in the Gardens and a café, barbeque area and picnic facilities are provided for your convenience.
Adjacent to the Botanic Gardens is the Rocky Zoo which is open daily from 8.30am to 4.30pm. This fabulous zoo is home to many different native Australian animals including gorgeous koalas, wombats, dingoes, kangaroos, lizards, emus, birds and freshwater crocodiles. There are also some entertaining Chimpanzees who are fed daily at 3pm. The zoo is a must see and is free of charge, however donations are kindly appreciated.
Kershaw Gardens in the city’s north boast a stunning waterfall set amidst a lush green collection of palm trees. The falls can be seen from the busy Bruce Highway or parking is available via Moones Creek Rd. A short walk through native trees and lawns takes you around to the falls.
Dreamtime Cultural Centre is an aboriginal culture and history centre on Bruce Hwy just 6km north of town. The 12 hectare property was formerly inhabited by the Darambal Tribe and has been transformed into what can only be described as a cultural learning centre for other cultures and nationalities to understand the culture and history of Australia’s Aboriginal people. The property offers visitors self guided walks through native gardens to Limestone Creek, its waterfall and beyond. Guided tours include Didgeridoo and Boomerang demonstrations, Djarn Djarn Dancers and Torres Strait Islander Village. The centre has an artefacts shop selling aboriginal art and souvenirs and a refreshment kiosk.
Rockhampton Heritage Village is a historical replica of the Rockhampton of the 1800’s. Old buildings, automobiles, farming equipment and townspeople are the essence of the working museum. The village is open daily from 9am to 4pm and is located at the Visitor Centre on Bruce Hwy.
Mt Archer is Rocky’s highest point, which is northeast of the city with a steep windy road leading to the summit. Short bushwalking trails take you to picturesque views over Rockhampton city and towards Yeppoon. Picnic and barbeque facilities are located here for an enjoyable day in the bush.
The Fitzroy River is a popular fishing spot and each year around September-October the town hosts the Rockhampton Barra Bounty. The 2 day event involves catch and release of as many Barramundi as you can hook and judging is according to accumulated lengths per team of 2 anglers in the same boat or on the same shore area (photo example only).
Capricorn Caves are 23km north of town along Bruce Hwy. The ancient limestone caves are explored by guided tour only, departing hourly between 9am and 4pm daily. Weddings and functions can be catered for and there is a group lodge and caravan park with cabins, camping, pool and licensed bar on site. Pets are prohibited due to wildlife.
Koorana Crocodile Farm is 30km northeast of town along the Emu Park Rd, part of 107km loop Yeppoon Scenic Hwy. The farm has over 3000 crocodiles, a licensed restaurant serving crocodile and crocodile leather products and meat for sale. The park is open daily from 10am to 3pm and guided tours are from 10.30am-12pm and 1pm-2.30pm. If you visit between March and May you might even get to hold one.
Rockhampton and surrounds offers plenty to do whether passing through or staying a while. Explore the city, fish the river and then head outbound to discover caves and crocodiles and the Capricorn Coastline around Yeppoon.
Click here for climate statistics for Australian locations (provided by the Bureau of Meteorology)
Destinations in Queensland
Daintree National Park
Tin Can Bay
Undara Volcanic National Park
Return from Rockhampton to Queensland