Head north from the Tropic of Capricorn and you will find the quaint and lovely Queensland city of Rockhampton. Resting along the Fitzroy River banks, these were once lands occupied by the Darumbal Aborigines in ancient times. European settlement touched this area of Australia in 1854 when two brothers named William and Charles Archer found it while conducting a search for suitable grazing land.
The grazing industry dominates the economy of the city even in modern times. The city embraces its reputation as the Beef Capital of Queensland and proudly displays statues of the bull breeds that figure into the local economy in prominent locations about town.
The highest concentration of office buildings, both government and corporate, is situated in the central business district. Tree lined streets separate buildings designed and built during pioneer days using the colonial architecture that was so prevalent at the time. More than two dozen buildings of historical significance including the Supreme Court, the Customs House and Heritage Tavern can be seen on the walking tour that meanders through town.
The subtropical climate beckons to those who enjoy spending time outdoors. With more than three hundred days of sunshine every year there is plenty of time to explore the surrounding areas. Native animals and plants can be found at nearby Mount Archer National Park and the panoramic city view is worth the hike to the summit.
Opened in 1988, the Cliff Kershaw Gardens sits on the former location for the city rubbish yard. A massive make over brought in flora native to the central region of Queensland. A man made waterfall sits alongside the highway and is dramatically lit after dark.
Capricorn Caves The privately owned Olsens Capricorn Caves has been open to public viewing since 1884. The amazing limestone caverns were discovered by John Olsen, a Norwegian immigrant, in 1882 and they represent Queensland’s oldest tourist attraction.
For a trip back in time, visit Rockhampton Heritage Village where you will experience pioneer life dating back in time from the era that spanned 1850 to 1950. Tours are led by guides dressed in period costume and include stops at various shops demonstrating the ancient trades like blacksmithing and woodcutting. Guests are even invited to stop by the village schoolhouse and attend a class.
The Darambal Aborigines originally occupied the land now used by the Dreamtime Cultural Centre. Along the northern creek bank, the outdoor areas feature a large waterfall and native plants along with the main building. Guided tours through the Torres Strait Islander’s Complex focuses on the lifestyle and ancient beliefs shared by native people. Boomerang lessons, dance demonstrations and didgeridoo performances highlight the various activities found at the Centre. Stop by the Aboriginal Traditional area to view replica rock art and gunyahs along with burial and ceremonial sites. A native plant exhibit and sandstone cave recreations are set up as self guided tours to allow you to explore at your own pace.
From historic sites to relaxing outdoor gardens tours, take advantage of all that that the gateway to the Capricorn Coast has to offer in sunny Rockhampton. If planning a trip to this area visit our website to find some great Rockhampton accommodation options.