Rockhampton, on the Fitzroy River began its life as a place to cross the river. Gold was discovered just to the north at Canoona in 1858, leading to another rush for gold, it grew quickly into a village, then a town of sin and sorrow, due to the number of pubs, gambling casinos and brothels.
Nowadays, Rockhampton is a commercial centre for the region, and the ‘Beef Capital of Australia’.
In town on Quay Street, on the river, and East Street, there is a fine collection of buildings leftover from the gold rush, including the Customs House. At the regional Rockhampton Botanic Gardens, now Heritage Listed, you can find Australian flora as well as fauna, Rockhampton Zoo is located within the park.
Rockhampton Tourist Information Centre
Rockhampton Tourist Information Centre, Phone +061 7 4983 1927.
East of Rockhampton is the Capricorn Coast. Yeppoon, Great Keppel Island, the Byfield National Park and Rydges Capricorn Resort are popular places to visit, island eco tours and cruises are available to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
The Tropic of Capricorn is just to the south of Rockhampton. You can view the Orb celebrating this outside the Rockhampton Tourist Information Centre.
Located 7km north of Rockhampton is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dreamtime Cultural Centre. The largest indigenous culture centre in Australia, open 10am to 3.30pm - Monday to FridayThere are guided tours available, bookings are required, phone +061 7 4936 1655.
Also north, at Sarina, you can see the raw sugar cane made into molasses and then crystal sugar. The Sarina Sugar Shed, located near the Sarina Tourist Art & Craft Visitor Information Centre on the Bruce Highway (A1). They also shows you how rum is made, you can even try a sample or two.
For more information, contact the Sarina Tourist Art & Craft Visitor Information Centre - Phone +061 7 49 562251.