The beef capital of Australia is perched on the Tropic of Capricorn and is true-blue heartland. Which means you can expect to see plenty of utes and hear a fair amount of country music. Rockhampton is a typical Aussie town, with friendly people and an optimistic outlook – and in true Aussie style, the locals affectionately call the place ‘Rocky’.
As one of Queensland’s oldest cities, Rockhampton boasts some fine colonial architecture in buildings like Customs House. Rockhampton is dominated by a number of large bull statues dotting the streets, each representing certain breeds farmed in the area. The statues are knockabout civic treasures – and let’s just say they create more than a few opportunities for some entertaining Kodak moments! But if the talk of beef becomes too much, you can always escape up Mount Archer or into the Capricorn Caves.
ROCKHAMPTON’S TOP 10
|10. Kershaw Gardens Even when they’re fake, waterfalls are awesome!||5. Mount Archer National Park Australian flora and fauna with a view.|
|9. Koorana Crocodile Farm See a croc, hold a croc and eat a croc.||4. Capricorn Spire Not exactly on the Tropic of Capricorn, but most people wouldn’t know the difference anyway. Close enough is good enough!|
|8. Rockhampton City Art Gallery See how northern Australia does art.||3. Botanic Gardens A little piece of Japan in the heart of Queensland.|
|7. Archer Park Steam Tram Museum Situated in 100-year-old Archer Park Station and a good insight into life back in the day.||2. Dreamtime Cultural Centre Provides a fascinating insight into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture.|
|6. Rockhampton Zoo Visit during feeding time at 3 p.m. to see the animals at their most animated.||1. Rockhampton Heritage Village Why visit a museum when you can actually walk through history?|
Every three years around May is Beef Australia, when farmers from all over the world compare tips and chefs do amazing things to and with meat.
In August, the Rocky Swap is one of Australia’s biggest trading events. You’re sure to find many interesting things to take home.
Get your groove on in September during the annual Big River Jazz Festival.
If you are in Rocky during October, the short drive to the Emu Park Lions Club Oktoberfest is a must for one of the best Oktoberfest events in the country. You won’t want to drive home, though!
In November, join the cowboys for the Central Rodeo Cowboys Association Finals. Jackeroos (and Jilleroos) come from far and wide to watch and take part in the action.
WHEN TO GO
- Due to the Rockhampton’s subtropical climate, you can expect a wet season and a dry season.
- Summer is the wet season, when the temperatures reach the low 30s.
- Winter is the dry season, when temperatures can fall to single figures at night.
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- If you’ve flown rather than driven to Rocky, you’ll need to rent a car to see everything. If you want to fit in, you’d better make it a ute!
- There are also plenty of taxis around.
- If you are staying in the city you won’t find many hills, so walking is always a cheap option.
With over 75,000 people, Rockhampton is a notable city in Australia. The Queensland gem is a magnetic holiday destination for many reasons. For one, a Tropic of Capricorn climate provides the city with on average, over 300 days of consistent sunshine. Rockhampton is also a major festival city and sits a mere 40 km away from the Capricorn Coast and coastal resort of Yeppoon. Points of interest in the city include Rockhampton Art Gallery, Rockhampton Zoo and Kershaw Gardens. The superb Rockhampton Botanic Gardens date back to 1869 no less and contain many rare specimens. Other draws for tourists include Rockhampton Heritage Village, Big River Jazz and the annual Rockhampton Multicultural Festival. The Dreamtime Cultural Centre preserves close to 30 acres of land and recreates a Torres Strait Islander village, with regular indigenous performance. For those who want to escape to the coast, the small town of Yeppoon and Great Keppel Island await.
Rockhampton has a humid subtropical climate, with risks of cyclones and heavy thunderstorms in summer.
- Summer (November to February) 20-32°C
- Fall (March to May) 14-31°C
- Winter (June to August) 10-25°C
- Spring (September to October) 14-30°C
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