Just north of the Tropic of Capricorn lies the beautiful subtropical city of Rockhampton. This gorgeous sun-drenched community marks the southern end of Tropical North Queensland and is the gateway to many of the regions premier coastal and outback attractions.

From the warm tropical coast to the spectacular wilderness and pioneering history of the hinterland, Rockhampton is the perfect base for those setting out to explore the Capricorn Coast and Central Queensland. The Econo Lodge Citywalk Rockhampton offers comfortable and affordable accommodation right in the heart of the CBD and caters for groups, couples and families alike.

Animal attractions!

Treat the family to a day at the Rockhampton Zoo. Set amidst the beautiful Rockhampton Botanic Gardens, this free animal attraction is sure to keep the kids (and kids at heart) entertained for hours. The zoo has an impressive range of native and exotic animals including chimpanzees, otters, wallabies, snakes, koalas and dingos. Take a walk through the Australian rainforest bird aviary, cuddle a koala or book in for an educational tour. The Zoo also has a great café where you can stop, relax and grab a coffee or a bite to eat. There's something for the whole family.

Daredevils will not want to miss a trip to Koorana Crocodile Farm. Hold a juvenile croc in your hands and smile for the camera if you dare! Join the spotlight dinner tour, or visit between March and May to see the baby crocodiles hatching. This popular attraction is just 29 kilometers east of Rockhampton and tours are available daily.

Yeehaw! Get down to the Great Western Hotel

Rockhampton is the undisputed beef capital of Australia, and proud of it! They love their beef, their cattle and their bull-riding cowboys. Get on down the Great Western Hotel for a good country shin dig and catch the bucking broncos in the rodeo arena. Shows are on each Wednesday and Friday night. The hotel is also a popular live music venue that hosts well-known artists from around Australia. Get your country music fix over a hot counter meal at the hotel bistro and experience Queensland's cattle country lifestyle at its best.

Wilderness adventures

Just 15 minutes' drive north of the Rockhampton city center is Capricorn Caves, one of Queensland's oldest and best-known tourist attractions. Take a guided tour through the magnificent cathedral cave, adorned with fairy lights. Discover 100,000 years of prehistory and find out what happened to some of Australia's mega fauna. Or if you are looking for a more challenging adventure activity, grab a harness and a helmet and book a caving, abseiling or rock climbing tour. Why not challenge yourself on the high courses course and flying fox? It's a great way to get your heart pumping and loads of fun for large kids and adventurous adults alike. Remember to hold on tight!

Witness the beauty of the eucalypt woodlands of Mount Archer National Park and visit the secluded dry rainforest of the Moores Creek Valley conservation area. Take a stroll to the easily accessible Mount Archer Lookout and soak up breathtaking panoramic views of Rockhampton and the surrounding ranges.

Art and culture of Central Queensland

The impressive collection of Australian art at the Rockhampton City Art Gallery includes works by Sydney Nolan, Arthur Boyd and Russell Drysdale. Located in the heart of town on the banks of the Fitzroy River, the Gallery is home to both Australian and international works and holds a collection of unique historical objects from the colonial period, along with modernist and contemporary works by some of central Queensland's finest artists . The Rockhampton City Art Gallery is recognized as having one of Australia's finest regional art collections and is a 'must see' for the discerning traveler.

Set on 12 hectares of land originally inhabited by the local Darambal Tribe, Dreamtime Cultural Center is a great place to gain some knowledge of local Indigenous culture. See traditional rock art, huts, ceremonial sites and even a giant dugong sculpture. Take a tour and learn about how the didgeridoo player makes that sound. Visit the traditional Torres Strait Islander Village and see traditional dancers, or learn the art of Boomerang throwing and see if you can make this traditional tool return to you.

Pioneering history

Rich with pioneer history, the Rockhampton surrounds offer a fair dinkum Aussie Outback experience. Just 7 kilometers northwest of the town center on the banks of the Fitzroy River is historical Glenmore Homestead. This picturesque heritage site offers a glimpse into life long ago in country Queensland.

From vintage machinery and cars, to heritage homesteads and farm animals, the Rockhampton Heritage Village is the perfect place to soak up some Queensland pioneering history. Visit Archer Park Rail Museum in the heart of town to see an old fashioned steam train in action, head south-west along the Burnett Highway to see one of Queensland's most famous historic landmarks at the Mount Morgan Mine.

From cowboys and cattle stations, to crocodiles and caving adventures, wilderness walks and coastal wonders, to beautiful native flora, art, craft and traditional culture; The iconic subtropical Queensland city of Rockhampton has so much to offer.

Source by Karli Geoghegan

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