Rockhampton

Rockhampton lies on the tropic of Capricorn near the coast of Queensland, south of Mackay and north of Bundaberg.

Understand

Rockhampton is one of Queensland's oldest cities, established in 1855.

Rockhampton was named by Queensland's first Land Commissioner, Mr W. Wiseman, who was supposedly inspired by the rocks in the river flowing through the town.

During the late 1800s, several nearby gold discoveries ensured continued economic growth of the region, and of Rockhampton itself. Subsequently, as mining, grazing, farming and meat processing industries developed in Central Queensland, Rockhampton thrived as a regional service centre.

Rockhampton was finally recognised as a city in 1902, and has continued to grow slowly but steadily ever since. Rockhampton’s current population is around 59,000. The Rockhampton area is surprisingly busy, with considerable traffic on the roads, and a substantial suburban area. It has a feel much more of a developed city than of an outback town.

Rockhampton is almost universally called Rocky. Just about every business has some variation of Rocky in their name or their promotion.

Get in

By plane

Rockhampton Airport (ROK) is just to the west of the city. Signposted road access is from the Bruce Highway heading south from the city centre.

Qantaslink has seven direct flights a day to Brisbane during the week, slightly less on the weekends.

Virgin Australia flies direct to Sydney, to Brisbane and to Townsville.

Qantaslink also operates a twice daily all stops flight north and south, to Gladstone then to Brisbane heading south, and to Mackay, Townsville and Cairns heading north.


The discount airlines flying the route mean that cheap fares from the eastern capitals are commonly on offer.

Rockhampton airport has a central cafe, in a fully air conditioned terminal. It has an ANZ ATM available, and car hire facilities. There is a small Qantas regional lounge situated next to the Qantas check-in area. There is also an outside observation area.

By car

Rockhampton is accessible by sealed road, most notably the Bruce Highway which travels north from Brisbane, through Rockhampton and on to Cairns. It is 7-8 hours driving time along the highway from Brisbane.

Road access from Sydney, Melbourne and other areas further south and inland is shorter via an inland route. Rockhampton is the terminus of the Liechhardt Highway. Driving time from Sydney is around 16 hours (non-stop).

By train

Tilt train services run to Rockhampton from Brisbane once daily, six days a week. The Spirit of the Outback ends its journey up the coast from Brisbane here, and turns inland towards Emerald and Longreach. The Spirit of Queensland continues from Brisbane up the coast to Cairns.

By bus

Greyhound have daily services from both Brisbane and Cairns.

Get around

By car

The towns and areas around Rockhampton are all accessible by sealed roads. Most major car rental companies offer car hire in Rockhampton, either at offices in the city or at Rockhampton airport. Roads are typically uncrowded, making driving in the area enjoyable, though drivers are advised to be cautious of the many large trucks on the Bruce Highway. When travelling on back roads watch out for straying livestock.

There is actually a bit of peak hour in Rockhampton, especially on a Friday afternoon travelling over the bridges towards Yeppoon. Expect up to around 10 minutes of delay due to traffic.

By taxi

Taxis are useful for those wishing to travel to places of interest within the city, or to and from the airport. Travel time from the airport to the city centre is only 15 minutes. Rocky Cabs can be reached on the national taxi number, 131 008. The taxis also service Yeppoon although a fare there is expensive, and a bus or hire car may be a better option.

By bicycle

Rockhampton's CBD is fairly flat, and most roads are uncrowded, which is good for those wishing to cycle around the city. However, access to areas such as the hospitals requires strenuous uphill riding and so is not recommended for those of poor fitness. Those wanting to venture further a field should be warned that the combination of rural drivers, and large trucks and cars with Roo bars is not particularly bicycle-friendly. Be cautious!

By foot

Rockhampton’s flat topography and compact size mean many attractions can be visited on foot, especially those in and around the city centre.

See

Many of the attractions in Rockhampton are operated by the local council, which has a focus on tourism promotion.

Giant Fig in the Botanic Gardens
Church and schoolhouse at Rockhampton Heritage Village
Customs House. The arrival point for many immigrants to Australia in the 1800s


Do

Crocodile at Koorana


Eat

Drink

Rockhampton has 4 nightclubs located at the Quay Street end of William Street, and many bars scattered throughout the city. The Criterion Hotel situated at 150 Quay Street has a lively atmosphere and the bar and club is open till 3am Friday and Saturday. The "Cri" as it's locally known is a great place for food and a few drinks in the afternoon as well. Locally known to have a ghost as well.

Sleep

There are many motels in Rockhampton, mostly on the roads into and out of town. Many offer standby rates. There is also a choice of accommodation in nearby Yeppoon, tending to have an nicer aspect, and still within easy reach of downtown Rockhampton.

Stay safe

Rockhampton is about as far south as the habitat of the salt water crocodile extends. These animals are dangerous to humans. If you are travelling north along the east coast of Australia, Rockhampton is where you have to start being aware of crocodiles Crocodiles are seen in the Fitzroy River.

Go next

Gladstone and 1770 are both possible day trips. Trips to the Great Barrier Reef and the Keppel Islands are available from Yeppoon, just 30 minutes drive away.

Rockhampton is a great base if you are travelling Central Queensland to the Gem Fields, Great Barrier Reef and Islands, Gladstone, The Coast, Gracemere, Mount Morgan


Routes through Rockhampton

Mackay  N  S  Gladstone Gin Gin


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, February 14, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.