Target located: Rocky clubs on soldiers' radar
IT started with $2 tacos at the Giddy Goat, and ended on the Flamingo's D-floor.
This was the case for an influx of New Zealand and US soldiers, out in full force last night to pack out Rockhampton CBD nightclubs.
With the massive Talisman Saber military operation behind them, thousands of soldiers remain in the city for a bit of R&R.
Giddy Goat owner Jonathan Shavin said while soldiers had flooded the East St haunt since the combined US-Australian operation kicked off last month, last night was their biggest yet.
Mr Shavin believes word of mouth from previous exercises led them to the action.
"Having those guys in town is a real kicker for us," he said.
"Last night was the biggest influx I have seen.
"Apart from that there's groups of them at different times; during the day you get groups of them coming and going, groups of 10, or three to four.
"They stick around, have some beers and a chat and move on, another group turns up they do the rounds
"Nine out of 10 times you see them again later that night."
With a belly full of tasty tacos, a quick stroll over to the Heritage Hotel was case in point.
A vocal medley of Eminem's best, nostalgic Aqua hits and the Lion King soundtrack echoed down Quay St, almost as if a call to the dozens more soldiers who emerged to join the chorus.
Next door, a Flamingo's on Quay clubber, who does not wish to be named, said she had never seen the clubs so packed.
"There were so many soldiers out in force on Wednesday night," she said.
"I've never seen the clubs so busy.
"It was really interesting watching the American soldiers drink together, they all started singing songs in a small group and as the songs went on the group got bigger.
"It's like the soldiers heard each other singing, and came to join one another.
"My mate and I thought we were in a musical or something, it was the weirdest night out I had in a while."
The club-goer said while the majority of fellas were happy to compare drinking games or quote classic New Zealand comedies, she at times felt the target of some unwanted attention.
The lifelong Rockhampton resident said they could take a leaf out of an Australian icon's book if they want to win over the local ladies.
"Although they were up for a chat I don't think the American's grasped the Aussie sense of humour entirely," she said.
"Also they wouldn't say hello when they walked up, they would kind of just interrupt your conversation, invade your personal space and tell you how cool they were. Which is fine until it got creepy.
"But I guess it's all in experiencing different people and cultures.
"I think I'll stick to Aussie blokes though, I prefer more Russell Coight than James Bond."
A taxi driver also mentioned the visitors had been good for business, with many a trip to the homes of the "ladies in the paper".