ULTIMATE GUIDE: Top 25 things to do and see in CQ
There are many things to do and see in Rockhampton and on the Capricorn Coast, from attractions, beaches, farm stays and national parks.
Whether you are new to the area, staying for a few days or just passing through, The Morning Bulletin has compiled a list of the top 25 must see and visit destinations, experiences and hidden gems within the region.
Alkoomi Adventure Farm Stay
Located south of Rockhampton at Marmor, Alkoomi Adventure Farm is a family run cattle property that offers visitors an Australian outback experience.
There's plenty to see and do, from horse riding, motorbike riding, feeding the farm animals, kayaking, fishing and swimming in the lake, wine and cheese sunset tours, campfire, bushwalks, woodfire barbecues and a nice, sizzling breakfast.
Archer Park Rail Museum
Constructed in 1899, Archer Park was the central railway station for Rockhampton until the mid-1920s.
Today, you can visit the heritage listed Archer Park Rail Museum on the weekends and take a ride on the fully restored Purrey Steam Tram.
Blackdown Tableland National Park
Located in the Central Highlands, Blackdown Tableland National Park is a cool oasis that rises above the surrounding plains.
Spanning more than 47,950ha, this sandstone plateau boasts colourful wildlife, spectacular views and a range of nature-based activities, including walking tracks to heritage sites, creeks and a waterfall, four-wheel-driving and many picnic areas.
Situated behind Bouldercombe, the gorge cuts into the Razorback Range with Crocodile Creek running along the gorge floor.
Best visited after rain, a system of creeks, waterfalls and waterholes provide a popular local swimming hole.
Byfield National Park
Beautiful coastal scenery, expansive sand dunes and remote camping locations are highlights of a visit to Byfield National Park.
Located 70km northeast of Rockhampton, the national park boasts Stoney Creek and Waterpark Creek which are great spots for a day trip.
Four-wheel drives are needed to access Five Rocks, Nine Mile and Three Rivers, which are popular for locals and visitors alike.
The Capricorn Caves are an ancient cave system north of Rockhampton with more than 1.5kms of mysterious passages to explore.
Honeycombing a limestone ridge, this labyrinth of large caverns features an abundance of natural decoration including amazing fig tree roots.
Make sure to step foot inside the Cathedral Cave and listen to the near perfect acoustics.
Discover towering sandstone cliffs, vibrantly coloured side gorges, diverse flora and fauna and Aboriginal rock art at Carnarvon Gorge.
Located in the semi-arid heart of Central Queensland, a wealth of cultural and natural heritage lies within this hidden gem.
Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary
Cuddle a koala or handfeed a kangaroo at Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary.
Just 28 minutes from Rockhampton and 15 minutes from Yeppoon, spend the day with their friendly residents among the 10ha natural bush land.
Dreamtime Cultural Centre
Situated in North Rockhampton on the Bruce Highway, the Dreamtime Cultural Centre is the only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre of its kind in Central Queensland.
The centre promotes greater awareness of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture through guided tours, educational visits and activities.
Emu Park is an idyllic seaside village on the Capricorn Coast, about 20km south of Yeppoon.
It is home to the famous Singing Ship Monument and the award-winning Emu Park Anzac Memorial Walk.
Great Keppel and Pumpkin Islands
Great Keppel and Pumpkin Islands are just a 30-minute ferry ride from the mainland, boasting blissful opportunities to relax, unwind and reconnect with nature.
With 17 beaches along Great Keppel Island, seclusion awaits.
Henderson Park Farm Retreat
Henderson Park is a fifth generation, family owned commercial beef cattle property located 30 minutes north of Rockhampton and available as a weekend farm retreat.
Activities include guided educational property tours, bushwalking, canoeing, swimming and birdwatching.
Henderson Park is not open for day visits.
Keppel Sands is a small coastal township located south of Yeppoon and Emu Park.
It is a popular location for fishing and crabbing and boasts a hotel, caravan park, motel, Australia Post outlet, local store, and two boat ramps.
Described as Rockhampton's big back yard, Kershaw Gardens is a spacious and picturesque parkland that stretches for 1km along the Bruce Highway in North Rockhampton.
The parklands are divided into three precincts, with wide open spaces and winding footpaths throughout.
The northern end features a beautiful man-made waterfall with viewing deck, as well as access to the free campground off High St.
The centre of the parklands boasts many amenities including barbecues, undercover seating, free Wi-Fi, bathrooms and a massive playground for the kids, which includes the iconic monorail and five-level Wyatt's Wonder Web.
Koorana Crocodile Farm
Koorana Crocodile Farm is a commercially operated crocodile farm and restaurant located at Coowonga on the Capricorn Coast.
The farm offers fully guided tours with lunch served in the restaurant, as well as crocodile skin and leather products available for purchase.
Mount Archer National Park
A must see too all visitors of Rockhampton, Mount Archer National Park is home to a variety of woodland birds, along with unadorned rock-wallabies, and is laced with walking tracks, picnic spots and magnificent sunsets.
Walk through the trees on the Nurim Circuit elevated treetop boardwalk, sit back and relax in the amphitheatre, walk or hike one of the many bushwalking trails or ride on First Turkey's mountain bike trails.
Mount Etna National Park
One of Rockhampton's best kept secrets, Mount Etna is located near the Capricorn Caves, north of Rockhampton, and features one of the best sunrises in Central Queensland.
Although it is a short, steep hike to the summit, the views of limestone formations and the surrounding landscape are nothing short of spectacular.
Mount Hay Gemstone Park
Located about 30 minutes west of Rockhampton on the Capricorn Highway at Wycarbah, Mount Hay is the remains of an extinct ancient volcano and is now a popular destination for fossickers seeking these curious volcanic formations.
The gemstone park boasts a fossicking area, gift shop, pewter casting workshops and a small camping ground.
Mount Morgan is a historic town located about 38km southwest of Rockhampton and home to one of the world's most successful gold mines to date.
While you're visiting the former mining town, make sure to pop by the Mount Morgan Railway Museum, the Mount Morgan Historical Museum, snap a picture on the Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge and stop and relax at the Mount Morgan No. 7 Dam.
Rockhampton Botanic Gardens and Zoo
One of the oldest and most established public gardens in the state, the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens features many walking tracks and iconic plantings including the 150-year-old canopy of Banyan figs and avenue of Bunya pines.
The botanic gardens also boast Rockhampton Zoo, which houses more than 60 species of Australian and exotic animals including chimpanzees, cassowaries, dingoes, otters, crocodiles, koalas, meerkats, emus and more.
Rockhampton CBD and riverside precinct
Located in the heart of the city, Rockhampton's Riverside Precinct offers the best views of the Fitzroy River, as well as glimpses of Quay Street, Australia's longest National Trust heritage-listed street.
Whether you're visiting for a few nights or just looking for a place to stretch the legs and grab a bite to eat, Rockhampton's Riverside Precinct should be at the top of everyone's checklist.
Springer's Creek Lagoon
Springer's Creek Lagoon is a stunning natural waterhole located in Gracemere.
With picnic tables and shade areas, the lagoon is the perfect place to take the family and fishing poles for a relaxing afternoon surrounded by nature.
Touch of Paradise Lagoon
Nestled within Cedric Archer Park at Gracemere, the lagoon is one of the town's best kept secrets.
Offering a tranquil and relaxing vibe, the lagoon is a natural sanctuary for locals and visitors alike.
Located to the left as you enter Rockhampton via the Yeppen roundabout, Yeppen Lagoon is one of the first things you see and provides a beautiful first impression of the region.
The lagoon is the perfect spot for an early morning or afternoon stroll as you follow Yeppen Lagoon into Rockhampton Botanic Gardens and past Murray Lagoon.
If you enjoy picturesque ocean views as the sea breeze blows your hair, the Yeppoon foreshore is the perfect place.
The foreshore provides stunning coastal walks, connecting you to beaches, creeks and iconic attractions including the Keppel Kraken, Octa Net, Appleton Park, Skate Park and the Yeppoon Lagoon.