Welcome to Rockhampton. A region blessed with more than 300 days of sunshine each year, prime fishing adventures, adorable zoo animal encounters, high-steak meals, breath-taking treetop adventures, captivating art experiences, and amazing historical journeys, just to name a few. We just know you’ll fall in love our city, like so many of our locals and many visitors before.
During your stay for the U3A Network State Conference 2023 we invite, nay encourage you to take on some of the unique experiences that are exclusive to our region.
We promise that you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding things to do before, during and after the conference from visiting iconic art exhibitions, exploring ancient caves, cruising the mighty Fitzroy River, wandering through heritage listed botanic gardens, to lush garden picnics, scenic day drives and breath-taking aerial adventures.
We invite you to come and explore Rockhampton and share your visit with us by tagging @ExploreRockhampton and #ExploreRockhampton..
Immerse yourself in a world of wonder at Rockhampton Museum of Art
Rockhampton Museum of Art
Featuring an ever-changing list of exhibitions, Rockhampton Museum of Art (RMOA) is the largest gallery in regional Queensland. Located on Rockhampton’s iconic Quay Street, RMOA is free to visit and open 9am to 4pm daily. Get lost in galleries of amazing exhibitions, programs and workshops. Drop in and visit the gift shop after journey through the galleries and satisfy your appetite with bite to eat from the cafe next door, Hummingbird Cafe.
Embellished in architectural beauty, this $36 million museum was officially opened in February 2022, forming part of the Cultural Precinct, connecting heritage elements such as Customs House with contemporary art and culture. RMOA’s collection is regarded as one of the finest in regional Australia and is the only regional Gallery in Queensland to hold a representative collection mid-twentieth century Australian art. Through its collection holdings of historic paintings, objects and photographs, as well as more recent artworks, the museum interprets the history and heritage of Rockhampton, Queensland and Australia.
Collection Focus: Dwelling | Now – 28 May, 2023
From private to public, and the comforting to the menacing, the impact urban design and architecture can have on people’s lived experiences has been at the centre of many sociological studies and ‘liveability’ contests. Through architectural studies, domestic interior scenes and landscapes, artists have visually expressed the importance of people’s built surroundings to their psychological condition and social wellbeing. ’Dwelling’ features painting, new media and photography from the Rockhampton Museum of Art Collection including Jeffrey Smart, Noel McKenna, John Brack, Valerie Albiston and Belyndah Waugh.
Man of Letters: Derek Lamb and the Officina Athelstane | Now – 25 June, 2023
The Officina Athelstane, led by internationally recognised printmaker Derek Lamb, is a private press workshop based in Rockhampton’s Walter Reid Cultural Centre since 2011. Lamb’s impress practice is devoted to traditional, pre-digital letterpress techniques, created from vintage machines and founded in historical research. Lamb’s fine press editions are held by the National Library of Australia, Oxford and Cambridge University Libraries, the National Library of Ireland and several state libraries and universities across Australia.
From a Burdekin Studio: Works by Cutler Footway | 1 April – 2 July, 2023
This major survey exhibition from Burdekin-born artist, Cutler Footway – also known as the former art critic Bruce James – offer a vision of the body filtered through a variety of genres, all created from a modest studio in Ayr. In Footway’s work, flesh seeps beyond itself to find expression in landscape, still life, portraiture, figural subjects and life drawing, all of which answer the carnal call of the body. Curated by Emily Wakeling.
Walk the treetops of Mount Archer National Park (Nurim)
Mount Archer (Nurim) National Park is a must see when you visit Rockhampton. Wander through the trees on the Nurim Circuit elevated treetop boardwalk, sit back and relax with a picnic in the amphitheatre or walk on of the many bushwalking trails throughout the national park. Extending 25 metres off the side of Mount Archer, the 500 metre flat treetop boardwalk offers spectacular views of the city and the mighty Fitzroy River (Tunuba). Take in the views and check out the interpretive signage of the local Darumbal culture. The boardwalk is particularly popular with locals and tourists alike wanting to catch the spectacular sunrises and sunsets, so don’t forget your camera!
With more than 30 species of native and exotic animals, Rockhampton Zoo is the ultimate destination for getting your cuteness fix. Located in the leafy suburbs of the Range, the Zoo features animals including chimpanzees, otters, meerkats, macaws and more. You can learning all about these amazing animals through our daily zookeeper talks or download our FREE Explore Rockhampton Self-Guided Tour app, and discover each animals’ little quirks from the comfort of your hotel room. For an extra unique experience, we recommend booking a meerkat encounter ($100 per person, or $300 for a group of up to 4 people) which includes a feeding session that’s guaranteed to have the mischievous mob climbing all over you.
Stroll Rockhampton’s Heritage-Listed Botanic Gardens
Conveniently located next door to the Zoo is Rockhampton’s Botanic Gardens – one of Queensland’s oldest and most established public gardens. These gardens sprawl across 33-hectares and include the Central Queensland War Memorial (The Cenotaph), tranquil Japanese Gardens and expansive Murray Lagoon, where you can spot turtles! If you’re feeling peckish after your exploration of the Zoo and Gardens, don’t forget to stop by the Garden Tearooms for a bite to eat and a refreshment. Relax under the whimsical canopy of the iconic 150-year-old Banyan Fig Trees as you recall stories of the day’s adventures.
Rockhampton Showgrounds | New Exhibition Road, Wandal, Qld, 4700
As the sun goes down, the market stalls light up with nick-knacks, bric-a-brac and gorgeous gift ideas. Held Saturday, 6 May the markets feature a wide range of beautiful giftware, delicious food stalls, workshops, entertainment and live music. Held every two months, Rivernites is a popular night markets for locals and visitors alike. The evening kicks off at 4pm and continues to 8pm.
Grab a mouth-watering meal
It’s not a visit to the Rockhampton region without stopping by one of our local watering holes and enjoying a succulent cut of local steak! With so many pubs, cafes and restaurants to choose from, the ‘steaks’ are high when it comes to tucking into a delicious meal. Why not try one of our suggestions our locals regularly enjoy.
The Mighty Fitzroy River (Tunuba) is a picture of beauty, particularly when the sun sets over the horizon. The best way to enjoy this moment is by getting out on the water for a River Cruise? The 90 minute sunset cruise, which comes highly recommended, includes complimentary nibbles and drinks available for purchase. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the city featuring the historical architecture of Quay Street. You might even be lucky enough to spot some of the amazing wildlife along the banks including crocodiles.
See it Live at the Pilbeam Theatre
From national and international touring acts to local theatrical and musical productions the Pilbeam Theatre is Central Queensland’s performing arts centre. Book a show and be entertained during your stay in the region.
What’s on in May
Following the success of Are You Lonesome Tonight, Opera Queensland takes a deep dive into the Queensland songbook to celebrate some of Australia’s most loved artists. The Saints, Gladys Moncrieff, Savage Garden and Harold Blair are just a few who inspire Lady Sings the Maroons. A mixtape for a road trip from Brisbane to Cunnamulla, Mount Isa to Cairns, Lady Sings the Maroons tells a story about the art of making a great song and the artists who write them. Featuring the phenomenal voices of Jess Hitchcock, Irena Lysiuk and Marcus Corowa, the production visits Rockhampton for one show only!
Australia’s internationally acclaimed acoustic guitar icon Tommy Emmanuel has recently added yet another accolade to his vast collection, having been named number one acoustic guitarist in the world on Music Radar, as voted by his fellow musicians. Tommy returns to Australia in May 2023 for the first time in four years. Tommy brings the power and dynamism of a full band to his solo acoustic playing, with incredible charisma, stunning speed and dexterity and unerring command of melody. Tommy’s message is pure love for the guitar and the music and his delight in sharing it with the world, one audience at a time. Tommy’s greatest honour was being named by his childhood idol, legendary US guitarist and producer Chet Atkins as a ‘Certified Guitar Player’ (CGP) – one of only 5 given in history. Don’t miss this chance to see Australia’s most successful guitar export.
Fishing the Fitzroy
Home of the barramundi, the Fitzroy River (Tunuba) winds through the city of Rockhampton and provides prime fishing opportunities for those looking to wet a line from a boat or from one of our many river platforms. Even if you didn’t pack the fishing gear with you, have no fear. Rockhampton has a range of fishing charters that set you up with everything you need to be able to check in and boat out in no time. No matter who you are, how you want to fish, or what you want to catch, the Fitzroy River (Tunuba) is ready to welcome you.
No boat? No worries! Book a Charter or hire a boat
For the fishing enthusiast looking for a guided experience on the water, charters are available.
Guided Fishing DownUnder offers a range of fishing charter options for those looking for a great day out on the water. Rockhampton local Nathan Johnston specialises in exclusive fishing experiences for up to three people focusing on the Fitzroy River and Capricorn Coast. Target species in the Fitzroy’s’ expansive delta include the iconic wild saltwater Barramundi and King Threadfin using lure and live bait techniques.
Hookedprovides fishing adventures for enthusiasts of all experience levels (novice to professional). Their fishing charters offer full or half-day trips with tackle, live bait and refreshments supplied. Your local fishing guide on board your trip will also share their expertise and knowledge during your adventure.
Reel Fishing CQ offers Barramundi Charters which include all fishing equipment, lunch, refreshments and fish caught during the trip. For the angler with a boating licence but no boat, Boat Hire CQ also have a 4.5 metre Polycraft Drifter featuring 60hp Yamaha outboard, motor guide 80lb electric motor and Hummingbird Helix 9 GPS side scan sounder that can take up to 4 people out on the water.
Snap a selfie with an iconic bull statue
It’s not a trip to Rockhampton without snapping a Bull Selfie with the iconic statues in the city – after all you’re in the Beef Capital of Australia! You’ll spot them dotted around the city, usually on the median strips of the major roads. However, you can easily and safely walk up to the one at Frank Ford Park, which is only a few minutes’ drive away from the Rockhampton Zoo and Botanic Gardens.
Stop, drop and sizzle!
Nothing beats the great outdoors during Rockhampton’s winter days. Make the most of our perfect weather with a barbecue picnic. The hypnotic sounds of prime local meat sizzling on the hot grill, the scent of the seasoned spices wafting through the fresh outdoor air, the colourful medley of salad placed gently alongside of condiments, fizzy soft drinks and freshly baked bread rolls from the hot bread shop – just thinking about it makes your mouth water, doesn’t it?
Whether you’re after a scenic view of the mighty Fitzroy River (Tunuba), a tranquil garden setting to relax and unwind, the Rockhampton region has it all. Check out our ultimate barbecue experience suggestions for the best butchers, farmers markets and locations that all our locals know and love!
Perfect for picking!
Rockhampton’s local markets boast a wide variety of fresh and tasty produce all year round. Looking for a refreshing sidekick for your steak and sausages? Our farmer’s markets have everything you need that will have you and your friends licking their plates clean! Discover fresh, locally grown produce sourced direct from the farmers who grew them. Your next dish is only limited by your culinary imagination. Plus check out their wide range of plants, bric-a-brac and other goodies.
EXPLORE OUR FARMERS MARKETS
- Berry Good Produce, Parkhurst
- Doblo’s Farmers Markets, North Rockhampton
- Rocky Sunday Markets, North Rockhampton
Take flight with a heli-adventure
Looking to see Rockhampton from a different perspective? Seek your thrills from above with a joyride helicopter adventure. Rockhampton has a range of aerial experiences to choose from. Their tours cover a wide distance throughout the region from the mighty Fitzroy River to coastlines – possibilities are endless with their fully customised flight paths and packages.
Rockhampton Regional Library
Offering an extensive range of great reading material and programs, Rockhampton Regional Library is the perfect place to relax the body and exercise the mind. Immerse yourselves in a good book, or check out the programs available including trivia, origami, knitting and crochet.
Archer Park Rail Museum
Ever wanted to take a ride upon a fully restored one-of-a-kind Purrey Steam Tram. Constructed in 1899, the architecturally impressive Archer Park was the central railway station for Rockhampton until the mid-1920s. Today the Archer Park Rail Museum is one of Rockhampton’s historic locations you will you will fall in love with. The museum is open Monday to Thursday, 10am to 3pm and Sunday 9am to 1pm.
What’s on in May
Ride the Purrey Tram
Step back in time and enjoy a ride on the Purrey Steam Tram. Tram rides are held every Sunday from 9am to 1pm. The tram is believed to be the only one of its kind in the world, and is a wonderful relic of Rockhampton’s tram history dating back to 1909.
Take a scenic route of the CBD via a horse drawn carriage
Take in the beauty of Rockhampton’s city lights, including the canopy of fairy lights that line Rockhampton’s East Street, with your very own horse drawn carriage ride from Capricorn Carriages. These beautiful clydesdale horses are very friendly and love taking locals and visitors around these streets of Rockhampton in style.
Time Safaris Walking Tours
Rockhampton holds a plethora of stories from years gone by, from our heroic WWII efforts, to female bushrangers, bank robberies and the infamous Jack the Ripper. If you’re eager to delve into the deep history of Rockhampton, this is an experience not to be missed. Time Safaris Rockhampton host regular tours for those interested in grasping a slice of history. Your tour guide, Phil Hore, has 20 years experience as a museum educator and has designed tours for some of the world’s leading institutions including the Australian War Memorial, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the London Natural History Museum. Bookings are essential.
Keep satisfying that historical hunger with a visit to Rockhampton’s Heritage Village. The village authentically captures a generous slice of a simpler time. Take a tour through many homesteads, view the vintage cars, tractors, fire engines and horse drawn vehicles on display, watch how a 1950s print press works and take in the traditional skills from a bygone era. You can even take a ride on one of the different modes of transport including horses and ponies, a horse and cart, a vintage double-decker bus, vintage fire engine and several other vintage vehicles. Plus take a gander as the adorable farm animals. The Heritage Village is open from 10am – 4pm daily (excluding public holidays).
Farm Stays perfect for the whole family
Farm stay experiences are a great way to switch off and enjoy your surroundings. With our Central Queensland farm stays, you and your friends can embrace a true outback experience. For those activity seekers, some of our farm stays let you feed the farm animals, ride a horse or you can even try your hand at quad bike riding across the property. Check out some of our great farm stays in the heart of Central Queensland, all within a 90 minute drive from Rockhampton.
Alkoomi Adventure Farm is a family operated cattle property. There’s plenty to see and do at this authentic farm stay, whether it be exploring the property by foot and photographing its breathtaking 360° views, heading out on a leisurely horse ride, cooling down in their freshwater dams, or taking an adrenaline packed motorbike or quad bike ride. Once the sun sets, sit around the campfire and watch the stars while sharing stories of your day.
Hedlow Retreat is set amongst 14 hectares of lush hinterland scenery, perfectly placed on the banks of Hedlow Creek just 25 minutes drive from Rockhampton. With its spectacular backdrop of towering volcanic plugs and expansive grounds, it’s a visual feast for the senses. Indulge in a self-contained cabin and take part in farm activities, or simply enjoy the peace and quiet at this stunning location.
Escape to the country at Myella a 1040 hectare cattle farm. Myella Farm Stay offers farm drive tours and many real life experiences like cow milking, animal feeding, horse riding, whip cracking and lasso lessons. Relax knowing that although the activities are fun, safety is our priority. Connect with nature, go bush walking or bring your bicycle and explore. At the end of the day sit by the campfire and unwind. Visit for a ½ day tour or stay overnight in the original homestead, comfortable en-suite room or use the campgrounds and swimming pool. Myella is located 90 minutes from Rockhampton, the only dirt is 600m into the homestead; otherwise it’s all sealed roads to the front gate.
Event Cinemas, North Rockhampton
What’s better than watching the latest blockbuster on the big screen? Relax in air-conditioned comfort and enjoy a movie at the cinemas. Be sure to stock up on the popcorn and snacks before settling in. There’s always something enjoy-a-bull to watch!
Who doesn’t love a little retail therapy? With more than 150 shops to browse through and a mouth-watering variety of food options to enjoy, you are spoiled for choice at Stockland Rockhampton. From fashion to food, your shopping dreams will be fulfilled with so many retailers to choose from. Don’t know where to start? Download the BindiMaps App from the App Store for (iPhone users) or Play Store for (Android users) and you will be able to find your way around the giant centre in next to no time, quickly and easily. The app even provides easy-to-follow navigation for shoppers who are blind or vision impaired.
Paint and Sip
For the budding artists, nothing is more therapeutic than being inspired by paint and canvas. Paint and Sip Studios offer regular classes and private occasions for those wishing to get their creative streak on – no experience necessary!
Mountain bike trails
If you enjoy the great outdoors and enjoying life in the fast lane, head to our popular mountain biking trails. Our trails are open all year round, but now is the perfect time of year to really make tracks! The region offers two main areas: First Turkey Mountain Bike Park and Mount Morgan Trails. Even if you aren’t equipped with your own bike, bike hire is available from Giant Rockhampton who will ensure you’ll be set to hit the trails.
Make tracks on one of our two great locations
First Turkey Mountain Bike Reserve | 9km from the Rockhampton CBD
Situated on the side of Mount Archer (Nurim) National Park, First Turkey offers more than 30 different trails fit for all skill levels. The park is open most days of the year, except after heavy rainfall in the region. First Turkey has a range of trails from Gravity Enduro and Cross Country trails through diverse terrain, meaning you can easily pick the perfect ride for your level to explore and enjoy.
Mount Morgan Trails | 39.1km from the Rockhampton CBD
Rockhampton’s newest mountain bike trail network consists of 25kms of trails through Mount Morgan’s recreational and water reserve area, the No 7 Dam. The trails feature green level trails, offering less challenging rides, through to blue level trails, providing a more remote, steeper and rockier terrain for the adventurous rider.
Walter Reid Cultural Centre
Located in the heart of the city, the Walter Reid Cultural Centre is home to many art, craft, music and leisure groups that you can enjoy. The centre is open Monday to Friday 8am to 9pm, Saturday 8.30am to 9pm and Sunday 9am to 6pm. Visiting the centre is a great way to make new friends and become involved in activities including arts and crafts workshops, movie programs, photography, pottery, woodwork and rail modelling. The centre also hosts several art exhibitions and performances throughout the year.
What’s on IN JULY
Capricornia Potters Group | Open Wednesday 10am – 12pm & Saturday 10am – 12pm
The Capricornia Potters Group regularly meet for sessions at the Walter Reid Cultural Centre. Located at the top level of the Walter Reid Cultural Centre, the group are a diverse bunch who love to get their hands dirty, challenge their creative minds and most importantly have fun. They warmly welcome new members and encourage visitors to discover and experience the fun.
Rockhampton Embroiderers’ Guild | Open Wednesday 9am – 12pm & Saturday 1pm – 4pm
Rockhampton Embroiderers’ Guild value friendship was they embroider and learn new techniques with classes and workshops.
Patch-Happy Circle | Monday 9am – 2pm
If you enjoy patchwork, quilting, crochet, knitting or crafting of any choice, this group is for you!
Royal Queensland Art Society |Tuesday 9.30am – 1pm & Friday 9am – 12pm
The Royal Queensland Art Society offer art lessons, exhibitions and art sales
CQ Contemporary Artists | Wednesday 9am – 12pm
CQ Contemporary Artists is a group that specialises in creating unique art, experimenting with painting, printmaking, baltik and more.
Unisong Choir | Tuesday 5.30pm – 7.15pm
Unisong Community Choir is a group for people of any age who love to sing. The choir sing a range of music, from gospel and classical to world and contemporary music. New members are always welcome.
Rockhampton Rail Modellers Association | Tuesday 7.30pm – 9.30pm & Saturday 2pm – 5pm
This fun group consists of enthusiasts who are passionate about maintaining and operating scale model railways.
Fibre Arts | Wednesdays & Saturdays 10.30am – 3pm
The Fibre Arts group is a friendly environment to explore weaving, dyeing, spinning, basketry, tapestry and other creative fibre arts.
Rockhampton Lapidary Club | Monday 5.30pm – 8.30pm, Tuesday 1pm – 4.30pm, 5.30pm – 8.30pm, Saturday 9am – 11.30am , 1.30pm – 4.30pm
Rockhampton Lapidary Club focuses on all aspects of fossicking, cabbing, faceting and silver
Officina Athelstane | Casual times available
Discover traditional letterpress printing and workshops. Don’t forget to drop in and visit the Man of Letters: Derek Lamb and the Officina Athelstane exhibition at Rockhampton Museum of Arts afterwards.
Capricornia Printmakers | Casual times available>
View the exhibitions, workshops and community art projects held by central Queensland printmakers
CQ Military Museum
Preserving the military history of the region is the Central Queensland Military and Artefacts Museum. Browse through their extensive collection ranging from the 1900s through to present day.
Hit the road – driving day trips
If you’re in town for a few days, why not experience one of the many great drives in and around Rockhampton to discover the hidden gems of our region.
Cruise along a winding scenic strip of road that takes you up into the Rockhampton regional hinterland. The Mount Morgan Range, via the Burnett Highway, is an enjoyable section of road with eye-catching lookouts, mountainous views and at the very end, the charming mining town of Mount Morgan. Delve into the township’s rich gold mining history and relive its fascinating past with a range of impressive attractions on show including:
- Drop into the Mount Morgan Railway Museum, which also houses the town’s Information Centre
- Take a trip to the Mount Morgan Historical Museum and learn about the town’s rich history
- Pack a picnic or barbecue and unwind by the banks of the Mount Morgan No.7 Dam
- Capture breath-taking views of the Mount Morgan Range Lookout
- Snap an insta-worthy picture on the Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge
- Tuck into a delicious pie or pastry at the popular Mount Morgan Hot Bread Shop and head to the Arthur Timms Lookout for remarkable views of Mount Morgan Mine
For a leisurely drive rewarded by stunning ocean views and seaside towns, set a course for the Capricorn Coast. Starting your journey in Rockhampton, head to the coastal town of Yeppoon via Yeppoon Road. After a pit stop strolling down James Street, head towards Emu Park via the Scenic Highway. The drive is lined with several pristine beaches to stop and enjoy along the way so take your time. Emu Park is a quaint seaside town, making for a perfect lunch stop before stretching your legs along the seaside ANZAC Memorial Walk and Australia’s Singing Ship.
A short 20 minute drive north of Rockhampton will take you to the ancient chambers of Rockhampton’s oldest playground – the Capricorn Caves. The Capricorn Caves offers a range of daily tours including the mesmerising Cathedral Cave Tour (perfect for all ages) to something more challenging like the Explorer and Adventurer Tours.
Link to our brochures and self-guided tour app: https://www.explorerockhampton.com.au/Plan-Your-Visit/Guides-and-e-Brochures