Want to visit Rockhampton, Australia? it would welcome you with the whopping presence of millions of cattle residing in its premises; cattle farms stretched across vast areas. Rockhampton is popularly known as the beef capital of Australia, with livestock production dominated by cattle. The most exciting thing is that Rockhampton people don’t shy away from its cattle population; instead, it embraces its bovine reputation.
Rockhampton indeed is brimming with umpteen of places to visit, day trips, and adventures to engage in. The region specialises in its culinary culture, too. You can stop in at its unique & historic Saleyards Distillery to taste and tour into the process of making batch rum, gin, vodka, and Capricorn spiced. Moreover, tucking into local delicacies is a delicious experience, especially savouring the banana beef Tataki at the waterline restaurant is one of the best things to do in Rockhampton.
Rockhampton attractions range from Rockhampton botanical gardens, history museums, walking tracks, Rockhampton art gallery and myriads of other places.
If you are looking for things to do in Rockhampton, you will be tempted to visit Rockhampton at the end of this article for sure. Let’s dig in!
1. Selfie Time With The Moo!!
It is a mandatory task among the things to do in Rockhampton! On Rockhampton’s main drag, you’ll be thrilled to see six cow statues standing proudly as a tribute to the six distinct breeds found throughout the region. Take your camera and snap a selfie at this fantastic place, an opportunity not to be missed.
2. Visit the Dreamtime Cultural Centre
Situated in the northern outskirts of Rockhampton on the Bruce Highway, 6 km from the city, the cultural centre is spread across 12 hectares of land divided by the limestone Creek. The Dreamtime Cultural Center in Rockhampton is an exciting exhibition of both Aboriginal history and Torres Strait Islander. The landscape is lined with a variety of Flora and also a ravishing waterfall nearby.
As you wander through the art gallery, you will explore specimens of Artwork, old paintings and detailed stories from Central Queensland. The experience takes you through the rich Australian cultural history featuring traditional huts and plants endemic to the Torres Strait.
You could also walk through the Aboriginal traditional area, presenting a replica burial site, rock art and traditional ceremonial sites.
Admission to the Dreamtime Cultural Center is only $ 16, and guided tours are free.
After this, you can also check out Rockhampton Heritage Village, which is just a 3-minute drive away. In Rockhampton Heritage Village, you can see a re-created historic village full of ancient markets and buildings.
3. Go Underground at the Capricorn Caves
One of the real gems on this list of things to do in Rockhampton is the Capricorn Caves, and you probably already have it on your trip. Capricorn Caves lies 23 km north of Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia and minutes off the Pacific Coast way takes you through the absolutely captivating acoustics limestone caves. Capricorn Caves are one of Australia’s largest privately-owned caves, and there are plenty of different caves to explore along the way.
Capricorn Explores and Capricorn Adventure Tours will give you the opportunity to delve further into the picturesque natural sceneries from the summit. There is an Advanced eco-tourism center packed with endangered and threatened species of animals and birds. It’s a great spot as well.
The trip to Cathedral Cave happens to be one of the favorite things to do in Rockhampton. Limestone columns surround this large room and handle events like operas and weddings due to the high quality of sound, like the sayings on the walls. If you want more challenges, don’t miss the Explorer Tour Trips.
4. Rockhampton Botanic Gardens
The Rockhampton Botanic Gardens listed are among the oldest community gardens in Queensland. If you are looking for a bite to eat, Gardens Tearooms are located under the 150-year-old Banyan Figs. They offer a variety of food and beverage and catering specials with indoor and outdoor dining options available.
Japanese Garden provides peace and quiet, while Cenotaph honors our Australian soldiers. Located within the gardens of the Rockhampton Zoo, it opens daily and is home to more than 50 species of native animals from all over Australia and rare species from around the world.
Another wonder on your list of things to do in Rockhampton, the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens has a list of attractions that might excite you to visit. Below is a list of things to do in Rockhampton.
The Outer Gardens
- The Ann Street Entry
- The Flowering Tree Lawn
- The Lassen Fernery
- The Old Office Garden
- Palm Grove
- The Botanic Gardens Administration Centre
- The Spencer Street Entry
- The Sports Precinct
- The Penlington Street End
- The Rockhampton Zoo
The Lower Gardens
- The Experimental Gardens
- The Lagoon Bamboo
- The Lagoon Foreshore
- The Lower Rainforest
- The Old Nursery Area
5. Go To The Rockhampton Zoo
A trip to Rockhampton with kids cannot exclude this location. The zoo is situated within the grounds of Rockhampton botanic gardens. Give yourself a couple of hours to visit the zoo, meet the animals, and take a relaxing walk around the botanic gardens and also the beautiful Murray Lagoon – all free and in the same location.
It harbors almost 100 species of animals, including 30 native and exotic species. The zoo has Mzuri, the newest member of their chimpanzee family, born on December 2021. You can’t miss the Australian Wetlands zone to behold their giant saltwater crocodile, ‘the Colonel.’
Aviaries resonating with vibrant Rainbows, Mob of the Meerkats, and water activities to engage in, watch the otters play like children, Rockhampton Zoo is loaded with fun-filled activities.
6. Kershaw Gardens ( Rockhampton Regional Council)
These Gardens is often referred to as the big yard for people to gather and enjoy. These majestic gardens stretch from the Bruce Highway and provide an excellent setting within North Rockhampton. Spacious parkland with a circular walkway is a great way to explore a park with winding trails that pass through wetlands, ‘rain forests’ and a waterfall of breathtaking beauty.
The central area of Kershaw gardens plays an impressive playground & park with swings, toys, a monorail and an artificial waterway. From the awesome five-level webbing orb to the extra experience of following the flow of the Fitzroy (Tunuba) river, where the whole family can paddle and play, there are a plethora of opportunities for lively family entertainment.
Just don’t forget to pack a picnic rug; it’s one of the unmissable parts of things to do in Rockhampton.
7. Take a Historic Tour
The best way to see them all is to follow Rockhampton’s CBD Heritage Walk guide, which takes you through all the precious buildings. One of the most important buildings is the ABC Building at 236 Quay Street, built in the style of the neoclassical revival in 1897.
Another valuable building is the Sandstone Customs House (208 Quay Street). Built in 1898-1901 in the style of the ancient revival, it has a large bronze dome and a circular balcony with a Corinthian console.
Further down, you will find 186 Quay Street, considered one of the most impressive buildings in Rockhampton. Built in 1880 with a neo-classical revival style under Greek influence, it served as Queensland National Bank until 1976.
Don’t forget to stop at The Criterion Hotel – and maybe indulge in a beer or two! One of Rockhampton’s best-selling irrigation ditches, the existing three-story building on the Heritage List was built in 1889 in the vicinity of the city’s first hotel.
8. Wander the Riverside Precinct
Located right at the heart of the city, it brings to you a golden chance to behold the beauty of the Fitzroy River in Tunuba and the product of modern technology and design. A soothing walk along the heritage-rich sandstone boulevard on Quay street and a nearby boardwalk encircled with luxurious paintings, modern public art that celebrates the local history, and boat dotted vista.
While you are there, order a bite to eat your favourite drink and sit at a desk overlooking the river.
Hot Tip – this is one of Rockhampton’s Instagrammable places! With family? Take your kids to the precinct playground and have a cup of coffee while you watch (or join) them play, and cool off between the outgoing water jets at Rod Laver Plaza.
Riverside Precinct is close to the city’s largest business district, so once you’re ready to explore, head to East Street, where you’ll find cafes, shopping malls, bars, restaurants and restaurants in the middle of the tree line.
You surely cannot leave this out of your list of things to do in Rockhampton with so much to offer.
9. Yeppoon, Central Queensland
Yeppoon – the jewel of the Capricorn Coast, promising fascinating adventure
The Capricorn Coast in Queensland is lined with sandy beaches. Yeppoon serves as the main coastal town of Capricorn coast, occupies 95 km of the coastline, and its beaches are alluring, with Rockhampton nature thriving in all its glory.
Yeppoon main beach is located 30 minutes away and perfectly features the Gateway to the Capricorn Coast and the pristine southern great barrier reef. Lammermoor Beach is one of the most famous in the area, with more than two miles of sand to explore before catching fish and chips at Sea Breeze Servo and Takeaway.
Explore Kemp Beach in shallow water, then take a Bluff Point Track to Turtle Lookout for panoramic coastal views and whale views. With open beaches surrounded by the calm, soft waters of Keppel Bay, Kinka Beach, just 15 minutes drive south of Yeppoon, is an ideal seaside for families.
Indeed, it is the Crowing beauty of Australia.
Activities & Attractions in Yeppoon
Keppel Bay Islands
Shimmering crystal clear water, golden coastline, scarped cliffs and diverse green-lush vegetation with an abundance of wildlife makes it one of the most incredible destinations to visit in Rockhampton. It is the largest of all the other islands.
There is plenty to do on Great Keppel Island, nurturing more than 3,500 hectares of land to explore, 17 beaches to discover, and rich with Australian animals and floras. Take a trip to explore as many people as possible, or slow down with just one book.
On the other side of this unique location lies 2 km long Aboriginal middens shells left by the people of Woppaburra, the traditional owners of the Keppel Island Group. The large island of Keppel is entrenched in traditional & local history.
Located on the Southern Great Barrier Reef, snorkelling is a must while you are here. Water warming and contact with tortoises and dolphins are common. Private harbours with pockets of fringing reef filled the island and are ideal for diving or diving.
Keppel is lucky enough to boast some of the healthiest, most versatile gems boasting 95-100% healthy coral coverage. You can even get right to the beach: just walk along the coast and explore the amazing coral reefs, which have a combination of both soft and strong corals in attractive colours. Indeed it is one of the things to do in Rockhampton.
Emu Park Main Beach
Located just south of Emu Point, we have one of the two main beach beaches called Emu Park Main Beach. Aside from being a quiet beach with waves that range between 0.5 -1m, this beach is known as the surf lovers beach in Emu Park and the site of the Surf Lifesaving Club.
Although the Yeppoon Sea is only 50 feet [50 m] wide at sea level, the sea level extends for 200m of white sand. Located in the centre of the green park, Emu Park Main Beach offers a great place for anyone who wants to enjoy a day in the sun on the beach.
Capricorn Scenic Loop
Discover beaches, jungle trails, beautiful fishing grounds and the history of Capricorn Coast’s second-largest township, Emu Park, where you can see the Singing Ship, a sculpture honouring Captain James Cook’s exploration along the coast.
South of Joskeleigh, visit the South Sea Islander Museum and view photographs of former Kanaka immigrants who were enslaved during the sugarcane days. Make this scenic beauty a part of things to do in Rockhampton.
Kemp Beach is an ideal Gateway for everyone and is renowned as one of the best places where the sun ascends and descends in the deep orange horizon in the Capricorn Coast region.
This beautiful 2km long beach is just south of Rosslyn Bay. Surrounded by tall grass, you could not even see a road just a few yards away, making it an easily accessible sea while still covered by nature.
Bluff Rock, which has a high concentration of marine life such as dolphins and turtles in the surrounding area, is located 10 miles from Kemp Beach and can be reached by kayak or canoe.
Yeppoon Main Beach
Yeppoon Main Beach, a great spot for a dip, is located in the heart of Yeppoon. This beach is considered to be the main tourist attraction among all Yeppoon beaches. Yeppoon Main Beach is 1.4km long and offers many amenities such as BBQ and picnic areas, toilets, and access ramps that contribute to its popularity.
Aside from its amazing facilities, the entire ocean is known for its water surfing club and the Keppel Bay Sailing Club, located at the north and south end of the sea, respectively.
Yeppoon is enough to prove the astonishing beauty of the Rockhampton region. Therefore, deserving of grabbing a place in your list of things to do in Rockhampton.
10. Rockhampton Heritage Village, Queensland
All the history buffs, don’t forget to take a step back in time at Rockhampton Heritage Village. It must be one of your things to do in Rockhampton.
The Village is set on 11.4 hectares of land, including a charming township. Visitors will enjoy 10 hectares of bushland – including a picturesque township as well as fine examples of ancient machinery and a range of friendly farm animals. The town truly captures the larger piece of the lifestyle of previous generations and is a great opportunity for your whole family to learn and have fun.
Experience life before electricity by visiting many local homes, viewing the many old machines and horse-drawn carriages and wagons on display, seeing how the vintage 1950s printing press operates, visiting the Hardware Store on market days, and learning the traditional way skills of the past.
11. Take The View At Mount Archer
Between Rockhampton and the Central Queensland Coast is the Berserker Range, the highest peak protected by the national park. Mount Archer National Park protects the remains of bushland in the Berserker Ranges, a backyard in Rockhampton.
The park covers 4250 hectares of wide-open jungle and eucalyptus forest and a large patch of dry forest in the deep-rooted Moores Creek valley. Dry rain forests are areas of urgent conservation value and include several endemic plant species.
As the place is located in the suburbs, it has every bit of beauty embedded in its natural ecosystem. Being the highest peak (604 m above sea level), it provides breathtaking views of the city and ranges in its proximity.
If you are not in a hurry, then take some time to relish a delicious bowl of cheese, cold meat, dips and crackers at Crazy Joker or other soft drinks at any local cafes and sit down to relax at a picnic table or the Mount Archer Amphitheater.
If you are a good enthusiast, then it is surely one of the things to do in Rockhampton; check out the many hiking trails and hiking throughout the national park or hike the hiking trails at First Turkey Mountain Bike Park.
12. Mount Etna Caves National Park
The national park is an ideal roosting site for more than 80% of Australia’s breeding population of little wing bats. Limestone outcrops and dense caves surround the region, making it a few exceptional places supporting colonies of threatened ghost bats.
The rocky karst seen today has resulted from the Limestone from ancient coral reefs plus the area’s continuous contact with water. As you might guess, Mount Etna Caves is a delicate habitat, and visits are limited. Make it one of your things to do in Rockhampton.
Partake in a ranger-guided tour to Bat Cleft and feel the rush of thousands of tiny bats flashing past you (fees apply). Tours extend for about 3 hours in the evening under torchlight along the Mount Etna walk (2.4km return). Tours operate every summer from December to February on Monday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
And this brings us to the end of the article, taking you through an array of things to do in Rockhampton. These alluring destinations surely smite you at Rockhampton, So don’t delay and grab the opportunity.
Pack your bags, book your tickets, hire a travel agent and head to your chosen destination. Also, don’t forget to keep your favourite dresses.