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Gracemere

Gracemere is located nine kilometres west of Rockhampton, the Beef Capital of Australia. The town is home to the largest saleyards in the Southern Hemisphere and is the heart of the Capricorn cattle industry.

Experience the dust and drama as thousands of cattle, horse and other livestock are rounded into the saleyards to go under the auctioneer's hammer each week. Sales are held most week days, with the major cattle and bull sales held every Friday. After the sales, be sure to stop by the Gracemere Hotel - this pub has all the charm of a classic Aussie pub with a modern twist.

The Archer Brothers, early pioneers of Rockhampton, opened up the Gracemere region in April 1853 and established their home at the settlement of Gracemere. The area was named in honour of Tow Archer's wife, Grace.

Paradise Lagoons is a privately owned cattle property and is the location for Australia's richest campdraft. The property is located 16 kilometres from Rockhampton (near Gracemere), and the nation's best campdrafters flock to compete here annually.

20 minutes west of Gracemere on the Capricorn Highway is Mt Hay Gemstone park. Fossick for thunder-eggs or gemstones and browse their quality pewter products.

Gracemere, Rockhampton Area
Queensland
Australia

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Mount Scoria Conservation Park

Thangool, Banana Area
Free Entry
Rising 150 metres above cultivated plains, Mount Scoria is a striking landmark near Biloela in the Banana Shire. Formed by volcanic activity 20 to 26 million years ago, this volcanic plug features many-sided basalt columns. Known as the 'Musical Mountain', Mount Scoria is one of only three prehistoric rock formations in the world which were originally the core of a volcano. When the basalt columns are struck (carefully) by another rock, musical notes ring out over the plain. Hence the term, Musical Mountain. Take the short cultural track to view the mountain and learn about its significance to the Gangulu people. Have a picnic, go birdwatching or barbecue at the picnic area.

Mount Archer National Park

Rockhampton, Rockhampton Area
Free Entry
With a height of 604 metres, Mt Archer dominates Mt Archer National Park and provides a dramatic backdrop to Rockhampton. The park protects a range of plants and animals, including plant species with restricted distributions, also the glossy black-cockatoo. Named in honour of the Archer brothers who explored the Fitzroy area, it is part of the Darumbal Aboriginal people’s traditional country. From Mount Archer. view spectacular sunsets. Stroll around the plateau for views across the city and the Capricorn Coast. Walk 11 kilometres from the summit to German Street. Enjoy a picnic in Fraser Park, which is managed by Rockhampton City Council.

Kroombit Tops National Park

Biloela, Banana Area
Free Entry
Kroombit Tops National Park - a spectacular hinterland experience that showcases the regions true beauty. 800 metre high sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, inspiring landscapes, sweeping gorges, peaceful creeks and the only known home of the Kroombit Tinkerfrog, a critically endangered species. Just 85 kilometres from Gladstone, Kroombit Tops National Park is a 4WD enthusiasts dream, with a number of touring routes available to explore the varying features of the hinterland. Take a day trip, or camp overnight for a more leisurely journey (fees apply). The rugged terrain of the Kroombit Plateau is the resting place of a World War II B-24D Liberator bomber which crashed on a rainy night in 1945, and all on board lost their lives. Drive the four wheel drive scenic loop and walk 700 metres (return) to the plane's crash site.

Blackdown Tableland National Park

Dingo, Central Highlands Area
Blackdown Tableland National Park protects a sandstone plateau rising abruptly above Central Queensland’s flat plains. Bordered by high rugged cliffs, this is the traditional home of the Ghungalu people. Rock art across the park reminds us of their connection with this country. Dissected by deep gorges, the park offers spectacular lookouts and scenic waterfalls. Unique plant communities thrive in the cooler, elevated climate. Several short tracks take in creeks, lookouts and interesting relics from the past. Go spotlighting at night or relax in the peaceful Munall campground. Camping fees apply; book in advance during school holidays. Enjoy the views from Horseshoe lookout. In a four wheel drive, explore the 19 kilometre loop road.

Mount Etna Caves National Park

Rockhampton, Rockhampton Area
Free Entry
Mount Etna Caves National Park contains some of Australia's most cavernous limestone formations. Protected from fire by the limestone karst, dry rainforest thrives amongst sharp pinnacles and shady crevices. The national park is especially important to a number of bat species. Eighty per cent of Australia's breeding population of female bent-wing bats use a single cave in the national park for birthing and rearing their young. During this time ranger guided tours are offered to see the spectacular nightly emergence of over 100,000 bats. Tours operate during the bat breeding season, from December to February (fees apply). Outside of this time the track is open to the public. Picnic at the Cammoo Caves picnic area and go on a self-guided walk.

150th Meridian

Moura, Banana Area
Free Entry
Located one kilometre east of Moura on the Dawson Highway, the 150th Meridian marker shows the position of the imaginary line (150 °E) on which Queensland (Eastern Standard) time is based. At the time of the equinox, a day is exactly 12 hours long anywhere on the Meridian line. The meridian line in Greenwich represents the Prime Meridian of the world, Longitude Zero (0° 0' 0"). Every place on the Earth is measured in terms of its angle east or west from this line. 'Holey rocks' like the ones at the Meridian Marker can be found all around Moura. They are a product of the process used for blasting of rock in Coal Mining. Take a sighting through the holes and you're looking along the 150th Meridian.

Goovigen

Goovigen, Banana Area
Nestled among some of the regions rural farming properties, Goovigen is one of the smaller townships within Banana Shire, with a population of just 287 people. Originally set up as a supply depot for the railways, it now forms an intricate part of a rich agricultural area with surrounding properties farming cotton, cattle and grain. Located just 52 kilometres from Biloela and approximately 121 kilometres south west of Rockhampton, the name Goovigen came from the Aboriginal word for Box Tree, a species of Eucalypt. Once a hive of activity for farmers and graziers, Goovigen has developed into the ideal tranquil retreat for travellers wanting a peaceful escape. The well maintained sports grounds provides camping with showers, toilets and barbeques nestled under the shade of numerous large trees. Goovigen's hidden treasures are easily accessible from this camping area. The town's historical society has transformed the School of Arts into a time capsule on stumps. Inside the restored corrugated iron hall, the walls are lined with panels full of stories about pioneers and families who made the district what it is today. Goovigen is also home to a collection of groups that have a passion for sport including the Goovigen Pony Club, Indoor Bowls and Tennis Club. The tiny town is blessed with numerous lovely renovated buildings and manicured gardens, one - the peaceful 'Willey's Walk' park is a used to host Anzac Day parades and other special functions. Several kilometres north of Goovigen, hidden out in the bush, is a pleasant surprise. Lake Victoria is a refreshing retreat with shady trees, a wide expanse of water, water birds and other wildlife. It is a popular spot amongst locals for water skiing, swimming or fishing, but usually is deserted, making it an ideal location to hide away from the world.

Comet

Comet, Central Highlands Area
Comet is located in the Central Highlands, 39 kilometres east of Emerald on the Capricorn Highway. Comet was established in association with the westward development of the railway line from Rockhampton. The town was named after the 'Comet River' which runs close to the township. The river itself was named after Ludwig Leichhardt's observation of Haley's Comet in the skies during his travels through Central Queensland in the late 1800's. Here you can see the tree trunk that Ludwig Leichhardt marked with 'Dig' during his exploration of the region in 1844. 'Dig' indicated to those who followed that he had buried food and journals in this spot. The small rural town is also a service centre for the local farming community.

Theodore

Theodore, Banana Area
Theodore is located on the Dawson River 105 kilometres south west of Biloela. The first settlers came to the district in the early 1850’s and took up pastoral holdings such as sheep and cattle runs. The township had its beginnings in 1922 when legislation was passed for the establishment of a major irrigation project. A design for a model township was approved in 1925. Previously called “Castle Creek”, Theodore was later named in honour of the former Queensland Premier, Mr E H Theodore. It is said that the town was architecturally designed by Walter Burley Griffin in the early 1920’s before he went on to design Australia’s capital city, Canberra. The palm-lined roads are quite spectacular and the town is an impressive look-alike to the street plan of Canberra. Today Theodore is the service centre for important irrigation and agricultural industries. Popular spots to visit at Theodore include the community managed Hotel-Motel, the Dawson River weir, Rose’s Garden, Junction Park, Glenmoral Gorge and the nearby historic hand built 'flagged' road, used by bullock wagons in the nineteenth century.

Dingo

Dingo, Central Highlands Area
Nestled in hundreds of hectares of grazing country, Dingo is a convenient access point for exploring the Blackdown Tableland National Park as well as home to the annual World Dingo Trap Throwing Competition and Picnic Races in July. This charming rural town is located just across the railway line from the Capricorn Highway, west of Rockhampton. The origin of the town's name is shrouded in mystery. Some say a railway surveyor saw a dingo on the creek bank and gave the town its name whilst others say that Moses Wafer, an early pioneer, heard dingoes howling at night and named the town after his campsite. The last colony of the endangered Bridled Nailtail Wallaby was found north of Dingo. For more information about events and activities, just ask at the Dingo Roadhouse - a 24 hour service station on the Highway that also works as an information centre for travellers.
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