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Rockhampton

Rockhampton, the Beef Capital of Australia is located on the Tropic of Capricorn and is the gateway to the Coast and the Outback.

Founded in 1853, the majesty of Rockhampton's historical architecture has captured the hearts of visitors for decades. Many fine public and private buildings, including the Customs House, old Post Office, Cathedrals, banks, business houses and homes, are constant reminders of the city with an exciting background. The listing of Quay Street facing the river as an historic streetscape that is unique in Australia.

Rising out of Rockhampton's north-eastern suburbs, Mt Archer National Park provides magnificent views of the city, and showcases a spectacular range of native Australian flora and fauna. Frazer Park at the summit of Mt Archer is approximately 604 meters above sea level.

Six bull statues representing the main breeds of the area are situated throughout Rockhampton in recognition of Rockhampton's Beef Capital of Australia title. Gracemere Saleyards, on the outskirts of Rockhampton, handle the largest throughput of export beef cattle in Queensland, and is the largest stud-selling venue in the Southern Hemisphere. Public are welcome.

Experience the country in the city at the Great Western Hotel, which holds weekly rodeos at the back of the pub.

Rockhampton Heritage Village is an active township museum where visitors can experience Rockhampton's rich and colourful history. You could also visit the Dreamtime Cultural Centre, set in some 30 acres of natural bushland on Ancient Tribal Sites. Just 23 kilometres north of Rockhampton on Highway One is Capricorn Caverns, magnificent limestone caves.

Rockhampton Botanic Gardens are regarded as one of the best provincial gardens in Australia. Recently heritage-listed, the Rockhampton Gardens are 130 years old. Located within the Botanic Gardens, the Rockhampton Zoo is home to a diverse range of animals.

Rockhampton, 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.

Lake Victoria

Dululu, Banana Area
Free Entry
Lake Victoria is a basic bush camp area. It is a free camping area, no bookings required. There are no facilities at Lake Victoria, but it is a quiet spot and you will generally have the place to yourself. 20 kilometres south of Dululu on the Burnett Highway is a turn off to the right to Lake Victoria, via Dooney's Road. About four kilometres along Dooney's Road (dirt) is a turn off to the right to Lake Victoria. The campsite is a further one kilometre along the road.

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.

Biloela

Biloela, Banana Area
Biloela is the centre of the Banana Shire and is a growing rural town with a very diverse agricultural industry including cotton, sorghum, wheat, herbs and spices. The cattle industry is thriving with the largest number of cattle of any shire in Queensland. The Queensland Heritage Park complex in Biloela, Central Queensland, represents a celebration of our nation's glorious past and the pioneering spirit of Australians. Through a remarkable range of exhibits the Queensland Heritage Park provides and insight into the past for present and future generations. The restored vintage church and railway station buildings are a testament to early pioneers and families who settled in the Callide and Dawson Valleys. The walls of these buildings are lined with historical photographs and associated memorabilia from the families who shaped the district's early days. Each photo is like a window back in time. The Callide Dawson Machinery Preservation Club grounds at the rear of the complex compliment the many exhibits found inside the main display area, housed in the "Silo" structure that was originally built to showcase Australia's rich primary industries at the World Exhibition held in Brisbane in 1988. Take the time to explore, discover and relive the past as you browse through the machinery sheds and the large array of vintage agricultural machinery. Marvel at the workmanship of these beautifully crafted machines which have been collected, preserved and placed on display for the enjoyment of the travelling public. Visit nearby Kroombit Tops National Park with its array of 4WD trails, spectacular views, subtropical rainforest and palm-fringed waterfalls. It's also the final resting place of Beautiful Betsy, a World War II Liberator Bomber which disappeared in 1944 and was only discovered by chance in 1994!

Blackwater

Blackwater, Central Highlands Area
Blackwater is known as the Coal Capital of Queensland and the Blackwater International Coal Centre showcases the Central Highlands Coal Industry for the world. Located on the Capricorn Highway, Blackwater also boasts a fine Japanese Garden, reputed to be the best of its kind in Queensland, that marks the relationship between Blackwater and its sister city Fujisawa, Japan. The Lions Park is well known for one of the largest displays of flags in the world, each flag being representative of one of the 37 nationalities who laboured together in their efforts to establish the district's coal industry. Anglers are welcome to drop a line in the Bedford Weir which is stocked with barramundi. 26 kilometres north of town, there are boating, camping, toilet and shower facilities. Don't miss the Saratoga fishing competition in September. Just 55 kilometres east from the township of Blackwater you will find the spectacular Blackdown Tableland National Park. Offering you spectacular views and hundreds of plants and wildlife species, some of which are only found in the park. You can enjoy the picnic areas, fireplaces, lookouts, camping area and scenic walking tracks that feature throughout the park.
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