25+ Unbeat-a-bull experiences to enjoy during Beef Australia 2024

Published on 30 April 2024


Welcome to the Beef Capital of Australia: Rockhampton

Ask any local and they will tell you that Rockhampton IS the Beef Capital of Australia.

From it's life-size bull statues that line the city, to its major cattle selling centre, full-bull rodeo action events to being one of the largest head of cattle grazing through the region, there's no doubt Rockhampton is proudly beef country.

And that's not mentioning one of the biggest reasons Rockhampton claims the title of Beef Capital of Australia. Rockhampton will be put on the global stage, transforming into a mecca of all things beef with a week long world-class exhibition Beef Australia 2024.

Showcasing and celebrating all facets of the beef industry, from the paddock to the plate, this triennial event is a major draw card for local, national and international visitors to the region.

While you're beefing it up in the Beef Capital, we invite, we encourage, you to take on some of the unique experiences that are exclusive to our region.

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.

We invite you to come and explore Rockhampton and share your visit with us by tagging @ExploreRockhampton and #ExploreRockhampton.

Visitors scattered throughout an exhibition at Rockhampton Museum Of Art
Immerse yourself in a world of wonder at Rockhampton Museum of Art

1. Rockhampton Museum of Art

220 Quay St, Rockhampton QLD 4700

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. 

A must see during Beef Australia is the Fernando do Campo exhinition.

Fernando do Campo: Capricornian Minotaurs and Where to Find Them | Now - 23 June, 2024

Argentina-born artist Fernando do Campo reflects on his formative years spent in Rockhampton with this deep dive into the social history of beef and agriculture. Archives and private collections of photographs, paintings, prize ribbons and union banners, displayed alongside do Campo’s own artworks, narrate the affectionate and complex knotted histories that emerge between humans and cattle in this proclaimed ‘Beef Capital of Australia’.

Other exhibitions include:

MAXIMUM MADNESS: Art Inspired by Mad Max | Now - 30 June, 2024

Collection Focus: Capricornia Printmakers | Now - 25 August, 2024

Stephen Bird: Industrial Sabotage | Now - 25 August, 2024

Find out more

Three people walking across an elevated treetop boardwalk with views of the Rockhampton city
Memor-a-bull views of our beautiful city from Nurim Circuit.

2. Walk the treetops of Mount Archer National Park (Nurim)

Pilbeam Drive, Mount Archer, QLD, 4701

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!

Find out more


Close up of otter's face looking directly at the camera while submerged in water
You'll become otterly obsessed with our Rockhampton Zoo animals.

3. Rockhampton Zoo

100 Spencer Street, West Rockhampton, QLD, 4700

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 experience like no other, book an Animal Encounter. Enjoy the merry mob of meerkats crawling all over you as you receive a private keeper talk, feed our friendly and otterly adorable otters or put your nerves to the test with a snake encounter - if you dare! Don't forget to bring a camera to capture your memorable experience.

Visit Rockhampton Zoo


cattle lined up at a previous Beef Australia event where they are about to be awarded ribbons
Discover the amazing history, stories and events that built Beef Australia into the epic global phenomenon it is today.

4. Discover the History of Beef

From humble beginnings as a one-off beef exposition coinciding with the iconic World Expo 88, to one of the largest leading beef expositions in the world, Beef Australia has become a global sensation in the beef and cattle industry. Take a virtual tour, from the comfort of your living area, and discover the history of this epic triennial event through the Explore Rockhampton free Self-Guided Tour App. The History of Beef Tour lets you step back in time to each Beef event from the year 1988 to now, highlighting some of the amazing activities and events that made Beef Australia bigger and better through the years.

Download our Free Self-Guided Tour App

Man holding on for dear life has he gets bucked by a very energetic beast of a bull at a bull riding event.
Saddle up for the most exciting eight seconds of your life!

5. PBR Rockhampton International at the Great Western Hotel

Friday, May 10 & Saturday May 11, 2024

Experience a sport unlike any other. A battle of the greatest. A competition of man vs beast where every second counts. The best in bull riding will battle it out at the Great Western Hotel for the PBR Rockhampton Invitational. Strap yourself in for the toughest 8 seconds in sports and find out what it really means to be cowboy.

Find out more

A picture of a bouquet of flowers, wrapped gift with a bow and card reading Happy Mother's Day.
Mum deserves the absolute best!

6. Celebrate Mother's Day

Spoil the best mum in the world (yours) right here in Rockhampton with a wide range of events held throughout the region. We've listed some suggestions below:

A man steering a horse close to a beast as part of a campdraft competition.
Stick around for an exciting campdraft competition, more than 20 years in the making.

7. Paradise Lagoons Campdraft

Thursday 16 May - Saturday May 19, 2024

If you need an exciting reason to stick around in the Rockhampton region after Beef 2024, we've got one to saddle up for. Enter one of the biggest Campdraft Comps in CQ - Paradise Lagoons Campdraft. This highly anticipated annual event draws visitors and competitors from across the nation to watch the exciting sport of campdrafting.

Find out more

A poster promoting The Rubens Black Balloon Tour.
The Rubens are coming to Rockhampton as part of their Blck Balloon Tour.

8. The Rubens | Black Balloon Tour

Friday, May 10 2024

To celebrate the release of their latest new music, The Rubens are hitting the Rockhampton stage for their Black Balloon QLD. Their recent 2023 singles Good Mood & Pets & Drugs, featured on big end of year playlists and came in high on triple j Hottest 200. Following on from their, 2021 #1 ARIA-Charting fourth album 0202, which was nominated for the prestigious Australian Music Prize (AMP) and has had album tracks ‘Live In Life’ and ‘Masterpiece’ certified 4x Platinum and Platinum respectively in Australia, the bands anticipated 5th album is on the horizon.

Find out more

Mature aged interracial couple sitting down under a giant Fig Tree at the Botanic Gardens
Enjoy the tranquil surroundings of Rockhampton's Botanic Gardens.

9. Stroll Rockhampton's Heritage-Listed Botanic Gardens

100 Spencer Street, West Rockhampton, Qld, 4700

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.

Explore the Botanic Gardens

Two steak dishes
There are plenty of opportunities to become a regular at one of our popular eating spots.

10. 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.

Feeling hungry?

adults of all ages sitting in a boat enjoying a river cruise
Kick back and relax on a River Cruise

11. River Cruise

Northside Boat Ramp, Norbridge Park, The Common, Qld, 4701

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.

Find out more

Performed dressed up as the cast of Mary Poppins
Discover the amazing talent the Pilbeam Theatre has to offer all year round.

12. See it Live at the Pilbeam Theatre

Corner of Victoria Parade and Cambridge Street, Rockhampton QLD 4700

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 during Beef Australia

The Tap Pack | Monday 29 April - 7.30pm

Picking up where The Rat Pack left off, The Tap Pack conjures up a modern twist to the crooners and artists from the ‘50s through to the noughties! Featuring songs from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr to Ed Sheeran, Michael Bublé and Beyoncé. The Tap Pack mix slick humour, high-energy entertainment, and world-class tap dance. A show of pure entertainment inspired by the legendary kings of swing, the Rat Pack, freshly created for the audience today. Cool classics with a fresh new twist. All your favourites including “The Lady Is a Tramp”, “Come Fly with Me”, “One For My Baby”, “Me And My Shadow” and much more.

Broadway and Beyond 2024 | Friday, 3 May - 7.30pm

With an exciting ensemble of 20 of the region's finest musicians, singers and dancers, B&B24 will be a 2-hour high energy live show of dazzling song and dance, featuring hits from Grease, Wicked, Chicago, Les Miserables, Hamilton, Jersey Boys, Moulin Rouge, Jesus Christ Superstar, Elton John, Lady Gaga, Adele and more! BROADWAY & BEYOND has become one of the most anticipated & fast growing annual local productions in Central Queensland and is now back with a brand new show this May!

Find out more

boat cruising up the Fitzroy River
The Fitzroy River (Tunuba) - Home of the Barramundi

13. Fishing the Fitzroy

Not only are we known as the Beef Capital, but we're also Home of the Barrumundi! 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.

Hooked provides 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.

Find out more

Young, beautiful woman wearing a cowboy hat, smiling, while taking a selfie with a life-size bull statue
Frank Forde Park makes for the prime location to photograph our bull statues safely

14. Snap a selfie with an iconic bull statue

It’s not a trip to Rockhampton during Beef Australia without snapping a selfie with one of our 7 iconic bull statues! Dotted throughout the city, you'll find them quite easily along the main drag, usually on the median strips of the major roads. However, you can easily and safely walk up to the one at Frank Forde Park, which is only a few minutes’ drive away from the Rockhampton Zoo and Botanic Gardens.

bbq at mount archer ampitheatre
Cook up a picnic storm at one of our amazing picnic and barbecue locations. Pictured: Mount Archer (Nurim) Amphitheatre.

15. Stop, drop and sizzle!

Nothing beats Rockhampton's outdoor climate in the cooler months. So, why not make the most of it a barbecue picnic. Whether you’re after a scenic view of the mighty Fitzroy River (Tunuba), a tranquil garden setting or a breath-stealing sunset view of the city, 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!

Rockhampton's Top BBQ Spots

Photograph of fresh fruit and vegetables
Fresh local produce ready for the picking.

16. 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.


Mountainous plains with a helicopter in the distance
Our heli-adventures are unforget-a-bull.

17. 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.

External shot of Archer Park Railway Museum
Step back in time and enjoy the ride.

18. Archer Park Rail Museum

51 - 87 Denison Street, Rockhampton QLD 4700

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 f you visit on a Sunday between 9am to 1pm, you can take a tram ride on a one of a kind Purrey Steam Tram.

Find out more

Horse drawn carriage
All the horse power you need to relax and enjoy the ride.

19. 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.

Find them on Facebook

Photo of tour guide smiling at camera
Take a tour through Rockhampton's history.

20. 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.

Book a tour

Arnolds Store at the Heritage Village
Venture around the historic village grounds.

21. Heritage Village

Boundary Road, Parkhurst QLD 4702

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).

Find out more

Horse riding at Alkoomi
Enjoy the outdoors with a Farm Stay. Photo by Our Coast Life.

22. 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.

young woman carrying shopping bags in motion blur walking past a shop
Shop 'til you drop.

23. Stockland Rockhampton

120-331 Yaamba Road, Park Avenue QLD 4701

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.

Find out more

children enjoying the movies
Be blown away by the latest blockbuster.

24. Event Cinemas, North Rockhampton

Stockland Rockhampton, 120-331 Yaamba Road, Park Avenue QLD 4701

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!

Find out more

Mountain bike riding at First Turkey Mount Archer
Our mountain biking trails are perfect for all skill levels.

25. 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! 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.

Find out more

CQ Military Museum
Preserving the military history of Central Queensland, the Central Queensland Military and Artefacts Museum is the only military museum in the region.

26. CQ Military Museum

40 Archer St, Rockhampton QLD 4700

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.

Find out more

Mount Morgan Range aerial view
Coast the winding roads of Mount Morgan Range

27. 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.

Mount Morgan

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:

Capricorn Coast & Emu Park

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.

Young man exploring an ancient cave dwelling wearing a headlamp
Discover an ancient world at the Capricorn Caves.

28. Capricorn Caves

30 Olsens Caves Road, The Caves QLD 4702

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.

Book at tour


Written by Explore Rockhampton