30 unmissable family experiences in Rockhampton

Published on 20 September 2023


Experience Rockhampton with your family

With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, Rockhampton is the perfect place to stop, see and stay. We've listed 30 of the best experiences our region has to offer while on your next visit.

We promise that you and the kids will be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding things to do, from chatting to chimpanzees at our free zoo, wandering along treetop boardwalks and exploring ancient caves, to lush garden picnics, scenic bike rides and so much more.

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

girl with two meerkats crawling over her head and shoulders
Our meerkat mob are eager to meet you at Rockhampton Zoo.

Rockhampton Zoo

100 Spencer Street, West Rockhampton, QLD, 4700

With more than 30 species of native and exotic animals to see, Rockhampton Zoo is a must during your trip to Rockhampton. Located in the leafy suburbs of the Range, the Rockhampton Zoo features animals including chimpanzees, otters, meerkats, macaws and more. The whole family will enjoy learning about the animals during the zookeeper talks throughout the day. They can also have their photo taken with the life-size Gorilla statue. Download our FREE Explore Rockhampton Self-Guided Tour app, discover the daily keeper talks and learn get to know each of the animals who call Rockhampton Zoo their home. For an experience like no other, we recommend booking a Animal Encounter. Choose from our mischievous meerkats, otterly addorable otters or a snake encounter if you dare!

Visit Rockhampton Zoo

Family walking across the bridge at the Japanese Gardens
Enjoy the tranquil surroundings of Rockhampton's Botanic Gardens.

Stroll Rockhampton's Heritage-Listed Botanic Gardens

100 Spencer Street, West Rockhampton, Qld, 4700

Next door to the Zoo is the impressive Rockhampton Botanic Gardens, one of the oldest and most established public gardens in Queensland. The Rockhampton Botanic Gardens sprawl over a 33-hectare site and include the Central Queensland War Memorial (The Cenotaph), tranquil Japanese Gardens, and expansive Murray Lagoon, where you can spot turtles! And if you’re looking for your next selfie opportunity, the iconic 150-year-old Banyan Fig Trees, which surround the Gardens Tearooms cafe in the middle of the gardens are the ideal spot.

Explore the Botanic Gardens

Rockhampton Museum Of Art
Immerse yourself in a world of wonder at Rockhampton Museum of Art

Rockhampton Museum of Art

220 Quay St, Rockhampton QLD 4700

Featuring an ever-changing array of exhibitions to inspire and amaze, 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. Take a journey through the eye-catching exhibitions, programs and workshops and visit the gift shop afterwards. Its collection is regarded as one of the finest in regional Australia. Rockhampton Museum of Art is the only regional Gallery in Queensland to hold a representative collection mid-twentieth century Australian art, including the works of prominent Australian Modernist painters. 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.

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

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 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?

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

Fishing the Fitzroy

Home of the barramundi, the Fitzroy River (Tunuba) winds through the city of Rockhampton and provides prime fishing opportunities for families looking to wet a line from a boat or from the bank. 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 out on the water, charters are available.

Guided Fishing DownUnder offer a range of fishing charter options for families looking for a great day out on the water. Rockhampton local Nathan Johnston offers 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 offer fishing adventures for the whole family, from novice to professional in the Rockhampton region. Their Fishing Charters offer full or half day trips and welcome all levels of fishing experience. Your local fisherman guide will supply you and your family with all tackle, live bait, refreshments throughout the day and will share their expertise and knowledge.

Reel Fishing CQ offer 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 offer a 4.5metre 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 so you and the kids will be all set for that unforgettable fishing trip in the Fitzroy.

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a couple enjoying a river cruise
Kick back and relax on a River Cruise

River Cruise

If fishing isn’t your style, Rockhampton’s River Cruises set a more relaxing tone for those families looking to get out on the water and simply admire the view. Kick back with the kids and a cold drink and enjoy Rockhampton from a different perspective as the sun sets over the horizon. We recommend the 90-minute sunset cruise, which includes complimentary nibbles, drinks available for purchase plus breathtaking views of the city - you might even be lucky enough to spot some of the amazing wildlife along the banks including crocodiles.

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Pilbeam Theatre
Discover the amazing talent the Pilbeam Theatre has to offer all year round.

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.

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Two young men ride the Mount Archer First Turkey Mountain Bike Trails smiling.
Our mountain biking trails are perfect for all skill levels.

Mountain bike trails

If you’re a family that loves to live life in the fast lane and can’t get enough of your sport – why not bring on a different kind of adrenaline-pumping fun? Rockhampton’s Mountain Biking Trail is open all year round, but now is the perfect time of year to really make tracks! Even if you and the kids aren’t equipped with your own bike, bike hire is available from Giant Rockhampton who will ensure the whole family will be set to hit the trails.

Make tracks

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 and the kids can easily pick the perfect ride for your level to explore and enjoy.

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Walter Reid Cultural Centre
Experience the exhibitions, activities and performances held at the Walter Reid Cultural Centre all year round.

Walter Reid Cultural Centre

Corner of Derby and East Street, Rockhampton QLD 4700

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

Capricornia Potters Group | Open Saturday 10am - 12pm & Wednesday 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.

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Rockhampton Regional Library
Explore the exciting programs available at the Rockhampton Regional Library

Rockhampton Regional Library

230 Bolsover Street,  Rockhampton QLD 4700

Offering an extensive range of great reading, programs, kids’ group and more, the Rockhampton Regional Library is an adventure for all. Grab the kids and immerse yourselves in a good book, or explore the wide range of library programs and activities including craft, Lego, music and the Lively Kids Group.

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Kids standing on the purrey tram at Archer Park Railway Museum
Ride the Purrey Steam Tram at Archer Park Railway Museum.

Archer Park Rail Museum

51 - 87 Denison Street, Rockhampton QLD 4700

Take a ride upon one of a fully restored one-of-a-kind Purrey Steam Tram and discover the wonders of Rockhampton’s rain history. 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 iconic historic locations the kids will surely love! The museum is open Monday to Thursday, 10am to 3pm and Sunday 9am to 1pm.

What's on 

Ride the Purrey Tram - Sundays 9am to 1pm

Step back in time and enjoy a ride on the Purrey Steam Tram. Tram rides are held every Sunday from 9am to 1pm. Visit the museum on the weekend and take a ride on the fully restored Purrey Steam Tram. 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.

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

Stop, drop and sizzle!

Nothing beats the great outdoors. So why not make a day of it with an awesome picnic or barbecue? 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 funky adventure playground for the kids to go crazy on, a tranquil garden setting to relax and unwind, the Rockhampton Region has it all. If you're looking to get out in the fresh air and enjoy some family fun, we’ve got a great collection of some of the region’s best parks and playgrounds where you can enjoy a barbecue with the whole family. 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

Young woman wearing a cowboy hat smiling while taking a selfie with a bull statue in Rockhampton.
Frank Ford Park makes for the prime location to photograph our bull statues safely.

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.

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

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.

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

This visiting family went to market

Rockhampton's local markets boast a wide variety of fresh tasty produce for the picking. Looking for a refreshing sidekick for your steak and sausages? Our farmer’s markets have everything you need that will have your families 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.


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

Heritage Village

Boundary Road, Parkhurst QLD 4702

Step back in time and take a historic journey into the Heritage Village. The village authentically captures a generous slice of an earlier generations way of life and is a wonderful opportunity for your whole family to learn and have fun. Experience life before electricity with a tour through many homesteads, view the many vintage cars, tractors, fire engines and horse drawn vehicles and wagons on display, watch how a 1950s print press works, and visit the Blacksmith Shop on market days and take in the traditional skills from a bygone era. You even have the opportunity to try a range of transport options including horses and ponies, a horse and cart, a vintage double-decker bus, vintage fire engine and several other vintage vehicles plus an adorable farm animals the kids will love to meet. The Village is set on 11.4 hectares of bush land, and incorporates a charming township from yesteryear with original and recreated homesteads, buildings and businesses. The Heritage Village is open from 10am - 4pm daily (excluding public holidays).

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Young kids playing in a pool/wet area
Warm Winter days can be enjoyed with some pool fun.

Make a splash at one of our local water playgrounds

Just because it's winter doesn't mean you can't hit the water. One of the great things about visiting Central Queensland is that it's always a perfect day to go for a swim. Rockhampton is home to two large public pools: 42nd Battalion Memorial Swimming Pool North Rockhampton (Northside Pool) and the 2nd War Memorial Aquatic Centre (Southside Pool). Both feature loads of water fun that your kids will make the most of. Don't forget to slip, slop, slap!

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

Farm Stays perfect for the whole family

Farm stay experiences are a great way to bring the family together and enjoy the moment. If you’re looking to switch off and immerse yourself in nature, an authentic Central Queensland farm stay is the holiday for you. You and the family will enjoy fresh air, open spaces and the smell of the bush. 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 | 45.8km from Rockhampton CBD

Alkoomi Adventure Farm is a family run cattle property that also offers visitors a true Australian outback experience. 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.

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Hedlow Retreat | 30.7km from Rockhampton CBD

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.

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Myella Farm Stay | 125km from Rockhampton CBD

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. Self-cater or enjoy home cooked meals where many ingredients are from the paddock to your plate. 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. Come to Myella Farm Stay where the family love sharing their outback lifestyle.

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Arcade Machines
It's game on for families at Timezone.


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

There is no such word as ‘boredom’ when arcade games are around. Timezone features a range of exciting games and activities for the whole family including more than 70 state-of-the-art arcade games, four bowling lanes, seven-car spin zone bumper car arena, two party rooms. The kids will lose track of time having loads of fun here.

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

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 family flick at the cinemas. Be sure to stock up on the popcorn and snacks before settling in. There's always something exciting to watch at the movies!

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Marvel Superhero Figurines
Get your geek on.

Geek out pop culture style

Millennium Comics and Collectables |  158 East Street, Rockhampton QLD 4700

A trip to the movies is nothing without a visit to the local comic book and collectables store to follow. The kids will feel right at home with a visit to Millennium Comics and Collectables. We can’t even begin to describe just how extensive their collection is, but for the avid comic book and collectable fan, it’s worth the trip! While you’re there, enjoy a snack and a drink at their Dungeons and Dragons (Dnd) themed pop culture bar and cafe Milliwayz serving all sorts of “geeky” drinks.

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young woman window shopping
Shop till you drop at Stockland Rockhamptonn.

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.

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young girl painting on canvas
Let the kids bring out their creative side.

Paint and Sip

Shop 2/138 George Street, Rockhampton QLD 4700

For the budding artists, nothing is more therapeutic than listening to the rain and 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.

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teenagers ten pin bowling
You'll be bowled over by good times.

Ten Pin Bowling & Putt Putt Golf

Rocky Bowl and Leisure Centre |  100 Musgrave St, Berserker QLD 4701

Your family will be bowled over with excitement with a game or two – why not strike up the conversation and see where it goes? Ten pin bowling is the ultimate entertainer among families and friends, so grab them all and head to the alley! While you’re there, why not stay for a round of putt-putt golf – glow up style?

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young woman and man wearing virtual reality headwear
Escape to another reality.

Virtual Reality

Virtual World | 181 East Street, Rockhampton QLD 4700

For an adventure that’s out of this world, Virtual World has you covered. Immerse the kids in a range of experiences like no other with state-of-the-art virtual reality games and rides suitable for all ages.

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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.

CQ Military Museum

40 Archer St, Rockhampton QLD 4700

Preserving the military history of Central Queensland, visit the Central Queensland Military and Artefacts Museum, the only military museum in the region. Browse through their extensive collection ranging from the 1900s through to present day.

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Capricorn Caves
Discover an ancient world at the Capricorn Caves.

Capricorn Caves

30 Olsens Caves Road, The Caves QLD 4702

Grab the kids, hop in the car and take a short drive north of Rockhampton to visit 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.

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Written by Explore Rockhampton