7 reasons why Rockhampton IS the Beef Capital of Australia

Published on 23 January 2024

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Welcome to Rockhampton - the Beef Capital of Australia

Think of the word 'Rockhampton' and immediately you envision images of bull statues and divine cuts of steak.

The region has been crowned the proverbial title of Beef Capital, and rightfully so!

Where else can you take a bull selfie, indulge in adrenaline-pumping bull riding action, experience an authentic farm stay, enjoy a succulent steak and immerse yourself in one of the largest beef expos in the world?

We've put together seven experiences for you to enjoy that we guarantee will 'beef up your visit' to the Rockhampton region, and confirm once and for all, why Rockhampton is Australia's rightful Beef Capital.

Get 'moore' out of your visit and high tail it to the Rockhampton Region and enjoy the real 'Beef Country' experience.

A heard of cattle huddle together on a dusty plain.
Welcome to beef country!

1. We boast the largest head of cattle per region in Australia

With currently more than 3 million head of cattle grazing throughout the greater Rockhampton region (Fitzroy Basin) it's no wonder why Rockhampton has claimed the Beef Capital of Australia title. The area is not only predominately dominated by beef cattle, it is also the top cattle region in Australia with the highest head of cattle numbers.

Rockhampton is also serviced by two abattoirs with a total daily processing capacity of 2,400 head, and is currently seeking investment in more cattle feedlots and abattoirs.

A heavily packed packed Central Queensland Livestock Exchange where a cattle sale is being held.
Witness the exciting world of selling cattle right here in Rockhampton region.

2. We are home to one of Australia's major cattle selling centres

16 Saleyards Rd, Gracemere QLD 4702 | 13 mins drive from Rockhampton CBD

Take a drive 15 minutes west of Rockhampton and you'll find the Central Queensland Livestock Exchange (CQLX), one of Australia's major cattle selling centres. CQLX is where beef breeders from across Central Queensland and beyond come to buy and sell their cattle, and visitors can head along to witness how livestock is purchased and sold. If you're in town on a Wednesday, take a trip to the centre for a true cattle experience and watch how beef barons throughout the state auction off and buy cattle. As well as weekly cattle sales, CQLX also holds a number of major sales events throughout the year.

CQLX sales calendar

A variety of breeds of cattle on show at the triennial Beef exposition at Rockhampton Showgrounds.
Beef Australia welcomes the world to witness the beef industry from a variety of facets right here in Rockhampton!

3. We host the nation's largest Beef Exposition: Beef Australia

Coming this May (5 - 11, May 2024), Rockhampton will become the host city of Australia's largest beef expo: Beef Australia. Since it's humble beginnings in 1988, coinciding with the World Expo 88 in Brisbane, Beef Australia has grown to become an iconic beef exposition attracting thousands of beef industry delegates, State and Federal politicians, international beef producers, celebrity chefs, entertainers as well as locals for a full week of all things beef in Rockhampton.

Held triennially (every three years), Beef Australia features an array of events and activities including cattle sales, farm property tours, conferences and symposiums, cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, fashion, agriculture, industry trade sites, food stalls, shopping pavilions, bars, cocktail events and black-tie ball as part of their program. Beef Australia 2024 program offers and explosive variety of events for industry experts through to visitors and locals alike with tickets available for purchase for their vast program of events. Tickets are on sale now.

Discover the rich, ground-breaking history of Australia's largest beef exposition on our FREE Explore Rockhampton Self-Guided Tour and relive more than 3 decades of historical milestones that has made the event and it's host town of Rockhampton the icon it is today.

Beef Australia website

Bull rider holding on for dear life as he rides an energetic bull around the Great Western Hotel bull ring.
Get ready for the best action-packed event on four legs!

4. We have heart-stopping Rodeo action right in the heart of town

Stanley St & Denison St, Rockhampton City QLD 4700 | 2 minutes from Rockhampton CBD

Saddle up for the most exciting eight seconds of your life and bear witness to the adrenaline action that is Bull Riding in Rockhampton. The iconic Great Western Hotel, known for it's custom-built rodeo ring, provides a bucking great night out for all ages. Providing quality-pub grub, boasting some of the best steaks in town, the hotel hosts the PBR Australia Tour, where Rockhampton Invitational Rodeo events are held throughout the year. Where else in Queensland can you sink your teeth into a succulent piece of steak at a pub and watch-edge-of-your-seat bull-riding action?

Find out more

Young woman wearing a cowboy hat taking a selfie with a giant bull statue.
Snap a selfie with one of our life-sized bull statues!

5. We've got giant bull statues throughout the town!

There's seven of them in fact and you can spot them throughout the city! These life-sized bull statues represent different breeds including Brahaman, Droughtmaster, Santa 'Gerts' Gertrudis and Romagnola. Discover all there is to these amazing bulls through our Where's the Beef? Bull Statue Tour available on our FREE Explore Rockhampton Self-Guided Tour App. Enjoy learning all about the beef breeds in situ, or from the comfort of your hotel apartment. And, while you're at it, don't forget to snap an insta-worthy pic too! We recommend grabbing one from Frank Forde Park as you enter Rockhampton from the southern end.

Where's the Beef Self-Guided Tour

Three young women petting and feeding cattle on a property outside of Rockhampton.
You'll be mooved by the relaxing serenity and authentic outback experience of a farm stay.

6. You can experience authentic farm stays

Immerse yourself in a true Australian outback experience by taking on a Central Queensland farm stay. Rockhampton is surrounded by one of three farm stays, all based on working family run cattle properties. From feeding cattle to heading out on a leisurely horse ride, cooling down in the freshwater dams or sitting around a campfire toasting marshmallows and stargazing, each farm stay provides a real opportunity to switch off and 'go bush!'

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. 

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.

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.

Find out more

Mouth-watering steak stacked on a cutting board with a beautiful bush land view in the background.
There's nothing quite like a steak in the beef capital.

The Steaks are high!

A trip to Australia’s Beef Capital, is nothing without sinking your teeth into one of our mouth-watering steaks! Fortunately, you don’t need to look far to hunt for a piece of quality beef on the menu. With traditional rump steaks at heritage-listed pubs, eye fillets with a riverside view, or rack of ribs for the ultimate carnivore feast, you will be spoilt for choice on where to go to get a good steak in Rockhampton. Discover some of the locals favourite locations for Rockhampton’s best steak, or explore the many restaurants in town where the majority have steak on their menu.

Alternatively if you prefer to become the connoisseur in the kitchen and feel like cooking up a beef storm in your own home, you can draw inspiration from the Beef Capital of Australia by visiting our Best of Beef series where we showcase some of the region’s best beef dishes. These step-by-step recipes are perfect for putting your culinary skills to the test and having friends and family enjoy your edible masterpiece!

Or for those who enjoy the great outdoors, pay a visit to our local butchers, bakeries and fresh food markets and kick back at one of Rockhampton's top BBQ spots like the picturesque Mount Archer National Park (Nurim) .

Find out more


Written by Explore Rockhampton