Curb your Caravan and Experience Rockhampton

Published on 21 February 2024


All roads lead to Rockhampton

With treetop boardwalks, a nationally significant art collection, heritage listed streets, trophy-sized barramundi, historical museums, ancient caves, meerkat experiences and mouth-watering, quirky cafes, Rockhampton has become a hot destination for Australian nomads looking to escape the winter months.

Located in the centre of the Pacific Coast Way (Bruce Highway), where the Australian Country Way and Leichhardt Highways meet, Rockhampton is the perfect destination to curb your caravan.

Don’t know where to start? In this blog, we share some of the great experiences to  enjoy throughout the Rockhampton Region during your stay.

With more than 300 days of sunshine, there's no better place to be in the winter months, basking in beautiful sunrises and sunsets, relishing the above temperature weather and enjoying the attractions and endless fun Rockhampton has to offer.

While you soak up the amazing experiences in the Region, we invite you to share your visit with us by tagging @ExploreRockhampton and #ExploreRockhampton.

Variety of historical places to visit in Rockhampton including The Rockhampton Heritage Village, Mount Morgan and Customs House
Rockhampton's rich history is stretches far and wide.

History and Heritage

Take the road less travelled and head inland to the Burnett Highway, making your first stop in the quaint historic town of Mount Morgan. Nestled in the Dee Ranges 40 minutes from the Rockhampton CBD, Mount Morgan is home to one of Australia’s richest gold mines. Pull up to one of the pubs for your favourite counter meal served with a side of country hospitality before stepping back in time at one of the many museums like the Mount Morgan Railway Museum to relive what life was like in the 1900’s. Delve into the township's rich gold mining history and relive its fascinating past with a range of impressive attractions on show including:

Once you’ve settled into one of Rockhampton’s riverside powered sites, affordable cabins or free campground at the Kershaw Gardens, stretch the legs with a self-guided audio tour of Rockhampton’s beautiful heritage listed buildings along Quay Street. Make your way towards the Riverside Precinct and enjoy a sundowner over the Fitzroy River (Tunuba) at Boathouse, embracing the boat dotted vista.

Enjoy a world-class steak for dinner from one of the many local pubs including Rockhampton’s iconic Criterion Hotel (you are in the beef capital after all). For a finer dining setting with a taste of the local amber, head to Headricks Lane, which features their own microbrewery.

Authentic historical experiences don't get much better than a visit to the Rockhampton Heritage Village. Explore life before electricity with a tour through the many homesteads, vintage cars, tractors, fire engines, horse drawn vehicles and wagons on display. Watch how a 1950's print press works and visit the Blacksmith Shop and take in the traditional skills from a bygone era. You even have the unique chance to try a range of transport options including horses and ponies, a horse and cart, vintage double-decker bus, vintage fire engine and several other vintage vehicles, plus meet some adorable farm animals. 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 and is open from 10am - 4pm daily (excluding public holidays).

For a truly unique take on Rockhampton's historic past, that includes the likes of female bushrangers, bank heists, floods, World War II efforts and twisted tales of murder and mayhem, Time Safaris Rockhampton Tours is a must! Join an experienced tour guide and along Rockhampton's scenic Riverside Precinct and travel back in time and learn about the history of Queensland's historic buildings, the ghosts that haunted Quay Street, the city's first recorded murder and the Rockhampton gold heist that created Sherlock Holmes and modern forensics!

For more historical experiences in the beef capital, we can't forget to mention dropping by the Archer Park Rail Museum and the CQ Military Museum.

A montage of photos depicting a mouth watering steak at the Criterion Hotel, an art exhibition at the Rockhampton Museum of Art and exploring the Capricorn Caves
Whether it's seeking adventure or getting a cultural fix, Rockhampton has it all!

Cafes, Caves and Canvases

You have a smorgasbord of quirky cafes to choose from across Rockhampton, all serving up your favourite brew and breakfast bite.

Once you're recharged and ready for a day of exploration, take a 35 minute north along the Pacific Coast Way to the ancient chambers of Rockhampton’s oldest playground: the Capricorn Caves. There are several tour options to suit all adventure levels, however the 45 minute all accessible Cathedral Cave Tour showcases the largest and most spectacular caves and will leave you with lasting memories of the ancient geological history, early explorers, the wonders of wildlife and special cave acoustics.

For an explosive cultural experience like no other, Rockhampton Museum of Art (RMOA), the largest gallery in regional Queensland, features an ever-changing array of exhibitions to inspire and amaze. 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.

If self-exploration is more your pace, take a self-guided audio tour into the amazing world of Darumbal Country, the traditional owners of this land. Explore in situ, or from the comfort of your own caravan, three incredible On Country tours which delve into the stories of significant locations told by the traditional owners of this land including Tunuba (Fitzroy River), Nurim (Mount Archer) and Mugul (Moores Creek).

While you're at it, gain insight into our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage with a trip to the Dreamtime Cultural Centre. Witness the diverse beating cultural heart of our city through one of the guided tours on offer at the centre. The Torres Strait Islander’s Complex includes huts, the giant dugong and plants particular to the region, with the Aboriginal Traditional area complete with a replica burial site, rock art, gunyahs and traditional ceremonial sites of the Darumbal people. The combination of these two distinct cultures within the one complex provides the Dreamtime Cultural Centre with a very unique appeal.

A montage of images depicting meerkat encounters at the Rockhampton Zoo, three fishermen holding giant trophy sized barramundi and a young chimpanzee
Come for the cuteness overload at Rockhampton Zoo and stay for the trophy-sized barramundi.

Fish & Furry Friends

Catching a trophy-sized barramundi in the heart of the city should be on top of your Rockhampton bucket list. Pronounced “bardda moon di” by the Darumbal people, the Fitzroy River (Tunuba) runs through the heart of the city and is defined as the genuine Home of the Barramundi in Australia. No boat? No worries! For a guided experience with the local fishing the Fitzroy experts, book a half day or full day all-inclusive tour with an expert fishing charter.

Jump aboard a sunset river cruise with River Cruises CQ to experience the city from a different perspective, and soak in the sights of the Fitzroy River (Tunuba) and local wildlife that call the river home.

Hidden amongst the heritage listed Botanic Gardens, the free Rockhampton Zoo is home to more than 31 different species of native and exotic animals. The cheeky chimps and merry meerkats definitely steal the show but venture a little deeper and you’ll meet lazy kangaroos, sleepy koalas and ‘The Colonel’, a giant 4.3m Salt-water Crocodile! For a truly memorable experience, take on an animal encounter. Enjoy a private and informative zookeeper talk as the merry mob of meerkats literally crawl all over you, while feeding our otterly adorable otters or while cuddling up to a snake - if you dare! Don't forget to bring a camera to capture your experience!

After your zoo adventure, wander down to the Botanic Gardens and learn about the 100 year old trees with a self-guided tour, discover tranquil Japanese Gardens, The Central Queensland War Memorial and shady bamboo lined avenues. Treat yourself to a delicious meal and refreshment from Gardens Tearooms and relax under the leafy canopy of the 150-year-old Banyan fig trees.

A montage of beautiful scenic photos from Mount Archer, Mount Etna and the Mount Morgan Range
Rockhampton region gifts a wide range of beautiful views to bask in.

Boardwalks, BREATHTAKING VIEWS & beautiful vistas

A Rockhampton itinerary isn’t complete without visiting Mount Archer National Park. For a relaxing morning or evening, take the 25 minute scenic drive up the winding road, parking at Fraser Park. Follow the accessible path to Nurim Circuit, a 500m elevated treetop boardwalk offering up some of the best views you’ve ever seen. Nurim Circuit is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike capturing the spectacular sunrises and sunsets so don’t forget your camera!

Situated 30 minutes north of Rockhampton is, Mount Etna is arguably one of Rockhampton's best kept secrets. Early birds can experience one of the best sunrise locations around. A short, steep hike through remnant dry rainforest leads you to the summit, where you are rewarded with epic views of stunning limestone formations and the surrounding landscape.

There's no denying the glorious drive through the Dee Ranges as you travel to and from Mount Morgan. Every winding curve, delivers an epic eye-catching view to enjoy with a grand lookout at the very top of the range to soak up the scenery.

Written by Explore Rockhampton