Capricorn Coast Australia

Capricorn Coast Australia is on central Queensland coast.

North of Fraser Coast and Bundaberg is Capricorn Coast, so named because of its location on the Tropic of Capricorn.


Part of this coast is off the access because of the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area, but there are still plenty of things to do: Outside Rockhampton is Great Keppel Island, and off the coast are some of the best islands of the Great Barrier Reef, like Lady Musgrave, Lady Elliott and Heron Island. Inland are some great fossicking areas around Sapphire and Rubyvale, and further inland is Carnarvon National Park - one of the best national parks in Queensland.
 
View to Mainland from Monkey Beach at Sunset, Great Keppel Island, Queensland, Australia
Great Keppel sunset. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Capricorn Coast Australia - Rockhampton
The largest town on the Capricorn Coast is Rockhampton, the area’s cattle farming centre. Rockhampton has got some beautiful historical buildings from the times of gold rushes. Some excellent examples are on Quai Street, right on the waterfront next to the Fritzroy River.

Car Hire - Compare the Big Companies Here

Behind Quai Street is the central mall, and north of it are the Rockhampton City Art Gallery and the Archer Park Station & Steam Tram Museum. North across the river is the Kershaw Gardens with Australian native plants, and south of the city are Botanic Gardens with plants from all over the world and a small zoo. A few kilometres north of Rockhampton are the Dreamtime Cultural Centre and an interesting living museum - Heritage Village.

Criterion Hotel, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, Pacific
Rockhampton. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Places to stay in Rockhampton
Places to stay in Rockhampton include apartments such as Alexandra Executive Apartments, The Edge Luxury Apartment Hotel; hotels such as Denison Botique Hotel, Leichhardt Hotel, Rockhampton Plaza Hotel, Sundowner Rockhampton, Travelodge Rockhampton and Villa Capri.


Motels include Ambassador Motel, Best Western Motor Inn, Citywalk Motor Inn, Comfort Inn, Fitzroy Motor Inn, Glenmore Palms Motel, Motel 98, Quality Inn Centre Point, The Bridge Motor Inn, True Blue Motor Inn and a caravan park is Discovery Holiday Park.

Traditional Architecture, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, Pacific
Rockhampton. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Capricorn Coast Australia - Great Keppel Island
Off the coast of Rockhampton is the Great Keppel Island – a beautiful getaway with lots of bushwalking tracks, budget accommodation and great snorkelling – just be aware of sharks and keep yourself in shallow waters. Great Keppel's accommodation is on the western coast along Fisherman’s Beach, and from here there are some short bushwalks to the southern Monkey Beach and Long Beach.


Longer bushwalks take you to central and eastern parts of the island, to some great lookouts as well as Clam Bay, Wreck Beach and Sandhills Beach. In the eastern point of the island there is a lighthouse, and from the central lookout point there is a track to the northern Leeke’s Beach.

Long Beach, Great Keppel Island, Queensland, Australia
Great Keppel Island. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Capricorn Coast Australia - Emerald
Inland from Rockhampton, the Capricorn Hwy takes you past Blackdown Tableland National Park to Emerald – the centre of Queensland’s gemfields. In the town there is the Emerald Pioneer Cottage and Museum, Kiely’s Farm and Animal Sanctuary, and a huge replica of Vincent van Gogh’s painting "Sunflowers". Places to stay include A&A Lodge Motel, Emerald Inn, Emerald Maraboon Motor Inn, Emerald Meteor Motel, Star Hotel and Route 66 Motor Inn.

A Field of Sunflowers Stretches to the Horizon in Emerald, Queensland
Near Emerald. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Capricorn Coast Australia - Rubyvale, Sapphire and Anakie
Not far from Emerald are Rubyvale, Sapphire and Anakie - small townships where you can get a fossicking licence and try your luck finding gemstones. In Rubyvale, you can attend tours to the Miners Heritage Walk-in Mine or Bobby Dazzler Mine.

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Rubyvale Gem Gallery and Miners Cottage sell the precious stones. In Sapphire, you can ‘do a bucket’ with Pat’s Gems, and the Forever Mine has gems for sale. There is a caravan park in Rubyvale, or you can stay at the Ramboda Homestead, a working cattle farm.

Carnarvon Gorge, Carnarvon National Park, Queensland, Australia, Pacific
Carnarvon National Park. By AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Capricorn Coast Australia - Carnarvon National Park
South of Emerald is the amazing Carnarvon National Park with the 200m-deep Carnarvon Gorge carved into the sandstone. There are about 20km of bushwalking tracks both up on the top and down in the bottom of the gorge. Some go to some lovely waterholes like Moss Gardens, and others to some of Australia’s best sites of Aboriginal rock painting in places like the Art Gallery and Cathedral Cave. You can camp at the camping sites in the bush, or stay at Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge.

Carnarvon Creek, Carnarvon Gorge, Carnarvon National Park, Queensland, Australia, Pacific
Carnarvon Gorge. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Capricorn Coast Australia - Gladstone
Back on the coast, south of Rockhampton is Gladstone – the gateway to the stunning Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef, but there are a few things to do in town. In the centre of Gladstone there is the Gladstone Art Gallery & Museum, and south of the centre there is the Tondoon Botanic Gardens, and the Gecko Valley Winery where you can sample their products for free. There are some good views over the harbour from the Auckland Point Lookout in town. Places to stay include Auckland Hill B&B, Best Western Camelot Motel, Big4 Barney Beach Holiday Park, Gladstone City Central Apartment Hotel, Gladstone Heights Executive Apartments, Glassford Creek Station Guesthouse, Harbour City Motel, Harbour Sails Motor Inn, Metro Hotel Apartments, Queens Hotel, Quest Apartments, Rydges Gladstone, Toolooa Gardens Motel and Apartments and Xenia Central Studio Accommodation.

Australia - Gladstone Great Barrier Reef - Low Tide
Gladstone. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Capricorn Coast Australia - Heron Island
Heron Island off the coast is a coral cay with easily accessible coral reef all the way around it. And snorkelling and diving are the main activities. There is also an old shipwreck (as on many islands on this coast), and a pisonia tree forest, which is full of birds called black noddies.



During the summer months, large female turtles come to lay their eggs on the beaches of Heron Island. In the south-eastern corner of the island there is a Marine Research Centre; and in the north-eastern corner there is the Heron Island Resort - the only place to stay as camping in the bush is not permitted.

Flock of Noddies (Anous Stolidus) on Beach, Heron Island, Queensland, Australia
Heron Island. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Capricorn Coast Australia - Lady Elliot Island
Other Great Barrier Reef islands off the coast are Lady Elliot, Lady Musgrave, Masthead, Tyron and North West Island. Lady Elliot is a coral cay like Heron, with excellent snorkelling and diving, many shipwrecks, and the Lady Elliot Island Resort – camping is not allowed in the bush. Lady Musgrave is an uninhabited island which is a national park with some excellent snorkelling around it.

Reef, Heron Island, Queensland, Australia
Great Barrier reef. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

Here's a map of Capricorn Coast Australia, where I have tagged the places that I mentioned on this web page. You can click on the tags to see what places they are, and double-click anywhere on the map to zoom it in and see the places closer. Drag the map to move around, and if you want to see the satellite image with Google Earth, click on "Sat" in the top right hand corner.

 
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