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Capricorn Coast

Rockhampton, known by the locals as "Rocky" was first settled in 1853, when the Archer family arrived. Trading commenced when the Ellida arrived with supplies, at a point marked by a monument on the bank of the river in the southern part of the city.

In 1858, gold was discovered in Canonona, sixty kilometres north of Rockhampton and, as the miners were dependent upon supplies shipped through here, the prosperity of Rockhampton increased accordingly. Further goldfields were later discovered at Bouldercombe and Mount Morgan. The railway reached Rockhampton in 1903.

Rockhampton claims that it is ‘the beef capital of Australia ' with over two and a half million head of cattle to be found within 250 kilometres of Rockhampton

A stroll along the banks of the Fitzroy River will give a good impression of Rockhampton. The river is attractive and some of the buildings facing it are stately. The Tropic of Capricorn runs through the southern edge of the city and is marked by the Capricorn Spire beside the main highway. Near the spire, still in the southern part of the city are the Botanic Gardens and the Zoo.


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Botanic Gardens
The Botanic Gardens date from 1869 and were originally intended to experiment with the cultivation of various plants, to establish what could be grown profitably in this region. There are some especially impressive palms here dating back a century or longer. There is also a Japanese Garden, an Arid Garden and a Tropical Fruits Garden.

Archer Park Station
In the centre of Rockhampton is Archer Park Station now a Railway Museum. It is a handsome station, both from the front (entrance) side and from the Denison Street side where an arched roof covers platform and tracks.

Dreamtime Cultural Centre
Displays relating to region's Aboriginal past. You can learn how to throw a boomerang or play a didgeridoo. Yeppoon Road (07 4936 1655).

Kershaw Gardens
In North Rockhampton there are some more gardens. The Kershaw Gardens were started in 1976 on a land fill area, and opened to the public in 1988. They aim at a bush environment and stretch for a kilometre beside the main highway north. The Kershaw Gardens are free and open day and night.

Heritage Village
On the northern outskirts of Rockhampton is the Heritage Village. This is a collection of old dwellings from pioneer times, and includes an exhibition of vintage vehicles and one of various types of clocks.

Mt. Archer
Moving outside the city area, Mt. Archer rises to a height of 604 metres on the northern edge of the city and offers good views. The mountain is a National Park and there are various walking tracks.

Rockhampton Zoo
Rockhampton Zoo is mainly devoted to Australian animals and birds. There are elevated walkways through the koala compound and the aviary, to permit better observation of the residents.


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