Gladstone Queensland: Everything You Need to Plan Your Trip

Published Categorized as Travel Blog, Australia Travel, Destinations, Queensland Travel
Town of 1770 - Queensland, Australia
Town of 1770 - Queensland, Australia

Our first night of our 1 month road trip around Queensland was spent in the region of Gladstone, Queensland.  The Gladstone region begins approximately 450kms north of Brisbane.  Known as the jewel of the Southern Great Barrier Reef, the region offers incredible natural wonders including Heron Island, Masthead Island, North West Island, Wilson Island and Lady Musgrave Island.

The city of Gladstone is at the centre of the region and is known as being the ‘engine room of Queensland’.  Surrounding Gladstone are the townships of Calliope, Benaraby, Boyne Island and Tannum Sands.  This part of the region is home to many fishing hotspots including Lake Awoonga.

To the south, the Discovery Coast encompasses the township of Miriam Vale, the white sandy beaches of Agnes Waters and the birthplace of Queensland, the Town of 1770.

From secluded beaches to scenic National Parks, this region offers enough diversity for every type of traveller.  


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“Sometimes the most scenic roads in life are the detours you didn’t mean to take.”

– Angela N. Blount –

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GLADSTONE QUEENSLAND: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO PLAN YOUR TRIP

Introduction to Gladstone, Queensland

Gladstone Region – Map

image 7
Map of Region of Gladstone, Queensland

Population of Gladstone Queensland

Gladstone is a Queensland city located 550km north of Brisbane. With an urban population approximately 34,500, the city is the 11th most populous place in Queensland. Gladstone also ranks 40th largest urban centre by population in Australia.


Getting There – Road, Air, Rail, Bus

By Road

The Gladstone region is best discovered by hire-car or vehicle transport to visit the best of what Gladstone has to offer.

Alternatively, Buslink (Phone 07 4972 1670) provides regular bus services around Gladstone and the surrounding areas. 


Route Planner / Road Distances
image 9

By Rail

Queensland Rail (Phone 13 16 17) operates from Brisbane, Cairns and many other places along the east coast of Queensland.  These services go both north and south.


By Air

Gladstone Airport, 7km from the city centre (10-minute drive) will be most travellers’ arrival point, with ride share and taxi services available.

Qantas Link (Phone 13 13 13) has flights from Gladstone to Brisbane with connections to most major cities in Australia.


By Bus

Greyhound (Phone 1300 473 946) and Premier Motor Service (Phone 13 34 10) has bus services that operate south to Brisbane and north to Cairns, stopping at most towns and cities in between.


Weather in Gladstone Queensland – When Should I Visit?

Gladstone is considered to be part of a tropical savannah climate i.e. average temperatures in excess of 18 degrees year round, a dominant dry season with less than 60mm of rainfall, and an average maximum temperature of 27 degrees.


Safety

Queensland is a relatively safe place to visit – in terms of crime and war, at any rate – but take reasonable precautions as you would anywhere.

  • Beware undertows (rips) at surf beaches. Swim parallel to the shore to escape the current, then head for the sand.
  • Bushfires, floods and cyclones regularly decimate parts of Queensland: pay attention to warnings from local authorities.
  • Use sunscreen and cover up to avoid sunburn and heat sickness.
  • Cover up at dusk and wear insect repellent to deter mosquitoes and ticks.
  • Snakes are active in summer and common on bushwalking trails: wear boots, socks and long trousers (ideally gaiters).

We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance when travelling overseas. Insurance will cover important things like emergency medical hospitalisation / evacuation, baggage delays and trip cancellation. We recommend World Nomads for quality travel insurance you can trust, at affordable rates.

BOOKBuy Travel Insurance Here


Major Events Calendar

JANUARYJULY
Turtle Hatching
Australia Day
 
FEBRUARYAUGUST
Turtle Hatching
Agnes Blues Roots and Rock Festival
Reef to Beach Longboard Championship
Gladstone Show
Botanic to Bridge
MARCHSEPTEMBER
Turtle HatchingGladstone Multicultural Festival
APRILOCTOBER
Gladstone Harbour Festival
Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race
Elders Country Music Campout
Boyne Tannum Hookup
Baffle Creek Family Fishing Festival
Under the Trees Music and Arts Festival
MAYNOVEMBER
Captain Cook 1770 Festival
Old Station Fly in and Heritage Show
Capricorn Film Festival
Turtle Nesting
JUNEDECEMBER
Ecofest
Mount Larcom Show
Turtle Nesting
Major Events Calendar – Region of Gladstone, Queensland

What Does the Region of Gladstone Queensland Have to Offer?

History / Heritage

Although Queensland, unique amongst Australian states, has a series of major regional centres along its coast (Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns) only Gladstone feels like a genuinely industrial city.

The NRG Power Station, the huge port, the Queensland Alumina Ltd operation to the south of the city, the RG Tanna Coal Terminal, the Cement Works, the Gladstone Ports Corporation all make it one of the most substantial and commercially successful ports in Australia.

More than 100 million tonnes of cargo, with over thirty products, pass through the port each year. In the last three decades this quiet port has become a maritime centre with some of the most sophisticated loading facilities in the country.


Wine

Gecko Valley Winery

On a rise overlooking the vineyards, surrounded by 100 hecatres of beautiful rolling woodland and with the majestic Mt Larcom as the backdrop, the visitors centre, Winery Cellar Door, Rose Garden Café, and Lazy Lizard Gallery combine to create a truly impressive site.  

  • Where: 700 Glenlyon Road, Gladstone
  • Hours: Wed – Fri 11:00am to 2:30pm, Sat and Sun 11:00am to 3:00pm
  • Cost: No Tastings Offered at This Time

Culture and Arts

Art Galleries

Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum (GRAGM)

The Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum is a public institution established and funded by the Gladstone City Council. It is dedicated to promoting the visual arts and crafts for and by the communities of the Port Curtis region and Central Queensland in addition to acting as a focal point for the preservation and display of the region’s history and cultural heritage.

The Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum houses, maintains and presents the city’s permanent collection of Australian art, and local history.  Click here for upcoming events.

  • Where: Corner of Goondoon and Bramston Streets, Gladstone
  • Hours: Mon – Sat 10:00am to 5:00pm
  • Cost: Free Entry

Live Theatre

Gladstone City Theatre

The Gladstone City Theatre is a modern Performing Arts Complex, forming the focal point of the city’s cultural activities with facilities to perfectly showcase any major presentation or convention. Click here for upcoming events.

  • Where: 58 Goondoon Street, Gladstone
  • Hours: Mon – Fri 9:00am to 4:30pm
  • Cost: Free Entry

Gladstone Beaches and Islands

The Gladstone Region boasts some of the most remote and secluded beaches along the Great Barrier Reef. If you are looking to really escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, then a getaway to the Gladstone Region is for you!

The Region is located smack bang in the middle of the Southern Great Barrier Reef with an abundance of quaint coastal towns such as Agnes Waters and the Town of 1770, deserted stretches of white sandy coast and untouched islands and coral cays all waiting for you to discover.


Monthly Average Max / Min Water Temperatures

 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min °C25.326.625.524.422.620.4202020.521.123.324.3
Max °C2828.128.126.725.724.722.922.423.625.226.427.8

Agnes Water Beach

With beautiful surfing beaches, Agnes Waters is Queensland’s most recognised northerly surf beach that attracts surfers from all over the world.  The beach stretches all the way to the Town of 1770 headland – about 6kms. Great surf for longboards with the best waves being at the Point.

Entry to the beach is via the footbridge near the parking area at Tom Jeffery Park at Agnes Street. Also, Sandcastles 1770 Motel and Resort has a public beach access and is the closest to the patrolled beach area apart from Tom Jeffrey Park.

November and December are the best months to catch a glimpse of nesting mother turtles on the beach at Agnes Water.

Agnes Water Beach - Region of Gladstone, Queensland
Agnes Water Beach – Region of Gladstone, Queensland

Barney Point Beach

Barney Point is the only swimming beach in the township of Gladstone and is located 1 km east of the city centre. It is a 300 m long, east facing beach that usually only receives low wind waves generated inside the harbour. It is composed of coarse sand and pebbles and consequently has a relatively steep beach face, fronted by 200m wide tidal flats.


Boyne Island / Tannum Sands

Only a 30 minute drive south from Gladstone are the picturesque coastal communities of Boyne Island and Tannum Sands. Here you will experience a relaxed coastal lifestyle centred on superb beaches, riverside walkways, parklands and recreational activities.

With a population of close to 12,000, these ‘twin’ communities are linked by a bridge across the beautiful Boyne River. Boyne Island – the island you can drive to – offers a quality mix of residential, business, shopping, industry and environment where foreshore parks overlook boats, outrigger crews and fishing on the calm river waters.


Curtis Island

Curtis Island is part of the Curtis Island National Park which also includes the Cape Capricorn Coast headland.

It is accessible by private boat or ferry service through the Curtis Ferry Service which leaves from Gladstone Marina twice a day, five days a week. The ferry also services Facing Island and takes about an hour to arrive on Curtis Island.


Heron Island

Just 2 hours by boat from Gladstone, Heron Island is located in its own coral cay deep in the Great Barrier Reef. Listed as a Marine National Park, the island is surrounded by coral and is teeming with fish life. Beautiful white sandy beaches circle most of Heron, with crystal clear water beyond that, but it’s the local wildlife that visitors come for from around the world.

Swim or scuba dive, looking for Green and Loggerhead turtles and many other reef fish. The amount of bird life is truly amazing with birds like Black Noddies, Mutton Birds, Reef Herons, Ruddy Turn-Stones, Eastern Golden Plovers and Wedge-Tail Shearwaters just to name a few to visit the island. Humpback whales are a favourite with the tourists when they are active between June and October.


Lilley’s Beach

One of the reasons Lilley’s Beach is well-loved by locals is the fact that this pristine paradise can only be accessed by 4WD. The beach can be found on Boyne Island which, along with its twin town Tannum Sands, is situated around 25km south of Gladstone CBD.

Lilley’s Beach extends for 1.7 kilometres on the eastern side of Boyne Island. Access to the beach is by 4WD only at low tide and permits are needed to access this stunning hidden paradise. There are no facilities on the island so be sure to bring drinking water, cooking and camping attire and firewood along with you.

The area is home to an array of marine and bird life and is well known for its excellent year-round fishing condition. Expect to spot Whiting, Trevally, Bream, Barramundi, Flathead and Turtles.


Rules Beach

Rules Beach is situated around 130km south of Gladstone’s CBD and 50km south of Agnes Waters and Seventeen Seventy. The Beach extends between Baffle Creek and Broadwater Creek and one of the few locations in the Discovery Coast where you can legally drive a 4WD vehicle on the sand.

With the southern Great Barrier Reef and several miles of pristine white sandy beach at your doorstep, Rules Beach is the ultimate location to relax, explore and unwind! This quaint beachfront town will have you zoning into Queensland’s laid-back way of life in no time.


Town of 1770 Beach

The Town of 1770 is known for its safe swimming and sheltered anchorage. It is best to swim in 1770 during the mid- to high tide.  The beach is great swimming for the smaller kids, as there are no waves.

There is a boat ramp at the Marina and a view of the Sunset in 1770 over the water in Bustard Bay not often seen on the east coast.

Town of 1770 - Region of Gladstone, Queensland
Town of 1770 – Region of Gladstone, Queensland

Turkey Beach

Located south of Gladstone and just a short drive from Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy, Turkey Beach is one of the last remaining ‘undeveloped’ beach townships in Queensland.

Turkey Beach is geographically the closest destination in Queensland to the Great Barrier Reef. With a population of just a few hundred, this coastal getaway is the perfect place to really get away from it all.

There are a number of quiet swimming locations around the town centre including a swimming inlet by the boat ramp and numerous stretches of sandy beaches beyond Rodds Harbour. Nearby Pancake Creek is also a local hot spot worth venturing to for a cool off dip.

Turkey Beach is well known for its exceptional mud crabbing and fishing. Protected by Rodds Bay, this hidden paradise offers an abundance of creeks, mangrove inlets and estuaries that attract fishing enthusiasts from across the state. Drop a line and try your luck at catching a Mangrove Jack, Flathead, Bream and if you are lucky, Cod. 


Wilson Island

Just 40 minutes from Heron Island is Wilson Island. Some of the Barrier Reef’s best snorkelling is right of the beach. Wilson Island is also home to many turtles and birds. Accommodation is in environmentally friendly tents, all with ocean views.


National Parks – Walking Tracks / Hikes / Mountain Bike Trails

The Gladstone Region, particularly in the shires of Calliope and Miriam Vale, has several impressive National Parks which add four wheel driving and camping to visitor options in the area.


Castle Tower National Park

Towering granite cliffs flank two large granite outcrops, Mount Castle Tower and Mount Stanley, the highest peak on the Many Peaks Range.

Experienced, fit and self-sufficient bushwalkers with skills in bush navigation can explore the park and enjoy panoramic views over the Boyne Valley, Lake Awoonga and Gladstone from the summits. Spectacular wildflower displays can be seen in late winter and spring. There are no formal walking tracks or route markers.


Deepwater National Park

This park protects sandy beaches, diverse coastal lowland vegetation and the catchment of near-pristine Deepwater Creek, one of Queensland’s few remaining undisturbed coastal freshwater streams.

From Agnes Waters, you can only access Deepwater National Park with a high clearance four-wheel-drive (4WD).  From Bundaberg, a conventional vehicle can gain access to Wreck Rock camping area from the south, but a 4WD is required for access to all other areas.


Eurimbula National Park

Discover Eurimbula National Park’s unique blend of landscapes.  From mangrove-fringed estuaries, freshwater paperbark swamps, lowland eucalypt woodlands, and tall rainforest with towering hoop pines.

The park is a paradise for bushwalkers, boaties and anglers. Stroll along wide, sandy island beaches with rugged boulders and delicate rock pools or wander through colourful wildflowers in spring, looking for red-tailed black-cockatoos and brolgas in the woodlands.

Walking Track

1. Ganoonga Noonga Lookout Track
Distance: 720m return (allow 20 to 30 minutes)
Ganoonga Noonga Lookout Track offers spectacular views over the coastal lowlands.


Kroombit Tops National Park

Featuring both wet and dry rainforest, the mighty sandstone cliffs, grand gorges, gentle creeks and waterfalls make up the stunning backdrop of Kroombit Tops.

Walking Track

1. Beautiful Betsy Track
Distance: 700m return (allow 20 to 30 minutes)
Walk to the World War II B-54 Liberator bomber “Beautiful Betsy” that lay undiscovered in the wild bushland for more than 50 years.

Black Cockatoo - Region of Gladstone, Queensland
Black Cockatoo – Region of Gladstone, Queensland

Lookouts

Auckland Hill Lookout

The lookout provides significant views of the harbour and surrounds. Well elevated in a picturesque setting, the lookout has good parking availability and is an easy few steps from your vehicle. The view is quite impressive and assists in getting a full appreciation of the scale of activity in the port.

  • Where: Bishops Drive, Gladstone
  • Hours: Anytime
  • Cost: No Cost

Queensland Alumina Lookout

Queensland Alumina lookout at Parsons Place is where you can observe the largest Bauxite processing plant in action. A specially constructed lookout with information boards provides a panoramic view of one of the world’s largest bauxite processing plant.

  • Where: Parsons Place, Gladstone
  • Hours: Anytime
  • Cost: No Cost

Round Hill Lookout

Overlooking Gladstone, Tannum Sands and the Hinterland, Round Hill Lookout offers stunning 360 degree views especially at sunset. This is a popular viewing platform for Gladstone’s Industry, City Centre and the Islands of the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Round Hill Lookout is just a quick 10 minute drive from the City Centre.

  • Where: Boles Street, West Gladstone
  • Hours: Anytime
  • Cost: No Cost

Fishing and Boating

Keen for a spot of fishing but don’t have a boat? No worries! Check out these 6 spots to go fishing in the Gladstone Region without a boat. 


Auckland Creek

The districts estuarine paradise starts at Auckland Creek Inlet, which runs along East Shores Precinct and the Gladstone Yacht Club. The creek has a number of jetties, wharves and other structures, making it a magic spot to throw in a line. Incoming tide is especially good, and you can expect to catch Bream, Mangrove Jack and Barramundi.


Benaraby Bridge

Benaraby Bridge has proven very successful with good numbers of Bream, Flathead, and Barra on the downstream side. Upstream has an assortment of Mangrove Jack and Queenies ready to catch. Head along Gladstone Benaraby Road and just after the Caltex Service Station, you will find Benaraby Bridge. 


Lake Awoonga

Cast a line from the banks of the lake to try your luck at catching a world-famous Barra. Gladstone Area Water Board have released six unique ‘Pink Tagged’ Barramundi into Lake Awoonga, worth $1,000 each if caught! To be a valid winner, entries must be made via the ‘Track My Fish Lake Awoonga’ mobile app.

lake awoonga
Lake Awoonga – Region of Gladstone, Queensland (Source: https://919freshfm.com.au/)

Lake Callemondah

Situated directly behind the Transfer Station off Blain Drive, Lake Callemondah is one of the local’s secret spots to fish. The Lake is fed by Police Creek and has been stocked with Barramundi, along with some other species. The lake is ideal if you are wanting to learn how to catch a BIG Barra using lures. 


Lilley’s Beach

Not just a perfect camping destination, Lilley’s Beach also offers some hot spots for the fishing enthusiast. The beach is ideal for catching Summer and Winter Whiting, Flathead, Bream and the odd Mackerel. If you’re chasing Whiting then trying fishing when the tide is outgoing or incoming and target the gutters which line the beach.


NRG Power Station Hot Water Outlet

This spot has been a favourite haunt for decades, as the Barra in mid-winter love to sit in the warm water which has been heated by the power station. Here, there are many ways of catching a fish; from surface lures through to deep divers or hard and soft bodied lures. Dead baits such as squid, mullet, herring and hardy heads are excellent, but make sure your knots and tackle are good because there are some HUGE fish pulled in at this spot. This fishing spot is also affected by the tide, with the incoming tide moving the warm current upstream away from the suggested fishing zone.


Great Regional Drives

Gladstone City Sights Drive

Total = 30kms

Gladstone might be best known for its impressively large multi commodity port, but there are some hidden gems in this industrial powerhouse waiting to be found. Take round-trip itinerary will take you to some of Gladstone’s diverse industrial, historical, artistic and natural environmental surprises with beach stops, lookouts, industrial tours, botanic gardens, and environmental zones.

You can take as little as half a day or have a more leisurely look around the sights, bright lights and booming industry on this tour of hidden surprises.

City Centre → Barney Beach → Queensland Alumina Lookout → Bryan Jordan Drive → Gladstone Marina Parklands →Spinnaker Park → Gladstone Marina → Port of Gladstone → Visitor Information Centre → Toondoon Botanic Gardens → Mount Biondello Bush Walk (3km) → Round Hill Lookout → Auckland Hill Lookout → Auckland Creek Environmental Zone → Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum.


Things to Do – Gladstone and Surrounding Areas

Things to Do in Agnes Water and the Town of 1770

Agnes Waters and the Town of 1770 are relaxed seaside communities linked by kilometres of picturesque coastline and the deep blue waters of the Southern Great Barrier Reef.


Map of Agnes Waters and the Town of 1770

image 10
Map of Agnes Water and Town of 1770

1770 Distillery

1770 Distillery was established as a boutique distillery to utilise the locally grown fruits of the area and to provide a unique experience for both locals and tourists. The liqueurs are made in an age old artisan skill handed down by generations of ardent distillers. All liqueurs are hand made in copper pot stills. It is believed copper based stills offer the opportunity to produce a finer liqueur. The use of fresh ingredients also adds to the unique quality and flavour. All liqueurs are made with fresh fruits, herbs and spices.

  • Where: 220 Bicentennial Drive, Agnes Waters
  • Hours: Wed – Mon 10:00am to 4:00pm (Closed Tuesday)
  • Cost: Small tasting charge is then deducted from bottle price upon purchase

1770 Sunset

Being one of only a few places on the east coast of Australia to enjoy a sunset over the ocean, this daily spectacle is a “must do” while visiting the area.  Around sunset, people gather along the 1770 foreshore and the headland to watch the sunset over Bustard Bay. Be sure to arrive about 1/2 hour early and to stay another 1/2 hour after the sun has set as sometimes the most beautiful moments can be before or after the actual sunset.

Town of 1770 - Region of Gladstone, Queensland
Town of 1770 – Region of Gladstone, Queensland

Agnes Water Beach

With beautiful surfing beaches, Agnes Waters is Queensland’s most recognised northerly surf beach that attracts surfers from all over the world.  The beach stretches all the way to the Town of 1770 headland – about 6kms. Great surf for longboards with the best waves being at the Point.

Entry to the beach is via the footbridge near the parking area at Tom Jeffery Park at Agnes Street. Also, Sandcastles 1770 Motel and Resort has a public beach access and is the closest to the patrolled beach area apart from Tom Jeffrey Park.

November and December are the best months to catch a glimpse of nesting mother turtles on the beach at Agnes Waters.


Agnes Water Museum

The Agnes Water Museum celebrates the landing of Lt James Cook with copies of journals, logs, charts, a model of HM Bark Endeavour, and much more.

Other popular displays include; Indigenous and Islander artefacts, fossils, minerals, local coral and shells, maritime history, Bustard Head Light Station, photographs and books of the early days of Miriam Vale, Rosedale, Bororen, Baffle Creek, Agnes Water and Town of 1770, and memorabilia from the Discovery Coast Region.

  • Where: 71 Springs Road, Agnes Waters
  • Hours: Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri and Sat 1:00pm to 4:00pm, Sunday 10:00am to 1:00pm (Closed Tuesday)
  • Cost: Adult $3, Child free

Deepwater National Park

The park’s diverse vegetation of coastal scrubs, eucalypt woodlands, wet heaths and sedgelands surround Deepwater Creek and its tributaries. Tannins and other substances leached from surrounding heath plants stain the creek water brown. The creek is fringed by tall forests of swamp mahogany, paperbark and cabbage palms, and is broken in places by shallow sections of reed bed and paperbark forest. In these areas water only flows during the wet season.

Deepwater supports diverse birdlife such as emus, red-tailed black-cockatoos, honeyeaters, brahminy kites and waterbirds. Nesting turtles frequent Deepwater Beach from October to April, and turtle hatchlings emerge from the nests from January, usually at night.

  • Where: 526 Anderson Way, Agnes Waters
  • Hours: Anytime
  • Cost: No Cost

Eurimbula National Park

Many people come to Eurimbula National Park to enjoy the beach and fishing in a quiet, unspoiled area, but there is more to this area than meets the eye. The sandy beaches, pristine waterways and windswept headlands adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park are only some of the area’s features.

The park is rich in cultural history and is part of the Gooreng Gooreng Aboriginal people’s traditional country.

  • Where: Eurimbula Road, Round Hill
  • Hours: Anytime
  • Cost: No Cost

Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary

A sanctuary for injured and orphaned kangaroos and joeys, Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary provides an experience like no other and is perfect for wildlife lovers. The sanctuary is dedicated to rehabilitating and releasing these injured Aussie animals.

The open plan sanctuary allows kangaroos to roam free and eventually be reintroduced to the wild. With little cubby houses and beds for joeys to sleep in, replicating the feeling of a mother’s pouch, you can pet, feed and play with the animals with the Kangaroo Experience. The Kangaroo Experience takes visitors behind-the-scenes of the sanctuary to get up close to the animals and learn about how they’re cared for.

  • Where: 15 Fitzroy Crescent, Agnes Waters
  • Hours: Mon – Sun 3:30pm to 4:30pm
  • Cost: $10 per person

LARC

The pink amphibious LARC’S provide a truly unique amphibian adventure, travelling the coastlines of Eurimbula National Park and the waterways of Bustard Bay to the isolated Bustard Head Lighthouse, the first lighthouse to be built in Queensland.

  • Where: 535 Captain Cook Drive, Seventeen Seventy
  • Hours: Mon, Wed and Sat 8:00am to 5:00pm, Tues, Thur and Fri 8:00am to 5:00pm, Sun 9:00am to 3:00pm
  • Cost: From $40 depending on the type of tour you choose
1770 LARC Tours hero Agnes Water
LARC Environmental Tours – Town of 1770, Region of Gladstone, Queensland (Source: www.discover1770.com.au)

Paperbark Forest Boardwalk

Duration: 400m approximately 45min.

The trail is suitable for most ages and fitness levels. This short but spectacular forest walk will take you into the heart of a very special type of forest, rarely seen in such pristine condition.

The specially designed track makes it possible to penetrate the thick lush undergrowth and tiptoe through the wetlands (without getting your feet wet) until you’re completely surrounded by hundreds of paperbark tree trunks and the majestic green fronds of the cabbage palm.

Keep an eye out for butterflies and richly coloured fungi while keeping your ears listening for frog calls as you pass through their habitat.

  • Where: Spring Road, Reedy Creek Reserve, Agnes Waters
  • Hours: Anytime
  • Cost: No Cost

Things to Do in Gladstone

Map of Gladstone

image 11
Map of Gladstone, Queensland

East Shores Water Park

Great parklands and water park for families. There are some nice walking tracks around and there is also a waterfall on one side, and an old Navy ship in dry dock.

  • Where: Flinders Parade, Gladstone
  • Hours: Anytime
  • Cost: Free Entry

Gecko Valley Winery

On a rise overlooking the vineyards, surrounded by 100 hecatres of beautiful rolling woodland and with the majestic Mt Larcom as the backdrop, the visitors centre, Winery Cellar Door, Rose Garden Café, and Lazy Lizard Gallery combine to create a truly impressive site.  

  • Where: 700 Glenlyon Road, Gladstone
  • Hours: Wed – Fri 11:00am to 2:30pm, Sat and Sun 11:00am to 3:00pm
  • Cost: No Tastings Offered at This Time

Gladstone Marina

The Gladstone Marina pays homage to the city’s nautical history with the Maritime Museum, and its surrounding East Shores Precinct and Marina Parklands.  This area is also home to a natural deep water harbour which plays host to the annual Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race. It is also here at the Marina that local ferry services offer direct passage to tropical islands just off the coast.

  • Where: Bryan Jordan Drive, Gladstone
  • Hours: Mon – Fri 7:00am to 4:45pm, Sat – Sun 7:00am to 3:30pm
  • Cost: Free Entry
Gladstone Marina
Gladstone Marina – Gladstone, Queensland (Source: www.queensland.com)

Gladstone Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum holds a collection of vessels, model ships, navigational aids shipwreck relics plus a library with hundreds of papers and journals.  The museum ship, the HMAS Gladstone II, is a 42 metre ex-Australian Navy Freemantle Class Patrol Boat that is berthed in the East Shores Gladstone Coal Exporters Maritime Precinct.

  • Where: 1 Francis Ward Drive, Auckland Point, Gladstone
  • Hours: Wed, Thur and Sun 10:00am to 4:00pm
  • Cost: Adult $6, Child $3

Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum

Housed in the heritage listed old Gladstone Town Hall, the current Gallery / Museum buildings are linked by a glass bridge walkway.

  • Where: Corner of Goondoon and Bramston Streets, Gladstone
  • Hours: Mon – Sat 10:00am to 5:00pm
  • Cost: Free Entry

Lake Awoonga

Just 30 kilometres from Gladstone, Lake Awoonga is a nature lover’s paradise. The spectacular lake and mountain views, picturesque waterfalls, walking paths, barbecue area and playground are all part of what’s on offer. The lake is stocked with Barramundi, Saratoga and Sea Mullet.

  • Where: Awoonga Dam Road, Benaraby
  • Hours: Anytime
  • Cost: Free Entry

Millennium Esplanade, Tannum Sands

This coastal foreshore, 20 kilometres south of Gladstone, provides individual pavillions which provide intimacy and cool, weather proof refuges which make the most of the ocean views. Kids will enjoy the amazing playground and flying fox, grassed areas for playing footy and pathways to enjoy riding scooters and bikes.

  • Where: Millennium Esplanade, Tannum Sands
  • Hours: Anytime
  • Cost: Free Entry
Tannum t1880
Millennium Esplanade – Tannum Sands, Queensland (Source: www.dailymercury.com.au)

Spinnaker Park

Spinnaker Park presents two and a half kilometres of walking tracks through native wetlands and ponds. The beached cove is wonderful for a dip while the barbecue and picnic areas make it a great place to entertain. Sheltered seating areas and public amenities are provided for visitor’s convenience.

  • Where: Alf O’Rourke Drive, Gladstone
  • Hours: Anytime
  • Cost: Free Entry

The Gladstone Aquatic Centre

The Aquatic Centre is a public swimming facility located in the heart of the city and has a 50 metre outdoor pool, a 25 metre indoor heated pool plus the newly opened ‘Splash Zone’ water park.

  • Where: 60 Tank Street, West Gladstone
  • Hours: Mon – Fri 5:30am to 7:30pm, Sat and Sun 7:00am to 5:00pm
  • Cost: Adult $5, Child $4

Toondoon Botanic Gardens

Tondoon Gardens is part of a conservation strategy to ensure that the nation’s environmental heritage is passed on to future generations. The gardens are approximately 8kms from the city centre, and extends over 83 hectares.

The gardens offer a wide variety of flora and fauna and provide local residents and visitors with a place of inspiration, recreation and relaxation. It is also a popular place for picnics, cultural and ceremonial events. Take a stroll around the Japanese Tea Gardens and the numerous walking tracks.

The dominant feature of the site is Mount Biondello which forms the northern and western boundaries, and, together with its foothills, encloses and protects the lower valley creek flats where the main display and lake are located.

  • Where: Glenlyon Street, Gladstone
  • Hours: Mon – Sun 7:00am to 4:30pm
  • Cost: Free Entry

William Golding Memorial Lookout

The lookout is on Auckland Hill and is a fantastic spot to relax and absorb some delightfully unexpected and peaceful views of Gladstone. Take the signposted narrow road which winds up to the lookout, atop which lies the Outlook Cafe. The lookout has an observation deck from which you’ll see views of Aukland Point Wharves.

  • Where: Bishops Drive, Gladstone
  • Hours: Anytime
  • Cost: No Cost

Things to Do on Heron Island

Hop on a boat at the Gladstone Marina and within two hours you’ll find yourself floating on the iconic Southern Great Barrier Reef.

Base yourself at Heron Island for the day; a dreamy getaway favoured by photography enthusiasts for its ample natural beauty. Dive off the jetty, or boat a little further out to sea where you can snorkel and introduce yourself to the local population of reef sharks, stingrays and manta rays.

On Heron Island you will find an array of complimentary activities including Guided Reef Walks (operate daily subject to tides), Island Ecology Walks, Guided Bird Life Walks, Wildlife Presentations and Educational Slide Shows.

Heron Island is one of the best dive resorts in Australia. There are over twenty different dive sites, more than half of which are just fifteen minutes from the beach. With so many acres of living coral literally teeming with fish, it’s easy to see why keen divers keep coming back to Heron.

gladstone region
Heron Island – Queensland, Australia

Things to Do on Lady Elliot Island (Southern Great Barrier Reef)

A short 25-minute flight from the Bundaberg Airport and you’ll touch down on Lady Elliot Island; the southern-most island, first lady of the reef and literal gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

The original eco-resort opened in 1984, catering to day trippers and overnight guests and is as popular now as it was then, both above and below the surface. Lady Elliot is known the world over as the home of the majestic manta ray and to date researchers have identified more than 700 individual rays living and thriving in the surrounding waters. Snorkelling and glass bottom boat rides are highly recommended.


Lady Elliot Island Lighthouse

The lighthouse on Lady Elliot Island was built in 1873. Standing at approximately 17 metres, the white and red lighthouse was pre-fabricated in England and shipped to the island in pieces.

It was the first lighthouse in Australia with a timber frame and weatherproof cast iron external cladding. The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1995 when it became too short for the surrounding vegetation and a new solar powered, fully automated tower was built.

Unfortunately, the lighthouse is not open to the public but is often the focus of history and photography buffs. There is a little museum in the adjacent building containing historical information and memorabilia.


Things to Do on Lady Musgrave Island (Southern Great Barrier Reef)

The Great Barrier Reef continues slightly further north of Lady Elliot Island to Lady Musgrave Island, best explored via the Lady Musgrave Island from the Town of 1770. This coral cay is home to more than 1,200 different species, including significant seabird populations, nesting turtles, manta rays and of course, corals.  From the island’s pontoon you’ll be able to snorkel and splash about to your heart’s content, with the lagoon here considered one of the best snorkelling spots on the greater reef.


Things to Do on North West Island (Southern Great Barrier Reef)

This hidden gem of the Southern Great Barrier welcomes self-sufficient campers to enjoy an untouched paradise.  As the second largest coral cay in the Great Barrier Reef, the island offers opportunities for bush walking, nature study, reef walking, diving and snorkelling.


Accommodation in Gladstone, Queensland

There are multiple accommodation options in the Gladstone region catering for tourists.

Backpacker / Hostel

At the budget end, the backpacker / hostel range is limited. Gladstone Backpackers gets great reviewers and beds start from $25 per person per night.

Hotels / Motels

Accommodation in the Gladstone region is available in lots of different formats with hotels / motels being the most numerous.

Resorts / Self Contained Holiday Apartments

Self-contained holiday apartments, luxury units, hotels and resorts are also available in the coastal strip along the coastline in towns like Agnes Waters and the Town of 1770. You will be guaranteed to find the right style of accommodation and the perfect price that you are looking to pay for in the region of Gladstone.

Caravan Parks / Camping

There are plenty of caravan / camping options available which have all the amenities you’ll need for a comfortable stay.


FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS IN GLADSTONE AND MAKE A RESERVATION!


In Summary

The Gladstone Region lies only 500km from Brisbane and offers visitors close access to The Great Barrier Reef. The clear aquamarine waters and underwater miracle of the reef provide one of the best fishing and scuba diving locations in the world. A variety of resorts, family style accommodation and camping experiences are also available.

The region surrounding Gladstone is a diverse and fascinating one, with an adventurous outdoor flavour complementing the busy, urban environment. From the beachside towns of Boyne Island and Tannum Sands to the idyllic, secluded beaches of Agnes Water / the Town of 1770, from scenic national parks to the spirit of the outback in a 4WD – the options are endless.


Want to Read More?

If you want to read more about our 1 month road trip in Queensland, click on the following post.


Exit45 Rating

The Exit45 Rating scale runs from a low of 1 to a high of 5 in each of the 9 categories.  As such, the higher the score out of 45, the better the Exit45 Rating.  N.B. These scores are our own personal opinions and are based on our experiences, budget constraints and what we love doing i.e. adventure seeking foodies who love snorkelling and water related activities.

Value for Money4
Cuisine4
Friendliness of Locals4
Ease of Language Barrier5
Climate4.5
Activities and Tours5
Ease of Travel5
Culture Barrier5
Safety4.5
TOTAL EXIT45 RATING41 / 45

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GLADSTONE QUEENSLAND EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

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By Peta Wenzel

We are Peta (Australian) and Jonas (Swedish/Australian), a couple in our mid 40’s / early 50’s who have been travelling the world fulltime since January 2018. We met and lived on the Gold Coast, Australia and spent many evenings researching and watching YouTube vlogs about travel and dreaming of the day we would retire and be able to enjoy a lot more travel ourselves. Over the years, a number of events happened to family and friends and an opportunity arose which made us decide to not wait but to instead take a “Gap Year”. We are now in our 3rd year of travel and still hunger for new adventures and embrace the uncertainty that comes with full-time travel. If you want to know more about who we are, why we choose this lifestyle and how we do it, please follow our adventures and see how you can do it too.

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