Great shopping at the markets.
Stroll along the boardwalk during a marina shopping experience. Sometimes the city centre mall is the scene of markets. Visit the art gallery, stroll through the botanic gardens, take a trip to Heron Island and the coral reefs. That would have to be the weekend I spent here. We stayed in a lovely Cabin, and I indulged in an extended shopping spree.
Gladstone a City of Contrasts
"Gladstone - worth a stay for a few days"
Gladstone is 550 kilometres by road north of Brisbane and 100 kilometres south-east of Rockhampton.
The city itself is situated between the Calliope River to the north and the Boyne River to the south and between the two river mouths lies the deep water harbour for which the city owes its existence. The harbour is one of the busiest in Australia.
I wasn't expecting a pretty city as I had heard so much about the port and the aluminium smelters and power stations close to the city but I really loved this town.
There is a large modern shopping centre out of the CDB which actually leaves the CDB very quiet.
Although there is a reasonable public transport system it is better to have a car so that you can get around the area if you visiting.
"Day trips from Gladstone"
There are many places within an easy drive of Gladstone.
Boyne Island and Tannum Sands have beautiful beaches and relaxed lifestyle, they are almost suburbs of Gladstone they are so close.
Lake Awoonga is 25K's away and has a great recreation area with free barbecues, swimming, landscaped walking trails, and a cafe and caravan park. The lake has been stocked with several fish species since 1996, and over 2 million barramundi have been released so there is the potential for good fishing.
Heading north you can visit Rockhampton which is a major rural centre of Central Qld. On the road to Rocky are a few small towns worth stopping at for there antiques and craft stores.
"Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef"
The Gladstone Region is the only gateway to the entire Southern Great Barrier Reef. This part of the Great Barrier Reef is known for its untouched, colourful and varied reef ecosystems.
Around the Gladstone area are many coral cays and reefs, some are only a stone’s throw away from the coast. There are reef resort, day cruise, and dive trip or chartered fishing trips available from this area. These islands are not generally cheap places to visit.
HERON ISLAND is 72 K's north east off the coast of Gladstone and access is by the fast Reef Adventurer II, or Heron Spirit catamaran from the Marina.
Between October and March, green turtles laying their eggs and hatching baby turtles are joined by up to 100,000 terns and mutton birds nesting and raising their young.
WILSON ISLAND is a tiny coral cay and the island is essentially natural.
LADY MUSGRAVE ISLAND is a major seabird and turtle nesting area. It has a central pisonia forest surrounded by fringing vegetation including coastal sheoaks, octopus bushes, pandanus and bird's beak grass.
Camping is permitted on Lady Musgrave Island most of the year, except for closed periods for regeneration. Bookings are permits are required from Queensland Parks and Wildlife for permission to camp on the island.
LADY ELLIOT ISLAND considered one of the top dive and snorkelling sites in the world and is known as a bit of a nature wonderland. The island is located within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
FITZROY REEF LAGOON, is a large reef and day trips are available for snorkling and diving.
NORTH WEST ISLAND is coral cay at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef about 75 K's from Gladstone. You can reef walk, snorkel or dive amongst the coloured coral and vibrant marine life on this island. Camping is permitted on the island most times of the year. There are environmental toilets on the island but no other facilities.
MASTHEAD ISLAND is an important seabird nesting area, particularly for black noddies and wedge tailed shearwaters. Camping is permitted on the island most times of the year, except regeneration periods, however there are no facilities. Again visitors to the island are required to be totally self sufficient. Bookings and permits are required from Queensland Parks and Wildlife.