Gladstone Things to Do

  • Gladstone visitor centre
    Gladstone visitor centre
    by balhannah
  • Gladstone visitor centre
    Gladstone visitor centre
    by balhannah
  • Gladstone visitor centre
    Gladstone visitor centre
    by balhannah

Most Recent Things to Do in Gladstone

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    SPINNAKER PARK

    by balhannah Updated Dec 31, 2014

    Looking across the Marina to the land on the other side, is an important Gladstone Park. The park has a 2.5km walking track, native wetlands and ponds and man-made beach cove with a stinger net for your protectioin. Toilets, bbq's and picnic areas provided, it makes for a nice outing for the family. Pets are allowed on a leash.

    Why Spinniker park is important, is because it's the official finish line for the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race that is held every year on the Easter weekend.
    I have witnessed the beginning of this iconic race held on Good Friday, beginning at Woody point on the Redcliffe Peninsula, Brisbane, but have never seen the finish. From the start to the finish at Gladstone, is approx. 308 nautical miles.
    The winning Yacht receives the Courier Mail Cup, one of the oldest perpetual trophies in Australia. The Gladstone Harbour Festival at Spinnaker park celebrates the end of the race.

    Spinnaker Park, Gladstone
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    FRIEND PARK

    by balhannah Written Dec 30, 2014

    Friend Park is located on a headland next to the Barney Point Picnic area. The park is one of the most significant historical sites in the Gladstone district.
    In the park is a 1954 cairn which states "this was the spot of the first official residence in North Australia was erected, and Captain Maurice Charles O'Connell was installed first Government Resident, Police Magistrate and Commission of Crown Lands, on 17th April 1854 by Sir Charles Fitzroy Governor of New South Wales. Unveiled Centenary Celebrations 17th April 1954."

    Next, I walked across to an old grave - Thomas Riddell was buried here. I didn't know of him.
    This is what I read...
    "Underneath this stone are deposited the remains of THOMAS MILLES STRATFORD RIDDELL eldest son of the Acting Colonial Secretary and Mrs Riddell.
    He was born at Sydney on 22 January 1832 and died at Port Curtis on the 16 September 1854 aged 22 years."

    With the height of this rocky and steep headland, I had good views across Port Curtis and to another wharf.

    Friend Park Friend Park View from Friend Park View from Friend Park
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    HEAD TO THE WHARVES

    by balhannah Written Dec 30, 2014

    As far as I know, the only wharves you can get reasonably close to in Gladstone, are the ones along McFarlan street I have always enjoyed watching ships being loaded and unloaded, so we headed here to see what was happening. A Ship was in port and being loaded.
    From here, I had a good view across to Auckland Point Wharves where 4 Ships moored.
    Just to the right of this wharf, was another where the Tug Boats were moored, one had just left to help with a Ship about to leave. Love watching the Tugs at work too!

    Tug boats McFarlan street Wharf View to Auckland Point Wharf
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    MARITIME MUSEUM

    by balhannah Written Dec 30, 2014

    Once again we were out of luck - The Gladstone Maritime Museum was closed.
    Outside the building and in the yard were a few maritime pieces, nothing amazing though. I read the inside has displays on the maritime history of the Curtis Coast and the Capricorn-Bunker Coral Islands, covering discovery and exploration and the Naval involvement here. There is more than that, so if you want to see it, make sure your here during the limited opening times.

    ADMISSION IN 2014
    Adult $6.00
    Child (Aged 4-14) $3.00
    Concession $5.00 Identification is required.
    Family $15.00 Two adults and three children.

    Opening Hours
    10 - 4pm Thursday, Saturday & Sunday

    Gladstone Maritime Museum
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    BARNEY POINT PARK

    by balhannah Written Dec 29, 2014

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    Barney Point - I had read was the place to come if you wanted to have a swim in Gladstone. We arrived here by car and parked in one of the 50 allocated car spaces. First impression wasn't good, not helped by the tide being out. The Beach wasn't what I was used too, it was sand and pebbles and shells! It does have a swimming area which is enclosed to keep out the nasties (like jellyfish,) but it is advised to "check the water clarity" before entering.....and this is advertised as the only Beach to swim at in Gladstone. I guess it is the best when you consider all the industry around here.

    There is a nice playground and barbecue area under shelters, so I think it would be quite popular on weekends. A seawall is the boundary of the beach on one side, with rock flats and a 20 m high grassy bluff at the other end.

    The beaches at Gladstone aren't much, so head to Tannum Sands for better ones.

    Barney Point Beach is located 1 km from the city centre

    Barney Point Beach
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    TONDOON BOTANIC GARDENS

    by balhannah Written Dec 29, 2014

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    These Botanic gardens are located a bit out from the city centre, they are well signposted and easy to reach if you have a car. We drove in and parked our car near the visitor centre where I made my first stop. I picked up a brochure with information on the facilities and attractions at the Botanic Gardens.

    I came after the rain which meant plenty of mosquitoes were about. PUT ON MOZZIE REPELLENT BEFORE HEADING OFF, wear a hat and sunscreen in Summer and comfortable walking shoes as the gardens are big.

    According to my brochure, the gardens are divided into sections. I didn't see all of them as I was a little disappointed in what I saw. Perhaps if your from overseas and haven't seen this type of trees and shrubs in "your" home country gardens, then it probably will be quite interesting for you.

    In the gardens is an Art Gallery at the Visitor centre for local artists to showcase their work, new exhibitions are shown each month. It is here where the Gardens Café is located, set in a lovely position built out over the lake. Lake Tondoon was once part of Tondoon Dam, where Gladstone got its water from up till 1945. Still standing is the old pump station and intake tower.
    As I wandered around, I noticed sections of Flora growing that related to areas around Gladstone, such as the Port Curtis Region and Tropical North Queensland, this was interesting. I found a pretty creek, but didn't find any wildlife or much Birdlife that was advertised. I saw one Bush Turkey and heard some Kookaburra's laughing!
    There is plenty of room for children to play ball and quite a nice playground. For Adults, the traditional Japanese Tea House may be the place to go and enjoy some quiet time by the lake.

    A notice I saw was advertising FREE Garden tours held every Thursday at 10.30am

    Out of all the things to do in Gladstone, if I had to cross one off, it would be coming here.

    OPEN
    Monday - Friday 7 -5.30pm Weekends 9 - 5.30pm
    The gardens are closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day.

    FREE ENTRY

    Bush Turkey Art at the Botanic Gardens Tondoon botanic gardens Tondoon botanic gardens Tondoon botanic gardens
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    TIME LINE MURAL

    by balhannah Written Dec 29, 2014

    I came across this by chance after I walked down the hill along Roseberry street. It looked to be a Mural of six panels made out of aluminium. I have named it the "time-line mural" as I can't find information on it. I viewed it and could see it showed the history of Gladstone from the time of the Traditional owners till 2013, when the Industrial boom was happening. Along the panels you can see the significant changes that have happened in Gladstone over many years.

    Time line Mural Time line Mural Time line Mural
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    THE GRAND HOTEL

    by balhannah Written Dec 29, 2014

    The Grand Hotel located at the corner of Goondoon street and Roseberry street, is a building worth stopping and having a look at. The Hotel was built in 1897, since then fire has ravaged the building so it has been restored. The inside looks quite modern, it was the exterior that I liked.
    Ribs & Rumps Restaurant is open
    7 DAYS A WEEK
    Lunch 12pm to 3pm
    Dinner 5pm till late
    Check the menu online.

    If your following the Gladstone city heritage walk trail, you will begin the walk here.

    Grand Hotel
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    KULLAROO HOUSE

    by balhannah Written Dec 28, 2014

    It was time for me to walk the city centre and see what was there. I wasn't expecting much so I was totally surprised to see the wonderful heritage listed building "Kullaroo House."

    This appealing house was built between 1910-11 as new premises for the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney. It certainly is an impressive building, one of such class built in Gladstone because of the potential seen here. With its classical detailing, it was designed to impress! The Bank was on the ground floor and the Manager's residence was above. Kullaroo House was used as a Bank for nearly 50 years, then was sold.
    The name Kullaroo is believed to be an Aboriginal word meaning road that leads to water. The house has fine views over Gladstone Harbour and is one of Gladstone's finest buildings.

    Kullaroo House Kullaroo House Kullaroo House Kullaroo House
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    QUEENSLAND ALUMINA LIMITED

    by balhannah Written Dec 28, 2014

    I found this to be another interesting lookout. For me, it was a chance to learn about Alumina production and to see the Refinery which covers and area of 80 hectares - It is huge! Adjacent to the refinery on South Trees Island, is a wharf and storage facility. It's connected to the mainland by a causeway bridge.

    The lookout has undercover areas where you can read about Alumina production from the beginning to the final product - Pictures are included. There are plenty of interesting facts and figures to take in.

    The initial bauxite is mined at Weipa in far north Queensland, then shipped 2,000 kilometres down to QAL in Gladstone.

    "Once here, it passes through a continuous four-stage “Bayer Process” involving....
    1.Digestion – dissolving bauxite’s alumina content
    2.Clarification – settling out undissolved impurities
    3.Precipitation – forming alumina crystals
    4.Calcination – high-temperature drying of alumina"

    Queensland Alumina Limited, or QAL, is one of the world’s largest Alumina refineries, "producing some 3.96 million tonnes of the world’s best smelter grade alumina per year."

    For more information on the process, please check the website link

    QAL Lookout QAL Lookout QAL Lookout QAL Lookout
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    WILLIAM GOLDING MEMORIAL LOOK-OUT

    by balhannah Written Dec 28, 2014

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    The William Golding Memorial Lookout on Auckland Hill is one NOT TO BE MISSED.

    The route to the look-out is signposted and is a one way circuit as the road is narrow. At the top were a few parking spaces, lucky it wasn't a busy day as all the parking spaces may have been taken. The parking spaces are also for people visiting the Outlook Café.

    The look-out has an observation deck from which I had marvellous views of Auckland Point Wharves. Two ships were in port and being loaded, what with, I don't know! One must have been full and ready to leave as I saw another ship being brought into the Harbour with the help of Tug Boats. Goods handled at Auckland point wharf are petroleum products, magnate, copper slag, cement gypsum, LP gas, caustic soda, woodchip, containers and general cargo. This is one of four wharves in Gladstone.

    I had views to the Marina where a big bridge and mountains made a back-drop, and I could see the chimneys and some of the buildings belonging to the NRG Power Station. This station generates and supplies electricity for the Boyne Smelter and produces 15% of Queensland's electricity needs.

    A little further along, I could clearly see Curtis Island, look for the flame coming out of a chimney. This Island provides a lot of work for men and women who work for Queensland Curtis LNG, the company who is completing a project to turn gas from coal seams into liquefied natural gas.
    IT IS A WORLD FIRST!

    Following the walkway past beautiful Bouganvilleas in flower and other tropical trees and shrubs, I find myself staring down at a large heap of white? At the information centre, I am told this is Calcite, a high quality limestone that has been crushed and stockpiled waiting for shipment to Geelong in Victoria. There it will be turned into a filler for plastics, paper glossing and toothpaste, I never knew that!

    So, as you have read, there is plenty to view from the Look-out. Afterwards, you may wish to cross the road for a cuppa at the Outlook Café.

    View of Auckland Point Wharves View from Auckland Hill View from Auckland Hill White Calcite Outlook Cafe
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    MORE TO DO AT EAST SHORES PARK

    by balhannah Updated Dec 28, 2014

    East Shores Park has a lot more to offer than the children's playground. It is situated beside the Ocean and an inlet, where one section of water leads into the Marina and the other forms a creek.
    In this section of the park, a large area has been built out over the water for fishing. If you fish here, you will need to know when the tide is in for best results. It was out, but I still managed to see a large Garfish in the water.

    Scattered around the park is signage on the history of the area, including information on the Bailai people and historical items from old ships. The waterfall wasn't working, would be nice when it is. A track with over 100steps leads to the look-out atop Auckland hill.

    Too much walking for you? The Flinders Parade Promenade is a shared walkway/bikeway, so hop on your bike and enjoy the surroundings this way!

    This is a lovely park! No wonder it is so popular!

    East Shores Park East Shores Park Beside East Shores Park
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    HMAS GLADSTONE II

    by balhannah Written Dec 28, 2014

    Located in East Shores Park next to the Lighthouse, is the HMAS Gladstone II, a Naval ship which was decommissioned in 2007 and gifted to the Gladstone Maritime History Society. She sits in a wet dock, although in my photo it doesn't look much like it as the tide was out. She is the second ship of this name - Both were named after the city of Gladstone.

    Her life began in 1984 at Cairns where she was based for her entire life. The Gladstone's duties were border protection, protecting Australia's fisheries, immigration, customs and preventing drugs coming illegally into Australia by boat. The Gladstone was fitted with the navigational radar and satellite equipment needed for these duties, plus Machine guns making here well equipped for her duties. During her active years, the Gladstone covered 618,000 nautical miles in National and International waters over 22.5 years of service.

    At the moment, the ship can only be viewed from the outside, it is hoped that 2015, work will be finished on the ship and the public will be able to visit the interior.

    HMAS Gladstone I HMAS Gladstone I HMAS Gladstone I
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    EAST SHORES WATER PARK & PLAYGROUND

    by balhannah Updated Dec 28, 2014

    The East Shores water park and playground only opened November 7th, 2014.
    It is located at the end of a no-through road, so parking spaces are provided where the road ends, plenty of them too!

    First impressions were good! From the very beginning I found this park interesting. Firstly was the structure I walked through, this was the Aqualinear, (see photo), description and info was beside it. After reading about it, I walked a little further to where the children's play equipment was, quite different to the usual and some had a Pirates theme. All the play equipment had sun shades to protect the children from the burning sun and quite soft rubber matting so nobody would get hurt if they fell. There was all kinds of play equipment before I came to the wonderful water area where water danced out of the concrete and became fountains in all sizes and shapes. The children were having stacks of fun! Surrounding this area was plenty of picnic benches and park benches underneath the covered walkway.
    All the sculptures had details about them, like the Sentinel interactive water sculpture, meant to represent the "strength and beauty of nature and the machine."

    Very modern Toilets, plenty of grassed area to chase a ball, water area to cool off later, what more could you want. This park is worth 5 stars!

    A Café will be built later.

    East Shores Water Play Park operating hours:
    December to February: 9am to 8pm
    March to May: 9am to 6pm
    June to August: 9am to 5pm
    September to November: 9am to 8pm

    FREE

    East Shores Playground Aqualinear East Shores Playground East Shores Waterpark East Shores Water park
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    LITTLE SEA HILL LIGHTHOUSE

    by balhannah Written Dec 28, 2014

    I am still in East Shores Park, only have followed the pathway further to look at a small wooden Lighthouse.
    Located off the coast of Gladstone is Curtis Island where this small Lighthouse was originally erected on Sea Hill Point, to help with navigation of ships at the entrance of Keppel Bay.
    Rather a cutie, it was the first built in this design in Queensland. This hexagonal Lighthouse is built from hardwood timber which has been painted white and a has a corrugated iron, painted red roof. Originally this little Lighthouse sat next to its new mate, a large Lighthouse that was built in 1985, now it sits alone in the park to be admired by all!

    Little Sea Hill Lighthouse Little Sea Hill Lighthouse
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