Well worth a visit - when I was there they had a display of major Australian works - apparently the art gallery gets many travelling art shows which could be well worth seeing.
The museum section is quite small and concentrates on local history.
In the old Town Hall Building this was an easy way to spend a couple of hours - well, I did because of the current display of artworks. Maybe it will depend upon what is on show. Free entry always helps.
They also have some old footage of developing Gladstone which was interesting - see how the harbour and port have developed over the years.
Open: Monday-Saturday: 10am-5pm
Toondoon Botanic Gardens
The reception of the wedding we attended was held here. Our taxi cost about $20 to get here. Was lovely to have trees above and all around. Lots of different walks and great not to be able to see stacks and other smoke and stuff around. There are guided tours if you pre book but we didn't take up this option.
Opening hours are basically 9-5.30, slightly longer in Summer and closed Good Friday and Christmas Day. Free entry.
No Dogs or other domestic animals.
Lots of parking and just a great place to chill out.
This is an update as I have at last spent some time at this lovely artists retreat.
The following is taken from the Cedar Galleries web page and I can now agree with what is written in the brochure!
"Cedar Galleries Art Workshops: At Cedar Galleries we believe that all individuals have artistic talent, and that exploring and cultivating creative expression gives us all new ways to understand, appreciate, and make a positive contribution to the world in which we live. Our Artists Village compells you to leave the rest of the world behind you and immerse yoursef in ours. You will be welcomed into a proactive, supportive, artistic community in which skill levels from beginner through to advanced are nurtured."
The Gallery Cafe is lovely and I had a long lunch eating a lovely meal and enjoying the surrounds.
When I visited there were a couple of woemn sculpting and it was great to be able to sit and watch them and talk about what they were doing.
The Village is open to the public from Thursday to Sunday, 9am-4pm.
An interesting little jewellery shop tucked away in a car park behing the main street. Such a strange place for a shop!
The had some lovely gemstones for sale (as well as normal jewellery shop lines) and prices were good.
This is the only safe beach for swimming in the immediate Gladstone area.
Barney Beach, just out of the CBD, has a floating tidal enclosure which helps make it safe for summer swimming.
Always check with a local, if you can, about when the stingers are likely to be in the water.
There are picnic facilities here and it is a nice walk along this beach.
Never did I think I would stand leaning over a fence (admittedly at the lookout) watching trucks unload and ship sail by for hours on end. But this was what I did in Gladstone and I loved every minute of it. Whenever I had nothing to do I would head up to the hill and see what was happening down in the port and harbour area.
I was facinated by trucks unloading, ships being loaded. At night the action doesn't stop either - though my night pics are pretty terrible!
I think it was the magic of the harbour that so influenced me to see Gladstone as a lovely city.
There seems to be many historical villages in this part of Queensland. This one is also worth a visit though it is smaller - and newer - than some of the others.
Only about 25K's from Gladstone it is on the banks of the Calliope River and that in itself is really lovely.
There are about 20 buildings in the village from houses and cottages, to a school, a church and a local hall. Each building has displays of things from times long past.
You can take an organised tour or just wander around by yourself - get a map and it is easy to do by yourself.
Markets are regularly held here, I didn't get to one but apparently they are great so ask when market days are on.
There is also a kiosk open daily. Toilet and BBQ facilities, shaded areas and the village is a Driver Reviver station.
A great way to get your bearings is the self-drive tour of Gladstone city. It's almost a 50 K drive but will take you to all of the main sites. Don't need to do it all in one day, just wander around and enjoy the city.
Places to see include:
Marina - some serious boats in this small regional marina
Gladstone Power Station - tours can be arranged on Thursdays - book at info office
Tondoon Gardens - lovely Botanic Gardens
Gecko Valley Winery - wonderful lunches here
Queensland Alumina Plant....and more
If you are into seafood you cannot go past the Gladstone Seafood - Fish Market for fresh fish.
If you just want to see what is available locally you can also call in here for a feast for the eyes.
OK it smells a bit like a fish market but the range of seafood is well worth it. If you are camping or can cook in your accomodation this is the place to come to select your fish.
A lovely little winery not far out of town.
The winery is open Tuesday - Sunday (check website for hours) and you can sample some great local wines and the cafe has great food.
Watch the wallabies hop around, enjoy the views and take one of the walks around the property.
The winery is a "Land for Wildlife"property - this sets up long term opportunities between private landholders, community organisations and local councils to maintain and enhance conservation initiatives on private land.
The Lazy Lizard Cafe has great snacks and meals but is not cheap - but with the views and the wine it's worth it.
You can also buy locally made jewellery, soaps and other gifts here...and of course wine.
I spent a couple of hours wandering around these gardens and as it was after some summer rain I used a can of insect repellant so be wary! I was really enjoying them so had to stay despite the mosquitoes.
Guided tours are available but I collected a map and just wandered. Plants are labelled and paths easily identifiable. It was a lovely walk up to the North and South Bondello Lookouts - a 3 km circuit - where you can get lovely views of the town and harbour.
The gardens are divided into sections: wet rainforest, dry rainforest, native wildflower, useful wild plants and Queensland rainforests. There is a large lake which was fulll of birds when I was there and despite the mossies a pleasant place to just sit.
There is an orchid house if you are interested (was closed when I was there) and a cafe that is open when the gardens are open. There is also a barbecue and picnic area.
I was fascinated by the bush turkey building his nest near the cafe.
We were based at Goondoon Street and after breakfast on our first morning we thought we would do some walking.
Incidently we ate at DeeJays a little cafe in that street and after 3 eggs and huge amounts of bacon for just over $10 we needed to walk!
Anyway we headed towards what appeared to be the wharf and just followed the water around. We saw this walk of 111 steps which led up to a great lookout and involved a cute little waterfall. Very man made but nice all the same. You could drive up here also.
We spent about an hour doing this walk and looking at some of the massive boats and locals fishing. All very relaxing. Several playgrounds around if you have kids.
The Gecko Valley is just 3km from the sea and set in beautiful rolling woodland country with superb views.
In the Gladstone district in the mid-90s, there was a widely held view that central Queensland was not a good place to grow vines for wine - it was too hot, too wet and humid and the necessary vine dormancy would not be achieved because of the area's warm winters. Happily, the McCrays have shown that the heat produces ripe and flavoursome fruit and historical problems of fermenting yeast in high temperatures are no longer a problem due to modern refrigeration.
The humidity isn't such a big problem either, for coastal central Queensland has a much drier heat than adjacent southern and northern coastal strips. And lack of dormancy didn't turn out to be a problem. When you taste the wines, you will be able to judge for yourself just how successful they have been.
Do some tasting in the air-conditioned tasting room then have a gourmet cafe-style meal amid the tranquil bush seclusion, surrounded by fountains and waterfalls and more than 150 beautifully flowering rose bushes.
Gladstone Tondoon Botanic Gardens were officially opened in October 1988 to coincide with the Australian bicentenary. This is one of Australia's few totally native botanic gardens and the display areas specialise in the plants of the Port Curtis region and Far North Queensland.
Visit the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum. And right in the heart of the business centre is the Gladstone Entertainment Centre, the focal point of cultural activities in Gladstone.