Stretching from the Southern Great Barrier Reef in the east to the Sandstone Wilderness in the west, our world is a place which is easy to find but where you can just as easily lose yourself in island perfection, superior reefs, secluded beaches, towering escarpments, arresting rainforest and dramatic landscapes.
The Capricorn region begins approximately 630km north of Brisbane, following the line of the Tropic of Capricorn from Yeppoon and the Capricorn Coast, through the city of Rockhampton and reaching out to Emerald and the famous Carnarvon Gorge in Queensland’s Central Highlands.
The Capricorn Coast is paradise. Stretching from Stanage Bay to Keppel Sands, it is populated by a series of coastal communities ranging from fishing havens, rainforest retreats, scenic lookouts, and friendly seaside villages. Yeppoon is the heart of the Capricorn Coast and access point to the Southern Great Barrier Reef. This welcoming seaside town offers a picturesque esplanade with its backdrop of offshore islands. Also, keep an eye out for one of the many new street art murals adorning local walls. There is a great selection of boutiques and gift stores for you to wander through or sit down for a bite to eat at one of the chic cafés or restaurants in town. Families are well catered for in Yeppoon boasting the fantastic ‘Keppel Kraken’ zero-depth waterpark and spectacular Yeppoon Lagoon and children’s play area.
The township of Emu Park is home to the famous Singing Ship, a majestic monument that sculpturally commemorates Captain James Cook and his nautical exploration of the region’s coastline. From this picturesque vantage point, you can wander down to the Centenary of ANZAC Commemorative Precinct. The impressive memorial boardwalk was designed to honor 100 years of ANZAC and features unique and evocative works by local artists.
With 18 islands in the Southern Great Barrier Reef, the Keppel Isles boasts the best of the reef—pristine white sand beaches and sparkling blue sea—you’ll be begging to get castaway! Just 30min boat ride from Yeppoon, Great Keppel Island is where you quite literally have your pick of seventeen secluded white-sand beaches to swim, snorkel, dive, sail or fish 365 days a year. Or for a private island eco-retreat, Pumpkin Island is an ideal choice.
The bustling regional hub of Rockhampton boasts authentic and easy going country hospitality, as well as cosmopolitan shopping, fine dining and a wide range of entertainment options and nightlife. Situated on the banks of the mighty Fitzroy River, Rockhampton is renowned for its elegant streetscapes with majestic sandstone buildings and has a lot of history for visitors to explore. Rockhampton’s Riverbank precinct has undergone a $36 million redevelopment and is well worth a visit. Families will love the new Kershaw Gardens ‘Central Precinct’ boasting an extensive playground and water play area. The new Nurum skywalk at Mount Archer National Park boasts magnificent views over the city and is a must visit.
There are many places to visit around Rockhampton, head east and fossick for 120-million-year-old thundereggs or ‘volcanic birthstones’ at Mt Hay. Take a short detour to Mount Morgan, once Australia’s greatest gold mining town. Head north and visit the award-winning Capricorn Caves, the state’s oldest tourist attraction.
SANDSTONE WILDERNESS & SAPPHIRE GEMFIELDS
The Sandstone Wilderness is one of outstanding natural beauty, featuring unique sandstone gorges, water sculptured formations and significant Aboriginal art sites. The area encompasses 25 separate mountain ranges radiating from the Great Dividing Range and includes over 100 State Forests and National Parks including the spectacular Carnarvon National Park and the must-see Carnarvon Gorge section.
You are sure to catch some serious gem fever when you visit the towns of Rubyvale, Sapphire, Anakie and Willows Gemfields in the Central Queensland Sapphire Gemfields. Only a 45min drive west of Emerald (three hours west of Rockhampton) on the Capricorn Highway, the Central Queensland Sapphire Gemfields represents over 900km2 of prime gem fossicking… this may be your opportunity to strike it rich!
For more information on the Capricorn region, visit our website below.