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Visitor Guide

#gladstoneregion | #visitagnes1770


Snorkelling off Heron Island

The Gladstone Region begins approximately 450 kilometres north of Brisbane. As the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, the Gladstone Region contains some incredible natural wonders, including Heron Island, Masthead Island, North West Island, Wilson Island and Lady Musgrave Island. At the centre of the region is the city of Gladstone. Known for being the ‘engine room of Queensland’, this dynamic regional city is full of unexpected surprises. 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 one of Australia’s premier freshwater fishing locations, Lake Awoonga.


To the south, the natural surrounds of the Discovery Coast will entice you to explore the burgeoning township of Miriam Vale, the white secluded beaches of Agnes Water and the birthplace of Queensland in the Town of 1770. From here, you can also spend a day experiencing the breathtaking reef adventures of Lady Musgrave Island and Lagoon. The Gladstone Region isn’t all about the coast and islands though! To the southwest you will find the spectacular Boyne Valley and Sandstone Wilderness. This area abounds with opportunities for intrepid travellers to explore the spectacular hinterlands or enjoy a genuine farmstay experience. It’s all waiting for you here in the Gladstone Region – where great begins!

Gladstone Region Official Visitor Guide

Loggerhead hatchling at Wreck Rock

A destination where iconic Queensland beaches meet an ancient reef within reach. Where you can explore pure national parks and experience authentic country farm stays. Where there’s an abundance of unforgettable experiences and an adventure to suit every traveller.

Family adventures on Lady Musgrave Island

Fishing at the Town of 1770


Nowhere will you find a more eclectic example of genuine Queensland qualities than Gladstone. It’s the state’s engine room; an industrial powerhouse of global significance that is well and truly at the forefront of the resources industry. But Gladstone is full of unexpected surprises. This dynamic city offers a range of entertainment including the Regional Art Gallery & Museum, a wide variety of restaurants and bars; and local history to boot with countless colonial buildings throughout the CBD. The Tondoon Botanic Gardens are also one of only a few in Australia with all native plant species, attracting more than 100,000 people annually. At the heart of Gladstone’s city centre is an impressive natural deep-water harbour. Each year this harbour plays host to the annual Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, marked by the Gladstone Harbour Festival. The Gladstone Marina pays homage to the city’s nautical history at the Maritime Museum and its surrounding East Shores Precinct and Marina Parklands, which continue to attract people to the city from around the globe. It’s also here at the Marina, that local ferry services offer direct passage to tropical islands waiting patiently off the coast.

MUST DO’S Enjoy the panoramic views at Auckland Point or Round Hill Lookout Cool off in the splash zone or relax in the parklands at East Shores Marina Precinct Take a peaceful stroll through the beautiful Tondoon Botanic Gardens Snorkel or dive at one of the many accessible islands off the coast of Gladstone Take up the challenge and climb Gladstone’s prominent landmark, Mount Larcom Indulge in fresh seafood at the local Gladstone Fish Market


Gladstone Region Official Visitor Guide

Goondoon Street

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Tondoon Botanic Gardens

East Shores Marina Precinct

Gladstone Marina


BOYNE ISLAND & TANNUM SANDS Only a short drive south from Gladstone are the picturesque coastal communities of Boyne Island and Tannum Sands. These ‘twin’ communities embody a relaxed coastal lifestyle centred on superb beaches, riverside walkways, parklands and recreational activities.

Tannum Sands’ Main Beach

MUST DO’S Get active on over 15kms of pathway known as ‘The Turtle Way’, that winds along the coastline. Enjoy a day of sun, sand and salt at Tannum Sands’ patrolled surf beach. Cast a line in the Boyne River and try your luck catching a BIG Barra. Visit the local Beach Arts Music (BAM) Markets held on the first Saturday of every month from March to December. Getaway for a weekend and go camping at Lilley’s Beach (permit required). Boyne Tannum Hookup


Gladstone Region Official Visitor Guide

LAKE AWOONGA Whether you’re looking for a place to splash, fish or relax, Lake Awoonga is a nature lover’s paradise. The Lake is stocked with Barra, Saratoga and Sea Mullet and has earned a reputation as one of the best impound freshwater fishing spots in Australia. Not a keen angler? Then slip into the cool waters for a relaxing dip, leisurely kayak or try your hand at stand-up paddle boarding. Or why not pull on some walking shoes and explore the lake’s naturally sculpted landscape, teeming with a wondrous array of plants, animals and birds. There are also BBQ areas waiting at the ready, so pack a picnic and enjoy lunch with a view.

Fishing Fa cts

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Lake Awoonga


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Water sports on Lake Awoonga


AGNES WATER & THE TOWN OF 1770 Agnes Water 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. Famously known for its rich history as the birthplace of Queensland, the Town of 1770 was named after Lieutenant James Cook and his crew from the ‘Endeavour’ who came ashore on the 24th of May 1770. The climate in this region is best described as perfect, with more than 280 days of sunshine each year. Imagine swimming in crystal clear waters, unwinding on your own deserted beach, sailing, bushwalking and kayaking or kite surfing beside dolphins playing. This is the essence of Agnes Water and the Town of 1770 – untouched, exclusive and pure.

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO 1. Go snorkelling at Lady Musgrave Island 2. Learn to surf at Agnes Water 3. Take in the famous 1770 Sunset 4. Hire a kayak and explore the waterways 5. Hop aboard the iconic pink amphibious LARC 6. Explore the Paperbark Forest Boardwalk 7. Go swimming at Agnes Water’s patrolled beach 8. Explore one of the many picturesque walking trails 9. Go 4WD’ing through Deepwater or Eurimbula National Park 10. Cast your fishing line into Round Hill Creek or Baffle Creek


Gladstone Region Official Visitor Guide

The Town of 1770

Sunset on the foreshore

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Sandboarding on Middle Island

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As the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, the Gladstone Region is home to what’s considered one of the top dive and snorkelling sites in the world. Dotted with impressive coral cays and reefs that are only a stone’s throw away from the coast, you’ll be swimming, snorkelling, diving or fishing on the reef in no time.



Heron Island offers a unique experience where you can truly immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Among the music of seabirds, tracks of turtles and clouds of multi-coloured fish, the feeling that you’re a guest of nature itself is inescapable. Surrounded by 24 square kilometres of reef, the island is home to a resident population of over 5,000 green and loggerhead turtles – with many more returning each year during breeding season. There is one resort on the island, Heron Island Resort, which offers several standards of accommodation designed to suit all tastes and budgets.


Lady Musgrave Island is the only coral This hidden gem of the Southern Great island on the Great Barrier Reef with a Barrier Reef welcomes self-sufficient navigable lagoon. Over eight nautical campers to enjoy an untouched miles in circumference, this unique cay paradise. As the second largest coral truly has it all – reef, island, beautifully cay in the Great Barrier Reef, the island coloured corals, marine life, flora, fauna, offers opportunities for bushwalking, and of course, turtles. Day trips to the nature study, reef island provide visitors the chance walking, diving to experience the warm tropical and snorkelling. waters of Lady Musgrave Fishing is also Island – perfect any time of quite popular year for diving, swimming on the Lady Musgrave Island’s and snorkelling. For those island, but unique coral lagoon is who wish to stay a little visitors are a haven for over 1200 longer, camping is also requested varieties of fish and over permitted on the to limit their 200 species of both hard island, however a fishing and and soft corals! permit is required to abide by Access: Guests and National Park authorised of Heron Island restrictions do apply. fishing zones. The Heron Island Resort can Your remote island Bommie was dubbed access the Access: Day trips depart adventure is only a permit 1 of 10 best dives on island via boat regularly from the Town away from reality. the planet by Jacques transfer, which of 1770, the closest access Cousteau! regularly departs point to Lady Musgrave Access: The island is accessible by private from the Gladstone Island. Access is also available boat. Alternatively the barge service Marina. Alternatively via Bundaberg for a day tour. offers regular island transfers. Barge begin your holiday with People camping on the island can transfers depart from the Gladstone a scenic seaplane flight between take the ferry transfer which departs Marina and deliver you right to your beach Gladstone Airport and Heron Island. from the Gladstone Marina. campsite on North West Island.

Fun fact:

Fun fact:


Gladstone Region Official Visitor Guide



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3. Diving off Heron Island



Lady Musgrave Island


Bucket List

Travel just five kilometres from the Gladstone coastline and you will find Quoin Island. This island is home to the region’s only turtle rehabilitation centre, and features a fully refurbished resort which is available to book exclusively for families, corporate functions and weddings.

 atch turtle hatchlings erupt from their nest and W wiggle their way to the water at Heron Island.  ake a day trip to Lady Musgrave Island and discover T its unique inner lagoon – it’s like swimming in a giant aquarium!  ive your way around the 20 spectacular dive sites D surrounding Heron Island and have an up-close encounter with your favourite marine life.

If self-sufficient camping is more your style, nearby Facing Island offers visitors a choice of 35 unpowered sites where your only worry is where you’re going to wet a line the next day.

 Camp on top of L ​ ady Musgrave Island’s 400 acres of living reef with the seabirds and turtles as your only neighbours.

Next door, Curtis Island offers stunning unspoilt beaches, intimate north-facing bays, sparkling ocean, the Great Barrier Reef, wetlands as well as an outback-style cattle station. Access: All three islands are accessible by private boat. A barge service is also available to access Curtis and Facing Islands. Quoin Island Resort can arrange a ferry service for guests of the resort.


 nap a turtle selfie in the crystal clear waters of the S Southern Great Barrier Reef. J oin a week-long liveaboard fishing charter on the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

Fun fact:

The south end of Curtis Island is part of the third largest Turtle rookery in Queensland where you can experience flat back turtles nesting and hatching between October and March each year.

 Camp like a local on North West Island, one of the largest coral cays in the region.

To find out more information about these islands and other islands in the region, visit


GLADSTONE SURROUNDS Blackmans Gap, Boyne Valley

Miriam Vale

Calliope River Historical Village


Gladstone Region Official Visitor Guide


settlers. Their descendants will happily share a yarn with you over a cool drink at one of the general stores or pubs.

The rustic Queenslanders lining the sleepy streets of Miriam Vale are a welcome sight for long-haul travellers and mark the gateway to the twin towns and clear waters of the Discovery Coast.

The Boyne Valley Historical Society Cottage, located in the heart of Ubobo, provides interesting and informative personalised tours for those interested in reliving the history of the area. When driving through the valley, why not stop and unwind at picnic spots at Futter Creek or camp beside Lake Awoonga.

Miriam Vale is known far and wide for some of the best crab sandwiches anywhere in Australia and has been serving them up for more than three decades. Although if you need further proof, simply sneak a peek at the big, red crab perched proudly on the service station roof! Just one street back from the highway is the green heart of town, where the heritage-listed fig tree stands silent guard over the popular parklands, an obligatory stop for the children (and the children-at-heart).

CALLIOPE Mount Larcom

While the gold rush days have passed, you can step back in time and relive Calliope’s history at the Calliope River Historical Village, located a few minutes north of Calliope on the Bruce Highway. Home to an array of relocated and restored buildings from around the region, the Historical Village is a splendid location to take a break when travelling north or south along the Bruce Highway. The Historical Village is open seven days a week for tours, drinks and snacks. However, it really comes alive on selected Sundays for the country markets.

BOYNE VALLEY The mighty Boyne Valley is made up of four small communities (Nagoorin, Ubobo, Builyan and Many Peaks) which have withstood the test of time. The scenic valley was put on the map by gold and copper in the late 1800s, but is now better known for its timber and agricultural industries.

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MOUNT LARCOM Found just north of Calliope, along the Bruce Highway, is the township of Mount Larcom – a popular highway stop for travellers. Stretch your legs under the shady trees in the picnic area and why not enjoy a homemade pastry from one of the local takeaway outlets. For those who are up to the challenge, climb to the summit of Mount Larcom, Gladstone Region’s most prominent natural landmark and be rewarded by the uninterrupted 360-degree view of rural lands and the Gladstone Harbour. On a clear day, you will see reef islands to the east and Rockhampton to the north.

If you’re looking to get off the usual touring route, enjoy some authentic country hospitality and learn about the hard work and determination of early 13


The Gladstone Region is home to a number of spectacular national parks. In particular, Deepwater National Park, Kroombit Tops National Park and Eurimbula National Park are favourites for both locals and visitors alike.

DEEPWATER NATIONAL PARK The captivating scenery of freshwater wetlands, high sand dunes and open forest will entice you to begin an adventure through Deepwater National Park. Throw a line in the peaceful surrounds of Deepwater Creek or walk along unpatrolled, vehicle-free beaches. Find rare birds in their natural habitat and witness marine turtles hatching between January and April. Explore the rock pools at Wreck Rock and picnic or camp at the shady campsite behind the dunes. For a true bush experience, pitch a tent at Middle Rock, camping permits are essential and a 4WD is recommended.

KROOMBIT TOPS STATE FOREST AND 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. Drive the 4WD loop and walk 700m (return) to the World War II’s B-54 Liberator bomber ‘Beautiful Betsy’ that lay undiscovered in the wild bushland for more than 50 years. Camp overnight at one of the various self-sufficient campsites or experience the comforts of a nearby outback farmstay. The 13km self guided drive to the lookout is suitable for conventional vehicles, however a 4WD is required for other roads. Roads are not sealed and become impassable in wet weather.

Discover more:


To find out more information about National Parks throughout the Gladstone Region, visit

Kayaking in Deepwater National Park


Kroombit Tops National Park

Gladstone Region Official Visitor Guide

Eurimbula’s sandy beaches, paperbark swamps, eucalypt forest, mangroves and rainforest areas provide many opportunities for visitors to get back to nature. Try beach fishing or at high tide, explore the untouched estuaries by boat or canoe. Camp by the ocean at Bustard Beach or Middle Creek campsites, both campgrounds are equipped with composting toilets and Bustard Beach also has sheltered picnic facilities. Limited water and camping requires a permit, a 4WD is required.

Getting to...






The Gladstone Region starts approximately 450 kilometres north of Brisbane, with several key access points off Queensland’s major coastal touring route, the Bruce Highway.

Queensland Rail operates regular services to the Gladstone Region on many Travel Train services stopping at Gladstone and Miriam Vale – the main being the Tilt Train. Transfers are available from Miram Vale to Agnes Water and the Town of 1770.

Gladstone Airport is conveniently located in the centre of the region. Jump aboard one of the many daily QantasLink and Virgin Airlines flights for a quick 50 minute trip between Gladstone and Brisbane.

Greyhound Australia’s services call in to various coastal and country spots throughout the Gladstone Region. Daily services to Gladstone stop at the BP Service Station on Dawson Road.


One of the newest ways to visit the Gladstone Region is aboard the beautiful P&O Cruise Ships. So if you’re looking for a taste of what’s on offer in Gladstone, check out the P&O Website for cruise departure ports and dates.

VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRES Visit an accredited Visitor Information Centre where you’ll find comprehensive travel information to help you prepare for a great holiday in the Gladstone Region. Call in for your complimentary maps and brochures, seek local knowledge and advice on the area, plus book all your accommodation, tours activities and transport needs!


GLADSTONE VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE 72 Bryan Jordan Drive +61 07 4972 9000



Turtle Hatching (January – March)


Southern Great Barrier Reef

Agnes Blues Roots & Rock Festival

Reef to Beach Longboard Classic

Agnes Water

Agnes Water

Gladstone Harbour Festival

Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race

Elders Country Music Campout

Boyne Tannum Hookup



Boyne Valley

Boyne Island/ Tannum Sands

Captain Cook 1770 Festival

Old Station Fly In & Heritage Show

Town of 1770

Gladstone Show




Mt Larcom Show



Mt Larcom

Botanic to Bridge

Gladstone Multicultural Festival



Baffle Creek Family Fishing Festival

Under the Trees Music & Arts Festival

Baffle Creek

Boyne Island / Tannum Sands





Capricorn Film Festival

Turtle Nesting (November – March)


Southern Great Barrier Reef

This is not a complete list of events that occur in the Gladstone Region. Event information correct at the time of publication. Please visit for current event information.


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Edition 2 – Published September 2018

Photo credit: Thank you to Tourism and Events Queensland and other contributors who supplied editorial material and photographs for this publication. Disclaimer: This free guide is published by Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited. Information is provided in good faith based on information supplied by various other parties and is subject to change without notice. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied, no responsibility can be accepted for loss, damage, inconvenience, delay or injury due to negligence, errors, changes or omissions. Always check the latest information for any changes. All material contained in this publication is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced, copied or transmitted in any form without the prior consent of Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited.

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Gladstone Region Destination Guide  

Gladstone Region Destination Guide