Gladstone (Queensland)

Gladstone is a town in Queensland on the coast between Bundaberg and Rockhampton.

. . . Gladstone (Queensland) . . .

  • Gladstone Airport (GLT  IATA) (is around 5km from the city centre). The airport has a cafe, and has about the only cappuccino you can find after about 2:30pm in Gladstone. 
    • Qantaslink has services connecting to Brisbane. There is also the daily all stops flight north to Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns. There is little competition on the routes into Gladstone, and prices can reflect this.
    • Jetstar and Virgin Blue fly to Rockhampton, a bit more than an hour away to the north. It is possible to pick up unlimited kilometre car hire in Rockhampton.

Car hire is available at the airport, Hertz, Avis, Europcar, Thrifty and Budget all offer services. Taxis are available outside the terminal.

Gladstone is a diversion off the Bruce Highway A1 between Bundaberg and Rockhampton.

The railway from Brisbane to Rockhampton stops in central Gladstone. Tilt train and other services are available.

Gladstone is easily navigable by car, and car hire is available at the airport and downtown.

Gladstone has a variety of cycleways, and most roads are generally cycle friendly if you avoid the major highways. The topology of the city, with a hill running parallel to the city centre and the harbour, is worth considering if planning to cycle. If you follow the harbourside, it is going to be flatter.

Gladstone is an industrial centre. Is has attractions for people who like to see views over heavy industrial landscapes. It has gardens and a pretty marina district. It also is surrounded by areas of natural beauty. Gladstone harbour is the largest natural harbour in Queensland.

  • Tondoon Botanic Gardens, +61 7 4971 4444. until 5:30 in winter, 6pm in summer. Expansive gardens, with a choice of many botanical walks, including wet and dry rainforest. Short walks take around 30 minutes. Clearings with picnic areas. Viewing platform, lakes. Kiosk/cafe over the man-made pond. A cycle lane and cycleway extend from the city the 8km south to the gardens. Don’t forget insect repellent for the mosquitoes. free. 
  • Marina Parklands. The corner of Gladstone Harbour where the marina is situated has been improved as a recreation area. There are gardens, playgounds, and a paved walking esplanade by the side of the water. There is also a coffee shop and a kiosk. This area has the ferries to the reef and Curtis Island, and the tourist information centre. free. 
  • Auckland Point (A short distance from the city centre, at the end of Auckland Road.). The view gives an overview of the layout of Gladstone, from the sweeping harbour and harbour islands, to the heavy industry surrounding it. You can see all the way from Queensland Alumina, across the harbour to the coal and other ports, to the marina, and out to the power station, mountains, and islands. There is a cafe at the top, with mains around $10. The cafe is good value, but it is open erratically. The locally produced guidebooks say it is open from breakfast to 5pm, but only really count on it being open for lunch. A waterfall falls down the cliff front at Auckland Point, but like so much of central Gladstone, it is human engineered. This waterfall is lit up with green and white lighting after dark, and is an interesting place to go for a walk at night. free. 
  • Queensland Alumina. Queensland Alumina is one of the largest Bauxite to Alumina processing refineries in the world. It unloads Bauxite from Weipa on a wharf adjacent to the refinery. The Alumina is sent by 10km conveyor south to the Boyne Smelter. There is a lookout on the road to the site, offering views over the refinery and an explanation of what goes on there. There are also free tours that run every Monday from the Tourist Information Centre at the marina. Bookings are essential, as tours only run with sufficient numbers. 
  • Boyne Smelter. Free tours of the Boyne Aluminium Smelter run on Fridays at 9:30am, again leaving from the Visitor’s Information Centre at the Marina. 
  • Calliope River Historical Village. $2. 
  • Gladstone Power Station. The largest power station in Queensland, with over six active coal-powered steam turbines. Has free tours which depart from the Gladstone Information Centre at 1pm on Mondays. 

. . . Gladstone (Queensland) . . .

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. . . Gladstone (Queensland) . . .