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Rockhampton from Mt Archer.jpg
Rockhampton, as seen from Mount Archer
Rockhampton is located in Queensland
Coordinates 23°22.5′S 150°30.7′E / 23.3750°S 150.5117°E / -23.3750; 150.5117Coordinates: 23°22.5′S 150°30.7′E / 23.3750°S 150.5117°E / -23.3750; 150.5117
Population 80,665 (2015)[1] (22nd)
 • Density 139.1/km2 (360.2/sq mi)
Established 1858
Postcode(s) 4700, 4701, 4702
Elevation 11.3 m (37 ft)
Area 580 km2 (223.9 sq mi)[2] (2011 urban)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
Location 636 km (395 mi) NW of Brisbane
LGA(s) Rockhampton Region
Region Central Queensland
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s) Capricornia
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
28.3 °C
83 °F
16.6 °C
62 °F
795.0 mm
31.3 in

Rockhampton is a city in the Rockhampton Region, Queensland, Australia.[3] The estimated urban population of Rockhampton in June 2015 was 80,665.[1] Rockhampton hosts a significant number of governmental, community and major business administrative offices for the central, coastal part of the state.

Rockhampton experiences over 300 days of sunshine each year,[4] which lends itself to tourism activities all year round and an abundance of outdoor activities. Popular attractions include Riverbank Parklands, a riverfront parkland attraction located on the banks of Fitzroy River; the Capricorn Coast, the coastal strip between Yeppoon, Emu Park and Great Keppel Island, a large neighbouring island off the Capricorn Coast, the vast majority of which is national park.


The city lies on the Fitzroy River, approximately 45 kilometres (28 mi) from the river mouth, and some 600 kilometres (370 mi) north of the state capital, Brisbane. Rockhampton has a north and south side with three bridges connecting both sides, one for trains and two for vehicles and people.

Tropic of Capricorn monuments in Rockhampton. (Photo taken in 1970)

Rockhampton lies just north of the Tropic of Capricorn in Central Queensland. A sculpture originally marking the latitude was later moved into town to be more accessible to tourists. Although the Tropic of Capricorn is represented on maps as a "dotted line" that lies at 23° 26' 22", there is actually a bio-geographical overlap of Tropical and Temperate zones more than 500 kilometres (310 mi) wide; Rockhampton is roughly at its centre on the East Coast of Australia.

The city is located on the banks of the Fitzroy River, approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the river mouth. The Berserker Range lies on the eastern side of the city, with the Athelstane Range to the west. The coastal area to the east of the city is known as the Capricorn Coast, with the rapidly growing town of Yeppoon its major centre.


The Capricorn district is the traditional home of the Darumbal Aboriginal people.[5]

The European history of the area began in 1853, when the area that would become Rockhampton was visited by the Archer brothers Charles and William, who were seeking grazing lands. They were acting on information from earlier expeditions by Ludwig Leichhardt and Thomas Mitchell, who had explored the area in 1844 and 1846 and noted suitable land for grazing then.[6]

In January 1854, the New South Wales Government proclaimed two new districts: Port Curtis and Leichhardt (roughly today's Fitzroy Region), and settlement began in earnest in 1855.[7] About 50,000 people from Rockhampton Went to the World War 1 and about 10,000 came back. The Fitzroy River provided a convenient waterway for shipping of supplies for those who followed them, and a settlement grew on the riverbanks just downstream of a bar of rocks which prevented further upstream navigation from the coast. These rocks were incorporated with the traditional English term for a village, and the name "Rockhampton" was first used.[7]

In 1856, the Elliott brothers arrived at Gracemere and soon after, took up landholdings at Canoona, north of present-day Yaamba. There, Philip Elliott and his party came under attack from the Darumbals, possibly of the Taroomball tribe. Elliott was seriously wounded by a spear and one of his men was killed. However, Elliott had brought with his party a contingent of native police who turned near-certain loss into victory. It was the first of many battles.[8]

Overpainted albumen print of Aborigines and gold diggers near Rockhampton, c. 1860s, National Library of Australia

With abundant grazing lands and waters from the Fitzroy River and its many tributaries and lagoons, the region continued to expand rapidly. In 1858, the town of Rockhampton was officially proclaimed. The town was surveyed at this time and the first sales of building allotments were held that year. In 1859, gold was discovered at Canoona. Miners rushed to the new field, using the site of Rockhampton on the Fitzroy River as the nearest navigable port. The Canoona field proved to be very disappointing and thousands of would-be gold seekers were left stranded at Rockhampton. Although many returned south, others stayed, adding to the infant town's population.

By 1861, the town boasted a regular newspaper, banks, court house and School of Arts. Direct shipments of imported goods and migrants from the United Kingdom began to be received during the 1860s. During the 1860s and 1870s Rockhampton developed as the main port for the developing Central Queensland hinterland; the main export at that time being wool.

East Street, c. 1887

In the 1880s and 1890s, sea ports were established on the coast, adjacent to the mouth of the Fitzroy River. Broadmount was on the northern side and Port Alma on the south. Railways were subsequently constructed to carry goods to the wharves at these locations, the railway to Broadmount opening on 1 January 1898 and the line to Port Alma opened on 16 October 1911. Maintenance on the Broadmount line ceased in August 1929. The following month, the wharf caught fire and the line was effectively closed in July 1930. The line to Port Alma closed on 15 October 1986.[9]

Rockhampton Post Office, circa 1895

The significant gold deposit at Mount Morgan to the southwest was discovered in the 1880s, and Rockhampton became the main port through which the wealth of Mount Morgan gold was channelled. Due to the wealth of Mount Morgan, Rockhampton weathered the severe economic depression of the 1890s and many of the town's substantial brick and stone public buildings date from this period. The historic streetscape of Quay Street still displays a number of substantial historic buildings, built when Rockhampton was envisaged as being capital of a state of North Queensland. Most prominent of these is the sandstone Customs House (1900), which today houses an information centre. Other important nineteenth century buildings include the Post Office (1892), the Supreme Court House (1888), and St Joseph's Cathedral (1892).

The City of Rockhampton was proclaimed in 1902.[10] The rail connection south to Brisbane was completed in 1903, but it was not until 1921 that the northern connection to Mackay was finally completed. A railway west from Rockhampton was started in 1867 and by 1892 had reached the terminus at Longreach, 700 kilometres (430 mi) away. This further strengthened Rockhampton's role as the port for the whole of Central Queensland.

Quay Street, Rockhampton in 1912, taken from the Riverbank. The old Fitzroy River Bridge can be seen in the background.

A passenger tramway began operating on 16 June 1909, making Rockhampton the only provincial city in Queensland to have a street tramway.[11] Purrey steam trams ran on a number of routes throughout South Rockhampton, totalling 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) of track. The discomfort of passengers riding in steam trams in a tropical climate in part led to their demise in 1939, replaced by a bus network run by the City Council.[12]

During the Second World War, a US army base was established outside the city; it hosted up to 70,000 servicemen en route to action in the Pacific and New Guinea.[13]

On 2 March 1949, Rockhampton was severely damaged by a cyclone.[14]

The Fitzroy River Barrage was commissioned in 1971. The barrage has a capacity of 81,300 megalitres and holds back a lake 60 kilometres (37 mi) long.[15] The barrage was funded by the City Council to provide a reliable source of water to the city, and to effectively drought proof Rockhampton.

In 2003, Rockhampton was the centre of significant national media interest after local teenager Natasha Ryan was found in her boyfriend, Scott Black's North Rockhampton home after being missing for five years. Ryan had been presumed to be murdered.[16][17][18][19]

In 2015, February 20, Rockhampton was severely damaged by Cyclone Marcia damaging hundreds of homes and Businesses with wind speeds over 150 km/h recorded in Rockhampton. Major flooding was experienced in the upper reaches of the Fitzroy River, Queensland after more than 250mm were recorded.[20] The cyclone left about 100 000 property across Central Queensland with out power.[21]

Heritage listings[edit]

Rockhampton has a number of heritage-listed sites. For details see the List of heritage listed buildings in Rockhampton.


Rockhampton is governed by the Rockhampton Regional Council. The Council consists of a mayor and ten councillors. The Mayor is elected by the public, and the Councillors are elected from ten single-member divisions (or wards) using an optional preferential voting system. Elections are held every four years. Margaret Strelow is the current mayor, having won the mayoral election in 2012.

The Rockhampton Regional Council local government area consists of four former local government areas. The first was the original City of Rockhampton, consisting of the Rockhampton City region as listed above. The second was the Shire of Livingstone (comprising the Capricorn Coast and Byfield). The third area was the Shire of Fitzroy, (comprising Gracemere and smaller surrounding towns), and the fourth area was the Shire of Mount Morgan, (comprising the town of Mount Morgan.)

Before the time of the 2008 amalgamation, Rockhampton City had a population of approximately 74,530, Livingstone Shire approximately 28,266, Fitzroy Shire approximately 11,357, and Mount Morgan Shire approximately 2,925 people.


Grazing is still a dominant industry in Central Queensland. Two large abattoirs are located in the Rockhampton area. Due to a long term drought and general economic conditions, one of these facilities has experienced a number of closures over the years and was closed from 2002 until 2004, but has now reopened.[citation needed] The Gracemere Saleyards, one of the largest livestock sales facilities in the country, lies just to the west of the city. Rockhampton promotes itself as the Beef Capital of Australia.[22]

Aurizon (previously known as QR National), has a large workforce in the city, which is the meeting point for the main north coast rail line and the line to the major coalfields to the west. Enormous coal trains regularly pass from the west to the coal port of Gladstone to the south. The coal fired 1445 megawatt Stanwell Power Station lies 30 kilometers west.[23]

Tourism is increasingly playing a role in the development of city and surrounds. The city is a convenient distance north from Brisbane to provide an overnight stop for tourists, who can then branch out to visit local attractions. The Capricorn Coast is a 30 minute drive from Rockhampton, with the islands of the Keppel group easily accessible from there.

To the north of the city lies the extensive Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area, where large scale ground, air and amphibious operations can be conducted.


Year Population
1933 29,369
1947 34,988
1954 40,670
1961 44,128
1966 46,083
1971 49,164
1976 51,133
1981 52,383
1986 56,742
1991 59,732
1996 58,382
2001 47,951
2006 59,943
2011 61,724
2013 82,551

Culture, events and festivals[edit]

Rockhampton has many festivals and events that are held at various venues in the city throughout the year.

The annual Rockhampton Cultural Festival held each August at the Rockhampton Heritage Village features a variety of market stalls, displays, international foods, music and cultural displays.[24] The Rockhampton Heritage Village is also the venue for market days held every second month, and for other annual events such as the Rockhampton Heritage Festival held each June, and the annual Emergency Services Day which is held every July.

The Rockhampton Music Bowl regularly plays host to events including the annual Carols by Candlelight every December. The inaugural Rocky Rocks concert, featuring well known Australian musicians such as Daryl Braithwaite, Russell Morris and Richard Clapton, was also held at the Rockhampton Music Bowl in 2016.[25]

The Pilbeam Theatre, seats 1200 people, frequently plays host to national and international music and comedy shows, as well as sporting and trade shows. Since its opening in 1978, the theatre has been a centre of entertainment and performing arts, providing an environment to further develop the performing arts in Rockhampton and the region.[26] One of the more memorable shows at the Pilbeam Theatre was a concert in 1980 by Australian performer Peter Allen who sparked a furore when he caused damage to the special surface of the theatre's Steinway grand piano when he got up and danced on it during his show. After the incident, Rockhampton City Council withheld $1000 from ticket sales to cover repair costs. The piano was repaired and is still in use at the theatre, and was even used in a local production of The Boy From Oz, the musical based on Peter Allen's life, in 2011. Prior to the shows, organisers assured Rockhampton ratepayers that there'd be no repeat of the 1980 incident.[27]

The Pilbeam Theatre also made news in 1984. After attending the opening night of the New Moon Theatre Company's production of David Williamson's play, Don's Party at the Pilbeam Theatre in 1984, Rockhampton councillor Teresa Doblo said that the use of obscene language was irresponsible and unnecessary. Doblo then proposed the establishment of a censorship committee to vet scripts of all council-sponsored productions at the Pilbeam Theatre. New Moon producer Paul Iles said his company would not tolerate external censorship while Williamson said he was totally amazed at the stance taken by Doblo. On July 16, 1984, Rockhampton mayor Jim Webber guaranteed that there wouldn't be any censorship committee estalished to review scripts.[28]

The three-day Rockhampton Show is held in June each year.[29]

The inaugural Rockhampton River Festival was first held in July 2015 on the Fitzroy River, which was initially planned to be a substitute for two previous annual events, Big River Jazz and Fire In The Sky, with additional cultural elements.[30][31]

The three-day Capricorn Food & Wine Festival, previously held near Yeppoon, is now held in Rockhampton in September each year.[32][33]

The city also has a vibrant pub and night-club scene, many of them located in the city precinct such as the Zodiac Nightclub and Flamingo's on Quay, . Local and national music groups can often be found performing live in these venues. The East and Denham Streets streetscape was renewed in 2002 and now caters for sidewalk dining at many new cafes located in the street.

Like many Australian communities, Rockhampton commemorates Anzac Day on April 25 each year. Thousands usually attend the commemorations in Rockhampton including a dawn service at the heritage-listed war memorial at the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens, followed by an Anzac Day procession through the streets in the CBD, concluding with a Civic Service of Remembrance at City Hall.

Rockhampton is believed to be the very first city in Australia to hold an early morning commemoration intentionally scheduled to coincide with when the landing at Gallipoli took place, as the city held a "daybreak" service at 6:30am on April 25, 1916, in which 700 people attended.[34][35]


View of the swollen Fitzroy River, which surrounded the western half of Rockhampton in early 2011.

Rockhampton experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa/Cwa). The city is situated on the Tropic of Capricorn and lies within the southeast trade wind belt, too far south to experience regular north west monsoonal influence, and too far north to gain much benefit from cold fronts sweeping in from the Southern Ocean. Typical temperature ranges are 22 to 32 °C (72 to 90 °F) in the summer/wet season and 9 to 23 °C (48 to 73 °F) in the winter/dry season. The city receives 116.3 days of clear skies annually.

Rockhampton lies within the cyclone risk zone and has experienced several large cyclones since European settlement.

On 21 January 1918, an unnamed Tropical Cyclone crossed the coast just north of Mackay. It was very large in size and the destructive winds extended down to Rockhampton resulting in structural damage to some buildings and two deaths when two men were drowned in Rockhampton. The cyclone brought widespread flooding to the region and caused Rockhampton's record flood of 1918.[36][37][38]

On 2 March 1949, an unnamed Tropical Cyclone crossed the Capricorn Coast, just south of Keppel Sands, and followed the Fitzroy River into Rockhampton. The cyclone caused significant damage, and resulted in the deaths of two Rockhampton men who were both blown from their rooftops while attempting repairs. Widespread damage and destruction was recorded in the city of Rockhampton, and surrounding towns.[39]

On 19 January 1976, Tropical Cyclone David affected the Rockhampton, Yeppoon and Mount Morgan areas when it crossed the coast just north of St. Lawrence, north of Rockhampton. Although it crossed the coast in a sparsely populated area, there was significant damage reported along the coast, particularly Yeppoon where thirty buildings, including the Yeppoon Hospital, were unroofed. The breakwater of at Rosslyn Bay Harbour near Yeppoon was also destroyed, along with yachts and trawlers.[40]

On 20 February 2015, Tropical Cyclone Marcia hit Rockhampton as a Category 3 system after crossing the Capricorn Coast at Shoalwater Bay as a Category 5 cyclone. While Yeppoon and the rural communities to the north of Yeppoon such as Byfield and Woodbury were hardest hit, the eye of the cyclone travelled directly across the city of Rockhampton as it moved southwest. A vast number of trees and power lines were brought down, and many properties in Rockhampton were damaged by the strong wind gusts.[41]

The Rockhampton area is also subject to summer thunderstorms. There is a high incidence of winter and early spring fogs. Maximum temperatures in the low to mid 40's have been recorded in October to March.

The Fitzroy River at Rockhampton has a long and well documented history of flooding with flood records dating back to 1859. The highest recorded flood occurred in January 1918 and reached 10.11 m (33.2 ft) on the Rockhampton gauge.[42] The second highest flood in Rockhampton was recorded on 19 February 1954, when the Fitzroy River peaked at a height of 9.4 metres.[43][44] Rockhampton's third worst flood was recorded on 12 January 1991, when the Fitzroy River peaked at 9.3 metres.[45]

More recently, Rockhampton was affected by the 2010–2011 Queensland floods when the Fitzroy River peaked at 9.2 metres on 5 January 2011, although the river was expected to rise as high as 9.4 metres.[46][47]

The highest recorded official temperature in Rockhampton was 45.3 °C (113.5 °F), while the lowest was −1.0 °C (30.2 °F).[48] The highest recorded 24-hour rainfall total was 348 millimetres (13.7 in) on 25 January 2013.

Climate data for Rockhampton Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 42.5
Average high °C (°F) 31.9
Average low °C (°F) 22.1
Record low °C (°F) 16.3
Average rainfall mm (inches) 132.2
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 11.2 12.3 10.1 6.6 6.2 5.0 5.2 4.3 4.1 6.5 7.8 9.8 89.1
Average relative humidity (%) 53 57 54 49 47 46 42 40 40 42 46 49 47
Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology[49]


The Rockhampton Art Gallery collection, also owned by the Rockhampton Regional Council, is situated next to the Pilbeam Theatre and consists mainly of works by Australian artists from the 1940s to the 1970s.[50] Established in 1869, the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens are located on Spencer Street in South Rockhampton. Excellent specimens of palms, cycads and ferns are found throughout the manicured grounds. Some specimens are over 100 years old.[citation needed]

Rockhampton Zoo is located between the Botanic Gardens and Murray Lagoon. Animals and birds include koalas, chimpanzees, saltwater crocodiles, freshwater crocodiles, red kangaroos and the rare cassowary.

A second public garden, the Kershaw Gardens, was officially opened in 1988 on the site of the former Rockhampton rubbish dump. Located on the Bruce Highway in North Rockhampton, these gardens specialise in Australian native plants, especially those of Central Queensland. The most striking feature of the gardens is the imitation waterfall constructed on the northern boundary of the site (adjacent to the highway), which aims to recreate a scene from the Blackdown Tableland.[51] The Dreamtime Cultural Centre is Australia's largest Cultural Centre[52] and is set on more than 12 hectares of land, with native plants, trees and waterfalls. The major points of interest at the Dreamtime Cultural Centre include the Torres Strait Islander village, didgeridoo playing, Djarn Djarn dancers, and throwing the returning boomerang. Black flying foxes and occasionally Grey-headed flying foxes can be seen and heard at night and are important native pollinators and seed dispersers of over 100 species of trees.

The Archer Park Steam Tram Museum covers the development and history of rail-based transportation in the major central Queensland town of Rockhampton and is set in the 100-year-old Archer Park rail station on Denison Street on the city's southside. The museum tells the story of Archer Park Station (built in 1899) and the unique Purrey Steam Tram, through photographs, soundscapes and object-based exhibitions.

The tram is believed to be the only one of its kind in the world, and is a wonderful relic of Rockhampton's tram history dating back to 1909.[53]

Rockhampton City at night, as viewed from Mount Archer

Rising out of Rockhampton's north-eastern suburbs, Mount Archer National Park provides views of the city, and showcases a range of native Australian flora and fauna. Frazer Park, at the summit of Mount Archer, is approximately 604 metres above sea level.

The Rockhampton Heritage Village is an active township museum, where visitors can experience Rockhampton's rich and colourful history. The Heritage Village features the Time After Time clock collection, and the History of the Rockhampton District, Life before electricity, and Hospital exhibitions and a Vintage car collection.

A short drive north of Rockhampton is the Capricorn Caves.


The Rockhampton Base Hospital is situated in the suburb of The Range, and is located around 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from Rockhampton CBD, and is the major hospital for the Central Queensland Region. The smaller Hillcrest and Mater private hospitals are located nearby. The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is located at the rear of the Base Hospital on Quarry Street.

Rockhampton is a base for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service which operates clinics and provides emergency evacuations in remote communities throughout the region.


Rockhampton is home to 10 shopping centres, all of which include national major tenants and retail outlets. All shopping centres have 7-day trading as of January 2014:

  • 1Stop Shopping Centre, Richardson Road
  • Allenstown Square, Canning Street
  • City Centre Plaza, Bolsover Street
  • East Street Mall, East Street
  • Farm Street Marketplace, Farm Street
  • Frenchville Shopping Centre, Dean Street
  • Northside Plaza, Musgrave Street
  • Red Hill Homemaker Centre, Yaamba Road
  • Stockland Rockhampton, Yaamba Road
  • Wandal Plaza, Wandal Road

Construction on a new 8500sq meter shopping center, Parkhurst Town Centre will begin in late August to Early September 2015, with 35 stores.[54]


The first school, The Rockhampton National School was opened in 1859. Rockhampton is a major education centre for the region and has numerous state and private primary and high schools.

CQUniversity Australia was originally founded in Rockhampton in 1967, however the University now has more than 30,000 students spread across 24 campuses and locations Australia-wide.[55] The University has a focus on engagement, social innovation and engaged research, as well inclusivity and has a history as a leading provider of distance education.

The University was recognised within the top 600 universities in the World by the Times Higher Education World Rankings, and was named among the top 150 universities, under 50, by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings in 2016.[56]

The University currently delivers more than 300 education and training offerings, from short courses and certificates, through to undergraduate, postgraduate and research degrees.



Rockhampton Girls Grammar School ca.1895



Rockhampton is an important transport hub in the Central Queensland region. Rockhampton provides important transport links between the Central Highlands and Capricorn Coast regions and the areas to the north and south of the state. Rockhampton Airport is essential to the viability of the tourism industry.

The Rockhampton region is well serviced by the national and state highway systems, with the city being located at the main junction of the coastal highway, the Bruce Highway, the central western highway, the Capricorn Highway, and the Rockhampton Hinterland is serviced by the Burnett Highway. Driving time is seven and a half hours from Brisbane to Rockhampton.

Rockhampton is also served by long distance coaches to Brisbane in the south, and as far as Cairns in the north. Daily services operate into Rockhampton with Greyhound Australia. The Hinterland and Central Highlands are also serviced daily by Rothery's Coaches, Pacific Coaches and Emerald Coaches.

An extensive bus services are operated by Capricorn Sunbus, which operates under the QConnect public transport system. Two bus interchanges are located in Rockhampton City through which the majority of services operate. Service include most parts of the city, Parkhurst in the north to Allenstown and Depot Hill in the south and to The Range and Lakes Creek in the west

Rockhampton has one major taxi company, Yellow Cabs, who service the City of Rockhampton, Gracemere, and also some services in Yeppoon and Emu Park. Rockhampton is also serviced by Dial a Driver .05.

Rockhampton railway station is located on the North Coast railway, and is the terminus of the electrified section of line from Brisbane with through diesel service continuing beyond; services are provided by Queensland Rail. Denison St, Rockhampton is one of the few places where the main line runs down the middle of the street.

Rockhampton Airport is operated by Rockhampton Regional Council and is located 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) (3.7 mi) west of Rockhampton City. It is Australia's twelfth busiest domestic airport. The airport handles flights to major Australian cities, tourist destinations, and regional destinations throughout Central Queensland. It is an important base for general aviation serving the Central Highlands and Capricorn Coast commununities. The airport is also a base for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Rescue Helicopter.



The catchment area of the Fitzroy River is approximately 145,000 square kilometres (almost the size of England). It contains six major rivers, and Rockhampton and Central Queensland accordingly enjoy abundant good water. The existing and future dams under construction ensure on-going needs for agriculture, industry and domestic purposes are met. The Fitzroy River Barrage at Rockhampton separates tidal salt water from upstream fresh water, and provides the supply for Rockhampton's domestic and industrial needs.[57]


Central Queensland's major generating facilities, including the Stanwell, Gladstone and Callide power stations, produce the majority of the State's power. Queensland's newest and most technologically advanced powerhouse at Stanwell, 28 kilometres (17 mi) west of the city, came on line in 1993. The Stanwell facility is a key element in the State's program to expand electricity supply and is a major exporter of power station technology.[58]



Rockhampton has had a number of newspapers published in the city since European settlement.

The Morning Bulletin is the only surviving daily newspaper, first published in 1861 as the Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser. The title was changed to the Rockhampton Bulletin in 1871 before finally becoming The Morning Bulletin in 1878. The Morning Bulletin is a member of the Australian Regional Media network of newspapers, now owned by News Corporation.[59] The Morning Bulletin has also previously complimented their main daily newspaper with a free home-delivered community newspaper, with previous incarnations including titles such as the Capricorn Local News, Rockhampton and Fitzroy News and The Rocky Mirror.

In 2012, a new Rockhampton newspaper called The Queensland Telegraph was launched by Queensland Media Holdings.[60] However, after publishing the newspaper for about a year, the newspaper's management announced on 17 July 2013 that the local newspaper office had closed.[61]

The Central Queensland Herald was a Rockhampton newspaper which was published from 1930 until 1956. The Capricornian was a Rockhampton newspaper which was published from 1875 until 1929. In 1929, The Capricornian merged with The Artesian to become The Central Queensland Herald. The Artesian was a Rockhampton newspaper which was published from 1919 until 1929. In 1929, The Artesian merged with The Capricornian to become The Central Queensland Herald. The Evening News was a Rockhampton newspaper published from 1922 until 1941. The Daily Northern Argus (originally The Northern Argus) was a Rockhampton newspaper published from 1863 until 1896. In 1897 the newspaper merged with The Record and was published as The Daily Record until 1922.

Established in 2006, industrial magazine publication Shift Miner is also produced in Rockhampton with its head office located in the Rockhampton CBD.[62][63]


Rockhampton is serviced by a number of commercial, community and ABC stations

4RO is the main local commercial AM station, owned by Grant Broadcasters. 4RO broadcasts a local breakfast program each weekday but it is the only locally produced program on the station with all other programming sourced from elsewhere. The music played on 4RO is of the classic hits genre. 4RO broadcasts a local news service in the morning, although the bulletins are prepared and read by journalists based at Grant's Sunshine Coast hub, especially for 4RO and its sister station, 4CC.

4CC also owned by Grant Broadcasters, is the other AM commercial station servicing Rockhampton on a local AM frequency, although its local breakfast show is presented from a studio in Gladstone. 4CC has a classic hits format and also relies heavily on programming sourced from their Sunshine Coast studios.

Sea FM is the Rockhampton-based commercial FM station owned by Southern Cross Austereo broadcasting from Rockhampton studios during the day, and then taking networked programming sourced from Gold FM on the Gold Coast. Sea FM in Rockhampton also produces a local news service with a journalist based at the station, compiling and recording local news bulletins for Sea FM and sister station Hot FM.

Hot FM, also owned by Southern Cross Austereo, is a commercial FM station servicing Rockhampton on a local FM frequency, although its local breakfast show is broadcast from a studio in Gladstone. Hot FM is skewed towards the younger listeners with a Top 40/pop music format. Following the local breakfast show, the station takes Hit Music Network programming sourced from either Southern Cross Austereo's hub at Sea FM on the Gold Coast or from metropoliton stations such as 2Day FM or Fox FM.

ABC Capricornia, originally known as 4RK, is the local ABC station in Rockhampton, servicing the entire Central Queensland region. It broadcasts a local breakfast show and a local morning show each weekday. Friday's local morning show is also broadcast to other stations on the ABC Local Radio network enabling listeners from outside of the local listening area to call into the popular gardening talk back program. ABC Capricornia also has a local news service, produced by local journalists. The station also airs a local Saturday breakfast show, which is followed by a local Saturday morning sports program. Apart from local programming, ABC Capricornia takes national programs like AM, Conversations, The World Today, PM, Nightlife, Grandstand, Saturday Night Country and Australia All Over along with a mid-afternoon program, a drive program, an evening show and a weekend late morning program, all broadcast from Brisbane. Other national ABC services that are available in Rockhampton on separate FM frequencies include Triple J, RN, ABC Classic FM and ABC NewsRadio.

4YOU is the local community station, broadcasting local programs from their Rockhampton studio, presented by a number of volunteers. The station is skewed towards the older demographic and plays a lot of easy listening and country music. All programs are locally produced apart from the regular Sunday evening programs the station takes from the national community radio network.

4US is the local indigenous community station, broadcasting from a studio at the Dreamtime Cultural Centre in Rockhampton servicing the local Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander population featuring traditional music and focusing on indigenous issues and event within its programming content.

KIX Country is a national narrowcast FM broadcasting service provided by Grant Broadcasters, available in Rockhampton. Kix solely broadcasts country music-themed programming, which includes programs which originate from studios in Bundaberg complemented by some nationally-syndicated programming. While Kix transmits on a narrowcast license, the station is allowed to broadcast commercials.

Other narrowcast radio services available in Rockhampton include racing station, Radio TAB (formerly 4TAB), Vision Radio Network and Radio FM 88 (Tourist Information).

Callsign Frequency Owner
4RO 990 kHz AM Grant Broadcasters
4CC 1584 kHz AM Grant Broadcasters
Sea FM 101.5 MHz FM Southern Cross Media
Hot FM 107.9 MHz FM Southern Cross Media
Triple J 104.7 MHz FM ABC
Radio National 103.1 MHz FM ABC
ABC NewsRadio 105.5 MHz FM ABC
ABC Classic FM 106.3 MHz FM ABC
ABC Capricornia 837 kHz AM ABC
4YOU 98.5 MHz FM Community
4US 100.7 MHz FM Community
KIX Country 92.7 MHz FM Grant Broadcasters
4TAB 99.9 MHz FM UNiTAB Limited
Vision FM 87.6 MHz FM UCB Australia


Rockhampton is served by three commercial stations and two public broadcasters.

Each broadcasts television services in digital formats.

SBS offers digital high-definition simulcasts of their main channel, SBS ONE on SBS HD. There are also ten other main channels available: ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24, SBS Two, ONE, Eleven, 7Two, 7mate, 9Gem and 9Go!. Austar Limited provides subscription satellite television services.

Regional news coverage of the Rockhampton area is provided on all three commercial networks with both Seven Queensland and WIN Queensland airing 30-minute local news bulletins at 6pm each weeknight. Seven Local News and WIN News are both produced from newsrooms in the city but presented from studios in Maroochydore. Southern Cross Austereo also provides short local news updates at various intervals throughout the day on Channel 9, presented from studios in Canberra.

There is also a small television facility at the ABC studios in Rockhampton with a journalist and camera operator employed locally to produce stories for ABC News and programs such as 7.30 and Landline. The journalist can also be required to do live crosses for ABC News 24. The ABC had also previously produced a nightly local news service on ABC Television in Rockhampton but it was axed in 1985.


Rockhampton has played quite an important role in the production and exhibition of films in Central Queensland.

The Australian cinema chain Birch Carroll and Coyle, now trading as BCC Cinemas as part of the Event Cinemas group, grew from a small operation established in Rockhampton by George Henry Birch in September 1910. Birch then entered into a partnership with Brisbane brothers, Edward and Dan Carroll before Townsville's Virgil Coyle finally joined the company in 1923.

The final scenes of the 1927 silent film The Kid Stakes were filmed at the Rockhampton Showgrounds. The movie was about goat racing and the producers were unable to film scenes in New South Wales, were most of the movie was filmed, as goat racing in that state was illegal. Therefore, they moved the shoot to Rockhampton where goat racing was a popular past time in the early 20th century. The Kid Stakes is based on characters in the Fatty Finn comic strip, created by Syd Nicholls.[64][65][66]

When he was voted out of office, former Rockhampton mayor Rex Pilbeam assisted Rockhampton filmmaker John Dingwall in raising enough money from investors to fund the 1983 film, Buddies, which was filmed on The Gemfields, west of Rockhampton. The film, starring Colin Friels, Harold Hopkins and Kris McQuade, had its world premiere in Rockhampton in 1983.[67][68]

Some scenes in the 2016 film, Broke were filmed at Callaghan Park in Rockhampton, while most of the movie was filmed in Gladstone, south of Rockhampton. The film features Australian actors Steve Le Marquand, Claire van der Boom, Steve Bastoni, Brendan Cowell and Max Cullen.[69][70][71]

Many scenes of upcoming science fiction television series We Were Tomorrow have been filmed in the Rockhampton area. Originally produced as a feature film, We Were Tomorrow has since been reformatted into a television series due to market interest.[72][73][74][75]

Independent film maker Ian Westley is currently shooting a feature film in Rockhampton called Lost and Found.[76][77][78]

Sports teams[edit]

  • Australian rules football / AFL CapricorniaBrothers Roos, Glenmore Bulls, Rockhampton Panthers
  • Cricket – Senior – Frenchville Falcons, North's Tigers, Gracemere Bulls, Rocky United, Capricorn Coast, Brothers, Colts Junior – Frenchville Falcons, North's Tigers, Gracemere Bulls, Capricorn Coast, Brothers, Grammar
  • Basketball – The Stadium Rockets (Men's); Rockhampton Cyclones (Women's)
  • Football (Soccer) – Capricorn Cougars and Central Queensland
  • Rugby LeagueCentral Comets in the Queensland Cup
  • Rugby League – Central Queensland Capras
  • Rugby League – Central Queensland University – Norths Chargers, Fitzroy – Gracemere Sharks, Rockhampton Brothers in the Rockhampton & District Rugby League ( A Grade)
  • Rugby UnionRockhampton Brahmans, Brothers Old Boys[dubious ]
  • Touch Football – Rockhampton Redbacks
  • Roller Derby - Rocky Roller Derby - "Beef City Brawlers"

Sister city[edit]

  • Japan Ibusuki, Japan (since 20 November 1980)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2014-15: Population Estimates by Significant Urban Area, 2005 to 2015". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 30 March 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2016.  Estimated resident population, 30 June 2015.
  2. ^ "2011 Census Community Profiles: Rockhampton". ABS Census. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  3. ^ "Rockhampton (entry 28641)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 10 July 2016. 
  4. ^ Rockhampton Lifestyle Rockhampton Regional Council – Accessed 4 June 2008
  5. ^ McDonald, L: "Rockhampton – A History of City & District", page 1. Rockhampton City Council, 1995
  6. ^ McDonald, L: "Rockhampton – A History of City & District", pages 17 & 18. Rockhampton City Council, 1995
  7. ^ a b McDonald, L: "Rockhampton – A History of City & District", page 19. Rockhampton City Council, 1976
  8. ^ "History of Rockhampton & Environs: Early Settlement". A J Thompson. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  9. ^ The Port Railways of Rockhampton Kerr, John Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, August 2001 pp283-306
  10. ^ History of Rockhampton City Council Rockhampton City Council – Accessed 20 September 2007
  11. ^ History of Purrey Steam Trams Rockhampton City Council – Accessed 5 June 2008
  12. ^ Brimson, S: "The Tramways of Australia", page 169. Dreamweaver Books, 1983
  13. ^ "The Catholic Leader - Keeping Faith with You". 
  14. ^ "Cyclone moves west fast.". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 4 March 1949. p. 1. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  15. ^ Fitzroy River Barrage Fitzroy River Water – Accessed 21 September 2007
  16. ^ 'Cupboard girl' will never reveal her secret |
  17. ^ "Twelve months' jail for runaway helper". 
  18. ^ Natasha Ryan's secret still in the closet | The Courier-Mail
  19. ^ "Media Watch - Kerry's losers". 
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Rockhampton also claims to be more than just the Beef Capital of Australia Beef Australia – Accessed 20 September 2007
  23. ^ Stanwell Power Station Stanwell Corporation Ltd – Accessed 20 September 2007
  24. ^
  25. ^ "GALLERY: Carols at the Music Bowl a hit with families". Rockhampton Morning Bulletin. 
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ Smith, Sue, The Year 1984, 150 Years of News: 1861-2011, Capricornia Newspaper, 2011
  29. ^ "Rockhampton Show 2016 - Rockhampton Show Society". 
  30. ^ "riverfestival". riverfestival. 
  31. ^ "Firing up for Rockhampton River Festival". Rockhampton Morning Bulletin. 
  32. ^ "Capricorn Food & Wine Festival". 
  33. ^ "Rockhampton set to host 2015 Capricorn Food and Wine Festival". 
  34. ^ "26 Apr 1916 - ANZAC DAY. ROCKHAMPTON COMMEMORATION. - Trove". Trove. 
  35. ^ "Rockhampton can claim the first 'daybreak' Anzac service". ABC Brisbane. 
  36. ^ "CYCLONIC STORM IN ROCKHAMPTON.". The Morning Bulletin. Rockhampton, Qld.: National Library of Australia. 22 January 1918. p. 7. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  37. ^ "THE FITZROY RIVER.". The Morning Bulletin. Rockhampton, Qld.: National Library of Australia. 22 January 1918. p. 7. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  38. ^ "DEATH OF MR. FAIRLEE.". The Morning Bulletin. Rockhampton, Qld.: National Library of Australia. 29 January 1918. p. 7. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  39. ^ "FOUR CYCLONE VICTIMS: GLADSTONE WAS ALMOST RAZED-MANY HOMELESS.". The Queensland Times (DAILY ed.). Ipswich, Queensland: National Library of Australia. 3 March 1949. p. 1. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  40. ^ Tropical Cyclone David, Bureau of Meteorology website
  41. ^ "BOM to get improved cyclone tracking". The Australian. 23 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  42. ^ "CBoM - Rockhampton Climate". 
  43. ^ Fitzroy River Now 30 ft 6in, will remain high for days, The Morning Bulletin, 19 February 1954
  44. ^ 60 Years on from the 1954 flood, Alice Roberts and Jacquie Mackay, ABC Capricornia, 21 February 2014
  45. ^ Remembering the 1991 Rockhampton flood, Jacquie Mackay, ABC Capricornia, 14 December 2010
  46. ^ Rocky flood near peak of 9.2m, The Morning Bulletin, 5 January 2011
  47. ^ Rockhampton flood to peak today, ABC News, ABC online, 5 January 2011
  48. ^ "Climate statistics for Australian locations". 
  49. ^ "Climate statistics for Rockhampton". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  50. ^ Rockhampton Art Gallery Rockhampton Regional Council. Accessed 16 March 2008.
  51. ^ Kershaw Gardens. Rockhampton Regional Council. Accessed 16 March 2008.
  52. ^ Dreamtime Cultural Centre. Accessed 12 May 2008.
  53. ^ Archer Park Railway Station. Rockhampton Regional Council. Accessed 24 April 2008.
  54. ^ "August start for construction of Parkhurst Town Centre". 3 June 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  55. ^ CQUniversity History. CQUniversity Retrieved 15 July 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  56. ^ CQUniversity. CQUniversity Australia Retrieved 15 July 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  57. ^ Rockhampton Water Infrastructure Rockhampton Regional Council – Accessed 23 June 2008
  58. ^ Rockhampton Power Infrastructure Rockhampton Regional Council – Accessed 23 June 2008
  59. ^ What News Corp purchasing us means for you, Bryce Johns, The Morning Bulletin, 22 June 2016
  60. ^ Date set for newspaper launch, Megan Hendry, ABC News, ABC online, 2 May 2012
  61. ^ Queensland Telegraph Facebook post, Facebook, 17 July 2013
  62. ^ About Shift Miner Shift Miner website
  63. ^ Contact Information, Shift Miner website
  64. ^ IMDB listing: The Kid Stakes
  65. ^ NSFA listing: The Kid Stakes
  66. ^ Goats Galore: For "Kid Stakes" Film, The Morning Bulletin, 7 February 1927
  67. ^ IMDB listing: Buddies
  68. ^ Buddies, Friends and Lovers... Sapphire set secrets revealed, Di Stanley, Central Queensland News, 13 August 2008
  69. ^ IMDB listing: Broke
  70. ^ Aussie film shot at Rocky race track, Alice Roberts and Paul Robinson, ABC Capricornia, 10 July 2014
  71. ^ Cameras roll at Callaghan Park as part of new Aussie drama, Pam McKay, The Morning Bulletin, 11 July 2014
  72. ^ IMDB listing: We Were Tomorrow
  73. ^ Film and TV projects bring economic spin-offs for regional Queensland, Paul Robinson, ABC News, ABC online, 15 September 2016
  74. ^ Exclusive: TV series to 'invade Rocky again for longer period', Kerri-Anne Mesner, The Morning Bulletin, 9 September 2016
  75. ^ Young adult sci-fi We Were Tomorrow moves from big to small screen, David Knox, TV Tonight, 17 August 2016
  76. ^ Lost and Found to be filmed entirely in Rockhampton, The Morning Bulletin, 16 June 2016
  77. ^ 'Aiming big' with a new movie to be filmed in Rockhampton, Jacquie Mackay, ABC Capricornia, 5 August 2016
  78. ^ 'Amazing' opportunity for young Rockhampton actor starring in new film 'Lost and Found', Jacquie Mackay, ABC Capricornia, 29 August 2016

External links[edit]