Gladstone, nestled on the picturesque Central Queensland coast, is a major port city and a gateway to the southern reaches of the Great Barrier Reef. The city is home to nearly 30,000 residents, but welcomes many thousands more through tourism each year.
It features a significant port, which happens to be one of the largest in Queensland, and is close to picturesque Heron Island.
However, the city’s warm year-round climate and beautiful coastline is the primary reason why tourists flock here 12-months of the year.
The deep-water harbour is the focal point of town. It contains a peaceful and thriving marina, which is a great place for dining or simply ‘chilling out’. Next to the marina is the Marina Parklands; Gladstone’s most popular recreational playground. Inside the park lay barbecue spots, adventure playgrounds for children, a waterfront walk, and beautiful gardens to frolic around.
From the marina, visitors can effortlessly find boat tours into the Great Barrier Reef. Full-day trips are the way to go, although half-day trips will also delight, especially to destinations like Heron Island (pictured below) and Wilson Islands.
While visiting the industrial town of Gladstone, tourists should take some time to explore its economic ventures too. This is best done through a tour of Queensland Alumina; the largest collection of aluminum refineries in Australia.
Tours usually begin at the visitors centre, near the marina. From here, follow the 10km long conveyor belt to the massive Boyne Smelter, where most of the action takes place. Tours are held each Friday, and are free.
Take a loved one or the family to the Tondoon Botanic Gardens, where dry and wet rainforest zones are on show. It’s free of charge, but don’t forget the mozzie repellent, especially in the summer months.
Another popular thing to see and do in Gladstone is swimming at Tannum Sands, which sits about 15 minutes south of the city centre. Regardless of the time of year, this spot is ideal for an afternoon of cooling off.
Gladstone has a few of great hotels and resorts, perfect for a romantic getaway, weekend escape or family vacation. See a full list of over 20 Hotels in Gladstone where you can check availability and compare pricing.