Tuesday, 22 October 2013

TRAVEL: Rockhampton & Yeppoon

TRAVEL POST: Rockhampton, Yeppoon and the drive down with the boyf.

Despite what actually seems like an attempt to discourage tourists from visiting (no backpackers hostel, no man-made lagoon), I have been to Rockhampton 3 times and liked it.

Arriving at Rockhampton, known as the Beef Capital of Australia, the first thing you see is a large bull-

Its sad there is no backpacker accommodation in town (the closest hostel is in Emu Park) because backpackers just pass it by, I did so myself when I caught a Greyhound down from Mackay straight through to Hervey Bay. During my time backpacking down the East Coast I really saw no reason why some towns gets loads of backpackers whereas others are completely snubbed, I guess the crowds all follow each other- everyone goes to Cairns but no one goes to Rocky. That's just the way it is.

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We spent 3 weekends here (me and my boyfriend)
December 2012
March 2013
April 2013

The first time we were in the area, we stayed at a large resort just outside of Yeppoon. The next two times we stayed in Rockhampton itself - once in a beautiful boutique hotel in an old Queenslander building and the second time we were seedy and stayed in a motel ;)

A small beachside town, unfortunately it was quite overcast when we went to the beach so the pics didn't turn out too nice - it was such a hot day we both got burnt to a crisp.

Photos from our resort in Yeppoon, below is the gorgeous little wedding chapel:

Below: the private beach area

Honestly, I do not know how i managed to black out those two corners when i took the photo, we couldn't go on the beach - the sand was too hot!

More to come! - Rockhampton Caves, rocky river,

The Beef Capital of Australia can also claim fame by being one of the towns located on the Tropic Of Capricorn. It is a town of a fair size - its got a huge shopping centre just outside the main strip. The "CBD" area is located by the river; there are some interesting little shops around these streets as well as the usual chain shops. Below are an array of shops and buildings that I photographed:

The Heritage Hotel - now a nightclub venue


The Court House... a gorgeous building!

Rocky CBD area

We stayed in a lovely boutique hotel just a short drive from the main area. It was in an old Queenslander and was absolutely the most beautiful room I've ever stayed in. Breakfast was included in the room price and it was fabulous, set-up as a buffet around the small reception area, you could choose from - eggs, toast, bacon, cereals, fruit and there was a super cute waffle maker shaped like a love heart! The room itself was really luxurious with a 4 poster bed, thick curtains, patterned carpet and spa bath.. I think there was even a chandelier too! A nice touch was that we got some items of our mini fridge for free, we were also provided with toiletries (shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, soap) and towels. It was a wonderful weekend.

During our stay in Rocky - we ate at the Crooked Cactus Mexican restaurant and Miss India Indian take away - both were great, I would recommend them.

Rockhampton Botanic Gardens and Zoo:

WARNING: There were so so so many mosquitos!
I was constantly hitting my boyfriend's back and shoulders to get rid of them (it was pretty fun, not gonna lie..)

Its a lovely big area with lots of trees and plants, we were pleasantly surprised to find out it has a zoo which is free for visitors to walk around!
We were stood by the wombat enclosure watching the wombats waddling around. A family joined us and the lady who was obviously the Grandma remarked excitedly that every time she has been to the zoo she has never seen the wombats out of their den before - so we all felt pretty special to see them that day.

The Botanic Garden area is a very nicely laid out War Memorial.
It is a beautiful and peaceful spot to go and pay your respects..

The Japanese garden-

Capricorn caves:

Access to the caves won't be easy unless you have a car.
At first, we felt that the admission price was a bit much but we enjoyed the cave tour so much that its completely worth it.
Next to the ticket booth/gift shop is a very informative room set up with videos and descriptions of the geography of the area.  We didn't have to wait too long for our tour, we walked up through the bush track and into the caves - the caves were really fun to walk around. The caves are well maintained and well lit, our guide was very knowledgeable.
My favourite part of the tour was the Cathedral cave where they host weddings, it is a cavernous cave with a very high roof. There was definitely something in the air in there, I loved that cave (not sure I would get married there though). The end of the tour is fun - you go through original tunnels that were made decades ago, they are pretty tight-fitting; tourists with claustrophobia were advised to take an alternative route.

Above: Cathedral cave

Tropic of Capricorn

The Tropic of Capricorn handily runs right past the tourist info centre ;)
You don't need to spend long here, just read a few signs and get a photo or two at the Tropic of Capricorn posts

 Above: a fountain I spotted in Rocky on our drive home

After one of our trips to Rocky, we drove back down to the Gold Coast, here are a few pics from the trip :)
There was a random cafe/shop along the way with a crazy collection of animals, it was really cool !

We stopped to see Matilda in Gympie :D

I can't remember where this was, but heres a cute shop front:

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