7 FREE Things to do in Rockhampton, Queensland!


What would you do if money was unlimited?  Well, most likely not be reading this list!  But here we both are, looking and reporting on free things to do in the Beef Capital city of Australia – and boy, do we have the goods for you. 

If you’re looking for things to do on a budget in Rockhampton, Queensland (off the Bruce Highway), we’ve compiled the city’s most comprehensive list of available options.  Money certainly won’t be a problem here. 




1. RODEO –  The Great Western Hotel in Rockhampton, Qld!!

We went to this Hotel as we had read that you can go watch live bull riding for FREE on their practice nights (most Wednesday and Fridays), and also enjoy a local meal or drink in their undercover arena.

It was an experience alright! First of all, the bull riding all happens so quickly that our poor camera couldn’t keep up.  That’s our excuse on blurry photos, and surely nothing to do with the house brewed lagers they served and the courtesy bus home! Lol 

The kids, however, were more interested in playing at the “playground”, which consisted just of a dozen kids against “Busta the Mechanical Bull”.  It was funny to watch all the kids running around attacking Busta without him being switched on.  However, when the operator came, it was hilarious (& almost revengeful) to see your kids be bucked off time and time again!!  Priceless memories 

Botanical Garden


2. Rockhampton Botanic Gardens

We couldn’t believe that this was free. Such a nice location with lots to see and do. You can spend a lot of time here and it’s very informative. It doesn’t get too busy.


The Botanical gardens are the perfect place for a picnic with the kids or an afternoon walk next to the river.

The gardens are well laid out and provide the opportunity for a very pleasant walk amongst local fauna and flora. There was lots of bird life. It was a very pleasant experience. Pop into the Avery, check out the kangaroos, and just stop and take in the antics of the new baby chimp with her mum and dad. The whole area becomes an addiction for future stays.

3. Rockhampton Zoo

Zoo has been done up a treat. Very impressed with chimps cage and new animals. Easy walking paths and swing area is great.

The real surprise is the free zoo that sits in the middle of the park. This is by no means a huge park but it is perfectly sized for families with small kids or tourists looking for a few hours entertainment.

The recent addition of a baby chimpanzee makes this enclosure a special treat for little kids. You also have the opportunity to see crocodiles, wombats, koalas, otters chimpanzees and a wide array of birds in the walkthrough Avery.


4. Rainforest at Byfield 

Byfield National Park is located 70 kilometres north of Rockhampton, Queensland – and I need to tell you, its one of favourites for this area!

A visit to Byfield will be incomplete with a trip out to day use and camping area at Upper Stony Creek, which is accessible along a 2wd rough track.  Here you will find beautiful shallow swimming in Upper Stony Creek where the water is so clear you can see your own feet!




5. Capricorn Scenic Loop to Yeppoon Keppel Bay and Emu Park and Singing Ship

The caves are impressive. The staff were very friendly and the tour guide was excellent. Made the whole experience that much better.

The cathedral cave experience was truly wonderful. We also enjoyed the fossil tour (this was more fossil information talk) which took us to a different cave, a dig site and a nice little bush walk. The highlight was the music and lights in the Cathedral, surely will give you goosebumps.


6. Tropic of Capricorn Spire

Stop by the tourist office staff are wonderful and explain what to see and do in Rocky.


Well worth a stop as you enter Rockhampton, take a photo and get some traveller information for your trip north. You can even straddle the Tropic of Capricorn.

Its position can be difficult to photograph, but the guides can help you capture it perfectly.

7. Mt Archer for sunset

It’s worth the drive to the top of Mount Archer to see the panoramic view of Rockhampton and the surrounding land and waters.

Lots of places to stop and park on the way up to see views from different perspectives. The road goes all the way up. A few different lookouts once at the top of the mountain, it is worth the climb.  The black grass trees growing around were magnificent, best I’ve seen so far.

Heading north?  Check out our Free Things to do in Cairns

Need more advice? We’d love to hear from you. We love travelling as a family, sharing our handy advice and saying YES to every adventure! Send us a message and connect with us on social media – Facebook, on InstagramPinterest, and our YouTube.


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