Rockhampton, where the hats, boots and utes are big…but the bulls are even bigger.
With over 2.5 million cattle within a 250km radius of Rockhampton, it's called Australia's Beef Capital for a reason. This sprawling country town is the administrative and commercial centre of central Queensland, its wide streets and fine Victorian-era buildings, take a stroll down Quay St reflecting the region's prosperous 19th-century heyday of gold and copper mining and beef-cattle industry.
Straddling the tropic of Capricorn, Rocky can be aptly scorching. It's 40km inland and lacks coastal sea breezes; summers are often unbearably humid. The town has a smattering of attractions but is best seen as a gateway to the coastal gems of Yeppoon and Great Keppel Island. To really appreciate being in Australia's Beef Capital, a visit to the Great Western Hotel is a must. This iconic hotel right in town holds weekly rodeos in the arena located at the back of the pub. Experience the thrill of watching professional bull riders while you tuck into a juicy steak!
Rockhampton owes much of its past and present fortunes to the beef industry and the "big bulls" statues that are scattered around town are a tribute to the city's Beef Capital of Australia title. You can experience livestock sales for yourself at Gracemere Saleyards, on the outskirts of Rockhampton, which handle the largest throughput of export beef cattle in Queensland, and is the largest stud-selling venue in the Southern Hemisphere.
Trains that take you there