Road Trip Day 3: Gladstone to Rockhampton

Let’s hit the road again.

If you remember, Gladstone was the Second Stop on My Queensland Coast Road Trip and from there I headed 110 km further north to Rockhampton. So far on this road trip I had tried to avoid the Bruce Highway where possible, preferring back roads instead.

Travelling from Gladstone to Rockhampton though, it’s hard to no go on ‘The Bruce’. So I did. Here’s what it looked like…

Road to Rockhampton Road to Rockhampton Road to Rockhampton Road to Rockhampton

Road to RockhamptonI arrived in Rockhampton at around 4 o’clock in the afternoon and parked up by the river for a stroll.

The Fitzroy River

Fitzroy River Fitzroy River Fitzroy River Fitzroy River

Fitzroy RiverRunning parallel to the river is the city centre which looks much more like a very quaint historic town.

Rockhampton city centre

Rockhampton town centre Rockhampton town centre Rockhampton town centre Rockhampton town centre Rockhampton town centre Rockhampton town centre

Rockhampton town centre Got to love the post office…

Rockhampton Post OfficeWhat did surprise me a little about Rockhampton was how much traffic there was in and around the town. I suppose having driven along so many very quiet roads and having spent the last two days in the much smaller towns of Bundaberg and Gladstone, the amount of cars I saw in Rockhampton took me a little by surprise.

Rockhampton traffic Rockhampton traffic

Rockhampton traffic No real traffic jams though, as you can see. Rockhampton has a population at the moment of around 80,000 and their main shopping centre, Stockland Rockhampton, is the largest you’ll find between Maroochydore and Cairns.

I stayed in the Welcome Motel, which was actually on the main A1, the Bruce Highway.

Welcome MotelIt was a short walk to a couple of pubs; I had an early evening drink in one of them and saved the second for after I’d had something to eat.

I was quite excited about having a beer in this other pub, it had a rather special name. It was called The Red Lion. Call me a romantic old fool, but I met my wife in a UK pub called The Red Lion, and we don’t get too many pubs called that in these parts.

So, at exactly 8:22 PM on a Tuesday night, I excitedly made my way towards The Red Lion, eagerly looking forward to raising a glass of beer to my marriage, all on my own, whilst (probably) wiping a nostalgic tear of joy from my cheek.

But when I got there, it was shut…

Red LionAs you can see, complete darkness, nobody about. Did I mention the time? 8:22 PM! Twenty past eight. Not even half past eight. Nowhere near 9 o’clock. Early evening.

And it was shut?!

I had driven past it a couple of hours earlier, it was open then. I think this is something pubs often do in some Australian towns, if they are quiet or there is no one around, they just close.

The irony was as I walked back to the main street, I passed a Happy Jacks, that’s the Australian equivalent of Burger King. They were open, of course, and I could hear the sound of happy six-year-olds playing in the enclosed playground attached to the fast food chain.

I found myself thinking ‘It’s not fair!

My next stop on this road trip is Mackay: The Town, the Shops, the River and the Lagoon or you can take the long route if you’re not in a hurry, via Things to Do in and Around Rockhampton, Queensland and then The Capricorn Coast Tourist Drive.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Awel August 9, 2016, 8:11 am |

    This is so interesting to us right now, we are in the VERY early stages of moving from th UK to Rockhampton under the Area of Need scheme for recruiting medical staff.

    Very excited but awfully nervous at times too. Wondering if we all just might melt there, keeping a close eye on the weather out there and I must say Winter looks DIVINE temperature wise.

    Your website is so interesting and you write in such a positive and funny way, really enjoy reading.

    • BobinOz August 9, 2016, 5:37 pm |

      Glad to hear you have found this so useful. I live in Brisbane, we get a similar climate here to that of Rockhampton, probably just not quite so humid in the summer though. Even when we get our hottest most humid summer days, I never complain, it’s much better than putting up with all those cold, grey and drizzly days we get in the UK.

      If you do end up going to Rocky though, do be careful where you choose to live exactly, you will probably want to do some research into the flooding history of the city. Look at the flood maps and try and pick somewhere that historically has got away with it.

      Good luck with your plans, Bob

  • pete August 3, 2016, 7:45 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    PUB SHUT!!!!!!!! I feel your pain

    • BobinOz August 3, 2016, 8:55 pm |

      I’m still trying to come to terms with it to be honest with you Pete, after all, it was only six weeks, one day and 33 minutes ago. I just need a bit more time, that’s all.

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