Gladstone Visitor’s Guide

When it comes to choosing the perfect holiday, it’s all about location, location, location, and Gladstone, conveniently situated in the centre of the Southern Great Barrier Reef, has it all, with surf beaches, tropical islands, coral cays and rivers teeming with fish.

Things to do in Gladstone

Dive, swim, snorkel, surf, hike or float about in a boat – the area around Gladstone is a nature-lover’s nirvana, packed with wonderful ways to enjoy the great outdoors.

Learn to surf

Agnes Water has the northern-most surf beach in Queensland, so catching a wave here is something to brag about. If you’ve never surfed before, take a class with a local surf school.  

Drop a line

Gladstone’s top fishing spots include Lake Awoonga (home to barramundi, mangrove jack, grunter and perch), the boat-access-only Pancake Creek, and Boyne Island and Tannum Sands for saltwater fishing. If you fancy whiting, bream or flathead, try beach fishing at Farmers Point.

Discover the Southern Great Barrier Reef

See how many of the Great Barrier Reef’s Great Eight marine creatures you can spot – Heron Island is home to sea turtles, manta rays, reef sharks, gropers, clown fish, maori wrasse, humpback whales and dolphins.

Watch the sun slide in and out of the sea

Surrounded on three sides by the Coral Sea, the Town of Seventeen Seventy is one of the few places on the east coast of Australia where you can see the sun rise and set over water. 

Start Exploring

Places to visit

From the buzzing heart of Gladstone’s city centre, with its restaurants and parks, to the seemingly endless stretches of practically deserted beaches and wild reef islands, you’ll find plenty of ways to spend your days in and around the Gladstone region.

Town of Seventeen Seventy

The only town in Australia to have a number for a name, thanks to a visit by Captain Cook who camped here while repairing his ship in, you guessed it, Seventeen Seventy.

Heron Island

You can snorkel the Southern Great Barrier Reef from the beach, walk through one of the world’s rarest forests of Pisonia trees and see turtles nesting on this nature-lovers’ dream island. Home to roughly 100,000 birds, part of Heron Island is protected by Capricornia Cays National Park.

Lady Musgrave Island

For the ultimate island getaway, set up camp on this coral cay and spend your days snorkelling and diving in an aquatic coral wonderland. If camping’s not your style, take a day-trip instead.

Boyne Valley

Nothing tastes better than fish you’ve caught yourself, and the Boyne Valley has some of Australia’s best freshwater fishing.

Deepwater National Park

Explore the sandy tracks of this coastal park south of Agnes Water by four-wheel drive or on foot on one of the many walking trails.  

From the Blog

Local Tip

No where else on earth do you find the combination of reef on the beach, nesting Shearwaters, turtles laying eggs, a research station & a low key resort - no day visitors! Stephen Finch
Heron Island

What’s on in Gladstone

Dance the days away at the Agnes Blues, Roots and Rock Festival in February, celebrate at the Gladstone Harbour Festival at Easter and commemorate the landing of Captain Cook in 1770 in May. There’s always something going on in and around Gladstone. Show me more events.

Where to stay in Gladstone

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation options in and around Gladstone, with business hotels and good-value motels in the city centre; waterfront resorts, family-friendly apartments, luxury holiday houses and caravan parks in Agnes Water and town of Seventeen Seventy; a family-friendly resort on Heron Island; and plenty of beachside camping spots in the national parks.

Getting there

Gladstone is over 500km north of Brisbane, about a six-hour drive, but you can also fly direct to Gladstone Airport from Brisbane with Qantas or Virgin Australia in an hour, or catch a Queensland Rail Tilt Train from Brisbane (about six hours) or the Spirit of Queensland train from Cairns (17.5 hours). Long-distance buses, which travel between Brisbane and Cairns several times a day, also stop at Gladstone and Agnes Water. Show me more travel information.

Transport from Gladstone Airport

Gladstone Airport is 10km south-west of the city centre, and 130km from the twin towns of Agnes Water and Town of 1770.

By Car or Taxi

Drive time between the airport and city is about 10 minutes, by your own car or a hire car. You can also catch a taxi.

You can take a taxi or hire a car at the airport. If you’re heading south to Town of 1770, it’s about 90 minutes by car.

By Bus

The 502 bus will take you into the centre of Gladstone. Or, if you’re heading to Town of 1770, book a transfer on the 1770 Shuttle.

Getting around

By Car

You’ll need a car to get around the Gladstone area – taxis are a good option for shorter trips.

By Ferry

The Gladstone Harbour Ferry will take you (and your car) to South End on Curtis Island and Farmers Point on Facing Island – it departs from Gladstone Marina. Catch the Heron Islander from Gladstone Marina out to Heron Island.

By Plane

Splurge on a scenic seaplane or helicopter transfer and enjoy reef views on the way.

Gladstone Public Transport

Buslink buses loop around the city centre and out to various suburbs, including the airport.

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