Capricorn Destination Guide
Cowboys meet the beach, as Rockhampton and the Southern Great Barrier Reef collide in a mix of historic towns, national parks and sandy beaches. Release your inner explorer as you fossick for gemstones, explore the Capricorn Caves and experience world-class diving.
No trip would be complete without watching a rodeo or dining on famous ‘Rocky’ steak – if you couldn’t tell from the giant cow in the main street, this is Australia’s beef capital. Off the coast here there are 14 islands, many of which are national parks, and there are plenty of places to pitch a tent. It’s the ideal destination in which to reconnect with nature,.
The Capricorn region of the Southern Great Barrier Reef is a destination for explorers at heart with its pristine islands and beaches, gorgeous gorges, caves and sandstone wilderness.
Head for the water and go diving, snorkelling or sailing among the many islands of the Keppel Island Group. Back on land, hike Carnarvon Gorge and Byfield State Forest and National Park, and soak in Yeppoon's quaint beach village vibe.
Whether it's from the air via helicopter or a sky dive, on the water with a sailing boat, on the ground with some fossicking equipment, or underground at the Capricorn Caves, this region is packed with adventure.
Eat & Drink
Considered the beef capital of Australia, Rockhampton is the place to dine on a prime rib fillet at an award-winning restaurant, eat a croc burger at a working crocodile farm, or enjoy dinner from a camp oven under the stars.
While you can feast on some of the best steak in the country or smile as you eat a crocodile from a local farm, it’s not all reef and beef here. You’ll also find pineapple, mango and lychee crops among the tropical fruits grown in the region.
Where to Stay
The Capricorn region is home to a great variety of accommodation, from apartments to hostels, holiday houses to bed and breakfasts. Among the top places to stay are the Mercure Capricorn Resort Yeppoon, located on the absolute beachfront with two golf courses and lagoon-style swimming pools, and Heron Island Resort.
Options are also ample in Rockhampton, including the Heritage-listed Quality Hotel Regent, Quest Rockhampton, Travelodge, Empire Apartment Hotel, and Villa Mar Colina.
Being home to glittering gemfields means Capricorn is a great place to buy a little bling. Browse the shops at Rubyvale, Sapphire and Anakie or go fossicking for your own at Willows Gemfields. M and M Sapphires in the aptly named town of Sapphire is your go-to place for precious and semi-precious gems.
In Yeppoon, head to the Community Markets to sample fresh tropical produce grown in the region, while just 25 minutes north in Byfield, call in at the Nob Creek Pottery to pick up a handmade memento.
Capricorn Like a Local
Considered one of the largest indoor arenas in Australia, the Great Western Hotel is home to the kind of live rodeo for which this region is renowned. Rockhampton also stages the Beef Australia Expo, held every three years. Away from the cattle yards, head to the Rockhampton Art Gallery or Pilbeam Theatre for a different kind of culture.
Capricorn is also home to many Aussie members of the Hockeyroos, cyclists Anna and Kerrie Meares, and you’ll find a bust of tennis champion Rod Laver along the Rockhampton riverfront.