Gladstone Region, the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Stunning vistas, exotic marine life and adventure at every corner. 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.
Gladstone is a popular location for those looking to enjoy Australia’s stunning countryside. As such, the city features a huge range of accommodation options - from boutique hotels to no-frills hostels. Serviced apartments in particular are a great option for those planning a longer stay in the region, particularly those visiting on business, as they offer an enhanced level of privacy whilst still boasting benefits such as room cleaning and reception services. What’s more, these properties come equipped with full kitchen facilities so are the perfect choice for those looking to self-cater their trip.
Gladstone city itself is a thriving hub of culture, social hotspots and heritage. With its picturesque green spaces, hipster cafes and diverse restaurants, it is the ideal place to spend a relaxing city break - whether you are visiting for work or pleasure. There are also plenty of more active experiences to be had, as Gladstone is particularly noted for excellent sports and leisure facilities.
Gladstone is also a nature-lover’s paradise, offering both inland and coastal landscapes that simply have to be experienced. Visitors can enjoy snorkelling, diving, surfing or simply enjoying a swim at one of the numerous beaches. Alternatively there’s plenty of wild camping and hiking to be found at one of the nearby national parks.
Further to this, Gladstone is also known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef - one of the world’s most stunning natural wonders and home to innumerable species of colourful marine life. Heron Island is a popular destination for those looking to spot sea turtles, manta rays, reef sharks, gropers, clown fish, maori wrasse, humpback whales and dolphins on one of the many boating tours available.
Like most Australian cities, Gladstone offers some of the best dining experiences available. Rocksalt Bar & Restaurant is a seafood and tapas joint that is popular with both locals and tourists, whilst Hog's Australia's Steakhouse Gladstone is a no-frills grill bar with a lively atmosphere. Alternatively, the city also offers plenty of diverse options, such as Thai Classic Restaurant or Dragon Garden Restaurant.
There are several options when it comes to shopping in Gladstone. Gladstone Central Shopping Centre is one of the largest in the city, with numerous stores ranging from fashion to electronics. Similarly, Gladstone Valley Shopping Centre - which has recently undergone a huge overhaul, offers a huge variety of retailers as well as eateries and entertainment. The city also has the Library Square Markets at weekends, offering plenty of local craft and produce.
Whilst its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef is one of Gladstone’s main advantages, the city also has numerous attractions of its own. Spinnaker Park, Round Hill Lookout and Tondoon Botanic Gardens are some of the most popular parks and natural attractions, whilst Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum showcases local creative talents as well as documenting the history of the city.
Public transport in Gladstone makes getting around the city a hassle free affair. There are extensive bus routes running across the city, with several Gladstone Loop routes every hour. There are also regular services to Kin Kora and Clinton. An overground railway network offers an easy way to get to both Brisbane and Cairns. Gladstone itself is also fairly compact, so it is easily navigable both on foot and by bicycle.
Gladstone’s economy is driven by mining and related industries, being home to Queensland Alumina - one of the world's largest aluminium refineries, as well as Boyne Smelters and Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun. Gladstone is also the fourth largest port in Australia and responsible for much of the countries coal exports. Other major employers in the city are Cement Australia Gladstone, Orica Australia and Queensland Nitrates .