The Road Ahead : February March 2014
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 40 IMAGES, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: GLADSTONE MARINA, HIBISCUS FLOWER, BOTANICAL GARDENS, CAFE AT 1770, TONDOON LAKE IN TONDOON BOTANIC GARDENS (TOURISM AND EVENTS QUEENSLAND), ALUMINA REFINERY, (THINKSTOCK). TRAVEL | QLD GREAT ESCAPE THE ROAD AHEAD FEB/MAR 2014 see beyond the boom town STORY DAVID MAY GLADSTONE, THE WORLD'S fifth largest coal export port with one of the world's largest alumina refineries, is a hotbed of industry at the heart of Australia's minerals boom. But there's more to this Central Queensland powerhouse than industry and commerce. A dynamic, modern city in a sub-tropical climate, its islands, waterways and beaches provide year-round boating, fishing, swimming, surfing and access to the southern Great Barrier Reef, while the city's phenomenal growth is reflected in a swathe of quality hotels, restaurants and shops. Gladstone is a small, leafy and relaxed city with plenty to do and see. The Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum, reputedly one of Australia's best, has five exhibition spaces with art and history exhibits changing every four to six weeks. Tondoon Botanic Gardens provide an experience of environments from across the state such as native forest, local Port Curtis bush land and North Queensland rainforests via a forest, walking trails, flourishing wildlife and botanical displays. Stroll around the Japanese Tea Gardens and in the centre, Lake Tondoon is a habitat for freshwater birds and river turtles. On May 24, 1770, Lieutenant James Cook landed at Round Hill Inlet south of Gladstone, the first Briton to set foot on what was to become Queensland. Round Hill was renamed '1770' 200 years later and, together with its twin village, Agnes Water, and Tannum Sands to the north they are the linchpins of the Discovery Coast with some of Central Queensland's finest beaches. Tannum Sands has long sandy beaches, patrolled during summer holidays by lifesavers and perfect for year-round swimming, surfing, kite-surfing, water skiing and stand up paddle boarding. An hour further south on 1770 Peninsula, Agnes Water and 1770 offer beach resorts, campgrounds, bars and restaurants all within a quiet village atmosphere. On May 24, 1770, Lieutenant James Cook landed at Round Hill Inlet south of Gladstone, the first Briton to set foot on what was to become Queensland. SCOVER THE DELIGHTFUL DIVERSITY OF LADSTONE AND ITS VARIED SURROUNDS.