Queen’s birthday long weekend in Rockhampton

Rocky is a large regional centre with cowboys, utes, beef, historic pubs and the Fitzroy River (crocodiles in there?) contrasted with modern developments, apartments, restaurants and shops.

My recent trip to Rockhampton to work with a client meant that I was in town from Wednesday to Wednesday including the Queen’s birthday long weekend.  Staying at the Edge Apartments on the Fitzroy River it was a modern place to stay with a great restaurant and a bar downstairs.  Picking up the local tourist information on the first night I checked out things to do.

I like the races and read that the Tattersall’s Gold Cup Day was being held on Saturday, June 11, 2011.  Not having a racing outfit, I went shopping at Stockland and bought a new dress and jacket, picked up stockings and a bracelet from the City Centre Plaza and made a fascinator from a water lily I found in a shop on East Street.

After breakfast, gym work out, more shopping and a quick lunch on Saturday I took a taxi out to Callaghan Park arriving around 1.00 pm for race number 3.  The weather wasn’t great, raining and about 17 but I was pleased to see the locals making a day of it including Fashions on the Field with the competition tied by what I guessed was a stylish mum and daughter.  I had my picture taken for the local paper too.

I didn’t back a winner at the Rocky races but a hot tip for race 8, number 8 at Flemington won me back my small kitty.  On my way back to town I stopped in at the historic Criterion Pub with tartan carpet, bare brick walls and loads of black and white photos covering sport, news and local events.

Sunday was a chance to sleep in, have breakfast in bed (made it myself so really not the same as having someone make it for you I know), gym work out and then a short 30 minute or so drive to Yeppoon.  When I was fourteen, Mum, Dad and my 2 younger brothers and I went on an 8 week holiday driving from Adelaide to past Port Douglas and back down to Brisbane for the 1988 World Expo.  On that trip we had stayed at Yeppoon for a number of days so I was looking for anything familiar.  I really couldn’t recognise the town at all as now the esplanade has coffee shops, restaurants, bars and shops as does the main street coming back from the beach.  I had a nice walk up and down the main street, along the beach and then drove around the town that was way bigger than I remembered with shopping centres, apartments and resort complexes.  Actually it reminded me of a smaller version of Coolangatta – a version from a few years back – trendy and relaxed.

Rosslyn Bay and Keppel Bay Marina has loads of luxurious boats and provides a link to Great Keppel IslandEmu Park is a cute seaside town with beautiful views and lookout spots with the singing (I’d say whistling) ship.

Holiday Monday was a beautiful 23 degrees day with blue sky and a few fluffy white clouds and after a workout in the gym overlooking the river I headed to the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens.  The gardens provide a surprising oasis with a zoo and various themes – I especially liked the Japanese Gardens and lagoon (perhaps more crocodiles in there?).    Kershaw Gardens would be a great place to ride or take your kids to play and a drive up to Mount Archer with a coffee at the top, provided views over Rockhampton and to Yeppoon.

With a couple of hours left for my long weekend I went to see the movie Bridesmaids which made me cry with laughter, really funny and pretty cheeky too.  A lovely, relaxing weekend and I really got to know Rocky too.

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