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        Capricorn  Coast

Click for Rockhampton, Queensland Forecast

 The Capricorn Coast as the name suggests is near the Tropic of Capricorn. All of this region is made up of small and medium size cities such as Bundaberg, Town of 1770, Gladstone, Rockhampton and Mackay to name a few. The region also marks the beginning of the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. That's bad news for Surfers, because for 2000 km up to the Equatorial line, they can't find a beach break with good waves. Anyway, as a consolation, some of the Reef has great waves for Surfing and some happy Sharks waiting for them! On the other hand, it is great for anglers, ecologists, divers and sea life lovers, who will be literally in paradise. 

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The regions economy is basically divided into 3 main industries: The Sugar Cane and Citrus Farms, Cattle, and Tourism. Bundaberg is a nice city with very good structure and interesting places. It is famous for the production of the marvellous Rum called....Bundaberg Rum. Sugar Cane plantations extend on both side of the Bruce highway for many kilometres up to Mackay helping to keep the road soft and sealed by produce that falls from trucks and trains making their way to the silos. Rockhampton is well known as the Australian Beef capital, supplying meat to the international market and exporting it as well. Before meat and other produces came along, this region became famous for Gold mining, but unfortunately the precious metal disappeared as time passed. All these cities on the Capricorn Coast are a good base to start a visit to the part of the Great Barrier Reef called......Capricorn Marine Park. 

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 The Townships of 1770 and Agnes Water are located about 140 km North of Bundaberg. They are the last spots on the Coast (north direction) where Surfers can find a good beach break to surf. The Town of 1770 is not only an historical town where Captain Cook first landed in Queensland, but also a nice and secluded place where nature abounds, and life passes easily and calmly like in a slow motion movie. If you demand action, there is plenty to do. You can surf a right point break at Agnes Water, go for an ecological walk in the National Park, or get your gear and fish from the beach, estuary, or open sea. There are some great day trips to do from town of 1770 such as the the famous Amphibious LARC, exploring places impossible to reach by conventional vehicles until reach the infamous Bustard Lighthouse with its scary story. The other tour not to be missed is to the Great Barrier reef, more precisely, to Lady Musgrave Island. Agnes Water (photo), near 1770 has plenty of backpackers hostels, excellent restaurants with great seafood dishes, supermarket and most facilities in town. These places are small, but have a little bit of everything you'll need to have one of the best times of your life. It is simply a "beauty". Classification: Can't miss it!! 

 See here special page about Town of 1770 and Agnes Water

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The Capricorn Marine Park encloses an area of about 150 km and has many Islands, reefs and atolls. The biggest islands became Hotel-Resorts such as Great Keppel island and Heron Island, with all the comfort that any person deserves (Club Med Style). Other smaller islands are national parks, such as Lady Musgrave (Photo on the top of the page) and Lady Elliot (photo on this block). The Fitzroy Reef, due to its untouched and pristine conditions has become one of the top spots to visit in the Capricorn Marine Park. These reefs are about 80 km from shore and can be reached in day trips. If you wish to stay longer, (on the reef) some Islands such as Lady Musgrave, allow spaces for camping on the Island but you will need a permit. Remember that it is an island in the middle of the ocean, so you must be self sufficient and take all necessary gear with you including water, medicines, food, etc. There's no electricity, meaning that anything battery operated that needs recharging will not function even if you try to plug it in the electric eel's nose. (Joking!) Remember also that all of this area is a Marine Park, so you are not allowed to collect souvenirs. Please bring back to shore only your beautiful photos, and the memories of one of the most spectacular areas in the world. 

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Rockhampton was a mining town that had lots of Gold, but since commercial exploration became unproductive, many tourists still try their luck in the region's abandoned mines. You will need a Fossicking license purchased for less than 10 dollars. Together with the license comes maps of the mines and a description of minerals to be found around the place. There are many precious and semi-precious minerals to be found such as Garnet, Ruby, Topaz, Quartz, Amethyst and many others. Once you find it, it is yours to keep or sell. The city of Emerald, which is located about 280 Km west of Rockhampton, is the top stop in the region with a large volume of tourists both old and young spending a weekend seeking buried treasure. (One tourist found a gem with a valuation price of around A$ 720,000). Remember! If you find something good, there are many Lapidaries in Emerald who can "Cut and Ring" the gem for you. 

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The Carnarvon National Park is one of the most beautiful national Parks in Queensland and also in Australia. It is located in the middle of the Great Dividing Range. The Carnarvon Gorge is one of the best parts of the park. It is like a tree with branches, meaning that from the main gorge, smaller gorges were formed to the right and left. You walk the trail inside the main gorge, and every kilometre or so, another gorge appears to explore. There are lots of caves, creeks, ancient trees, and Aborigine painting on rocks. Also, platypus inhabit some of the pools in the park. There's lots of wildlife around, including Kangaroos and Lorikeets. The Carnavon Gorge is accessed from the North by the town of Rolleston, and from South by the city of Roma. After leaving the main road, there is something like 20 km to be travelled by gravel road, easily accessible by regular vehicles. If it rains too much, the creeks can overflow and you will need to wait until the level drops to pass it!. Accommodation is not a big problem with an excellent Camping/ Caravan Park called Takarakka Bush Resort. Nearby there is a Lodge with Luxury Cabins.

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Sunset at Town of 1770 Local kangaroos on the beach
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