The city of Gladstone is developed on hills overlooking the focal point of its economic development - the natural deepwater harbour. The dynamic, modern city of Gladstone basks in a sub-tropical climate with islands, waterways and beaches providing year-round boating, fishing, swimming and surfing
Gladstone Airport (GLT) is around 5km from the city centre.
Qantaslink has services connecting to Brisbane. There is also the daily all stops flight north to Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns. There is little competition on the routes into Gladstone, and prices can reflect this.
Jetstar and Virgin Blue fly to Rockhampton, a bit more than an hour away to the north. It is possible to pick up unlimited kilometre car hire in Rockhampton.
The airport has a cafe, and has about the only cappuccino you can find after about 2:30pm in Gladstone.
Car hire is available at the airport, Hertz, Avis, Europcar, Thrifty and Budget all offer services. Taxis are available outside the terminal.
Gladstone has a variety of cycleways, and most roads are generally cycle friendly if you avoid the major highways. The topology of the city, with a hill running parallel to the city centre and the harbour, is worth considering if planning to cycle. If you follow the harbourside, it is going to be flatter.
Gladstone is an industrial centre. Is has attractions for people who like to see views over heavy industrial landscapes. It has gardens and a pretty marina district. It also is surrounded by areas of natural beauty. Gladstone harbour is the largest natural harbour in Australia.
Tondoon Botanic Gardens, ☎ +61 7 4971 4444. until 5:30 in winter, 6pm in summer. Expansive gardens, with a choice of many botanical walks, including wet and dry rainforest. Short walks take around 30 minutes. Clearings with picnic areas. Viewing platform, lakes. Kiosk/cafe over the man-made pond. A cycle lane and cycleway extend from the city the 8km south to the gardens. Don't forget insect repellent for the mosquitoes.free.
Marina Parklands. The corner of Gladstone Harbour where the marina is situated has been improved as a recreation area. There are gardens, playgounds, and a paved walking esplanade by the side of the water. There is also a coffee shop and a kiosk. This area has the ferries to the reef and Curtis Island, and the tourist information centre.free.
Auckland Point, (A short distance from the city centre, at the end of Auckland Road.). The view gives an overview of the layout of Gladstone, from the sweeping harbour and harbour islands, to the heavy industry surrounding it. You can see all the way from Queensland Alumina, across the harbour to the coal and other ports, to the marina, and out to the power station, mountains, and islands. There is a cafe at the top, with mains around $10. The cafe is good value, but it is open erratically. The locally produced guidebooks say it is open from breakfast to 5pm, but only really count on it being open for lunch. A waterfall falls down the cliff front at Auckland Point, but like so much of central Gladstone, it is human engineered. This waterfall is lit up with green and white lighting after dark, and is an interesting place to go for a walk at night.free.
Queensland Alumina. Queensland Alumina is one of the largest Bauxite to Alumina processing refineries in the world. It unloads Bauxite from Weipa on a wharf adjacent to the refinery. The Alumina is sent by 10km conveyor south to the Boyne Smelter. There is a lookout on the road to the site, offering views over the refinery and an explanation of what goes on there. There are also free tours that run every Monday from the Tourist Information Centre at the marina. Bookings are essential, as tours only run with sufficient numbers.
Boyne Smelter. Free tours of the Boyne Aluminium Smelter run on Fridays at 9:30am, again leaving from the Visitor's Information Centre at the Marina.
Calliope River Historical Village. A collection of historical buildings, all moved to one place and filled with interesting historical items. Open 9am to 4pm. $5.
Gladstone City Centre suffers from having had shopping traffic drawn away to larger suburban malls that are scattered around. The city centre is transforming itself into a restaurant and commercial precinct, while the shopping moves out into the suburbs with easier access and parking. Unfortunately, this also means the bland shopping mall with K-Mart, Target etc is prevalent, rather than a central shopping strip exposed to the elements.
Gladstone Camelot Hotel. Basic motel style, freshly painted and clean, but showing its age in the design. Elevated location gives views across Queensland Alumina to the water.$120 per double.
Quest Gladstone (Quest Serviced Apartments), 39-43 Bramston Street (Corner Bramston Street and Glenlyon Street), ☎ 07 4970 0900, . checkin: 2pm; checkout: 10am. Quest Gladstone opened its doors for business on February 2, 2009. Quest Gladstone has apartments featuring full kitchen facilities, laundry, dining and lounge (excluding studios), and the added convenience of broadband internet access, Austar connection, LCD television, DVD player, and individually controlled reverse cycle air-conditioning. This makes it a good location for any business or leisure traveller. In-house guests can enjoy the use of the swimming pool and barbecue area along with limited off-street car parking. Being in the city, there is easy access to Gladstone's business precincts and industrial estates, with some of the city's finest restaurants located within walking distance. The property is a short stroll to Goondoon Street which is the main entertainment, shopping, recreational and leisure district of Gladstone. Accommodation at Quest Gladstone has been specifically designed to cater for guest stays from one night, to a week, to a month, and more, as well as having a conference and meeting room that can cater for up to 50 people, ideal for conferences, board meetings, training seasons, product displays and office parties. Full catering and tea-room facilities are available.From $180. (23 50 47 30 S,151 15 22 70 E)
Como Apartments, 2 Railway St, ☎ 1300684499, . Offers both short and long term, quality serviced accommodation.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!