Arts and culture

Rockhampton is a leader in arts and culture

All year round, Rockhampton buzzes with music events, exhibitions, theatre, concerts and festivals! Our region knows how to enjoy and celebrate the finer things in life. Live theatre, music and the arts feature prominently in the lifestyles of the Central Queensland community.

Rockhampton Art Gallery 

Rockhampton Art Gallery is arguably the finest in regional Queensland, and one of the most significant in regional Australia. The Gallery was established in 1967 and its collection represents a cross-section of central Queensland interests and influences: modern and contemporary Australian art, Japanese and British Art, and art and artefacts of Central Queensland.

Make it a regular outing to see the current touring exhibition or just head along to enjoy the permanent significant artworks of Charles Blackman, Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale, John Brack, Fred Williams, Grace Cossington Smith and Jeffrey Smart.

The Gallery plays a leading role in promoting art in the Region and has an active program of events where you can get involved, volunteer or join a class.

Walter Reid Cultural Centre

Rockhampton’s principal community arts and leisure centre is the heritage-listed Walter Reid Cultural Centre. Home to many art, craft, music and leisure groups, make new friends and join in activities here – try your hand at:

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Printmaking
  • Patchwork and embroidery
  • Chamber music
  • Youth Orchestra
  • Lapidary
  • Photography
  • Pottery
  • Rail modelling

The Centre also offers spaces for hire (gallery, auditorium) and an exciting public program of events and exhibitions.

Pilbeam Theatre

The Pilbeam Theatre hosts a diverse range of productions all year round from the local, national and international entertainers from the biggest names through to school musicals. Drama, dance, music, comedy – you’ll be laughing, crying, marvelling and being held in suspense all year!

Every year, the Pilbeam Theatre, seating over 900 people, regularly hosts the Melbourne Comedy Roadshow, The Wiggles, touring national and international ballet companies and Operas through to locally produced musicals and plays plus more.

Live music

Check out weekend programs at your local pub or club; you’ll find live music every week in Rockhampton - we have no shortage of talent! Touring artists like Midnight Oil, Cold Chisel, Chris Issak, Xavier Rudd and home town boys Busby Marou usually venture to the Great Western Hotel, the Pilbeam Theatre, or the Rockhampton Showgrounds.

Dance, acrobatics and cheerleading studios

There’s no reason to stay home if you want to be involved in dancing and performance arts in Rockhampton. Long-running studios like Manderson’s Dance Centre will have you up and moving with Latin American, ballroom and dancesports, in social classes or competition.

An excellent range of dance academies like Vicki Davis Academy of Dance & Performing Arts and Capricorn School of Dancing, Puls8 Studios  and many more offer jazz, contemporary, ballet, tap, cabaret, hip hop and musical theatre for young and old.

If you’re looking for old-time dancing, square dancing or line dancing, or if acrobatics, pole dance, circus sports and cheerleading are your passion, you’ll find active groups in Rockhampton ready to welcome you.

Dreamtime Cultural Centre 

Explore our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage at the Dreamtime Cultural Centre. Guided tours will give new insights into both the Darumbal People and Torres Strait Islanders. Try your hand at the digeridoo or see if you can make a boomerang come back -it’s an acquired skill!

The combination of these two distinct cultures beautifully showcased within one complex gives the Dreamtime Cultural Centre a very unique appeal not just for tourists, but for the community to understand more about the traditional owners of the area.

Heritage and history

Would you get goosebumps to hear that there are ghosts in the old hospital at the Rockhampton Heritage Village or maybe shed a tear in the Archer Park Rail Museum reading the stories of war time love and tragedy? The region’s history is scattered and intriguing, just like sapphires in the earth!

Mount Morgan and the gold mine are a big part of our history – take a drive and explore this quaint and historic town (the pies at the bakery are legendary too!)