From National Parks to humble community playgrounds, find a special secret hideaway when you move to the Rockhampton Region where you can walk, picnic, birdwatch or relax.
In Rockhampton, Mount Archer National Park forms part of the Berserker Ranges and is easily accessible by a sealed road to its summit. Mount Archer not only provides a scenic backdrop to Rockhampton, but plays home to a host of activities! At 604m, it is our highest peak to enjoy the spectacular views of Rockhampton city, deeply incised valleys, dry rainforests, fleeting glimpses of forest inhabitants and feasting cockatoos. Mount Archer’s imposing and beautiful silhouette has long been regarded as an iconic landmark representing the Rockhampton Region. Steeped in history, Mount Archer has a wealth of natural and cultural and heritage value. From its significance to the Darumbal Nation, to its namesake originating from the region’s first European settlers, the Archer brothers, to its expansive views and national park areas. Drive, walk or cycle your way up and down the mountain to make the most of what’s on offer.
- Pilbeam Drive – 5km one way. Steep. If you’re ready to front up for fun and fitness, walk or ride up Pilbeam Drive. Be sure to take plenty of water and allow time to return.
- Fraser Park – Enjoy a picnic at Fraser Park, on Mount Archer’s summit while taking in the amazing views alongside the local wildlife. Picnic tables, electric barbecues, drinking water and toilets are provided.
- Nurim Circuit – Located at the summit. 500m circuit. Allow 20 mins to enjoy impressive views from lookouts.
- Zamia Walk – Located at the summit. 14km one way. Allow up to 5 hours. The full Zamia Walk is a long hiking descent from the summit through the national park to the park’s lower entrance. It is best to hike from the top and arrange to be picked up at the exit at German Street. Prepare with water, a buddy and means of communication.
- Sleipner Lookout Walk – 2.4km return. Allow 1 hour to enjoy the first section of the Zamia Walk to Sleipner Lookout to see the distinct pointy peak of Mount Sleipner and its spectacular surrounds.
- Grasstree Lookout – Located at the summit. 1.4 km return. Allow 45 minutes. Walk from the lower end of the picnic area to the Grasstree Lookout to see the three peaks of Mounts Badger, Sleipner and Berserker.
- First Turkey Mountain Bike Reserve – Nearly 25km of trails. Up the adventure with the new readily accessible mountain bike trails that are tailored to a variety of skill levels. Entry via German Street.
- Birdlife – Spot an abundance of birdlife, including the beautiful Glossy Black Cockatoo, Laughing Kookaburra, Red-backed Fairy-wren, Striated Pardalote and Australian Brush-turkey.
- Spectacular Sunsets – Take in a spectacular sunset, and watch the city lights come to life at dusk.
- Challenge the Mountain – Challenge the Mountain runs every September. Challenge for the title of King/Queen by running or cycling your way to the top.
Did you know?
Nurim is the Darumbal traditional name for Mount Archer. The Story of Munda-Gudda tells of how the rainbow serpent left its mark on Darumbal country and is represented by Tunuba (Fitzroy River). The Yugu (water lily) represents ‘coming together’ and captures the essence of the mountain, its people and all it has to offer.
If you are keen for a drive and ready for adventure, head out and about for a day trip to Mount Edna Caves National Park, Mount Jim Crow National Park, Bouldercombe Gorge Resources Reserve or Limestone Creek Conservation Park.
A short 30 minute drive south on the highway will get you to Mount Hay gemstone tourist park, a popular destination for fossickers seeking thundereggs and spherulitic rhyolite. These curious volcanic formations come from the remains of an extinct ancient volcano, which was last active about 120 million years ago. Thundereggs or volcanic birthstones crystallize as they cooled millions of years ago, and when cut in half, reveal many different colours and patterns.
Visitors can fossick through piles of thundereggs and stones to collect some they wish to be cut in half to take home as a keepsake of the day.
Local parks are only a hop step and jump away from you here in the Rockhampton Region. Visit some of our larger parks such as:
Rockhampton (Northside and Southside)
- Botanic Gardens
- Fraser Park (Mount Archer)
- Kershaw Gardens
- Rigarlsford Park
- Riverside Park (Huish Drive)
- Queens Park
- Ski Gardens
- Victoria Park/ Alf Kele Park
- Cedric Archer Park
- Conaghan Park
- No. 7 Dam
- Boyd Park
And don’t forget, you can always find a park near your home by visiting the Council website to check out the facilities available!
Birdwatching is more your thing? Well here’s our top five places to catch a glimpse of resident and migratory feathers:
- Lakes Creek Road Waste Management Facility: A purpose-built bird watching platform allows good views over the lagoon where you can see large numbers of Magpie Geese, Cormorants, Pelican, Ibis and Raptors such as Whistling and Black Kites.
- Rockhampton Botanic Gardens, Murray Lagoons: Over 100 species of birds have been recorded at the Gardens including Pink-eared Duck, Cotton-pygmy Goose, Australasian Shoveler, Great-crested Grebe and Little Corella (a free copy of Birds of the Murray Lagoon is available from the Gardens Office).
- Springers Lagoon, Gracemere: A deep water lagoon that is accessible from Sullivan Road. Home to diving birds such as Cormorants and Hardheads with Fairy Wrens and finches also to be found in the grassy verges.
- Yeppen Lagoon, Allenstown: Accessed from the eastern end of Blackall Street or via the Botanic Gardens. Yeppen is a long, narrow and deep lagoon which is good for Cormorants, diving ducks and seabirds such as Caspian, Gull-Billed and Whiskered Terns. The pathway’s fringing woodland is good for bush birds.
- Queens Park, Glenmore: Running beside Glenmore Road, this parkland has large eucalyptus trees lining the river bank with grassy areas below. Get the binoculars out to see raptors such as Whistling Kite and grass birds such as Double-barred Finch and Red-backed Fairy Wren.
The Darumbal people’s knowledge of their country and the local flora which grows within it is both vast and highly knowledgeable. The systems they developed for using and harvesting plants means these species, after many thousands of years, are still sustainable today:
- Grass Tree (xanthorrhoea) – The strappy leaves can be pulled from the plant, exposing the tender white ends which can be sucked on for moisture while walking in the bush. Resin can be harvested and heated to create an invaluable adhesive and the flower spikes utilised to make spear shafts, while the plant’s fibrous root ball acts as an insect repellent when burnt on a fire.
- Soap Bush (alphitonia excelsa) -Leaves can be rubbed together and when crushed up with water, the plant’s sap produces a soap which can be used for skin cleansing. The leaves can also be used as a fish poison by crushing and placing into a small pool of water without a running current. The leaves act to deoxygenate the water and thereby stupefy the fish.
- Wombat Berry (eustrephus latifolius) – This vine has seed pods that turn orange when ripe and the soft white coating around the small black seed pods is
- edible. Its small root tubers are sweet and crisp and can be eaten raw or cooked.
- Flax Lily (dianella) – The leaves can be stripped into finer segments, dried and then plaited or woven to make string for dilly bags, baskets, belts or headpieces.