Rockhampton City, QLD, Australia; Rockhampton, QLD, Australia; Depot Hill, QLD, Australia
Est. 2.6km / 52 mins / Map

Rockhampton - Cya On The Road

The area of Rockhampton was settled in 1853 by two brothers, William and Charles Archer. They set upon an expedition based on information provided to them by a fellow traveller Ludwig Leichhardt. Following Leichhardt’s directions, they came across the area known as Rockhampton and the mighty River, known as Toonooba by the traditional Darumbal people, which the Archers named Fitzory.The two brothers settled about 10ks south of the river and established the Gracemere Station. The brothers quickly realised the potential of the Fitzroy River and utilised it building a small wharf to export the wool from their station and bring in supplies.The small settlement grew over the next 5 years, particular in 1858 when gold was struck at Canoona, about 70kms north of Rockhampton. This brief gold rush did not last long but it had already attracted thousands to the area. In 1858 the township of Rockhampton was proclaimed, named after the band of Rocks at the western end of the settlement which blocked the path of ships going up the river, and the tradition English term Hampton, meaning small town by water, hence Rockhampton, the small village by the Rocks.The growing population thanks to the gold rush, saw the wharves at Rockhampton declared a Port of Entry into the old state of NSW in 1858. The Rockhampton port became one of the busiest ports in Australia at the time, especially during the years following the discovery of gold in Mt Morgan in 1882.During the course of the history of the Rockhampton the port was the most important aspect of the city. During the gold rushes the city was not directly connected to Brisbane except by a long overland journey or via ship. Rail lines had not reached the north yet and the port allowed the settlers to trade with other nations, and take on the important role of shipping gold from the mine south.Over time priorities changed and the port was replaced by rail, the Mount Morgan mine dried up and shipping was inconvenient up the Fitzroy River, the wharves are no longer visible in the Fitzroy, but the wealth of the port left its mark on some of the heritage listed buildings that remain in Quay St, the old heart of the city of Rockhampton.The following tour is a selection of landmarks which reflect the wealth and importance that the Fitzroy River bought to Rockhampton.

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