Blackdown Tableland National Park.
Blackdown Tableland National Park. Matt Williams

CQ's best weekend spots according to locals

WITH the Easter long weekend over, we thought we'd put together a list of the best spots across the region for a weekend getaway.

Here are 10 of the best, according to locals:

1. CAPRICORN CAVES:

 

Capricorn Caves were awarded Silver in the Tourist Attraction category at 2018 Australian Tourism Awards held in Tasmania over the weekend.
Capricorn Caves were awarded Silver in the Tourist Attraction category at 2018 Australian Tourism Awards held in Tasmania over the weekend. Nathan White Images

Located 23km north of Rockhampton, the limestone caves that make up The Capricorn Caves are one of the largest privately owned cave systems in Australia. A top tourist destinations in the region and a favourite spot for locals to visit, the Caves have something for everyone. You can explore incredible caves which are set in a limestone ridge, see the opera at The Cathedral Cave, and even go adventure caving or abseiling.

2. COOBERRIE PARK WILDLIFE SANCTUARY:

 

The macaw is just one of the popular sights to see at Cooberrie Park this holiday season
The macaw is just one of the popular sights to see at Cooberrie Park this holiday season

Located within half an hour of Rockhampton and 15 minutes of Yeppoon, Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary lets visitors cuddle with koalas, hold crocodiles and snakes, feed kangaroos and interact with monkeys. Beginning as a botanical garden over 100 years ago, Cooberrie Park has previously been owned by a European botanist. First and foremost a wildlife sanctuary, the park takes care of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife which are rehabilitated and released into the wild.

3. ALKOOMI ADVENTURE FARM:

 

Cattle lined up at Alkoomi Adventure Farm and Campground at Marmor, south of Rockhampton.
Cattle lined up at Alkoomi Adventure Farm and Campground at Marmor, south of Rockhampton. Dave Farrell

This family owned and operated cattle farm offers visitors the chance to experience outback life. Located 40km south of Rockhampton, families and guests visiting this beautiful property offers an inclusive farm stay that lets guests experience horse riding, motorbike riding and animal feeding. Staying for the weekend means you can join the Farrell family each day as they go about running their property.

4. BLACKDOWN TABLELANDS:

 

Blackdown Tableland National Park
Blackdown Tableland National Park Capricorn Enterprise

Much loved by locals and visitors alike, Blackdown Tablelands is a national park in the Central Highlands region 180km west of Rockhampton and 110km east of Emerald. Spectacular lookouts, Picturesque bush walks, stunning waterfalls and ancient Aboriginal art can be found throughout the national park. Camping is available but must be booked in advance.

5. KROOMBIT TOPS:

 

The Kroombit Tops cliff face as captured by the Sandstone Wonders drone. Photo: Contributed.
The Kroombit Tops cliff face as captured by the Sandstone Wonders drone. Photo: Contributed. Contributed

Standing above farmland, the gorges, creeks and waterfalls of Kroombit Tops provide visitors with countless natural and cultural wonders. Located 85km south of Gladstone, you will find picturesque picnic spots and beautiful lookouts with stunning views of Boyne Valley. With the crash site of a WWII bomber located within the national park, as well as bush walks and waterholes Kroombit Tops provides a great weekend getaway.

6. BYFIELD NATIONAL PARK:

 

Kelly Louise shares a photo from picturesque Stony Creek in the Byfield National Park.
Kelly Louise shares a photo from picturesque Stony Creek in the Byfield National Park.

Another favourite on the coast is the beautiful Byfield National Park, 70km north-east of Rockhampton. With beautiful coastal scenery, expansive sand dunes and remote camping locations the national park is beloved by many, who visit the spot regularly. Four-wheel drives are needed to access the national and conservation parks. The beautiful Stoney Creek is a favourite for locals of the Capricorn Coast.

7. LILLEY'S BEACH:

 

Popular camping and four-wheel driving spot Lilley's Beach.
Popular camping and four-wheel driving spot Lilley's Beach.

A popular weekend camping and four-wheel driving spot for locals and tourists, Lilley' s Beach stretches along almost 2km of the coast near Gladstone. Permits are needed to access this beautiful stretch of beach and camping is only permitted at the northern end.

8. FIRST TURKEY:

 

The swimming hole at First Turkey is popular after decent rainfall.
The swimming hole at First Turkey is popular after decent rainfall. Contributed

With over 20km of mountain bike tracks located between Moores Creek and Mount Archer National park, First Turkey is just minutes from Rockhampton's suburbia. A number of walking tracks and swimming holes mean this hidden gem is a local favourite. The well loved swimming hole is best after decent rainfall, once the creek has stopped running.

9. MOUNT MORGAN DAM:

 

Mount Morgan DamPhoto: Tamara MacKenzie / The Morning Bulletin
Mount Morgan DamPhoto: Tamara MacKenzie / The Morning Bulletin Tamara MacKenzie ROK070113tkmorg

Mount Morgan's 'Big Dam' is one of the most popular swimming spots in the region, while no camping is permitted here it is a favourite spot for BBQ's, picnicking and kayaking. A large playground and undercover seating make it a great spot to spend the day.

10. 1770/AGNES WATER:

 

JUMP FOR JOY: Fifteen Gladstone girls were treated to an adventurous excursion across Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy at the weekend before the Miss Teen Australia Gladstone Burnett Finals 2019on Sunday.
JUMP FOR JOY: Fifteen Gladstone girls were treated to an adventurous excursion across Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy at the weekend before the Miss Teen Australia Gladstone Burnett Finals 2019on Sunday. Wezzy Cruze

Only a few hours drive from Rockhampton, Agnes Waters and 1770 are two of the most popular weekend getaway spots, especially in the warmer months. While not in the Rockhampton region, locals love the large selection of things to do in the area. Snorkelling, boating, camping, beaches, and four-wheel driving are just some of the choices.