HOLDING ON: The Capricorn Resort is often still referred to by locals as Iwasaki's.
HOLDING ON: The Capricorn Resort is often still referred to by locals as Iwasaki's. Contributed

The 10 names Rockhampton just can't give up

THEY are the location names we just can't forget or let go. The labels, nicknames, monikers for places that just stick or are too convenient to drop.

Here are a few to start with and maybe you can add a few locations to this list.

1. SHOPPING FAIR: The name for what is now Stockland Rockhampton changed from Shopping Fair more than a decade ago (2004), but old habits die hard when it comes to locals referring to the region's largest and ever-expanding shopping centre. Many of us would remember when it was just Kmart Plaza and one of the best places with air-conditioning to escape Rocky's brutal summer heat.


When Kmart Plaza was the coolest place  in Rockhampton before Stockland's expansion.
Kmart Plaza was the coolest place in Rockhampton before Stockland's expansion, and now locals can't let go of the name. Contributed

2. THE MALL: The East Street Mall in Rockhampton's CBD was removed in the early 2000s after it was built in the 1980s, but The Mall is still how many people describe the CBD precinct. Some people may recall The Mall as the $8 million planning mistake the city felt compelled to make after City Centre Plaza and Kmart shopping centres began to dominate the retail trade in the city.


Historic: Buildings
Rockhampton Mall, photographed in April 1992.
The Mall was under construction in Mid-1986. 
Photo The Morning Bulletin Artchives
The East Street Mall in Rockhampton's CBD has stuck, despite being removed in the early 2000s following construction in mid-1986. This photo was taken in April of 1992. Chris Ison

3. DINOSAUR PARK: The dinosaur has long gone but the name for the skate park at Huish Drive, Rockhampton still remains solid for many locals. It's correct name appears to be the Alf Kele Memorial Park.


Alf Kele Memorial Park, Rockhampton.
With no dinosaurs in sight, it's a wonder locals still refer to Alf Kele Memorial Park as "Dinosaur Park”. Chris Ison ROK240418alfkele2

4. IWASAKI'S: No matter what they called it (Rydges, Mercure, Capricorn Resort) Iwasaki's was the name that most locals stuck to when referring to the popular holiday resort built in the 1970s by the Japanese businessman man north of Yeppoon. Now that it's closed and awaiting redevelopment, the Iwasaki name is correct once more.


Historic photo of Japanese businessman Fukuzo Iwasaki at the Iwasaki Resort on the Capricorn Coast photographed on 1 November 1996.   Photo The Morning Bulletin.   ROK100611historic12
Iwasaki's is the name that stuck with most locals for the resort north of Rockhampton. Pictured is the Japanese businessman behind the namesake, Fukuzo Iwasaki, photographed at the resort on November 1, 1996.

5. NEW BRIDGE: The Neville Hewitt Bridge was built in the late 1970s, but it's still the New Bridge for the majority. It was named after a respected politician who retired to live in Wandal. He passed away in 2016 aged 96. The National Party stalwart was respected by all Queensland politicians and the people he represented in the seats of Mackenzie and Auburn. Mr Hewitt was also a war hero, having served with the Royal Australian Air Force in the Second World War and survived six days lost in the desert.


Neville Hewitt bridge.  View from chopper during Fitzroy River in flood.      Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin   ROK7111cho-S10
Locals often call the Neville Hewitt Bridge the New Bridge, although it was built in the late 1970s. Sharyn O'Neill


jk3/29/1010       Bridge29    Neville Hewitt bridge and Berserkers
Janie Kayes 29/10/10
The Neville Hewitt Bridge is commonly referred to as the New Bridge, despite being built in the late 1970s. Janie Kayes jk3/29/1010

6. THE OLD BRIDGE: The Fitzroy Bridge in Rockhampton opened in 1952 to great fanfare, replacing the original Fitzroy Bridge built in 1881, and carries the Old Bridge name as an easy landmark distinction away from the nearby New Bridge. The original stonework footings for the older bridge are still in place beside the current structure. In attendance at the 1952 opening were about 60 people who also went to the 1881 opening.



ROK-history16l   (For 1952)  The official opening of the new Fitzroy River Bridge in 1952.   Photo Rockhampton and District Historical Society.
The official opening of the new Fitzroy River Bridge in 1952. Today, locals often refer to it as the Old Bridge.

7. THE CAPRICORN COUNTRY CLUB: A recent addition to the list. The country club, where World Number One Jason Day learnt his craft as an outstanding junior player in the 2000s, is now the North Rockhampton Golf Club. The club is thriving thanks to strong volunteer efforts by club members following a rough patch after the 2011 flood. One of the reasons behind the change was to stop confusion with the Capricorn Resort with wrong mail and visitors turning up only to be redirected, not to mention the phone calls.



Jason Day aged 17 at the Capricorn Country Club in 2004.
Jason Day aged 17 at the Capricorn Country Club in 2004, which was later renamed the North Rockhampton Golf Club. File

8. ROCKHAMPTON BASE HOSPITAL: Not sure about the history around this one as it has been referred to as Rockhampton Base Hospital or The Base for decades. The correct name is Rockhampton Hospital. However, Rocky Base Hospital endures particularly amongst emergency services, medical professionals and associated providers.


9. GRACEMERE SALEYARDS: The Central Queensland Livestock Exchange (CQLX) formerly known as the "Gracemere Saleyards" commenced operations in January 1953. The saleyard is situated 8km west of Rockhampton on the Capricorn Highway leading to the Central Highlands and the Central western centres of Barcaldine, Blackall, Longreach and Winton. CQLX ranks as one of the major selling centre's in Australia and is regarded as one of the best stud selling facilities in the country but for some in the industry the Gracemere Saleyards is still the name of choice.


Brahman bulls on show at the February All Breeds Bull Sale at the CQLX Saleyards in Gracemere.
Photo Rachael Conaghan / The Rural Weekly
People just can't let got of the "Gracemere Saleyards”, which is now officially named the Central Queensland Livestock Exchange (CQLX). Rachael Conaghan

10. SILLY SOLLY'S: Even though the Silly Solly's brand officially disappeared almost 20 years ago after the chain was sold, the name endured in this region. No matter what the name changed to, many people still refer to discount stores as "Solly's". Now the brand is making a huge comeback with a nothing over $5" guarantee with rapid expansion across the state.


One of the Silly Solly's stores in 2000 before the discount chain was sold.
One of the Silly Solly's stores in 2000 before the discount chain was sold. Now the brand is back.