Rockhampton is a city and local government area in Queensland, Australia. The city lies on the Fitzroy River, approximately 45 kilometres (28 mi) from the river mouth, and some 600 kilometres (370 mi) north of the state capital,Brisbane. Rockhampton has a north and south side with three bridges connecting both sides, one for trains and two for vehicles and people.
The 2011 census recorded the Rockhampton urban area with a population of 61,724 people. Rockhampton hosts a significant number of governmental, community and major business administrative offices for the central part of the state.
Rockhampton experiences over 300 days of sunshine each year, which lends itself to tourism activities all year round and an abundance of outdoor activities. Popular attractions include Riverbank Parklands, a riverfront parkland attraction located on the banks of Fitzroy River; the Capricorn Coast the coastal strip between Yeppoon and Emu Parkand Great Keppel Island, a large neighbouring island off the Capricorn Coast, the vast majority of which is national park.
Rockhampton, as seen from Mt Archer
Rockhampton lies just north of the Tropic of Capricorn in Central Queensland. A sculpture originally marking the latitude was later moved into town to be more accessible to tourists. Although the Tropic of Capricorn is represented on maps as a "dotted line" that lies at 23° 26' 22", there is actually a bio-geographical overlap of Tropical and Temperate zones more than 500 kilometres (310 mi) wide; Rockhampton is roughly at its centre on the East Coast of Australia.
The city is located on the banks of the Fitzroy River, approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the river mouth. The Berserker Range lies on the eastern side of the city, with the Athelstane Range to the west. The coastal area to the east of the city is known as the Capricorn Coast, with the rapidly growing town of Yeppoon its major centre.
The Rockhampton region has many renowned festivals, celebrating some of the various international cultures that call the region home. The annual Multicultural Festival (held at the Heritage Village) and CQU Open Day held at the CQUniversity, showcases hundreds of market stalls and displays, international foods, music and cultures are popular with the locals and tourists alike.
The Village Festival of Arts & Music is CQ's largest music and arts celebration staged hosted by the Keppel Coast Arts Council and 2012 brings the Festival's 10th Birthday. The Festival provides a diverse program featuring music, performing arts, visual arts, children's activities, street theatre, workshops, food & market stalls. The Festival program includes 4 stages of live music over the weekend featuring visiting performers and over 50 local and regional artists. The visual arts program has been expanded to over 30 arts workshops in a variety of artforms. The Annual "Big River Jazz" is a three-day program showcasing a variety of jazz bands from the 12–14 September.
The city also has a vibrant pub and night-club scene, many of them located in the city precinct, bordered by East, Archer, William and Quay Streets. Local and national music groups can often be found performing live in these venues. The East and Denham Streets streetscape was renewed in 2002 and now caters for sidewalk dining at many new cafes located in the street.
Pilbeam Theatre, seating 1200 people, and is host to many national and international music and comedy Theatreshows, as well as sporting and trade shows. Since its opening in 1978, the Theatre has been a centre of entertainment and performing arts, providing an environment to further develop the performing arts in Rockhampton and the region.