Rockhampton is known as Australia’s beef capital but it is known better by travellers as the gateway to Great Keppel Island and to outback Queensland (the highway to Mount Isa departs from here).
The town itself is a bit stuck in a time warp and there are plenty of historic buildings throughout the city from its days as a trading port and gold mining centre. The few hostels here are scattered and unspectacular. If you can make it through without stopping, you won’t be missing much; besides, of course, the excellent steaks. On the way out of town is the Aboriginal cultural centre, which is interesting and worth a quick stop at least.
Rockhampton’s bus service consists of nine routes connecting the city centre with outlying suburbs. It is handy for getting to hostels in North Rockhampton and Stockland shopping centre. One-way fares range from $2.20 to $11.70 depending on the distance travelled.