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Gladstone, Queensland facts for kids

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Gladstone Central & East Shores Precinct (2019)
Gladstone is located in Queensland
Location in Queensland
Postcode(s) 4680
Time zone AEST (UTC+10:00)
LGA(s) Gladstone Region
State electorate(s) Gladstone
Federal Division(s) Flynn
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
27.7 °C
82 °F
18.5 °C
65 °F
880.0 mm
34.6 in

Gladstone is a coastal city in the Gladstone Region, Queensland, Australia. Gladstone, together with Boyne Island and Tannum Sands, had an estimated urban population of 45,130 at June 2018. This urban area covers 246.1 km2 (95.0 sq mi).

It is 517 km (321 mi) by road north-west of the state capital, Brisbane, and 108 km (67 mi) south-east of Rockhampton. Situated between the Calliope and Boyne Rivers, Gladstone is home to Queensland's largest multi-commodity shipping port, the Port of Gladstone.

Gladstone is the largest town within the Gladstone Region and the headquarters of Gladstone Regional Council is located in Gladstone. The Gladstone Region was formed in 2008 through the amalgamation of three former local government areas.


StateLibQld 1 254231 Ships moored at the docks at Gladstone, ca. 1868
Ships moored at the docks at Gladstone, ca. 1868
Gold-Gold Providence-Nugget
The Providence Nugget, found in Gladstone in 2004 with a metal detector

Before European settlement, the Gladstone region was home of the Toolooa (or Tulua), Meerooni and Baiali (or Byellee) Aboriginal tribes.

In May 1770, the HM Bark Endeavour, under the command of James Cook, sailed by the entrance to Gladstone Harbour under the cover of darkness. Matthew Flinders, during his 1801–1803 circumnavigation of Australia, became the first recorded European to sight the harbour in August 1802. He named the harbour Port Curtis, after Admiral Roger Curtis, a man who was of assistance to Flinders a year earlier at the Cape of Good Hope. John Oxley conducted further exploration of the harbour and surrounding countryside in November 1823. Oxley was dismissive of the region, noting the harbour was difficult to enter, the countryside was too dry, and the timber useless for construction purposes.

Nevertheless, a colony was eventually established at Port Curtis. Colonel George Barney's expedition was eventful. On 25 January 1847, the Lord Auckland, carrying 87 soldiers and convicts, arrived off the southern entrance of Port Curtis and promptly ran aground on shoals off the southern tip of Facing Island. The settlers spent seven weeks on the island before being rescued by the supply ship Thomas Lowry and delivered the intended site of settlement, the region now known as Barney Point.

On 30 January at a proclamation ceremony, Barney was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor of the colony of North Australia. The convict settlement lasted barely two months. A change of government in Britain ordered the withdrawal of Barney and the settlers. However, interest in the region remained. By 1853, Francis MacCabe was surveying the site of a new town on the shores of Port Curtis. Maurice O'Connell was appointed government resident the following year, resulting in an influx of free settlers as land became available throughout the region. In 1863, the town became a Municipality with Richard Hetherington elected Gladstone's first mayor.

The fledgling town was named after the British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone and has a 19th-century marble statue on display in its town museum.

Development of Gladstone was slow until 1893, when a meatworks was established at Parsons Point.

On 2 March 1949, a major cyclone hit Gladstone, doing extensive damage to the town.

In 1963, Queensland Alumina Limited established its alumina refinery on the site of the old meatworks. Gladstone's port facilities were expanded and the city launched into an era of industrial development and economic prosperity.

Heritage listings

Gladstone has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


Gladstone and Rockhampton are the two major cities in the Central Queensland region. In the sister city program, Gladstone is twinned with the Japanese port of Saiki.


* — the historic centre of the city and major business district


Gladstone experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification cfa) and is one of the northernmost places in Australia to have this classification. Extreme temperatures in Gladstone have ranged from 4.4 to 42.0 °C (39.9 to 107.6 °F). These temperatures were recorded by the Bureau of Meteorology. The temperature recording for the below table were performed at the following location - 23.8553°S 151.2628°E 75m AMSL

Climate data for Gladstone
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 38.3
Average high °C (°F) 31.2
Average low °C (°F) 22.5
Record low °C (°F) 12.8
Precipitation mm (inches) 143.4
Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology


Gladstone Harbour Sunset 2010
Sunset from the Gladstone Marina

Gladstone has direct access to Heron Island, Wilson Island, Curtis Island and other islands from the marina and local airstrips.

Boyne Island and Tannum Sands

Boyne Island and Tannum Sands have grown in popularity because of their beautiful beaches and relaxed lifestyle. The Millennium Esplanade is a big attraction where there are lots of shelters, barbecues and walking paths, and long stretches of beach. Boyne Island and Tannum Sands are not part of the Gladstone township but are part of the Gladstone region and formerly part of the Calliope Shire.

Lake Awoonga

A little further afield (25 km south of Gladstone) is Lake Awoonga. The recreation area has free barbecues, swimming, landscaped walking trails, as well as a caravan park. The lake has been stocked with several fish species since 1996, and over 2 million barramundi have been released. In addition to the fishing, Lake Awoonga has many natural attractions, especially the wildlife, with more than 225 species of birds (or over 27% of Australia's bird species) found in the region. Lake Awoonga is also the primary source of Gladstone's water supply. Awoonga dam is not part of the Gladstone township but is part of the Gladstone region and formerly part of the Calliope Shire.


The Dawson Highway originates in Gladstone, and it runs westwards for approximately 400 km (250 mi) to Springsure.


Gladstone is a major stop on the North Coast railway line, with long-distance passenger trains operated by QR Traveltrain stopping in the area. Gladstone is also the transshipping point for export coal from the Moura and Blackwater coal basins and is one of the largestest coal export ports in The Southern Hemisphere. Currently, coal trains of up to 1.7 km in length and 10,600 tonnes' gross weight are run by rail operators Aurizon and Pacific National to unload at coal terminals at Barney Point, Clinton, and Yarwun. Domestic coal is also railed to the Gladstone Power Station and the Queensland Alumina Limited refinery. An extensive rail facility is located at Callemondah to support these operations.

Gladstone was also a major terminus for rail freight and bulk fuel, with extensive marshaling yards at Gladstone, South Gladstone, and Auckland Point. As is the case in much of Queensland this traffic, declining from the 1990s, has now ceased with goods carried by road.


Gladstone Airport is located in the western suburbs of Gladstone about 6 km (3.7 mi) (8-minute drive) from the centre of the city.

The main provider of scheduled passenger air services has been QantasLink, using mostly Bombardier Q400 aircraft though Flight West Airlines and Ansett also previously offered service. Strategic Airlines briefly offered services in 2011 and Virgin Australia commenced flights in October 2011 and now offers up to 6 return flights a day to Brisbane mostly on ATR 72 aircraft with Embraer 190 and Boeing 737 also a regular appearance in the schedule. New players JetGo started flying direct services from Sydney in December 2014. The service was offered twice daily, in 36-seat Embraer 135LR jets but ceased in February 2015.

In May 2009, a $65 million upgrade to the airport and nearby area was undertaken, which reached completion in 2011.


The Port of Gladstone is Queensland's largest multi-commodity port and the fifth-largest multi-commodity port in Australia. It is the world's fourth-largest coal-exporting terminal.

Sports teams

  • Gladstone PCYC Roller Derby: Gladstone Hustlers, Gladstone Haul Stars
  • Australian rules football / AFL Capricornia: Gladstone Mudcrabs
  • Cricket / Gladstone Cricket Inc.: Gladstone Brothers, The Glen, Yaralla
  • Basketball / Queensland Basketball League: Gladstone Port City Power (Men's) & (Women's)
  • Soccer / CQ Premier League: Clinton FC
  • Soccer / Gladstone Senior Mens: Central SC, Clinton FC, Gladstone United FC, Meteors FC, Yaralla FC.
  • Rugby league / Rockhampton District Rugby League: Past Brothers, Valleys
  • Rugby league / Gladstone District Rugby League: Rebels, Wallabys
  • Rugby union / Central QLD Rugby Union: Gladstone RUFC
  • Volleyball / Volleyball Queensland: Gladstone Thunder


Gladstone has a range of primary schools and secondary schools.

Gladstone Central State School is a government primary (P-6) school for boys and girls at 74 Auckland Street. In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 342 students with 24 teachers (22 full-time equivalent) and 16 non-teaching staff (12 full-time equivalent).

Gladstone West State School is a government primary (P-6) school for boys and girls at Boles Street, West Gladstone. In 2017 the school had an enrolment of 647 students with 46 teachers (43 full-time equivalent) and 31 non-teaching staff (20 full-time equivalent).

Gladstone South State School is a government primary (P-6) school for boys and girls at 153 Toolooa Street, South Gladstone. In 2017 the school had an enrolment of 330 students with 22 teacher (20 full-time equivalent) and 24 non-teaching staff (16 full-time equivalent).

Clinton State School is a government primary (P-6) school for boys and girls at Harvey Street, Clinton. In 2017 the school had an enrolment of 912 students with 64 teachers (59 full-time equivalent) and 46 non-teaching staff (28 full-time equivalent).

Kin Kora State School is a government primary (P-6) school for boys and girls at 43 Hibiscus Avenue, Kin Kora. In 2017 the school had an enrolment of 801 students with 57 teachers (51 full-time equivalent) and 27 non-teaching staff (19 full-time equivalent).

Rosella Park School is a government school for boys and girls aged from five to eighteen years who have moderate to severe intellectual impairments at 20 Park Street (corner of Rosella Street), West Gladstone. In 2017 the school had an enrolment of 75 students with 20 teachers (19 full-time equivalent) and 30 non-teaching staff (19 full-time equivalent). Due to the specialised nature of the school, its students are drawn from all over Gladstone and beyond into the wider Gladstone Region.

Gladstone State High School is a government secondary (7–12) school for boys and girls at 30 Dawson Road, West Gladstone. In 2017 the school had an enrolment of 1509 students with 123 teachers (115 full-time equivalent) and 61 non-teaching staff (45 full-time equivalent).

Toolooa State High School is a government secondary (7–12) school for boys and girls at 2 Phillip Street, South Gladstone. In 2018 the school had an enrolment of 1,004 students with 85 teachers (79 full-time equivalent) and 51 non-teaching staff (33 full-time equivalent).

It has two main private schools: St Johns and Trinity College.

It also has two university campuses, Central Queensland University. Gladstone was also formerly home to CQIT (TAFE) Gladstone Campus, before it combined with Central Queensland University, becoming the Gladstone City Campus.

Notable residents

  • James Henry Ashton (1819–1889) – founder of Ashton's Circus, died and buried in Gladstone
  • William Robert (Bill) Golding (1890–1985) – builder, historian, local government councillor, local government head, public servant, public service head.
  • Percival Albert Gourgaud (1881–1958) – public servant, public servant head.
  • Gary Larson (b. 1967) – Former Queensland and Australian Rugby League player.
  • Henry John (Jack) Manning (1889–1978) – company managing director, journalist, newspaper executive, newspaper owner.
  • Hayley Marsten (b. 1994) – awarded country singer/songwriter.
  • Frederick Woolnough Paterson (1897–1977) – barrister, communist, farmer, local government councillor, Member of Lower House, school teacher, soldier.
  • Valentine Thomas Vallis (1916–2006) – poet, opera critic, university reader, soldier, local government counter clerk

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