Gladstone, Queensland


Auckland Inlet, with the Gladstone Power Station in the background
Coordinates 23°50′56″S 151°15′45″E / 23.84889°S 151.26250°E / -23.84889; 151.26250Coordinates: 23°50′56″S 151°15′45″E / 23.84889°S 151.26250°E / -23.84889; 151.26250
Population 49,248 (2015)[1] (30th)
 • Density 205.03/km2 (531.02/sq mi)
Area 240.2 km2 (92.7 sq mi)[2] (2011 urban)
Time zone AEST (No Daylight Saving) (UTC+10)
Location 532 km (331 mi) from Brisbane
LGA(s) Gladstone Regional Council, City of Gladstone
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 /ˈɡlædstən/ is a city in the Gladstone Region, Queensland, Australia.[3] It is approximately 550 kilometres (340 mi) by road north of Brisbane and 100 km (62 mi) south-east of Rockhampton. Situated between the Calliope and Boyne Rivers, Gladstone is home to Queensland's largest multi-commodity shipping port.

Gladstone, together with Boyne Island and Tannum Sands, had an estimated urban population of 49,248[1] at June 2015. This urban area covers 240.2 km2.[2]

Gladstone is the largest settlement within and the seat of the Gladstone Regional Council, which formed in 2008 amalgamating three former local government areas.


Ships moored at the docks at Gladstone, ca. 1868
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),[4][5] Meerooni[6] 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 years 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[7] 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.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10]

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.

Notable residents

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.[26]


* — 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
Average precipitation mm (inches) 143.4
Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology[27]


Qld Alumina Refinery

Gladstone's primary industries are mining-related. The Port of Gladstone is the fifth largest multi-commodity port in Australia and the world's fourth largest coal exporting terminal.[28] The port consists of a number of wharves and terminal facilities. Boyne Wharf is used by the Boyne Island aluminium smelter and was opened in August 1982.[29] The western part of the harbour basin is currently being expanded, primarily to allow increased exports of liquified natural gas (LNG). Major exports include coal, alumina, aluminium, cement products, Sodium Cyanide[30] and Ammonium Nitrate.[31] Each year 50 million tonnes of coal passes through the port, making up 70% of the total exports.[32]

Gladstone harbour is within the World Heritage Area of the Great Barrier Reef and has historically supported a thriving seafood industry.[33] a Fisheries Queensland spokesman said they received reports of fish with milky eyes.[34] A spokesman from the Gladstone Fish Markets claimed that diseased fish were still being caught in large numbers in November 2011.[35] Losses to the local seafood industry have been estimated at A$36 million a year.[33]

Gladstone is also a tourism destination, with cruise ships regularly docking at the port.


Gladstone has several primary schools and high schools (including Gladstone West State School, Clinton State School and Gladstone State High School), and one university campus, Central Queensland University. It is also home to CQIT (TAFE) Gladstone Campus.


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.[36]

Lake Awoonga

Main article: 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.


Gladstone is located within the federal electoral division of Flynn, a marginal seat currently held by the Liberal National Party of Queensland's Ken O'Dowd in Federal elections, and the state electoral district of Gladstone, held by the ALP's Glenn Butcher.


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 the largest coal export port in The Southern Hemisphere. Currently, coal trains of up to 1.7 kilometers 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 Boeing 717 aircraft though Flight West Airlines and Ansett also previously offered service. Strategic Airlines briefly offered services in 2011[37] 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,[38] 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.[28]



Gladstone's daily newspaper is The Observer, which is owned by APN News & Media and is issued each morning from Monday to Saturday. Gladstone also has a free weekly independent community newspaper called Gladstone News Weekly.


4CC is Gladstone's local AM commercial radio station, owned by Grant Broadcasters. 4CC has one full-time announcer based in Gladstone to present the station's local breakfast show. The station broadcasts to Central Queensland on four separate frequencies via three AM transmitters in Gladstone, Biloela and Rockhampton, and a FM translator in Agnes Water on the Discovery Coast.

Hot FM is Gladstone's local FM commercial radio station, owned by Southern Cross Austereo. Hot FM has two full-time announcers based in Gladstone to present the station's flagship weekday breakfast program, which is also broadcast to Rockhampton and Emerald.

Gladstone also receives radio stations that carry local programming from Rockhampton including commercial radio stations Sea FM and 4RO. Sea FM broadcasts a separate FM frequency in Gladstone.

ABC Capricornia also broadcasts into Gladstone from Rockhampton, using a separate FM frequency. Until November 2014, ABC Capricornia maintained a local news bureau in Gladstone where a local journalist was based to cover the Gladstone region. Some local news bulletins on ABC Capricornia were also broadcast live from Gladstone. However, in what was a controversial decision, the ABC's Gladstone office was permanently closed in late 2014 as a cost cutting measure following the Federal Government's decision to withdraw $254 million in funding to the ABC.[39] [40] [41]

91.9 Fresh FM is Gladstone's local community radio radio station, which has a Christian radio format.


WIN Television, Seven Queensland, Southern Cross Ten, ABC and SBS stations are all able to be received in Gladstone.

The Central Queensland editions of WIN News and Seven Local News, both regularly feature news content directly relating to the Gladstone region. Seven Queensland employ a journalist and camera operator in Gladstone, while WIN Television dispatch a news crew from Rockhampton to cover news stories in Gladstone.

The weekly 'What's On' segment on Seven Local News is also presented from Gladstone.

Sports teams

See also


  1. 1 2 "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2014-15: Population Estimates by Significant Urban Area, 2005 to 2015". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 30 March 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2016. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2015.
  2. 1 2 "2011 Census Community Profiles: Gladstone - Tannum Sands". ABS Census. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  3. "Gladstone (entry 13860)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  4. Toolooa#History
  5. "Tindale Tribes - Tulua".
  6. "Tindale Tribes - Goeng".
  7. 1 2 "Australian Dictionary of Biography".
  8. Early History of Port Curtis Archived 1 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. Gladstone City & Hinterland Archived 11 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. "Cyclone moves west fast.". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 4 March 1949. p. 1. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  11. "Australian Dictionary of Biography".
  12. "Australian Dictionary of Biography". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  13. "Australian Dictionary of Biography".
  14. Svendsen, Mark (30 January 2009). "Val Vallis: With a song in his heart". The Australian. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  15. "Gladstone Central State School, Block B (entry 602001)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  16. "Glengarry Homestead (entry 600386)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  17. "Our Lady Star of the Sea Church & School (entry 600521)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  18. "Port Curtis Sailing Club Clubhouse (entry 602711)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  19. "Gladstone Post Office (former) (entry 601331)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  20. "Kullaroo House (entry 601330)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  21. "Commonwealth Bank Building (former) (entry 601338)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  22. "Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum (entry 601333)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  23. "Fig Tree (entry 602385)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  24. "Port Curtis Co-operative Dairy Association Ltd Factory (former) (entry 601334)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  25. "Gladstone Court House (entry 601332)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  26. Saiki Sister City. Gladstone Regional Council. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  27. "Climate statistics for Gladstone AWS". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. June 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  28. 1 2 "Mystery carrier causing a buzz". Gladstone Observer. APN News & Media. 3 December 2010. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
  29. "History of Gladstone Ports Corporation". Port of Gladstone. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
  30. "Orica Mining Chemicals Sodium Cyanide". Orica Limited. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  31. "Orica Yarwun Our Operations". Orica Limited. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  32. "Gladstone Ports Corporation: Trade Statistics". Port of Gladstone. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
  33. 1 2 "Great Barrier Grief: A small port benefits and suffers from the boom". The Economist. 2 June 2012.
  34. Brian Williams (17 September 2011). "Warning: Gladstone fish off the menu and central Qld coast closed to fishing". The Courier Mail. News Queensland. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  35. Andree Withey, Francis Tapim and Paul Robinson (8 November 2011). "Government defends probe into Gladstone's sick fish". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  36. Gladstone Regional Council Website 2011. Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
  37. David Sparkes (29 July 2011). Strategic Pulls out of Gladstone. The Observer. Gladstone Newspaper Company. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  38. Media Release: Opening marks milestone in region's history. None. Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
  39. ABC to close Gladstone radio post, The Observer, 24 November 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  40. Central Qld politicians disappointed ABC Gladstone office to close, William Rollo and Paul Robinson, ABC News, ABC online, 25 November 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2016
  41. City leaders disappointed by ABC closure, The Observer, 25 November 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
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