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  • Writer's pictureGrant Cooper

For the partners - what's to do?

Updated: Feb 4

If you're making the journey to Australia for the IOM World Championships in Gladstone, we trust you're bringing the family along to turn it into a memorable Queensland holiday.

However, a common question has arisen among the partners of our sailors...

"What's on offer in the Gladstone Region for the families of our skippers?"

Initially, we considered the idea of spending the day providing unwavering moral support for your skipper's relentless pursuit of the world crown for eight hours straight. But let's be honest, that's not going to cut it! 😂

So, thanks to the assistance of Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Ltd (GAPDL), here are a few suggestions of things to do around the Gladstone area while you're here in the Region.

Why not start your day with a delightful breakfast at Auckland House, a waterfront restaurant within the Gladstone Ports Corporation's East Shores Parklands, offering stunning views of the picturesque Gladstone Harbour?

After your meal, take a relaxed stroll through the parklands, meandering past playgrounds, a children's waterpark, expansive grassy areas, and shaded rest spots to unwind.

Within the parklands, you’ll find the Gladstone Maritime Museum. The Museum is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm and offers a captivating journey through the region's maritime history.

Couple this experience with a tour of the HMAS Gladstone, a 42-meter ex-Australian Navy Fremantle Class Patrol Boat located adjacent to the Maritime Museum.

Explore the vessel's history and features during its opening hours each Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm.

Speaking of parklands, the area where we sail is connected to the Gladstone Ports Corporation's Marina Parklands. Take a walk from the Gladstone Yacht Club on the city side, making a loop that includes passing by our World Championship Racing Precinct, heading to Spinnaker Park, and then returning. This walk covers eight kilometres and is sure to get your blood pumping!

Immerse yourself in the award-winning Tondoon Botanic Gardens, where 83 hectares of flora await your exploration. From the Crown of Gold tree and sentinel-like blue gums to the orchid house showcasing rare orchid species, the gardens offer a captivating display of nature's beauty, where 90% of the Gardens3,000 plant varieties are native to the region.

For the adventurous, hiking trails meander through various ecosystems or follow the art trail to encounter the Gladstone Centenarians, Indigenous Sea life, and Vitea Mortae sculptures. Immerse yourself in serenity at the Japanese Tea House, an idyllic space adorned with traditional Japanese landscaping. Allow the kids to delight in the playground and enjoy a picnic lunch beside Lake Tondoon, where turtles and local wildlife create a charming backdrop.

The Botanic Gardens promise a day filled with natural wonders, artistry, and memorable moments for visitors of all ages.

Venture to the Gladstone Regional Council’s Art Gallery & Museum for an enriching cultural experience.

Housed within the Heritage Listed old Gladstone Town Hall, this architectural marvel also serves as a platform for the 19th-century Marble statue of William Ewart Gladstone, the region's namesake.

Step into the Gallery & Museum, where you'll encounter four distinctive exhibition spaces showcasing rotating art and history exhibitions. The ground-level exhibition spaces provide easy access for visitors. 

Embark on an exciting day trip to the enchanting Boyne Valley and immerse yourself in the historical wonders of the Dawes Range Tunnels Trail.

This scenic 11 km trail takes you through six railway tunnels built approximately a century ago.

Whether you choose to walk, ride, or cycle, the picturesque countryside will captivate you as you make your way to Glassford Creek before heading back. For more adventurous spirits, consider extending your journey to Builyan.

No bike?

No worries!

Join one of the guided tours of reputable operators: Gladstone Region Tours or Packs N Pedals.

Embark on a day of seaside bliss at Tannum Sands Beach. The beach boasts designated swimming areas, ensuring a safe environment for families. Grab your boggy board and ride the small waves back to shore, or build sandcastles on the beach and look for seashells.

Wander through the dunes and discover the children's play area, complete with an exhilarating flying fox that's sure to get the heart pumping.

For a laid-back lunch, utilise the BBQ facilities shaded by beach huts and towering trees.

After a sun-soaked day, delve into the local art scene at the Ocean Breeze Gallery. This community gallery showcases the talents of local artists and crafters.

Open Thursday through Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm, the gallery features a diverse range of creations, including canvas artwork, photography, stone, driftwood, shell, and recycled sculptures, as well as ceramic and glass work, jewellery, rugs, handbags, and more.

Depart on a 2.5-hour exploration of Gladstone with the City Highlights Tour by our friend of the IOM World Championships, Darryl 'Dags' Branthwaite, who owns and runs Gladstone Region Tours (GRT).

GRT leaves from the Gladstone Information Visitor Centre at 9 am most Thursday mornings. This engaging excursion invites you to hop on board and uncover the secrets, history, and vibrant industries that shape the city's character. The tour promises a journey beyond the obvious, discovering hidden gems contributing to Gladstone's unique identity.

While navigating through the city's industrial scenery, make a stop at a nearby Shale Oil Plant, soak in the breathtaking vistas from Auckland Hill and Round Hill, and don't miss the Tondoon Botanic Gardens – a standout feature of the tour. The experience is crafted for intimacy and personalisation, ensuring a maximum group size of 20 persons.

This represents just a snippet of the activities available during the delightful spring days in Gladstone's ideal climate. Remember to explore the social events organised by the 2024 World Championship Committee, detailed during the registration process. Our mates at GAPDL are also ready to assist with any bookings or information you might need. You can contact them HERE.

What to do, and where to go
when you have a little more time...? HERON ISLAND

You've heard about the Great Barrier Reef - right? Well, Heron Island off the coast of Gladstone is the jewel in the crown. Nestled right in the heart of the Southern Great Barrier Reef, this piece of paradise is an absolute gem for those seeking sun, sea, and stunning marine life.

Picture this: crystal-clear waters teeming with colourful coral and an array of marine life. Whether you're into snorkelling, diving, or just soaking up the sun with a cocktail on the pristine beaches, Heron Island has something for everyone.

The underwater realm in this place is truly unique – you'll find yourself swimming alongside turtles, rays, and a dazzling array of fish that will leave you utterly amazed.

For the nature enthusiast, Heron Island is a paradise for birdwatching. It is a nesting ground for many seabirds, making it a dream come true for birdwatchers. As the sun sets, get ready to be captivated by a sky adorned with stars – an experience that will undoubtedly leave you feeling delighted. Need a place to stay? No problem! You can settle into cozy lodges right on the island, guaranteeing you're always close to the action.


Located just a 1 hour and 20-minute drive from Gladstone are the pristine coastal towns of Agnes Water and the Town of Seventeen Seventy. Time your arrival for either a full-day Paradise Tour or Lunch Tour on the iconic, pink amphibious LARC, with 1770 LARC! Tours.

Spend the day exploring the stretch between the township of Seventeen Seventy and Bustard Head.

The day includes an informative and spooky tour of Bustard Head Lighthouse, which is perched on rugged cliffs, fresh lunch and sandboarding.

Benefit from insightful commentary by knowledgeable guides, providing information about the region's ecology, history, and unique features as you traverse over both sand and water.

This comprehensive experience ensures your holiday is marked by adventure, natural beauty, and unforgettable moments.

Why not stay over in Agnes Water and dive into the adventure with an early morning private surf lesson at Queensland’s most northerly surf beach?

Experience the thrill of the waves and embrace the surfer's spirit in this picturesque setting, followed by a walk through the Paperbark Forest.

The defining feature of this unique forest is its distinctive paperbark trees, creating a canopy of greenery that fosters a tranquil and magical atmosphere. As you wander through, you'll encounter a diverse array of native flora, each contributing to the serene ambience of this coastal haven. Continue on to the Discovery Trail Lookout in 1770.

This scenic route is perched on the headland, with the lookout providing 360-degree panoramic views. Whether you're an avid photographer seeking the perfect shot or someone looking for a moment of tranquillity, this lookout caters to various interests.

No trip to Australia is complete until you see one of the world's natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Gladstone Region is the jump-off spot to what we believe is the best part - the Sothern Great Barrier Reef.

Let the amazing team at 1770 Reef- Great Barrier Reef Eco Tours take you on an unforgettable journey to Lady Musgrave Island. If time permits, begin your day with breakfast at Cody’s Place, preparing for the adventures ahead.

Guided by knowledgeable experts from 1770 Reef, the Lady Musgrave Island tour is a visual spectacle and an educational journey. The island is a haven for marine life and coral formations, which you can see up close on your snorkelling tour. Keep your eyes peeled on turtles, colourful reef fish, manta rays and gentle reef sharks.

For those preferring to stay dry, the tour includes a glass-bottom boat ride or taking part in a guided nature walk to discover the island's unique flora and fauna. The tour includes a delicious lunch served onboard.

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