Capricorn Coast Overview
- Southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef
- Coast life
- Surfing, snorkelling and snoozing in the sun
From cattle country to tropical cays, Capricorn Coast spans a breath-snatching stretch of the Coral Sea, taking in rugged Rockhampton, rum-soaked Bundaberg and a host of towns with cool coastal charm.
Sitting at the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef and straddling the Tropic of Capricorn, this unspoilt strip of Queensland could have written the book on tropical clichés – postcard-perfect coral coves, rainbow-hued fish, hatching turtles, and powdery beaches lapped by turquoise seas. The pace is suitably sonambulent, so pack books, beach gear and snorkelling kit, then kick back and relax.
Completely Capricorn CoastFrom November to March, Mon Repos Conservation Park, just 15 kilometres from Bundaberg, heaves with sea turtles as these majestic animals come ashore to nest and hatch their young. It's a delicate process, so the beach is closed to the public from 6pm–6am during turtle season, but if you want to get in on the act you can take a guided tour with Bundaberg Region Visitors Services (+61 (0)7 4153 8888; www.bookbundabergregion.com.au). Most of the area's beaches draw turtles to their shores, so keep an eye out for signs indicating nesting sites.
- Distances are great here, so taxis aren't cheap. Local operators include Agnes Water/1170 Taxi (+61 (0)417 749 000), Bundaberg Cab Co. (+61 (0)7 4151 2345), Blue & White Taxis in Gladstone (+61 (0)7 4972 7138), Capricorn Coast Taxis in Yeppoon (+61 131 008) and Rockhampton Cab Company (+61 (0)7 4922 7111).
- Tipping culture
- Tipping's not expected in this neck of the woods, but by all means feel free to show a little love.
- Siesta and fiesta
- Shops are open everyday, though they shut up shop early on Sundays at 1pm. Supermarkets close at 7pm. Banks are a 9.30am–4pm, Monday–Friday affair.
- Packing tips
- A swimsuit and snorkelling kit, an underwater camera to capture the rainbow-hued aquatic life, and a fishing rod to catch your dinner.
- Recommended reads
- A tenuous link to be sure, but why not dive into Henry Miller's Tropic of Capricorn, the sequel to his controversial 1934 tome, Tropic of Cancer.
- Regional specialities
- This is surf 'n' turf territory – tuck into giant mud crabs, prawns, scallops, oysters, crayfish and reef fish such as snapper, red emperor and coral trout, or steaks from Rockhampton, the beef capital of Australia. The region's infamous tipple, Bundaberg Rum, is made from sugarcane molasses and is not for the faint-hearted.
- Australian dollar (AU$).
- Time zone
- GMT +10 (there's no daylight saving in Queensland).
- Dialling codes
- International country code for Australia: +61; Sunshine Coast area code: 07 (drop the zero if you're calling from overseas).
- Do go/don't go
- Things get hot and wet here from November to February (and not in a good way), so ideally time your trip for between May and October when the weather is warm and dry.
Don't go home without...
knocking back a classic Queensland cocktail, the Dark 'n' Stormy, a potent blend of two of Bundaberg's best-known beverages, rum and ginger beer.