Wednesday, 7 October 2009


October 3

If you like views of thriving industrial complexes, Gladstone is for you. There's the Port Authority, Queensland Alumina, Rio Tinto Alcan and more. Most of them offer free tours to visitors during the working week.

As you might expect, this is the kind of town where much of the old has been mown down in the enthusiasm to be "modern" and "functional". Nevertheless there is a brochure optimistically entitled "Heritage Walking Tour of Gladstone", which we duly set off to follow. Actually, as Michael remarked, Gladstone Old and New" would have been a better description. We admired the Grand Hotel (which was old, succumbed to a fire, was rebuilt, and is indeed grand, though its heritage credentials are now dubious)) and climbed to the lookout from which the various port activities can be seen: coal terminal, Qld Alumina works, etc. Michael sketched the waterside from the bascule bridge while I photographed a few of the remaining Queenslander houses on the hillside above.

In the same area we had come across an equally good-looking, very modern mansion.

The biggest problem we had with Gladstone was the lack of good places to eat. The one decent option was so popular we couldn't get a table. Another, rather expensive place was shrouded in blue neon, not inviting, and the Grand Hotel was clearly more of a watering hole than an eatery. We ended up with a take-out Domino's pizza back at our campsite. Adequate but not good.

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