7 Day great gladstone road trip itinerary

Written by: Sally Sees

Whether you’re cruising in a campervan, towing a caravan, or pitching a tent, the Gladstone Region is the perfect spot for a road trip. The diversity of this region is astounding. Expect to be waking up in the mountains, going to sleep on the coast, and heading out to a tropical island the following day! After spending a week travelling around the Gladstone Region in a campervan, here is my 7 day Gladstone road trip itinerary.

Day 1 – Lake Awoonga

Pack the car and hit the road enroute to your first stop, Lake Awoonga. This enormous lake is the main water source for the Gladstone Region and is a tranquil spot to get back to nature. If you have a boat, kayak or paddleboard, you can hit the water and explore some of the 16,000 acres of lake! And don’t forget the fishing rods, as Lake Awoonga is famous for its Barramundi. If you’d prefer to stay on solid ground, there are walking tracks all around the lake, and plenty of picnic spots on the foreshore.

Park up for the night at: Lake Awoonga Caravan Park

Day 2 – Mount Larcom

Animal lovers, today’s first stop is for you! Safe Haven is an animal sanctuary in Mount Larcom, that rescues and rehabilitates sick, injured and orphaned Australian wildlife, as well as managing a number of breeding and research programs in partnership with local universities. Visitors can book a tour of the sanctuary, to learn more about Australian wildlife. You will have the opportunity to get to know the dedicated and passionate volunteers, and experience the love they have for all the animals in their care. It was a truly special experience seeing these beautiful animals, and something I won’t forget!

* Safe Haven is currently undergoing redevelopment and is closed to the public until late-2021. Please get in contact with Safe Haven directly to arrange a visit and confirm their plans for re-opening.

 

This afternoon it’s time to lace up your hiking boats and tackle the challenging Mount Larcom Climb. Visible from all over the Gladstone, the peak sits 632 metres above sea level. Not a hike for the fainthearted, allow 5 hours to get up and

 back, and prepare yourself for some rock scrambling towards the top!

Park up for the night at: Mount Larcom Tourist Park

Day 3 – Gladstone

Head for the city this morning, and fuel up for the day with coffee and breakfast at Lightbox Espresso and Wine Bar  (I highly recommend the salted caramel crepes!). Spend a while wandering around Gladstone at your own pace. Don’t miss the East Shores Precinct and the Marina Parklands on the waterfront. And when you’re hungry again, lunch and a beer at Auckland House, a microbrewery with ocean views, is a must! See the city and harbour from above at the nearby Auckland Point Lookout, and explore the Tondoon Botanic Gardens  just outside the city centre.

Park up for the night at: Discovery Parks Tannum Sands

 

Day 4 – Curtis Island

Say goodbye to the mainland this morning, as you head for Curtis Island in the Gladstone Harbour. Load your vehicle on to the barge with Curtis Ferry Services, and keep an eye out for dolphins as you sail out to the island. Those with a 4WD will have the whole island to explore, but with our 2WD we hung around in the small township of South End, where the ferry docks.

    

I have never experienced a community like this, and before we had even set foot on the island we had been invited for morning tea at a local’s house. Spend the day combing the beaches on the ocean side, swimming in the calm bay side, and soaking up the spectacular ocean views from every direction! If you’re lucky, one of the locals might lend you their 4WD buggy to go for a drive on the beach. Be sure to make the most of the opportunity to watch the sun both rise and set over the water.

Park up for the night at: South End Camping Ground

 

Day 5 – Town of 1770

Wave farewell to Curtis Island as you head back to the mainland on the ferry. Cruise down the coast to the twin towns Agnes Water and Town of 1770. Spend today exploring the Town of 1770, from its palm lined beachfront, to its stunning headland. 

      

The Round Hill Creek Walking Trail is a great little walk, through lush forest, and in the cooler months is home to hundreds of migrating blue tiger butterflies. Head up to the headland, and complete the short walk to Bustard Bay Lookout and Wave Lookout for some amazing views. Enjoy a famous 1770 sunset from the water tonight, with the 1770 Liquid Adventures Sunset Kayaking Tour. Enjoy the last light of the day over dinner at the Rusty Pelican Fish and Chips, inside the 1770 Marina. You will also find the famous 1770 sunset sign here too!

Park up for the night at: 1770 Camping Ground

 

Day 6 – Lady Musgrave Island

Today you will head over 60km into the ocean, to the uninhabited Lady Musgrave Island on a day tour with 1770 Reef. This coral cay in the Southern Great Barrier Reef is unique for the protected lagoon surrounding it. 

The water here had to be some of the bluest I have ever seen, and the snorkelling was simply incredible!

Within minutes of jumping into the water I was floating above a huge sea turtle, and the variety of fish and corals was breath-taking. 1770 Reef provides yummy morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea, and all the gear you need to experience the underwater world.

You’ll head over to Lady Musgrave Island on a glass bottom boat, to do a walking tour before hitting the water for a snorkel afterwards. I guarantee you will be blown away by this spectacular place.

Park up for the night at: South End Camping Ground

 

 

 

 

Day 7 – Agnes Water

Start today with breakfast and coffee at the 1770 Getaway Garden Cafe, a gorgeous cafe hidden away in Balinese style gardens. Your next stop is the Paperbark Trail. This charming little circuit feels like something out of a fairy-tale.

The next walk to tackle is the Red Rock Trail, which follows a trail along the coastline, passing through three different beaches. The scenery here is spectacular and be sure to pack a towel and some swimmers to stop for a swim along the way.

Head for Holidays Cafe for lunch, inside the Agnes Water Beach Holidays caravan park. Right on the waterfront, you can kick your feet up and enjoy your meal overlooking the ocean. Spend this afternoon relaxing on one of the many beaches in the area. Finish off a great day with a yummy dinner at Drift & Wood.

Park up for the night at: 1770 Camping Ground

 

Sadly, it’s time to pack up and head home after an amazing week exploring all the Gladstone Region has to offer. I was blown away by the variety of landscapes and activities on offer in this area and can’t wait to get back to explore more!

     

Sally manages the sustainable budget travel blog, Sally Sees. She writes about all things sustainable budget travel and believes that travel doesn’t need to cost the earth. Both in how much we spend exploring it, and the impact our travels have on it. Check out her blog here, and follow her adventures on Instagram @sallysees.