The Gladstone area is like the pickles on a cheeseburger; often forgotten about or most of the time removed. With the tiny coastal towns of Agnes Water and the town of 1770 just 1.5 hours to the south and Yeppoon 2 hours to the north, we have found that there is definitely more to the area than alumina refineries and gas projects — heaps of adventure activities that won’t cost a tonne!

Here are 7 epic little adventures you can have if you’re on a tight budget in the Gladstone Surrounds, with some free camping areas.

# 1 Camp On The Calliope River

Located just off the Bruce Highway this self-sufficient, pet friendly free camping area is a grassy space nestled amongst the bush, right on the river.  The maximum stay is 48 hours which is plenty of time to try your luck fishing for Barramundi.

Scout Hinchliffe Gladstone Calliope River camping van

Camping at Calliope River

# 2 Climb Mt Larcom

Rising 632m above sea level, the distinctive peak of Mt Larcom offers 360° views of the Gladstone area. Including the harbour, ports, rural lands and on a clear day the reef islands. A moderate fitness level is required and climbing should begin early morning to avoid the heat as summiting the mountain can be rather intense. The base of the mountain is tucked away on Lynn Road, Mt Larcom.

# 3 Turtle Way & Beyond

Walk or dance your way across Boyne Island and Tannum Sands with Turtle Way offering over 20km of paved pathways. For a scenic route we recommend beginning at Canoe Point and go towards the river. The path will eventually come to a T-section with the river mouth to the right and the river to the left. Spot a turtle or 2 and admire the artwork along the way.

Sometimes you have to get off track to find the best track! Offering untouched ground and a perfect picnic spot at the end, The Wild Cattle Walk is a one-way return track along Wild Cattle Creek. Travelling with a bike? Get some dirt and downhill action with the bushland at the end of Tannum Sands Turtle Way (near the High School).

Scout Hinchliffe Gladstone Boyne River, Boyne Island turtle tortoise animal swimming

Boyne River, Boyne Island

# 4 Tannum Sands Beaches

Making the most of a beach with no waves proves to be a little difficult (for us especially), except when you’re in Tannum Sands. Frolic around in the clear warm waters of Wild Cattle Creek, float your way around main beach, enjoy a magical sunset with your dog at Canoe Point or simply sit back, relax and let the kite surfers entertain you.

Scout Hinchliffe Gladstone Canoe Point, Tannum Sands

Canoe Point, Tannum Sands

Scout Hinchliffe Gladstone Wild Cattle Creek, Tannum Sands

Wild Cattle Creek, Tannum Sands

# 5 Kroombit Tops

Accessed only by 4WD vehicles, the forested sandstone escarpment is an 800m plateau overlooking the rolling sub-tropical country. With hiking and 4WD tracks, a WWII historical aircraft crash site and camp grounds, an overnight trip is recommended but a day outing will be just as satisfying. Either way you will thrive in this untamed and raw environment.

# 6 Lake Awoonga

The rugged mountains make a perfect picturesque backdrop for swimming, fishing, kayaking and stand up paddle (SUP) boarding. Need we say more.

Scout Hinchliffe Gladstone Lake Awoonga kayaking watersports

Kayaking on Lake Awoonga

Scout Hinchliffe Gladstone Lake Awoonga SUP boarding watersports

SUP Boarding on Lake Awoonga

# 7 Boynedale Bush Camp

Ever wanted to be a branch manager? Then, roll on in to this free lakeside campground off the Gladstone-Monto road. With massive fig trees guarding your spot and little to no phone reception, this is escaping reality at its best. Spend the weekend relaxing, swimming and fishing in the back area of Lake Awoonga.


Want more Queensland Microadventures…?

Is This The Best View of Mt. Barney?  Montserrat Lookout (QLD)

Logan’s Ridge // Mt. Barney National Park (QLD)

Pet Friendly Camping at Kenilworth (QLD)

Battling Bartle Frere // Wooroonooran NP QLD

Nature’s Slip n’ Slide // Wilson’s Peak (QLD)