Rockhampton History

Rockhampton - Benjamin Jones
Rockhampton’s first major building, the Bush Inn, was built in the 1850s facing the Fitzroy river. It was later rebuilt and named the Criterion Hotel and is now heritage listed.
Fred Ford
Although he led the country for just 8 days, Frank Forde is the only prime minister from Rockhampton. He served as the member for Rockhampton in the Queensland parliament and was later the member for Capricornia in the federal parliament.  
Men from the Rockhampton region volunteering to serve in World War I.
Men from the Rockhampton region volunteering to serve in World War I.

Rockhampton has a diverse and fascinating history. It experienced a small gold rush and was home to a separation movement. It has also been the site of terrible colonial violence against First Nations people. Rockhampton has thrived as a beef capital, and for much of the twentieth century was the second largest city in Queensland. Ben’s research is often national in its focus but he is also passionate about local history and sharing local stories. This page features a collection of articles and resources relating to Rockhampton history.

The Rockhampton region is largely on the tradition lands of the Darumbal people. European colonisation began in the 1850s when the Archer brothers, Charles and William, established a pastoral station at Gracemere. It was proclaimed a town just prior to Queensland securing separation from New South Wales in 1859.