Pretty as a picture, Gladstone is nestled in the Rocky River valley. It became a significant rail hub servicing the needs of the farming and pastoral communities. The narrow gauge line from Port Pirie to Broken Hill reached Gladstone in 1876 and the introduction of the broad gauge allowed access to and from Adelaide by rail. The standard gauge rail line was added in 1969. The standard gauge line is still used regularly today by freight, steel and grain trains as well as the Indian Pacific.
Gladstone is a significant player in the regions agricultural industry, with the largest inland grain storage facility in Australia.
Learn more about the life of a prisoner at Gladstone Gaol. This gaol was built in the late 1800s and was a functioning prison for nearly 100 years, including time as an internment camp for Italians and Germans in World War Two. You can only imagine the stories concealed within these walls!
As a tourist gaol today, you can wander around at your own pace, take a guided day tour or for an adrenaline racing thrill, experience the night ghost tour. The gaol offers accommodation with a difference, with many groups taking up the opportunity to sleep in a cell. Devonshire tea and refreshments are available and groups are most welcome.
Gladstone is also home to Trend Drinks, manufacturing the popular FC Grubb soft drinks. These drinks are a refreshing change from the standard soft drinks, with all the classic flavours including Sarsparilla, Portello, Ginger Beer and even the quirky flavours of Lime and Chocolate! Sales and tastings of these drinks, syrups and sparkling non-alcoholic wine are available at the Southern Flinders Discovery Centre.
The Southern Flinders Discovery Centre is the hub for visitor information in Gladstone and surrounds and is also a great place to experience the regions produce. Trend soft drinks and regionally grown olive oils, dried fruit, capers and dukka can be sampled while perusing the local historic display.