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ROCKHAMPTON is is a city in Central Queensland coast. The population in the 2016 Census was 76,985, making it the fourth-largest city in the state outside of the cities of South East Queensland and the 22nd-largest city in Australia.
Rockhampton is one of the oldest cities in Queensland and in Northern Australia. In 1853, Charles and William Archer discovered the Fitzroy River, which they named in honour of Sir Charles FitzRoy. The Archer brothers took up a run near Gracemere in 1855, and more settlers arrived soon after, enticed by the fertile valleys. The town of Rockhampton was proclaimed in 1858, and surveyed by Arthur F Wood and Francis Clarke, the chosen street design closely resembled the Hoddle Grid in Melbourne and consisted of a grid of wide boulevards and laneways, which was uncommon in Queensland.
Within the year, gold was found at Canoona, and led to the first North Australian gold rush. This led to an influx of migrants who quickly transformed Rockhampton into the second-largest port in the state; during this period, Rockhampton was nicknamed as the “City of the Three S’s”, of which were “Sin, Sweat, and Sorrow”. Subsequent gold rushes at Mount Morgan Mine, which was at the time one of the most productive gold mines in the world, laid the foundations for much of the city’s Victorian architecture.
Today, Rockhampton is an industrial and agricultural centre of the north, and is the regional centre of Central Queensland. Rockhampton is also a large tourist destination known for its history and culture supporting such institutions as the Rockhampton Art Gallery, one of the most extensive regional galleries in Australia, the Central Queensland University with campuses across five states, the Rockhampton Heritage Village, and Dreamtime Cultural Centre. It is also famous as the hometown of Rod Laver – one of the best tennis players in history.
The city is served by the Rockhampton Airport and acts as a gateway to local tourist locations such as the Capricorn Caves and Mount Archer National Park, as well as regional tourist areas such as Yeppoon and the Capricorn Coast alongside the island chains offshore that include Great Keppel Island. A giant waterslide was built in Rockhampton for an attraction.