The Rockhampton Botanic Gardens and Zoo (share your adventure)

100 Spencer Street,
West Rockhampton

This week I had a chat to Jocelyn; mum of one and the super mum behind Kid Friendly Cafes Australia. She gets out and about quite a bit in her home town of Rockhampton (busy sampling all the best kid friendly dining of course), and was keen to share with us one of her recent adventures!


Hi, I’m Jocelyn from Kid Friendly Cafes Australia. Welcome to our adventure!

Sunny Rockhampton.

Almost always sunny Rockhampton! Well, not this week but that’s another story.
There are some gorgeous attractions here for parents with little ones, but it’s also a great midway point when you’re driving up to beautiful FNQ.

‘Rocky’ to the locals, or ‘The Hamptons’ to us, has 80,000 people, a love of cows, very hot average temperatures, Mt Archer, great coffee (when you know where to look) and a lovely regionally sized, town centre. Some of the things that Rockhampton has that might surprise you are that it lies right in the middle of the Tropic of Capricorn, it’s 40 minutes from the beach and it has a gorgeous botanical garden, Japanese garden, and a zoo – all in the one place!


If you’re looking for a morning out with little (and big!) kids, this is a great option.
There’s a café that serves good coffee, toilets with a change table, a big outdoor canteen/café, a great park with lots of different sized play equipment under the shade of a gorgeous big canopy of trees. There’s wildlife in the form of every kind of bird you could imagine that might want to come and join you on your picnic rug, so be aware of that if they’re not your thing.

Cute coffee!

The gardens are right on the river, and there are walking tracks that are pram suitable (I have spent many hours pushing prams through the gardens!), and lots of grassed areas for energetic people to kick and throw balls (great if you need to stop and get the kids to run some energy off!).


The Zoo has chimpanzees, macaws, emus, kangaroos, an aviary, otter, monkeys, wombats, koalas, snakes and a rather lonely looking crocodile. I have to say, I don’t love zoos, but it has provided my son with hours of entertainment (and we talk about how lovely it is when animals live in the wild to appease my conscience).


The Japanese Gardens are pretty, but recently the water wasn’t looking its best. There’s a waterfall, a pond and Japanese features. It’s worth walking to and having a look – but the fun for kids is found in the playground and the zoo.


The playground is big, it’s easy to see lots of it from the grassed area all around (good for me as I have a two year old) and it has lots of different equipment for him to try and learn on. There’s equipment suited for older children too – and a wonderful tree for climbing.

Best of all, it’s free! If you want to take a picnic lunch, it won’t cost you a thing – even the zoo.


Need to know:
Opening times: 6am to sunset, daily (café open from 8am)
Food: The café have quite an extensive menu, and options suitable for kids, although they’re not marked as a ‘kids menu’. Babycinos are $2. As always, check the temp of the babycino!
Activities: Loads! Walking, kicking a ball, checking out some history, playing in the playground, going to the zoo – there’s lots to do.
Cost: Entry to the gardens and the zoo is free.

My top tips: It’s outdoors, in Central Queensland. Don’t go right in the middle of the day in Summer if you can help it, and make sure to take a hat, water and wear sunscreen.

I rate it a 10/10 and am sure we will continue to visit as a family for many years to come.


Wow, sounds amazing Jocelyn thank you for sharing! I’ve never been to Rockhampton so will have to add it onto the bucket list. To learn more about Jocelyn’s adventures be sure to like her Facebook page Kid Friendly Cafes Australia or check her out on Instagram and learn where all the cutest coffee cups can be found, and all the best babychinos!

If you’d like to share your adventure, just click here. I can’t wait to hear about all the fun places you visit with your kids.

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