To the west you’ll find the Sandstone Belt and stunning Isla Gorge National Park. The park is famous for its multi-hued cliffs. There are no walking tracks into the gorge, but experienced and prepared hikers can tackle it if they’re up for a challenge.
The town of Theodore is nearby. Designed by Walter Burleigh Griffin, Theodore boasts that state’s first every roundabout, and Australia’s only co-opted hotel.
Have a meal there or stay the night in one of the cabins that overlook the Dawson River.
Biloela is in the heart of the banana shire, where they ironically don’t grow bananas. However they do grow herbs. If you ever bought a tube of Gourmet Garden herbs from the supermarket, then you’ve tasted the best of Biloela’s produce. Six farmers in the region exclusively supply Gourmet Garden with basil, coriander, and mint. As well as being able to buy it all over Australia, the product is shipped to over 15 countries worldwide.
Paul and Kim Stringer are two farmers in the co-op, and they’ve also opened a café in Bileola’s centre. The Odd Spot Trader sells healthy, organic, and diet-friendly food 6 days a week. The luxurious space wouldn’t look out of place in Byron Bay, but its menu focuses on the fresh flavours of Bilo.
While in Biloela, check out the Queensland Heritage Park, which has an abundance of antique farming equipment on display.
On the other side of the Gladstone Region is the Southern Great Barrier Reef, and Heron Island. You can reach heron either by air through Australia by Seaplane, or take the two hour barge trip.
The island is an a spectacular coral cay edged by soft white sand and aquamarine waters. There are few places in the world that let you stay and play on one of the Seven natural Wonders of the World, but on Heron you just step outside and you’re surrounded by it.
There are a variety of activities on the island, some educational and all of them fun. Go diving or snorkeling at one of the twenty dive spots around Heron, or tour the Research Station, the largest of its kind in the entire Barrier Reef.
Isla Gorge National Park
Theodore Visitor Information Centre
72 The Boulevard, Theodore
(07) 4993 1900
(07) 4993 1244
Queensland Heritage Park, Biloela
(07) 4992 2400
Odd Spot Trader, Biloela
(07) 4992 4267
Australia by Seaplane
(07) 4972 1940
1800 010 968