Calliope is a historic goldmining village 22 kilometres south-west of Gladstone on Queensland’s central coast. Often overlooked by people driving from Brisbane to Rockhampton via the Bruce Highway, the small country town boasts plenty of reasons to make a pit-stop that are not limited to its perfect 25-degree year-round weather.
Take your pick from several family-friendly outings and enjoy the hospitality of the locals – and if you happen to be in Calliope on the last weekend of September, the annual rodeo attracts a huge crowd to raise funds for various local charities and sporting groups.
The Calliope River Historical Village is an open-air museum of period-era buildings meticulously maintained by the Port Curtis Historical Society. Keep the kids entertained on the miniature train or explore the monthly country markets against the quaint backdrop of the historic township.
Tondoon Botanic Gardens is one of Australia’s top 10 regional gardens, offering free weekly guided tours, cooking classes and bonsai workshops; while Lake Awoonga is a popular recreation area with a caravan park and playgrounds, where avid anglers fish for barramundi. For the wine connoisseurs, Gecko Valley Winery’s rolling woodland with Mount Larcom in the background is the perfect setting to enjoy a glass of the renowned shiraz or special reserve Verdelho. Explore Calliope all year round with Choice Hotels.