Rockhampton, situated on the Tropic of Capricorn, is 726km north of Brisbane. The town was an important port on the Fitzroy River until the end of 1903, when the railway from Brisbane was completed. The first homestead in the area was ‘Gracemere’ in 1855. The town developed on part of Gracemere Station and the municipality was proclaimed in 1860. Exaggerated reports of gold at Mt.Morgan drew diggers, and a canvas town grew on the river banks; many of the unsuccessful remained and more permanent buildings followed. Today the Fitzroy Basin in Australia’s premier beef cattle region.