Gladstone, on Australia's East Coast -- Queensland, is a really small town without much to see and to attract visitors. You should only stop here if you are planning to go to Heron Island, a fabulous place, known for being an amazing diving spot.
The town isn't really captivating -- it seems more like a town that lives from the port -- and hasn't many tourists hanging around. If you stop by, at least try to visit the Botanic Gardens -- they are about seven kilometers to the south -- here you'll find a lot of forest to explore and with a little bit of luck, you may also find some wallabies in their habitat. In the Botanic Gardens you will also be able to spot a lot of bird species -- some of them endangered –- and if you like to admire them, this is a really nice spot.
Heron Island is a good place to visit and go for diving, but before coming here look for web specials and internet promotions to get cheaper deals. The island is really small and you can make the entire coast in a one-hour walk. Most of the island is occupied by one resort, so you need to prepare your stay in advance, but once you're there, you will be able to walk from the beach into the reef's coral. There is also good snorkeling in the eastern part of the lagoon, but the best coral you can see is not there (you'll need a boat to go there).
Gladstone is out from the touristic route on Australia's East Coast, so the national coaches usually don't stop here, but you'll be able to find a couple of local buses. Driving a car is definitely the easiest way to arrive in Gladstone.
There are only a few hostels in Gladstone and you can be sure that there won't be many travelers or backpackers around. Gladstone's hostels are simple and quiet and you can ask there some advice for visiting Heron Island.
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the Hostelz.com local expert for Gladstone hostels. Welcome.