Arts and culture

Scratch the surface in Rockhampton and you’ll discover a city vibrant with a lively arts, culture and music scene.

Explore your cultural senses at the Rockhampton Art Gallery which is arguably the finest in regional Queensland, and one of the most significant in regional Australia. The Gallery was established in 1967 and its collection represents a cross-section of central Queensland interests and influences: modern and contemporary Australian art, Japanese and British Art, and art and artifacts of central Queensland. Make it a regular trip to see the touring exhibition or just head along to enjoy the permanent significant artworks of Charles Blackman, Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale, John Brack, Fred Williams, Grace Cossington Smith and Jeffrey Smart. 

Rockhampton Art Gallery Display

Rockhampton’s principal community arts and leisure centre is the heritage listed Walter Reid Cultural Centre.  Home to many art, craft, music and leisure groups, make new friends and join in activities including arts and crafts workshops, movie programs, photography, pottery, woodwork and rail modelling. The centre offers spaces for hire (gallery, auditorium) and an exciting public program of events.

Gain insight into our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage at the Dreamtime Cultural Centre. The Torres Strait Islander’s Complex includes huts, the giant dugong and plants particular to the region, with the Aboriginal Traditional area complete with a replica burial site, rock art, gunyahs and traditional ceremonial sites of the Darambal people. The combination of these two distinct cultures within the one complex provides the Dreamtime Cultural Centre with a very unique appeal not just for tourists, but for the community to understand more about the traditional owners of the area.

If performance is more your thing, then the Pilbeam Theatre offers a diverse range of productions all year round from the local, national and international entertainers. Drama, dance, music, comedy – you’ll be laughing, crying, marveling and being held in suspense all year! We’re proud to regularly host the Melbourne Comedy Roadshow, The Wiggles, touring national and international ballet companies and Operas through to locally produced musicals and plays plus more. The Pilbeam Theatre is located on the corner of Victoria Parade and Cambridge Streets, Rockhampton, right next to the Rockhampton Art Gallery and Fitzroy River.

Rockhampton Pilbeam Theatre Chicago Musical

You won’t lose the rhythm in your step either to find out there’s a variety of choice from acoustic, jazz and rock performers plus more seven days a week in the region. Touring artists like Midnight Oil, Cold Chisel, Chris Issak, Xavier Rudd and home town boys Busby Marou usually venture to the Great Western Hotel, the Pilbeam Theatre, the Rockhampton Showgrounds or the Rockhampton Music Bowl. But also don’t forget to check out weekend programs at your local pub or club; you’ll find live music every week in Rockhampton, we have no shortage of talent!