Emu Park & Zilzie
The second largest community on the Capricorn Coast, Emu Park is a majestic old seaside town, which in the present day is enjoying a massive resurgence in popularity.
Its rich history was born during the boom days of the early settlement of Rockhampton, and the subsequent discovery of gold at Mount Morgan.
Originally a private playground for the elite of Rockhampton society, Emu Park became accessible to the masses with the establishment of the Emu Park railway line in 1888.
The township enjoyed huge investment of money from Rockhampton business owners, and that immense wealth is still evident today, in the huge public spaces, most notably Bell Park, and the plentiful historic old buildings.
Just south of town on the northern banks of Coorooman Creek is the growing township of Zilzie.
Zilzie was established after World War 2, with former soldiers settling in the community. Zilzie is presently undergoing an explosion of growth with new housing developments centred on Zilzie Bay and the former Seaspray Resort.
Originally regarded as a satellite suburb of Emu Park, Zilzie has grown to rival the size of its neighbour, in fact overtaking it in population in the 2016 census.
Accessing Emu Park
Emu Park is 40 kms east of Rockhampton City via Rockhampton Road, and 20 kms south of Yeppoon via the Scenic Highway or Western Bypass. Zilzie is accessed via the Hartley Street roundabout.
By sea, Emu Park is 8kms north of Keppel Sands, or 35 kms by road. The two towns are separated by Coorooman Creek.
Emu Park has an airfield for light planes and boat ramp access to the beach and bay. At Zilzie, the boat ramp affords direct access to Coorooman Creek. The Timbers is a popular fishing spot near the mouth of the creek.
Dozens of islands dot the unspoilt waters offshore, including Mother Macgregor Reef, Wedge Island, Flat Rock Island, and Pelican Reef.
The northern end of town features a very long beach leading to Tanby Point, the first of two promontories. Another cove away lies Ritamada, the beaches of which are accessible via turnoffs on the Scenic Highway.
Photo Gallery: Zilzie to Tanby Point
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Andrew Thompson, editor | historian