city and commercial centre for a large part of central Queensland, Australia, at the head of ocean navigation on the Fitzroy River, 38 miles (60 km) upstream from its mouth on Keppel Bay. The town was laid out in 1858 on Gracemere Station and its name chosen in reference to rock formations in the river and to Hampton, Eng. Proclaimed a municipality in 1860, it began to grow after gold, tin, and copper were found in the interior at Canoona and Peak Downs. Its development was stimulated by the completion in 1867 of a railroad over the Eastern Highlands, by the discovery in the 1880s of gold at Mount Morgan (22 miles [35 km] south), and by the introduction of refrigerated meat boats. Declared a borough in 1883, it became the City of Greater Rockhampton in 1960.
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