Southeast Queensland residents are being asked to consider a sea change and spend their Easter in Gladstone as the port city comes alive with an array of harbourside celebrations centred around the iconic Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race.
This year’s Easter in Gladstone promises to be the biggest yet with a mixture of longstanding traditions and exciting new concepts combining over the Easter long weekend. The festivities run from 14-17 April, beginning with the Brisbane to Gladstone (B2G) Village Opening Party and the start of the 60th annual Gladstone Harbour Festival.
The Gladstone Harbour Festival is a free event featuring live music, entertainment, sideshow alley, markets, fantastic food and nightly fireworks displays. Complementing the Gladstone Harbour Festival is another event steeped in tradition, the 74th Gladstone Ports Corporation Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race.
The race sets sail from Shorncliffe in Moreton Bay on Good Friday (15 April) with yachts expected to begin arriving in Gladstone the following morning. Provisional entrants into this famous race include three-time Brisbane to Gladstone line honours winner and 2021 Sydney to Hobart line honours winner Black Jack, two-time B2G winner Ichi Ban, 2021 B2G winner Maritimo and Stefan Hair. Gladstone-based yachts Restless and Wistari are also returning, with the latter taking out The Courier Mail Cup last year.
While the spectacular sight of dozens of yachts leaving Moreton Bay is one to behold, Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett said those who can’t witness the 12pm race start can watch it at home. “Gladstone Regional Council is proud to sponsor the live stream coverage of this great race with coverage beginning at 11am on Good Friday,” Councillor Burnett said. “The live stream coverage will share expert analysis before and after the starter’s gun fires, plus a variety of different camera angles from the air to on the water.”
Coinciding with the race start is the Yachtsman’s Long Lunch, set to be held at the B2G Village located on the bank of Gladstone’s Auckland Creek and directly across the water from where the Gladstone Harbour Festival will take place. If you’re looking to experience Easter in Gladstone in one day, jump on board the Yachtsman’s Long Lunch Package which includes a return flight from Brisbane and a seat at the four-hour event.
Festivities continue later that evening with the Festival of Summer Sounds concert, a rescheduled event from January 2021 that is exclusive for 13-17-year old’s and features a line-up of unearthed performers including headline act Thandi Phoenix. Easter Saturday (16 April) will see a Harbour Cruise Brunch take place. This is a new offering designed to provide guests with a unique vantage point of Gladstone, the festivities and the race, by getting out on the water for an intimate and informative tour over brunch.
The famous Seafood Festival also takes place on Easter Saturday. This free event will provide people of all ages the opportunity to engage in the carnival atmosphere of the B2G Village with live music, numerous displays, children’s entertainment, prawn eating competition, crab races, bars and an array of seafood prepared in a multitude of ways. Easter in Gladstone wraps up on Easter Sunday (17 April) with the B2G Line Crossing Party (18+).
Another free event, the B2G Line Crossing Party will feature the trophy presentation and an opportunity for competitors, supporters and the greater community to come together and let their hair down to celebrate the finish of the 74th Gladstone Ports Corporation Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race.
Mayor Matt Burnett said Easter in Gladstone was like no other time of the year and encouraged southeast Queensland travellers to choose the port city as their holiday destination of choice. “Easter in Gladstone is a fantastic time of year and one that provides an experience for people of all ages and backgrounds,” Cr Burnett said. “Whether it be attending the family-friendly Gladstone Harbour Festival, lining the banks of Auckland Creek to welcome the Brisbane to Gladstone yachts or attending events – many of them free – within the B2G Village, there’s no shortage of things to do at Easter in Gladstone.”
Only a six-hour drive from Brisbane or five hours from the Sunshine Coast, Cr Burnett said the Gladstone Region also boasts a wide variety of natural attractions. “Our region is a popular fishing destination, gateway to Heron Island and the Southern Great Barrier Reef, and has beautiful beaches, waterways, national parks and spectacular hinterlands,” he said.
“We’d love to see our friends from southeast Queensland spending their Easter break in Gladstone, whether that’s by making a trip up the Bruce Highway or catching a short, one-hour flight, directly from Brisbane. “The region’s accommodation providers will have deals and packages on offer so please visit Gladstone Regional Council’s website for more information on how you can spend your Easter in Gladstone – you’ll be glad you did.”
Visit www.gladstone.qld.gov.au/easter to discover everything on offer during Easter in Gladstone.