1,055km (654 miles) S of Cairns; 638km (396 miles) N of Brisbane

You may hear Queenslanders talk dryly about "Rockvegas." "Rocky" is the unofficial capital of the sprawling beef-cattle country that lies inland and the gateway to Great Keppel Island, which boasts some of the few inexpensive island retreats in Queensland -- but it bears no resemblance to Las Vegas. Heritage buildings line the Fitzroy River, where barramundi await keen fishermen. On Wednesday and Friday nights at 7pm at the Great Western Hotel, Stanley and Denison streets (tel. 07/4922 1862; www.greatwesternhotel.com.au), local cowboys practice their bull-riding skills in the rodeo ring.