Combing the Queensland coast rewards the leisurely traveller with a strand of hidden scenic gems, and none sparkles more brightly than Tannum Sands and Boyne Island - Gladstone’s twin aquatic and recreational playgrounds. Only 25km south of the city, idyllic Tannum Sands beach is regarded as one of the safest in Australia and the water is warm enough for year-round swimming. The estuary behind the beach is a haven for anglers who like to tempt the fish with fly, lure and live bait. . Across a road bridge, Boyne Island might be the site a huge alumina smelter, but the plant is well out of sight and mind on the golden beaches and secluded picnic areas. Tranquil Turkey Beach, one of the closest mainland points to the Great Barrier Reef, is less than an hour’s drive to the south. Turkey Beach owes its name to the fact that a member of Captain Cook's crew shot a scrub turkey or bustard while Endeavour lay off what is now the Town of 1770. Protected Rodds Harbour is a fisherman's paradise which boasts some of the best mud crabs in the country.