A few kilometres south-west of Rockhampton on the Capricorn Highway, Gracemere’s large network of stockyards is an essential selling arm in the beef capital’s scheme of things.
Not that the pioneer pastoralists Charles and William Archer could have envisaged such a commercial future for the area when they staked their claim on 'a perfect paradise' in 1853.
Their legacy, however, lives on in heritage-listed Gracemere Homestead, which began taking shape overlooking a lagoon in 1858. And there the ironbark slab home still stands today on a plant- and flower-festooned peninsula, a step back in time to the day the brothers Archer stumbled across the lagoon they described as 'a magnificent sheet of water' - 3km long and 1km wide.
The lagoon which so impressed the Archers also remains to this day as the southernmost in a chain of lagoons that stretches from north of Gracemere to Lilymere Lagoon and Glenmore Homestead which was built on the banks of the Fitzroy River in the mid-19th century.