Nukunu Country
Gladstone is the melding of two small adjacentsettlements (Booyoolie and Gladstone) that were officially named as one town in 1940. Booyoolie (pronounced Bowley) was the relic of a large pastoral run of the same name and the site of a large plant in the mid-1860s where ‘Bully Beef’ (Bowley Beef) was canned as the result of the drought.
The railway divided the settlements physically, but both would benefit economically from the food stuffs, agricultural produce and other products from nearby Laura, Wirrabara, Appila and Georgetown sent to Broken Hill as the line extended. Gladstone was home to the popular F.C Grubb Cordial factory and celebrated poet, C.J. Dennis who spent his formative years attending the local school.
Three Gauges Park
The narrow-gauge railway from Port Pirie arrived in 1877 and within the decade would reach Broken Hill as the rich ore deposits were discovered. Other lines radiated from the town with varying gauges and as a result, Gladstone has a unique feature that no other rail yard possesses. It has the provision for all three gauges – narrow, broad and standard – that are interlaid together in one siding. Three gauges Park reveals how these lines were laid out. Photo: Topbunk.
Golden North, Laura, c.1939
During the 1890s, William Bowker of Laura went to Broken Hill and noticed that dairy products and vegetables were in short supply. Cream, milk and vegetables were delivered to the Gladstone railhead in wagons that were covered with wet hessian bags. The business would later become Golden North and continue to serve Broken Hill. Photo: Golden North, Laura, c.1939. Golden North History.
View from the observation tower.
Photo: Topbunk
Interior view.
Photo: Topbunk

Gladstone Gaol

Costing £21,640, the gaol was constructed between 1878 and 1881 and initially held about seventy prisoners, both male and female, who had committed crimes of varying intensities – from drunks to debtors to more hardened criminals.
During WW2 the government used the gaol to incarcerate German and Italian nationals whose loyalty to Australia was under question. From 1953 to 1975 the gaol became a low security operation housing well-behaved younger prisoners and those with short sentences. Since closing the complex has been used as a youth activities centre, movie set, and is now open to the public as a tourist attraction and location for events.