Emu Park is a relaxed beachside village, rich in natural beauty offering a unique lifestyle. Home of the iconic singing ship and ANZAC walk. Emu Park locals love to party, hosting the Festival of the winds and Octoberfest annually, as well as popular monthly markets at Bell Park.
According to the book 'A History of the Livingstone shire' compiled and edited by Leo M Carpenter, “Holiday trips from Rockhampton to the coast had begun in 1870 when excursionists travelled on the Mary to Emu Park and Keppel Island. Only small numbers of people were able to afford the coach trip and to pay for holiday accommodation.
Christmas 1883, 80 people holidayed at Emu Park, only 40 went to Yeppoon. With the building of the railway line in 1888, Emu Park was confirmed as the leading Central Queensland resort.
128 passengers travelled on the first Rockhampton to Yeppoon train in November 1909, twice that number travelled to Emu Park on the same day.”
“Ritamada” was a stately home that stood on 33 hectares of land on the uppermost northerly aspect of Tanby Point, overlooking Shoal Bay and Kinka Beach. It was built as a seaside retreat by Rockhampton solicitor, Robert Gamble Brown. Construction commencing around 1905. When completed the chalet style mansion boasted six bedrooms, each opening onto a palatial veranda with expansive ocean views from the entire north wing. Robert Brown died in 1918 and his home was bought by a syndicate of four Rockhampton businessmen who shared it as a holiday retreat. One of the owners, Robert Cecil Boland, later purchased the property outright.
In the 1920s ownership passed to Adam Boyd. It was Boyd who gave the property the name “Ritamada”, a combination of his late wife’s and his own name. Boyd used “Ritamada” as his personal retreat for many years until his retirement in 1935 when he went to live there permanently. Boyd used his skills as an engineer to make the house self-sufficient in solar hot water.
When Adam Boyd died in 1948, “Ritamada” was sold to Mrs Ernie Coleman and converted for use as a holiday guest house. It was sold again in 1962, this time to Robert Mackay Brown, son of the original owner. In 1971 the property was presented to the Rockhampton Grammar School which continues to use it as a life skills education centre and has added new facilities.
According to local ledgend, this mansion was used not just as a Retreat but was an un-official casino / gambling house, very up market and gentlemanly.
Estimated population of 2.1k
Median House Price is $314 000
5 Year Population Change +5%
(Source RP Data 2019)