Central Queensland region


Coral, coal and cane – CU in CQ!

Central Queensland covers the seaside cities of Mackay, Gladstone and Rockhampton, travels through the Gemfields and the inland city of Emerald and out to Longreach. It includes the rural towns in the Wide Bay, Coalfields, and remote outback towns reaching to Birdsville, ending at the Queensland border.

Central Queensland schools at a glance

The Central Queensland region currently has:

  • 142 primary schools
  • 25 secondary schools
  • 18 P-10/12 schools
  • 3,710 teachers
  • 46,730 students.

Distance is no barrier for our students in outback Central Queensland. We are able to offer lessons through the Schools of Distance Education for those unable to attend mainstream schools.

You can search our schools directory map for a list of the schools located in this region and their contact details.

Teaching and living in the region

With a sub-tropical climate, Central Queenslanders enjoy an average of 300 days of sunshine every year. If you're looking for great weather so you can enjoy the great outdoors, then this region should be high on your list!

Across Central Queensland, there are abundant employment opportunities for partners or family members, affordable housing and access to excellent health, education (including universities), transport and leisure facilities.

We offer subsidised teacher accommodation in some rural areas, though this is subject to availability and many schools qualify for rural and remote incentives.

Priority opportunities

There are opportunities for teachers across much of the region, but particularly schools in:

  • the bustling coastal city of Mackay
  • Rockhampton, the beef capital of Australia
  • Gladstone (conveniently located at the centre of the Southern Great Barrier Reef!)

Things to do

Living in the heart of Queensland has lots to offer, including friendly locals and vibrant communities. You’ll also find endless things to do and experience. The region has a diverse landscape of quintessential Australian outback towns, desert plains, tropical rainforests and sprawling beaches.

Here are 10 ways to explore the Central Queensland region in your downtime:

  1. Visit Emerald Historic Railway Station, built in 1900.
  2. Drive around Winton and beyond.
  3. Enjoy the rainforest by having a Forest Flying eco-tourism experience.
  4. Scuba dive at Keswick Island.
  5. Enjoy family fun time in Mackay and surrounding areas.
  6. Watch a movie the old-fashioned way at the Royal Open Air Theatre.
  7. Explore mother nature at Emerald Botanic Gardens.
  8. Experience the famous Birdsville Races, often considered the Melbourne Cup of the outback.
  9. Explore the World War I Memorial Journey.
  10. Discover the Limestone outcrops and dense, decorated caves of the Mount Etna Caves National Park.

Apply to teach in Central Queensland

If you'd like to teach in a Queensland state school, you’ll first need to submit an application for teacher employment. You can apply at any time.

To learn more about working in any part of the Central Queensland region, contact our Central Queensland team at

Apply now


 Teacher experiences in our region

Teaching in Barcaldine

Marika and her children return to their adopted home of Barcaldine in Central Queensland. There she reflects on the career opportunities and everlasting friendships made with the colleagues she now calls family.

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Teaching in Emerald - Joel's experience

Starting his teaching career in Emerald, Joel shares his experience as a teacher so far.

Teaching in Emerald - Joel's experience

Joel shares his experience as a graduate teacher in Emerald and reflects on how the support he received gave him a great start to his career.

Teaching in Emerald - Monique's experience

Intending to stay for a short time, Monique shares how Emerald has been home for the last 14 years.

Teaching in Gladstone

Mark shares his experience living and teaching in Gladstone.

Starting your career as a teacher

There are many structures in place to help graduate teachers. Joel reflects on his time as a beginning teacher at Denison State School in Emerald, Central Queensland and the support he received from the department.

Last updated 11 May 2020