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Media Release

GPC gives the green light to waterfront café operators

Excitement is brewing as Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) announced Light Group as the successful tenderer to operate the new waterfront café at East Shores 1B.

Peter Hawkins and Benito Zussino – the dynamic duo behind Gladstone's Lightbox Espresso & Wine Bar and Rockhampton venues Boathouse and Headricks Lane – will run the café, Auckland House, opening mid-year.

GPC Acting CEO Craig Walker said GPC was delighted to have a local Central Queensland business operate the café.

“Light Group’s proposal for the venue was innovative and unique, and will bring an exciting, new dining experience to Gladstone,” Mr Walker said.

“We know just how popular Light Group’s restaurants are and we’re thrilled to have a local operator for the café. 

“Set just metres from the harbour’s edge, Auckland House will offer spectacular views of the Gladstone harbour and surrounding parklands.

“The venue will provide the ideal setting for events or a casual catch up with friends for coffee, and features a microbrewery, waterfront bar and restaurant, which can cater to 250 people for cocktail events. 

“It’s set to become a destination for not only Gladstone locals, but also tourists and visitors, being in close proximity to our new cruise ship passenger terminal.”

Light Group’s Peter Hawkins said the group is looking forward to opening the new venue.  

“Light Group is excited to be part of the continued enhancement of the beautiful East Shores precinct," Mr Hawkins said. 

“In addition to offering 50 new job opportunities for locals, we’re excited to bring world-class brewing to this iconic waterfront location.” 

Offering a unique line-up of beers including the Auckland Point American Pale Ale and Lady Elliot IPA, Auckland House is set to become the region’s hottest dining and drinking destination. 

The venue, which offers guests a 360-degree look at brewers in action, will feature unique event spaces and be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days a week.

Assistant Minister for Treasury and Member for Gladstone, Glenn Butcher said he was thrilled to see more waterfront dinning in the region. 

"We have spectacular views across our harbour and it is fantastic to see a waterfront dining experience as part of the East Shores redevelopment,” Mr Butcher said.  

"It's the icing on the cake that the tender has been awarded to Light Group, a couple of local guys with a proven track record in delivering premier hospitality and generating local jobs.”

The café is among a range of new entertainment, fitness and parkland facilities coming to the award-winning recreational hub including an amphitheatre, boot camp, big-screen outdoor theatre and cruise ship passenger terminal.

“Keep an eye on our social media page as the team will be sharing exciting news and updates on the precinct as we lead up to the opening,” Mr Walker said.

For more information about East Shores and Gladstone Ports Corporation, visit