Gladstone isn't just an industrial town in Queensland

WHERE in the world is Gladstone? Happy Rock can be found in almost 20 different locations across the globe, with the most recognised in Michigan, USA.

While its Queensland counterpart celebrates the Year of the Park, the Michigan town is referred to as the Year Round Playground for its sprawling park land and play areas.

Meet three teens who all live in Gladstone, Australia

A 2010 census on the town found there were 4973 people living in Gladstone, Michigan, mostly populated by families with children.

While families have flocked to Queensland's industrial Gladstone, so have workers.

According to the 2011 Census, more than 57,000 people lived in the Gladstone region.

But in Canada, small province Manibota's answer to Gladstone is different again.

Most visitors who have travelled down Highway 16 would recall the large Happy Rock landmark.

The concept of the Happy Rock goes back to the late 1970s when the local government held brainstorming sessions with community representatives to increase tourism traffic and dollars in their respective rural communities.

In 1984 the local government decided the town needed a mascot and held a competition among locals.

Jerry Wickstead, a student from William Morton Collegiate in Gladstone, submitted the winning entry that depicted a smiling black and white Happy Rock with a top hat, his right arm waving, and his left arm holding a serving towel.

Famous Gladstone names:

  • Gladstone Gander: Disney character, cousin of Donald Duck.
  • Mr Gladstone: Pseudonym of the character Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate.
  • Joey Gladstone: main character in Full House television series.
  • William Ewart Gladstone: Former British prime minister.
Welcome to Happy Rock in Manitoba, Canada.
Welcome to Happy Rock in Manitoba, Canada. Contributed