Charters Towers

We immediately felt ‘at home’ in Charters Towers as the beautiful sub-tropical plants, trees and birds reminded us so much of living in Broome on the opposite coast of Australia – very similar sights, sounds and smells.

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The town is well laid out, with wide streets and magnificent buildings preserved on Gill and Mosman Street; for example the regional Stock Exchange which operated during the gold boom in 1870-90, the original (huge) post office and the Gentlemen’s Club. Some lovely examples of the iconic ‘Queenslanders’ – those unique houses on stilts that Queensland is renown for…

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At the Towers Hill lookout we had a great view of the town and enjoyed the story boards about the gold rush. Jupiter, a young Aboriginal boy, was first to see the bright glimmer of gold in a stream when he was searching for horses spooked by a thunderstorm. The gold was initially processed with the pyrites method and later with cyanide. Not an easy way to make a living and so many tragic stories.

The long mining history is well recorded at the Zara Clark museum. One of the interesting items on show was an aerial photograph about 2 metres long of the town and surrounding area with the underground mine workings overlaid… Hundreds of kilometres of them! The deepest shaft is 2960 feet deep. There were some interesting WWII items on display including pieces of a Curtis P-40 with the details of the pilot and his successes…

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The regional beef industry gives the town two strings to its bow and helps the community to survive the ups and downs of both industries. This is definitely cattle (beef) country. We have seen many herds of them especially when we entered Queensland. Quite a few different types – the Brahman cross seem to be dominant in the far north as they are on the west coast. They are able to handle the tropics better than other breeds. The beef we have sampled has been beautiful and the steak Ian had in Irish Mollie’s pub was to die for…

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We enjoyed our stay in the Big 4 Outback Oasis; lovely shaded caravan sites, Country and Western music one night and pizzas cooking in their big wood-fired oven. An impressive spot, and a great town to visit. Next stop – the lava tubes at Undara!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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