Charters Towers and Ravenswood
Take a step back in time and explore the unique history and heritage of the gold rush towns of Charters Towers and Ravenswood.
Driving through the streets of Charters Towers is like viewing a living montage of Australian history and heritage. Gold was first discovered in Charters Towers in 1871 by an Aboriginal horse boy, Jupiter. Thousands flocked from across the globe in a mad rush to the town, once the second largest city in Queensland. The city was believed to have everything a civilised person could want and soon became known as ‘The World’.
The magnificent heritage buildings evident throughout the town are testament to the prosperity of the era. The heritage listed Stock Exchange Arcade, the World Theatre, City Hall and the Post Office Tower will have you reaching for your camera. Don’t forget to visit the iconic drive-in cinema for flicks under the stars, the Towers Hill lookout and the largest surviving battery relic in Australia, the Venus Gold Battery.
Today, Charters Towers is known as the rural hub for graziers and the mining industry and hosts the Southern Hemisphere’s largest cricket carnival, the Gold Field Ashes, each January over the Australia Day long weekend.
Step back in time and explore this unique heritage listed gold mining town. A short 40 km detour off the Flinders Highway, en-route to Charters Towers, you will find historic Ravenswood.
Formally a gold mining town, today the main street looks like a movie set with its beautiful old buildings, mullock heaps and chimney stacks. The Court House Museum, the restored School House, Thorp’s Building and Butler’s Cottage are just some of the treasures of this tiny town.
Take a self-guided walk to visit them all or climb to the top of the local lookout to view the amazing open-cut gold mine in full operation. Travel just 5 km out of town to admire the unusual geological formation that is White Blow Conservation Park, where a unique white quartz outcrop stands.
- Meet ‘JR’, the Guinness World Record holder for the bull with the longest horns at Texas Longhorns Wagon Tours & Safaris
- Stay the night in a ‘haunted’ hotel room at Ravenswood
- Take a short drive to White Blow Conservation Park and see the quartz outcrop dating back 300 million years
- Peek through the windows at Butler’s Cottage at Ravenswood and glimpse a little of life in the 1870s
- Meet the ghosts that haunt Charters Towers on the Ghosts of Gold Heritage Trail
- The Venus Gold Battery is a ‘must do’ along with exploring the magnificent heritage buildings
- Learn the art of gold panning and you could strike it rich at The Miner’s Cottage in Charters Towers
- Experience the stunning outback sunset from Towers Hill Lookout before settling in to discover some of the city’s past secrets through the ‘Ghosts After Dark’ movie presentation in the outdoor amphitheatre at the Lookout complex