Charters Towers Australia


Charters Towers Australia is a historical mining town.


Charters Towers is an interesting historical and modern mining town only 130km inland from Townsville in north Queensland. The scenery really changes as you leave behind the coast and arrive in this little hot country town with some fascinating history, great buildings, museums and old mining batteries.

charters towers australia
Gill Street. by robstephaustralia via Flickr.com

Early Days
But Charters, as the locals call it, used to be nothing like a little country town. In the 1800s, before Townsville was ever established, it was the second biggest city in Queensland (after Brisbane), with a nickname “The World”. It all started as an Aboriginal boy by the name of Jupiter Mossman was roaming the bush looking for his escaped horses, when he in a creek bed came across a nugget of gold. He took it back to his boss who laid a claim on the land, and the rush was on. Charters grew into a city of 30,000 (that was BIG in the 1800s), 100 mines, 29 crushing mills, and mate, 92 pubs!!!

charters towers mossman street
Mossman Street. by robstephaustralia via Flickr.com

Mining Since Charters Towers Settlers
Sixteen of the pubs still remain today, which is heaps for the population of only 10,000 people. Most of the locals are involved in mining industry, as the area around Charters still contains ore minerals. As the techniques improve, the processing becomes cheaper and it is worth to process rock that was left untouched in the old days. Many mining and prospecting companies are in town today and everything in Charters seems to evolve around mining.

charters towers stock exchange
Stock Exchange Arcade. by robstephaustralia via Flickr.com

Heritage Buildings
There has always been a lot of money in mining and Charters really shines its wealthy past. No other town in the area has such stunning old buildings like the World Theatre, City Hall, Stock Exchange Arcade and the old Post Office. Even the police station in town is in a heritage building. The Stock Exchange Arcade, built in 1887, was the first international stock exchange in Australia. In the end of the arcade is an old gold smelting room – the Assay Room and Mining Museum.

charters towers city hall
City Hall by Phillie Casablanca via Flickr.com

Central Town
Most of the great buildings are on Mossman Street – the north-southerly main street in the town. The other main street, Gill Street, goes in east-westerly direction and is lined by shops and a few eateries. The beautiful Post Office is on Gill Street, and behind it on Deane Street is the old Miners Cottage Museum. On the Mossman Street is Zara Clark Museum, where you can see some old mining equipment and other memorabilia.

charters towers heritage buildings
Heritage building by robstephaustralia via Flickr.com

Venus Battery
But if you really want to see how mining and processing were done in the old days, go to the Venus Battery. There is a great tour there, where you hear some interesting stories, and the building itself, with all the crushing machines and the old mining gear is well worth a visit.

charters towers venus battery
Venus Battery. by Arthurvd via Flickr.com

Lookout and Movies
The Venus Battery is in the eastern outskirts of the town, while south is the Lookout – a great place for views over the town, and there is a nice stroll where at dusk and dawn you can see rock wallabies. There is a historical movie every night at the lookout point, and also a lot of signs where you can read about the history of the town, there are some great stories there. If you are into other movies, you can also go and see a movie in the World Theatre; and there is an outdoor cinema, Tors Drive-In in the north-eastern end of the town, on the way towards Townsville.

charters towers lookout
Views from the lookout. by Tatters:) via Flickr.com

Hotels and Motels
There are a few good places to eat in Charters Towers, like Naturally Good on Gill Street and Lawson’s Bar and Restaurant and Golden Mine Chinese Restaurant on the Mossman Street. Some locals like to go to Park Motel, not your average motel, but an old hotel in a heritage building and the food here is great.

charters towers stock arcade
Stock Arcade Cafe by Arthurvd via Flickr.com

There are also many pubs along Mossman and Gill Streets, and some motels along Hackett Terrace.


Other places to stay are Best Western Country Road Motel, the Park Restaurant & Motel, Dalrymple Tourist Van Park Hotel and Royal Private Hotel.

charters towers caravan park
Caravan park cabins. by Bramus! via Flickr.com

Parks, Goldfield Ashes and Rodeo
The town’s parks are Lissner Park in the northern end of Mossman Street, and Centenary Park on the crossroad of Hackett Tce (where you have the main road to Townsville) and Bridge St/Dalrymple Rd that goes towards Gulf Savannah Region.

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In the Centenary Park is also the statue of Jupiter Mosman finding the gold nugget that started Charters Towers.

charters towers park
Centenary Park. by Arthurvd via Flickr.com

West along the Hackett Tce you come to Showgrounds, where different events are hold many times a year.

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Over the Easter weekend there is a major Rodeo, during the Australia Day weekend is the Charters Towers Goldfield Ashes, and during the May Day weekend there is Australia’s biggest annual country music festival.

charters towers cemetery
Cemetery. by Boobook48 via Flickr.com

Here's a Charters Towers map where I have tagged the places that I mentioned on this web page. You can click on the tags to see what places they are, and double-click anywhere on the map to zoom it in and see the places closer. Drag the map to move around, and if you want to see the satellite image with Google Earth, click on "Sat" in the top right hand corner.

 
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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Ancestors from Charters Towers 
I was born in Brisbane, though I am currently living in the UK. Whilst tracing my family tree I discovered that my maternal grandfather's birth place was …

charters towers 
i have lived in charters just about all my life, i have been here for about 12 years i am only 12 years old. when i was 8 years old, i went on holiday …

Last place in the world to go to.  
I have visited Australia, and went through the town of Charter Towers. Although the town looked nice, I found the people to be ignorant and uneducated …

great food Not rated yet
While staying at the Dalrymple Tourist Park on a Sunday, we were told by the park managers of a good meal at the local RSA for a very reasonable price. …

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