Towers Australia is a historical mining town.
Charters Towers is an interesting historical and modern mining town
only 130km inland from Townsville
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
Gill Street. by robstephaustralia via Flickr.com
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
the second biggest city in Queensland
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
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.
Stock Exchange Arcade. by robstephaustralia via Flickr.com
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.
City Hall by Phillie Casablanca via Flickr.com
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
Heritage building by robstephaustralia via Flickr.com
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
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.
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
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.
Stock Arcade Cafe by Arthurvd via Flickr.com
There are also many pubs along Mossman and Gill
Streets, and some motels along Hackett Terrace.
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
In the Centenary Park is also
the statue of Jupiter Mosman finding the gold nugget that started
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
biggest annual country music festival.
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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