Get Outback to Charters Towers
19 September 2023
Welcome to the wild west, the home of the latest Australian Survivor TV series, once the richest place in Australia and home to The World – Charters Towers.
This outback town, 130kms west of Townsville along the Overlander’s Way, might seem like your average quiet community but let us help you unearth some Outback secrets and stories of yesteryear. Once the largest goldfield in Australia, Charters Towers is now home to 10,000 residents, and you’ll be glad to know there is still a pub or watering hole on every corner from the gold rush days of the early 1900’s.
Surrounded by quintessentially Outback landscapes and home to some of most unique experiences and attractions, Charters Towers is a must do for the young and young-at-heart. Here are some of our favourite things to do in The Towers.
Are you a survivor…….. fan?
If you are then you may already know that the 2022 season of Australian Survivor was filmed in Charters Towers. Our very own Big Bend and Echo Hole was home to the contestants and crew for over two months during filming. Relive your favourite scenes with a trip to Big Bend and Echo Hole for a day trip or camping adventure and see if you can Outwit, Outlast and Outplay your family and friends in the Australian Outback.
Big horns and an even bigger personality
Often referred to as the ‘horniest place in town’ you definitely can’t go past a Wagon or Safari Tour at Texas Longhorns. Home to one of the largest herds of Longhorn cattle outside of Texas, and a other bovine beauties like water buffalo, this place is one of a kind. Owners Michael and Lynda Bethel, along with their pet kangaroo Penny, can show you what life on the land looks like and shower you with genuine country hospitality. Billy tea and damper are included and the yarn is a complimentary .
Note: Texas Longhorn Tours run from May to October each year
Wildlife, war and lots more
Any trip to Charters Towers must include a visit to the top of Towers Hill – enjoy vast Outback horizons and get up close and personal with some of our furry friends – the Allied Rock Wallaby. Whilst this might be enough for some, there is more to Towers Hill then meets the eye. Dotted amongst the hill are a number of artillery bunkers from World War II – and relive some of these military moments with interactive displays and an augmented reality experience.
Rich in History
Ever wondered how they got so much gold out of the dirt of Charters Towers? Well wonder no more – The Venus Gold Battery was one of the original crushing mills to open in the area in 1872, soon after gold was discovered by Jupiter Mossman. Today you can take a tour through the heritage-listed mill and learn about the process of turning quartz and rock into literal gold. Experience the stories of the original owners and many of workers who helped keep the mill running right up until the 1980’s.
Historic Australia, tour operators of the Venus Battery, also run Ghost Tours around Charters Towers during the winter months. If you are a fan of all things spooky then make sure you check at the Visitor Information Centre for more information on the tours and times.
On your way into Charters Towers take a rest at the Poppet Head carpark at Goldtower Central. Here you can check into "The World" and grab a photo or two of the latest edition to Charters Towers the Wall of History mural. Created by award winning artist Trisha Lambie, it is Australia's largest Mosaic Mural, over 80 metres long, and 7 metres high! This masterpiece is made up of approx. 5 million hand-crafted tiles and will transport you back in time!
Decided there is just too much to see in one day? Don’t worry, here are some of our favourite places to rest your weary head.
Once a government-owned asylum, Kernow Charters Towers is now a beautifully restored overnight and short stay accommodation option within 5 minutes of the CBD. A mix of studio rooms and apartments with views out over the perfectly manicured lawns and surrounding bushland.
If you’ve got a van or looking for somewhere the kids can run free then pull up stumps at Charters Towers Tourist Park. Situated just outside of town there is a range of powered and non-powered sites for tents and vans plus an array of cabins to suit the budget savvy traveler. Owners Raylea and Brad also offer a ‘Towers Hill Sunset Experience’ that includes transfers to Towers Hill, an antipasto platter to share and a few cold drinks to enjoy as the sun sets over the horizon.
Want to sleep under the stars instead? Head to Dalrymple National Park, 45kms north of Charters Towers and set up camp for the night (or longer). Situated on the banks of the Burdekin River reconnect with nature in the most Aussie way we know how – camp fire and cool drink in hand.
* Bookings are required for the National Park - Please visit the Queensland National Parks Booking Page for more information.
Visit our Charters Towers Destination Page for more information or pop into the Charters Towers Visitor Information Centre and ask a local.