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Outback, History and Heritage

Outback, History and Heritage

Uncover a diverse history from the days of the gold rush, to unforgotten military encounters. Meet the local characters with stories to share!

Duration

2-5 Days

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Highlights
  • Historic buildings & shipwrecks
  • Wartime relics
  • Gold rush treasures
  • Wildlife wonders

Day 1

Day 1

Enjoy a cup tea and scone from the heritage-listed tea rooms atop Hervey’s Range, west of Townsville. The Hervey's Range Heritage Tea Rooms began life in 1865 as the Eureka Hotel, with every bit of historical charm intact now serving delicious homemade sweets, and the infamous Kopi Luwak coffee! Leave time to explore the panoramic views of Piper’s Lookout and lose yourself in the serenity.

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Experience life in the outback in the understated luxury of the exclusive Gilberton Outback Retreat. Located a 6-hour drive from Townsville (past the Hervey’s Range Tea Rooms), or a direct helicopter transfer, this is the ideal place to unplug, unwind and recharge.

Gilberton station is rich in culture, gold mining history and cattle production, offering an insight into the unique balance of working cattle station and nature refuge. Engage in station activities like feeding and mustering, explore the remnants of gold rush days, go gold fossicking, or simply immerse yourself in this natural wilderness.

Day 2

Day 2

Charters Towers might be a small country town but has a big heart and a whole bag of history to match. Apart from gold, Charters Towers is also well known for its part in World War II with over 15,000 US Servicemen being stationed in the town. While lasting relics of the war remain (bunkers, artillery stores etc.), bring Towers Hill to life with new augmented reality featuring a walk-in virtual bunker, explorable virtual artifacts with pop-up information, and a life-size flyover of B-25 Mitchell Bombers!

Insider tip: Walk the newly upgraded pathway on sunset to enjoy Towers Hill for the perfect picnic dinner, cute selfie opportunities with the local rock wallabies and even a movie - Ghosts after Dark.

On the trails: Take the road less travelled and conquer the Towers Hill Walk (2.5km return) to explore bunkers, spot wildlife and stunning views.

Once the largest goldfield in all of Australia, Charters Towers – then known as The World – was once bustling with gold miners looking to strike it rich and many of the towns’ remaining buildings reflect this opulence to this day. Visit the Stock Exchange Arcade on Mossman Street for a glimpse of this architectural grandeur or hire the Ghosts of Gold Audio Self Drive Tour CD which will lead you around the town highlighting important buildings and stories along the way.

On the outskirts of Charters Towers sits the oldest and largest surviving Battery in Queensland – the Venus Gold Battery*. Built in 1872, this mill provided gold extraction facilities to miners for over a century. Take a guided tour through what is a gold mining legacy of national and cultural significance. *Guided tours are available throughout the year and suitable for all ages. (Bookings essential).  

If the gold fever has you itching to scratch the surface for yourself, try your hand at gold panning with locals at the Miner’s Cottage, or dig deeper at Young’s Block for your own hands-on fossicking experience. *Fossicker’s Licence required www.qld.gov.au/recreation/activities/fossicking/

Day 3

Day 3

“Look at those horns” will be a saying often heard when on a Texas Longhorn Tour*. Unique to the region, guests can take a canvas covered wagon or open-air safari ride to view the one of the largest herds Texas Longhorns in Australia. Spend the day admiring a quintessential Australian cattle station, complete with a traditional smoko lunch and guided walk through the Love Shack, Cattle Yard and Saddle Shop.

*Tours daily between May and October and bookings are essential.

Day 4

Day 4

Located 89 kilometres east of Charters Towers, the heritage-listed township of Ravenswood was once a thriving gold mining town. A must-see historical town, Ravenswood’s gold heritage remains with an operational gold mine - Ravens Gold, and views of old open cut pits from a lookout just outside the main town area. Historical displays and buildings are dotted through the streets making an early afternoon walk quite the interesting history lesson. If nature is more of your thing than head out to White Blow Environmental Park and marvel at the huge quartz outcrop.

Discover more

Discover more

Take a step back to the 50's and show the kids the perfect way to enjoy a movie at the Stardust Drive In Theatre in Ayr. Pack the blankets and pillows and climb into the boot to enjoy the latest movies or even a good ole classic whilst enjoying the stunning big sky views.

For a bit of tropical history, you can’t go past Townsville’s Museum of Tropical Queensland*. It is here you will discover about life onboard an old sailing ship and get insights into the stories of the region’s rainforests and reefs. *The Museum of Tropical Queensland will be closed until early 2021. Check https://mtq.qm.qld.gov.au/ for updates.

Another slice of history can be found on Magnetic Island with the popular Forts walk which leads to fascinating historic WWII fortifications and infrastructure - not to mention the stunning 360 views making the 4km trek to the summit worth every step... And the SS Adelaide which has its own tale to tell – take a Sunsets and Shipwrecks tour with Aquascene Charters.

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