The Towers Top 10!
3rd July 2020
Charters Towers, 130kms South West of Townsville, is not only the gateway to the outback but a small country town with a big heart and lots of history. Here is our Top 10 for exploring the Towers!
1. Camping - Outback Style
Charters Towers could quite possibly be one the best camping areas in the region with over 10 different camping grounds situated North, South, East and West of the town. From Fletchers Creek and Macrossan to the ever popular Bivouac Junction and Burdekin Falls Dam, you can choose your scenery and level of luxury. These spots aren't just loved by visitors but locals themselves so next time your out relaxing in nature have a chat with your campsite neighbour and get to know a Towers local.
2. Discover the Ghosts of Gold
If there is one fact about Charters Towers that you need to remember it's that it was once the largest goldfield in all of Australia! That's right, this little country town was once full of gold miners looking to strike it rich and many of the buildings and structures still remain to this very day. To learn more about this rich mining history and the ghosts of Charters Towers past start at the Visitor Information Centre and Stock Exchange Arcade on Mosman Street. From here you can hire the Ghosts of Gold Audio Self Drive Tour which will lead you around the town highlighting important buildings and stories along the way, including the Venus Gold Battery. Finish your day up on Towers Hill where it all began back in 1872 and enjoy the Ghosts after Dark film - we suggest you take a picnic dinner and really make a night of it.
3. Look at the size of those HORNS!
Yep, you will definitely be saying that a lot if you go on a Texas Longhorn Tour with Charters Towers locals Michael and Lynda Bethel. Situated just 10 km from town is Leahton Park, there is nowhere else in Australia that guests can take a canvas covered wagon ride whilst viewing the magnificent Texas Longhorn herd and learn some of the history of this iconic and colourful breed of cattle and the influence they had throughout the world. But that isn't all you get on one of these tours with a traditional smoko and guided walk through the Love Shack, Cattle Yard and Saddle Shop.
4. Cute Critters and a View
If you are looking for a wildlife interaction on the smaller side then head for Towers Hill. The native bushes and boulders that surround the hill are the perfect homes for the local rock wallabies and they like to explore at dusk and dawn. Start at the bottom of the hill and follow the track to the top to see how many you can spot. If you are lucky you might even manage a selfie with one or two - North Queensland's very own version of the Quokka.
5. Cold Bevvie and a Parmi the size of your head
Whilst Charters Towers doesn't have the 104 pubs it once had back in its heyday there is still plenty of great local watering holes to discover. Many of them are still the original buildings and have all the character to prove it. The best bit though is the cold beer on tap and meals the size of your head - many a competitions have been had over the time it takes to eat a chicken parmi from the Enterprise Hotel - most don't finish it!
6. Strike Gold
There might not be massive nuggets of gold laying around anymore but you can still take home your very own piece of Charters Towers Gold if you know where to go. The easiest way is to visit The Miner's Cottage, here you can learn how to pan for gold and keep what you find! A great experience for the big and little at heart. If you want to get a little more adventurous then why not try fossicking at Young's Block. Grab a fossicking permit online and head out to try your luck at finding your very own nugget of gold.
7. The Mighty Burdekin River
Whether you have a fondness for swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, boating or even bird watching, the mighty Burdekin River offers it all. Popular spots on the Burdekin include, the Macrossan Bridge, Dave Chapman Recreational Park, Burdekin Falls Dam or the Burdekin Weir Park. Grab the family, fishing rods and kayaks and have a great day at the Burdekin!
8. Heritage, History and Heart
Charters Towers might be a small country town but she has heart and a whole bag of history to match. Apart from Gold, Charters Towers is also well known for it's part in World War II with over 15,000 US Servicemen being stationed in the town. Bunkers used to store artillery and bombs are still scattered amongst the hillside of Towers Hill and have recently received a 21st Century upgrade with new Augmented Reality technology added.
Located 89 kilometres east of Charters Towers, the heritage-listed township of Ravenswood was once a thriving gold mining town but today is a little quieter. A must-see historical town, Ravenswood still has an operational gold mine to this day and you can even view the old open cut pit 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 take in the huge quartz outcrop.
10. Good Ol Country Charm
To round out our Top 10 we are finishing with our favourite part of Charters Towers - The Good Ol Country Charm. It's not often you can adventure out of the city and experience the wonder of the Outback and charm of country life so easily. There might only be one main street to explore but it's hard to find a street so full of warm smiles, nods of the hat and true country hospitality. In Charters Towers they like to take a step back in time which is evident with local businesses like the Tors Drive In Cinema* - a favourite for all! When was the last time you took the kids to the movies and fed them dinner all for under $50?
So get outback to Charters Towers and experience the wonder and charm of this beautiful little town - it's only 90 minutes away!
* At the time of publication the Tors Drive In Theatre was still temporarily closed. Please check if they are open before visiting.