Queensland Road Trip, May 2022
Let’s go on a road trip! Come with us to Townsville and west on the Savannah Way to Karumba on an adventure in far north Queensland.
Like Croydon and many other Queensland towns, Charters Towers was founded after the discovery of gold in 1872. And just like Croydon, many of the buildings were constructed to service the booming young town still exist. But these are different. Most of them are grand, colonial style buildings still in use today.
Almost every building in the centre of town is heritage listed and at night they’re beautifully lit.
Old signs retained on the buildings tell the story of their original purpose, some not that different from today.
The tiny town of Ravenswood, an hour east of Charters Towers, also flourished when gold was discovered. Even though the population dwindled from a peak of 5,000 in 1912 to fewer than 130, many of the gold rush era buildings still stand and the whole town is now heritage listed.
In Ravenswood though, most structures were utilitarian: family dwellings, government offices and community buildings.
Only two of the 50 pubs which once quenched the thirst of the people of Ravenswood remain. And while most of the town’s buildings are quite plain, the elaborate façades of these hotels are an indication of the prosperity brought by gold.