Townsville, the largest city in North Queensland is the embarkation point for a trip to the west, to explore the WWI service of Queenslanders. Start on The Strand at the Townsville Soldier's Memorial and travel west to the memorials in Charters Towers, Richmond and Mount Isa.
Charters Towers, originally the third largest gold mining town in Australia is a leisurely two hour drive south west of Townsville. There is much to see and do in this heritage town, including a visit to the Boer War Memorial in Lissner Park and the Cenotaph in Gill Street.... more
Continue west through the Queensland outback towns of Hughenden, Richmond and Julia Creek visiting an interesting range of memorial types or drop into one of the museums devoted to dinosaurs such as the Flinders Discovery Centre in Hughenden, Kronosaurus Korner in Richmond and on to Mount Isa.
The Mount Isa skyline is dominated by the mines, producing silver lead and zinc. However, this major inland regional centre has so much to see and do. Start your exploration of the memorials in George McCoy Park on the western bank of the river and move on to the Outback at Isa, incorporating the award winning Riversleigh Fossil Centre, Sir James Foots Building, and the Visitor Information Centre.... less
|Duration||5 Days||Itinerary Type||Land
|Distance||909 Kilometres||Itinerary Route||One Way
|Mode of Travel||Car||Level of Difficulty||Unrated|
The ANZAC Memorial Park on the Strand has a number of memorials grouped together including the WWI memorial, Queensland Centenary Fountain, Battle of the Coral Sea Memorial and an ornamental fountain dedicated to an early mayor, W J Castling. The Banyan trees in the park date to the 1880s.
Wander along, Flinders Street and admire the 27 heritage listed properties here, such as the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, located in the 1880 Union Bank Building.
Drive up Castle Hill to orientate yourself with the region. A day trip to Magnetic Island is another option from Townsville.
The Flinders Highway to Charters Towers crosses the Burdekin River at Macrossan. Nearby is the old Burdekin River Railway Bridge, now disused. It was the largest of its type in Australia when completed in 1899.
As you reach the outskirts of Charters Towers, evidence of gold mining, initiated in December 1871, is all around. By the turn of the century it had become Queensland's second largest city, and had one of the first regional Stock Exchanges built in 1888. The 'Ghosts of Gold Heritage Trail', a great introduction to the town and its history, necessitates an overnight stay.
Start the day in Charters Towers by visiting Lissner Park and its memorial kiosk, dedicated to the veterans of the Boer War in Africa. Queensland sent its first military contingent to this conflict in 1899, prior to Federation and the formation of the Australian Army.
The town's cenotaph is located within the median strip of Gill Street opposite the hospital and not far from the Historic Ambulance Centre and Folk Museum.
Drive west on the Flinders Highway to Hughenden. Situated on the Flinders River, it became the gateway to the great grazing runs of the north from the late 1860s, being on the crossroads of stock routes. Hughenden developed as the business centre for graziers.
Hughenden men answered the call of the recruitment officers and a rotunda was erected in their memory in 1932 in Gray Street. ANZAC ceremonies were held here until 1956 when the memorial pool opened.
More recently the region has become a haven for palaeontologists and the Flinders Discovery Centre has a vast collection of dinosaur fossils. Hughenden has various accommodation types and the option of taking a trip 60km north to Porcupine Gorge, described as 'Australia's little grand canyon', with overnight camping available.
Richmond, about 115 kilometres west of Hughenden, also enjoys the bounty of the Flinders River.
On the outskirts of town is Lake Tritton where visitors can explore bush tucker gardens, swim, fish or relax with a picnic lunch. Just 100 metres up the road is Jack Brown Lions Park where there are a number of memorials including the Richmond War Memorial. It is a unique design symbolising three rifles marking the graves of ANZAC soldiers who lost their lives at the battle for the Somme in WWI. The park also has two trophy guns.
Within the town of Richmond you can take the heritage walk and visit the Cambridge Downs Heritage Display Centre, or visit Kronosaurus Korner.
Julia Creek, 150 kilometres west of Richmond, officially became a town in 1908 after the opening of the railway between Richmond and Cloncurry. Pastoralist selectors arrived in 1912 and the opening of a wool scour in 1924 secured the town's future.
The most recent attraction in Julia Creek is the award winning Interpretation Centre 'At the Creek'. You can see the feeding of the rare and endangered Julia Creek Dunnart (Sminthopsis Douglasi), which lives in the Mitchell Grass of North West Queensland. A new feature of the centre is 'Beneath the Creek', which explores the significant geological features that have shaped the region's past.
Around the town, you can participate in a self-guided heritage walk and visit the historic photo display in the Opera House, located behind the Civic Centre.
On the western edge of town near the airport, are the remains of a RAAF 1942 Directional Finding Installation, used during WWII to assist with pilot navigation. Because Julia Creek was in its infancy during the Great War, it has no WWI memorial. A WWII memorial is on the intersection of Burke and Julia Streets. You may choose to stay overnight in a motel or caravan park.
Travel west through the grassy plains to Cloncurry, founded on the on the 1867 discovery of copper. Cloncurry has been very influential in shaping Australia's history as the birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the destination of the first Qantas flight. It is situated at the junction of the Overlanders Way from Townsville to Mt Isa and the Matilda Highway which heads south to Cunnamulla. Visit the Qantas Hangar, the John Flynn Place Museum and Gallery, and the Cloncurry Unearthed Museum.
The first Europeans to visit the area were explorers Burke, Wills, King and Gray on an ill-fated trip by camel to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Burke named the river after his Irish cousin, Lady Elizabeth Cloncurry of County Galway.
The influx of copper miners to the area led to a melting pot of cultures, reflected in the cemeteries in which European, Chinese and Afghanis are interred. Cloncurry had the largest Ghan population in Queensland in the late 19th century, with 200 Afghan cameleers and 2,000 camels providing transport in the district.
The Cloncurry War Memorial on the corner of Sheaffe and Scarr streets commemorates both WWI and WWII service personnel.
Mount Isa is another 120 kilometres west of Cloncurry. Mount Isa Mine is the world's largest producer of copper, silver, lead and zinc. It has grown from a small mining settlement of the 1920s to a major administrative, business and education centre, as well as the chief cattle trucking depot for the region. Flanked by the Selwyn Ranges, on the banks of the Leichhardt River, Mount Isa is a welcome oasis in the outback and a haven for those who love the outdoors.
Mount Isa has a range of war memorials, with its cenotaph located in George McCoy Park on the western bank of the river. 10 local men are mentioned on the plaque. WWI predates the town and these men were mostly stockmen working in the region.
Now the largest municipality in the world, the Isa, has an amazing array of things to see and do for the visitor, from the Hard Times Mine Tour, the Isa Experience Gallery, Outback Park, the Riversleigh Fossil Centre, The Kalkadoon Tribal Centre and Cultural Keeping Place, and the Art Gallery. Also worth a visit is the School of the Air, the Underground Hospital and Lake Moondarra.
|Start from:||10 The Strand, Townsville City QLD 4810, Australia|
|End at:||7 Kirrima Court, Toll QLD 4820, Australia|
|Duration:||1 hour 36 mins|
|Start from:||7 Kirrima Court, Toll QLD 4820, Australia|
|End at:||65 Brodie Street, Hughenden QLD 4821, Australia|
|Duration:||2 hours 53 mins|
|Start from:||65 Brodie Street, Hughenden QLD 4821, Australia|
|End at:||111 Flinders Highway, Richmond QLD 4822, Australia|
|Duration:||1 hour 15 mins|
|Start from:||111 Flinders Highway, Richmond QLD 4822, Australia|
|End at:||24 Julia Street, Julia Creek QLD 4823, Australia|
|Duration:||1 hour 34 mins|
|Start from:||24 Julia Street, Julia Creek QLD 4823, Australia|
|End at:||48 Scarr Street, Cloncurry QLD 4824, Australia|
|Duration:||1 hour 33 mins|
|Start from:||48 Scarr Street, Cloncurry QLD 4824, Australia|
|End at:||Diamantina Developmental Road, Miles End QLD 4825, Australia|
|Duration:||1 hour 25 mins|