Charters Towers is one of the most beautiful inland cities in Queensland, with its unrivalled architecture and unique history. To many, Charters Towers is a surprising pleasure and a delight to visit.
Located 130 km south-west of Townsville, Charters Towers became a gold rush town, when gold was discovered in December 1871. During the 1880s and 1890s the town grew and prospered. It was a sign of the extent of local business activity, that one of Australia's few regional stock exchanges was established at Charters Towers in 1890.
Today, Charters Towers is known for its large number of elegant and historically significant buildings most of which are located on Mosman and Gill Streets. In this area and in the surrounding streets there are over 60 buildings of historical significance.
Be sure to take some time and explore our wonderful town. History tours are available, please contact us at reception for ideas.
Here are a few places you might like to visit:
Texas Longhorn Wagon Tours & Safaris
See the largest herd of purebred Texas Longhorns in Australia! Take a horse drawn wagon ride and a trip back in time to the old west, to the era of the legendary Texas Longhorns! These historical cattle are direct descendants of the millions of Longhorns that walked in the great trail herds from Texas in the late 1800's. Enjoy the camp oven cooked damper and billy tea served from a genuine cowboy chuck wagon while learning some of the history of this iconic and magnificent breed.
This centre dates to 1903 and was the first ambulance station outside Brisbane. It covered a huge working area of almost 70,000 sq kms (approximately the size of Tasmania). Visitors can view a wonderful collection of old vehicles, uniforms and an enormous number of logbooks recording the cases treated by ambulance officers during the past 100 years. Check with the Visitor Information Centre for opening times.
GHOSTS - The Venus Battery
Located on the outskirts of town, the Venus Gold Battery offers an insight into an amazing real-life gold rush in the late 19th century. Constructed in 1872, it was a public mill and became a State battery in 1919, finally ceasing commercial operation in 1973. The spectacular water screen is not to be missed, see the interactive characters telling the stories of how the battery worked and of their lives and events at Charters Towers
City Heart - Guided Walking Tours
Explore the fascinating heritage of Charters Towers. Take a guided walking tour along the town's main streets. Tours take approximately one hour and covers around 650 meters of walking.Tickets available at the visitor information centre. Places limited so book early.The elegance and grandeur of our city heart is truly awe-inspiring.
Built in 1888, the Stock Exchange Arcade housed the Charters Towers Stock Exchange, one of Australia's few regional stock exchanges. It was hooked into the world by telegraph with 3 calls a day, 5 days a week. Don't miss "the calling of the card", a ghostly reminder of golden days when just a touch of greed echoed in these stately walls.
Explore this cultural complex where the unique blend of heritage architecture and state of the art technology meet. Check for details of live shows, movie times, morning melodies and free local and touring exhibitions of art, sculpture and photography.
It was here where gold was first discovered in 1871, by an aboriginal boy named Jupiter. Interpretative displays at the Lookout explain the colourful past and spectacular scenery of Charters Towers. It is a wonderful spot to enjoy an early morning walk (look out for the local wildlife) or a sundowner at sunset. Towers Hill comes to life at night with a film screened in the amphitheatre under the stars- and the ghosts of the past have a starring role.
Zara Clark Folk Museum
Ask for a demonstration of the flying fox (the Lampson Aerial Cash System) at this National Trust owned and run museum where you will hear special stories from the volunteers and see a large collection of memorabilia, photographs and equipment that reflects Charters Towers golden past.
This is the home of the Charters Towers and Dalrymple Archive Group who are an active group continually gathering and uncovering the golden past of our city. If you have stories to share or need a mystery solved, this is the place to visit. The Library is also home to the Excelsior Brass Band, who play at numerous civic events, and to the beginnings of the city's art collection.
This refurbished cottage offers a step back in time with mini museum and tea rooms. The cottage is refurbished and decorated to show how the house would have looked at the start of the 20th century.It is here that you can also pan for real gold, so why not give it a go.
Here you will find graves of those buried from 1872 to 1895, giving an insight into the hardships our pioneers endured. The newer Charters Towers cemetery, established in 1895, is the resting place for many interesting characters. A booklet is available on site.
Our liquid gold - water - is pumped from the weir on the mighty Burdekin River. From your picnic table, watch the pelicans fish for yabbies. If you'd prefer to fish yourself, turn off to the left before the picnic area to the Burdekin Water Park.