A pleasant but sleepy small town in the Newcastle Range on the
Etheridge River. The focal point of the Etheridge goldfield, Georgetown
is renowned for its semi-precious stones, including topaz, quartz,
spinel, garnet, cairngorm aquamarine and sapphires.
Location: 412 km south west of Cairns; 301 km east of Normanton; 560 km from Townsville; 299 m above sea level.
Georgetown came to life during the Etheridge gold rush of 1870. It
is today a centre for prime Brahman and Droughtmaster beef grazing
country. Relics of the famous gold rush days can still be found
throughout the district.
The Cumberland Chimney
Built by Cornish masons, it is all that remains of a crushing plant,
or mill, that contracted to surrounding mines to crush their gold
bearing ore. The Cumberland Chimney sits next to a lagoon which was
designed and built to collect water by establishing a series of
earthwork channels and a dam.
The Etheridge goldfield has never been worked out. Modern day
prospectors armed with metal detectors still search around Mt Surprise,
O’Briens Creek, Forsayth and Agate Creek for specimens such as
coloured topaz, agates, sapphires, smoky quartz and other precious
stones as well as nuggets of gold. A permit is required for any form of
Houses the Ted Elliott mineral collection. The work of one man, this
collection contains over 4500 mineral specimens in a myriad of
fascinating colours and shapes from the region and throughout the world.
Tallaroo Hot Springs
(60 km east) has been closed since 2006/7 due to the present
owners’ work load and preference for the operation of the
Tallaroo cattle station.
Located within the rugged sandstone formations that dominate the
local area 50 km from Georgetown. This stunning gorge is extremely
narrow, closing to a mere two meters wide in places, with spectacular
30 metre cliffs on either side. The Cobbold Gorge area is home to a
diverse range of wildlife. Native fish abound in these waters, and of
course, the freshwater or johnstone river crocodiles. A large variety
of birds frequent the lower waterhole.
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Regional places of interest: Newcastle Range; Copperfield Gorge;
Etheridge River; Mount Surprise; gemfields of O’Briens Creek
(topaz) and Agate Creek (120 km south, jasper, quartz and agates);
Forsayth gem fields, Tallaroo Hot Springs, Undara Lava Tubes;
Cumberland Chimney (remnant of an old gold crushing plant built by
Cornish masons); Cobbold and Copperfield Gorges Aboriginal rock art
The town came to life during the Etheridge gold rush of 1870. By the
early 1900s, mining had fallen into decline but the town became the
administrative centre for the Etheridge Shire which, because of its
rich and fertile red basalt soils, became prime Brahman and
Droughtmaster beef grazing country.
Origin of name: named after the assistant gold commissioner at
Gilberton, Henry St George. The town’s main street is
appropriately named St George Street.