A small agricultural township on the edge of the Darling Downs and
the Maranoa region. Beause it is located on the Great Artesian Basin,
it does not suffer the dry heat or exhibit the arid landscape typical
of the region.
Location: 566 km west of Brisbane on the Maranoa River; 335 m above sea level.
Places of Interest: Maranoa, Warrego and Belyando Rivers; Neil Turner
Weir; Mitchell Museum; Kenniff Courthouse (where the infamous
bushrangers Patrick and James Kenniff were committed to stand trial for
the murder of a policeman and station manager in 1902).
Well known for mud and hot springs nearby; the town’s other
attractions is a black granite obelisk that was erected to the memory
of those who fought in World War II. It is the only Queensland war
memorial that carries its own direction signs.
Origin of name: The town is named after Sir Thomas Mitchell explorer
and Surveyor General of New South Wales, who explored the area in 1846.
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Before the arrival of Europeans, the Maranoa region was occupied by
the Mandandanji Aboriginal people. In 1854, Edmund Morey established
the property of Mitchell Downs. When the original homestead was largely
destroyed by a flood in 1864, Thomas Close acquired the building's
ruins established the Maranoa Hotel. A post office operated on Mitchell
downs from 1865 and in 1878 the community was officially named
Mitchell. In 1902, after a short stand-off, bushrangers Patrick and
James Kenniff were captured South of Mitchell at a location now known
as arrest creek.