A small town that is the gateway to Cania Gorge National Park and
one of the youngest towns in Capricornia (1924). The Monto Dairy
Festival is held every Queens Birthday long weekend.
Location: 520 km from Brisbane via the Burnett Highway; 249 m above sea-level.
Heritage features: Cania Gorge Aboriginal rock art; Monal Goldfields
relics; 'Beautiful Betsy' crash site, Kroombit Tops (WWII B24 Liberator
crashed February 1945); old Rawbelle townsite.
Cania Gorge National Park
Not far from the town of near Monto, this Park conserves a
spectacular landscape of prominent sandstone cliffs, caves, eucalypt
forest and dry rainforest on sheltered slopes. While side gullies and
creeks provide moist, cool conditions for ferns and mosses, above 70m
cliffs is a dry, rugged expanse of open woodland typical of central
Queensland's extensive sandstone belt.
Lake Cania is the ideal spot to view the unspoilt beauty of the awesome
sculpted sandstone rock formations, such as Castle Mountain and the
overhanging cliffs that form the escarpment of Cania Gorge. The lake
has been well stocked with a variety of fish. Features in the park
include The Big Foot walk; Doctor's Gully; Fern Tree Pool; Giant's
Chair Lookout; Three Moon Creek; Dripping Rock; The Overhang; Dragon
Cave; Bloodwood Cave; Russell Gully; Two Storey Cave; King Orchid
Origin of name: It is thought that the word 'Monto' is an Aboriginal
word meaning 'plains with ridges on them'. The word 'cania' (Cania
Gorge) is said to mean 'spear'.
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The towns in the area were developed around the goldfields of Cania
and Monal. Visit the historic Monal Goldfields and see the abandoned
machinery. View the stone memorial at the Monal cemetery that was
constructed using the wheels from the boiler that was pulled to the
site by a team of 52 horses, and is dedicated to the memory of the
settlers and teamsters who the area could not have been settled
and developed without.
Though the town only came into existence in 1924, sheep farmers had
been grazing flocks here since 1848 when brothers Charles and Thomas
Archer moved their sheep into the area. Around the 1870s the area was
infested with speargrass which resulted in sheep being replaced by
cattle. Today the local cattle industry is one of the most successful
in Australia. Gold was discovered in 1871 but yields were intermittent.
Mining continued the early 1900s. Fossickers who work the area still
find gold today. The introduction of close settlement farming after
World War I led to the town being born to service the influx of new