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 Crevice.

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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Monal Goldfield

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.

Brief history

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 farmers.

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