An attractive country town situated in the Capricorn Highlands,
which services the surrounding rural area and operates as a gateway to
Carnarvon National Park.
Location: 66 km south of Emerald; 975 km north of Brisbane (via Rockhampton).
The area is noted for its commercial sapphire fields and Aboriginal rock art galleries.
Blackdown Tableland National Park
Rising abruptly above the surrounding dry plains, Blackdown
Tableland protects spectacular sandstone scenery with gorges and
waterfalls at the north-eastern edge of the central Queensland
sandstone belt. The tableland the traditional home of the Ghungalu
people who have visited this place for thousands of years and left
behind rock art, vivid reminders of their special culture.
Carnarvon National Park
(71 km south): Carnarvon Gorge is an oasis in the semi-arid heart of
Queensland. Here, towering white sandstone cliffs form a spectacular
steep-sided gorge with narrow, vibrantly coloured and lush side gorges.
Boulder-strewn Carnarvon Creek winds through the gorge. Remnant
rainforest flourishes in the sheltered side gorges while endemic
Livistona nitida cabbage tree palms, ancient cycads, ferns, flowering
shrubs and gums trees line the meandering main gorge. Grassy open
forest grows on the cliff-tops.
Other places of interest: Capricorn Highlands; Mt. Zamia Environmental
Park; Virgin Rock, Minerva Hills; Comet River; Pattern Comet Windmill
(1935); township of Rolleston; Old Rainworth Fort (1856); Old Rainworth
Station (includes Cairdbeign School 1896) and Cairdbeign Homestead
(1870s); Fly'n Horse Shoe Museum; Historical Association Museum.
View Larger Map
Ludwig Leichhardt was the first European through the area on his
1844-45 journey through central Queensland. His glowing reports of the
area around the Comet River prompted many graziers to move into the
area. Resistance to the encroachment of Europeans on their land was
particularly strong by the Aborigines of this region. One group of
Kairi warriors killed 19 people at Cullin-la-ringo in the largest
recorded massacre of whites in Australian history. It is likely that
the massacre was prompted by a combination of frustration at the loss
of their hunting grounds and as revenge against both the whites and the
native police who stole tribal women. The mass grave in which the
victims were buried still exists on Mount Helmut station.
Origin of name: recalls an early station which was thus named as it had an all-year fresh water spring.