View over Ravenswood
View over Ravenswood, with the Catholic church in the foreground

Ravenswood is an old gold-mining town in the Townsville hinterland, up over the crest of our part of the Great Dividing Range. I have a visitor from Melbourne staying with me for a week, an old friend who has never before been further north than Noosa, and her presence was my excuse for revisiting Ravenswood for the first time in several years: I could show her what the country away from the coast is like, and the history is interesting too.

Ravenswood had a spectacular boom in the 1870s, followed by a rapid decline which left it almost a ghost town in the middle of the twentieth century – from 48 pubs down to two! – and a resurgence from 1995 when new technology made mining profitable again even with the extremely low yields of a couple of grams of gold per tonne of ore.

The new open-cut mine (see map; zoom out for a better idea of the town’s location, too) is just outside the town but almost out of sight behind a ridge. The photo above was taken from the slope of that ridge and shows perhaps one third of the township. Many of the old buildings have fallen down or been removed (many miners’ cottages were simply carried to Charters Towers or Townsville) and now a  few hundred inhabitants are spread over a large area.

It was an overcast day, as you can see (we even got some rain!), so the insects were not very active. I did spot a very nice dragonfly, though.

Dragonfly perching on grass stem.
Dragonfly in roadside grass, Ravenswood

Western Queensland

• This is one of a few articles which I published elsewhere long before Green Path was conceived or begun but is still relevant enough to deserve a place on the blog. The date-stamp will say 2005, the date of first publication, although the article was only added to GP in 2016. 

If Australia is little known to the rest of the world, North Queensland is little known to the rest of Australia – and Western Queensland is little known even to most North Queenslanders. Most of the NQ population lives in the provincial cities along the coast (Townsville, Cairns, Mackay, Bowen, Rockhampton) and most of the rest live in the roughly 50 km wide strip between the coast and the Great Dividing Range. These pictures introduce some of the country on the inland side of the mountains. Continue reading “Western Queensland”