THE OUTBACK - CHARTERS TOWERS
Charters Towers was once said to have anything anybody would want, so there was no need to ever leave the town. The town today is a perfect example of the 'real Australia', surrounded by sprawling cattle stations. It is surrounded by the huge Dalrymple Shire, that has an approximate population of 3,500 and covers an area of almost 70,000 square kilometres. That's the size of the Republic of Ireland!
NOTE: THE MAIN ROADS THROUGH THE OUTBACK ARE SEALED. ONCE YOU LEAVE THIS MAIN ROAD, CONDITIONS DEPRECIATE QUICKLY, AND YOU MAY FIND YOURSELF ON A GRAVEL TRACK. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT OUR SAFE DRIVING SECTION.
Inside the historic Charters Towers Stock Exchange building. Gold was discovered by chance in nearby Towers Hill on Christmas Eve 1871 by an Aboriginal boy named Jupiter, while he was searching for his runaway horse. Jupiter couldn't have known that his discovery would be followed by an influx of over 30,000 hopeful souls to what was soon to become one of the richest regions in the country, and Charters Towers was, for a while, the second largest city in Queensland outside Brisbane. The enormous gold reserves (between 1872 and 1916 total gold production was nearly 200 tonnes) prompted the building of Australia's first regional stock exchange in 1890 to raise capital for the area's deep reef mines.

However, the town started to decline in 1912, when the production of gold dropped from a high of around 9 tonnes in 1899 to a mere 2.7 tonnes. This decline was accompanied by a drop in population, from almost 30,000 in 1899 to 16,000 in 1915 and no more than about 10,000 nowadays.

Charters Towers is now renowned for its historic character and appeal, its sprawling cattle stations, astonishing sunsets, a friendly atmosphere and for the collection of beautifully preserved 19th and early 20th century buildings that are now restored and used for everyday business. The magnificent heritage pubs, shops, museums and houses provide a treasure trove for visitors to experience and learn of life in these early pioneering days of outback Queensland.

With the modern methods of gold extraction, the Towers is now experiencing a second gold boom, bringing renewed prosperity and wealth to the city. The area's gold reserves are estimated at 283 tonnes.

In recent times Charters Towers achieved a brush with fame when it became the subject of one of the songs on JOHN WILLIAMSON'S hugely successful 'Warragul' album. The Cattleman's Rest Motel and the local Caltex dealer come in for special praise in the song, which is evocative of the town and the area.

ATTRACTIONS AND THINGS TO DO - CHARTERS TOWERS


HISTORICAL SITES
GHOSTS OF GOLD HERITAGE TRAIL
Don't miss the Charters Towers 'Ghosts of Gold Heritage Trail' if it's quirky tales and ghostly characters you are after. The trail explores the landscapes and colourful tales of the four G's: from the discovery of gold at the foot of Towers Hill, the grandeur of the historic One Square Mile, the greed in the hearts of those trying to win it big at the Stock Exchange Arcade and, if you listen carefully, you'll hear ghosts hard at work down at the Venus Battery.

ZARA CLARK MUSEUM
Mosman Street, Charters Towers, Phone (07) 4787 4161. Open daily, from 10:00am to 2:00pm.
The Zara Clark Museum, which was a general merchant's shop built in 1888, is one of the most interesting buildings. It houses a large collection of photographs, early transport vehicles, equipment and other memorabilia that reflects Charters Towers golden past. Don't forget to ask for a demonstration of the FLYING FOX.

THE STOCL EXCHANGE ARCADE
Built in 1888 as a shopping arcade, 'The Stock Exchange Arcade' housed the Charters Towers Stock Exchange (1890-1916), and is one of the most elegant buildings in Mosman Street. Connected to the outside world via telegraph, the Stock Exchange was established to raise capital for the area's deep reef mines and at one time had a major impact on the national and international financial world. This building operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week with three calls per day. But in 1916, as gold returns and the population declined, it was closed. The building was restored in 1972, and the town's history is displayed on factual storyboards placed throughout the arcade. The Assay Room is open for viewing historic images, mining equipment and the very gold mining shares they traded for. The 'Calling of the Card' audio presentation operates at the former Stock Exchange four times daily and there are guided tours available.

PIONEER CEMETERY
The Pioneer Cemetery contains the graves of those buried from 1872 - 1895 and gives insight into the hardships our pioneers faced during the goldfield days.

AMBULANCE CENTRE
The centre opens on Wednesdays and Sundays; 9:00am to 12:00 noon.
Entry is free, although a gold coin donation is required. Phone (07) 4787 1478.

The historic Ambulance Centre, built in 1903, was the first ambulance station outside of Brisbane. It serviced an area of nearly 70,000 sq kilometres, approximately the size of Tasmania. The centre is home to an amazing collection of uniforms, old vehicles (some of the ambulances were modified so they could run on railway tracks when the wet season came), equipment used and a number of log books that keep record of all the cases treated during the past 100 years.

VENUS GOLD BATTERY
No visit to Charters Towers would be complete without a guided tour through the old Venus Gold Battery, established in 1872, and the largest battery relic in Australia. Open from 9:30 am to 3:00pm with tours on the hour, it is the only remaining battery out of the 29 batteries that once operated in Charters Towers.

OTHER HISTORICAL BUILDINGS
Other interesting buildings are the City Hall, the Post Office, the old Court House (1886), which took ten months to build at a cost of £4565, Saint Columba's Bell Tower (1887), which has been designed to look like a mine poppet head, and the former Australian Bank of Commerce which now houses the World Theatre.

LISSNER PARK
Lissner Park, covering seven hectares, is the ideal place for picnics both during the day time and in the evening. It is very well lit during the evening and it is also provided with picnic tables and gas barbecues, and there are always cool and shady areas. The elegant Boer War Memorial Rotunda, built in 1910 to commemorate the town's war dead, can be found in Lissner Park, along with other buildings and memorials such as the Rotary Centenary Fountain, the Federation Fountain WWI guns, duck pond and memorials to grazier and pioneer William Hann and Jupiter Mossman.

OTHER ATTRACTIONS
SCENIC LOOKOUTS
For those wanting to appreciate a panoramic view of the city, there are a couple of good lookouts which offer excellent views over the town and the surrounding area. The best is undoubtedly Towers Hill Lookout, which rises about 125 metres above the plain, with breathtaking views, a refreshing breeze and amazing sunsets. Mining shafts and WWII bunkers litter the site and in the evening, you might just meet some local ghosts as they appear in the Ghosts After Dark film, screening in the open-air amphitheatre. Another local lookout is the Rotary Lookout, signposted off Mosman Street.

MARKETS
The QCWA Markets are held every first and third Sunday of the month. From 8:00am to 12:00pm, the CWA Hall, in Mossman Street, becomes alive with lots of different stalls selling their produce.

The Charters Towers Show Markets happen every second Sunday of the month at the Charters Towers Showgrounds, in Mary Street. They are open from 8:00am to 12:00noon, but not in July or August due to the show.

Also on the 2nd Sunday is a market at the Railway Hotel, starting at 8:00am.

For a comprehensive list of all the markets around Tropical North Queensland, please visit our MARKETS page.


EVENTS
10 DAYS IN THE TOWERS/THE COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL
The festival, which started as a small, local event, has grown to be now Australia's largest country music talent quest. The Festival attracts around 700 entries in a wide number of different categories, competing for more than $30,000 in prize money.

TOWERS CUP ANNUAL RACE MEETING
The Charters Towers Racecourse is the venue where, three times a year, the Towers Jockey Club races. The big day is the Towers Cup Annuals, when five races take place, including the locally sponsored Northern Miner Cup and the big race of the day - the Towers Cup.

CHARTERS TOWERS GOLDFIELD ASHES
It is the largest amateur cricket carnival in the Southern Hemisphere and the largest of its type in the world. In 1949, The Charter Towers Cricket Association invited six other towns to play on the Foundation Day Long weekend and it was the beginning of the Gold Ashes. The six cricket teams quickly became 180 teams playing in six different grades for players of all levels of ability. Games are played in 58 different playing fields, some of them privately owned.

THE AGRICULTURAL SHOW
This event, which is now over a century old, showcases everything related to agriculture, animals, cooking and crafts, horticulture and mining in the district. The Charters Towers Show promises visitors plenty of activities and the opportunity for those who come from the city to experience the Charters Towers way of life.

See our TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND EVENTS CALENDAR for details of these and other regular events in the region.

ACCOMMODATION - CHARTERS TOWERS

Charters Towers holiday accommodation consists mainly of traditional pub style lodging, budget motel accommodation, and caravan parks. But there is also a selection of homestyle bed and breakfast and farmstay accommodation. Scroll down or use the buttons in the right hand column to choose your style of Charters Towers accommodation.


HOTELS

COMMERCIAL HOTEL
151 Mosman Street, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 1391 / Fax (07) 4787 8856

COURT HOUSE HOTEL
120 Gill Street, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 1187 / Fax (07) 4787 1875

CROWN HOTEL
Corner Mosman and Jackson Street, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 2471 / Fax (07) 4787 2144

ENTERPRISE HOTEL
Corner Mosman Street and Enterprise Road, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 2404 / Fax (07) 4787 7462

RIX HOTEL/MOTEL
69 Mosman Street, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 1605

SOVEREIGN TAVERN
180 Gill Street, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 3077

SAINT PATRICK'S HOTEL
Mills Street, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 2447

ROYAL PRIVATE HOTEL
100 Mosman Street, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 8688

WAVERLEY HOTEL
Corner Mosman and Jane Streets, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 2591


MOTELS

CATTLEMAN'S REST MOTOR INN
Crn Bridge and Plant Streets, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 3555 / Fax (07) 4787 4039
'Cattleman's' offers have 38 Ground Floor Air-conditioned Rooms comprising of Single Suites, Double / Twin Suites, 2 Bedroom Family Rooms, Executive Suites all with telephones, air conditioning and private facilities.

AFFORDABLE GOLD CITY MOTEL
Dalrymple Road, Lynd Highway, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 2187 / Fax (07) 4787 7812
Gold City Motel is a 12 Unit Complex 1.5 klm's from the city centre situated in quiet pleasant surroundings with large gardens, lawns, Children's play ground, swimming pool, dining areas and barbecue for guests use.

CHARTERS TOWERS HERITAGE LODGE MOTEL
79-97 Flinders Highway, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 4088 / Fax (07) 4787 4358
Their 25 rooms including self contained apartments are clean and fresh .. offering you all you need for your stay in Charters Towers.

CHARTERS TOWERS MOTEL
95 Hackett Terrace, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 1366 / Fax (07) 4787 1559

COUNTRY ROAD MOTEL
Flinders Highway, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 2422

HERITAGE LODGE
Dr George Ellis Drive, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 4088

HILLVIEW MOTEL
Flinders Highway, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 1973

PARK MOTEL
1 Mosman Street, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 1022 / Fax (07) 4787 4268
The Park Motel is a lovely blend of old world charm with a modern twist. The 27 modern air conditioned accommodation units contain modern amenities and austar facilities, with a salt water swimming pool and a relaxing barbecue area, completing the picture.

COUNTRY ROAD MOTEL
Flinders Highway (6 Mt Leyshon Road), Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 2422 / Fax (07) 4787 7639
Located in Charters Towers, North Queensland, Best Western Country Road Motel provides comfortable air-conditioned units, four are self-contained, all units are on ground level, with full undercover parking in front.

WAVERLEY MOTEL
19 Mosman Street, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 2591


BED AND BREAKFAST AND FARMSTAYS

BLUFF DOWNS FARMSTAY
Lynd Junction, 90 minutes north of Charters Towers
Phone / Fax (07) 4787 4084
Experience the "down to earth" reality of a real-life working cattle station that welcomes visitors, rather than a tourist destination that runs cattle.


CARAVAN PARKS AND CAMPGROUNDS

CHARTERS TOWERS TOP CARAVAN PARK
37 Mt Leyshon Road, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 7944 Fax (07) 4787 7906

DALRYMPLE TOURIST VAN PARK
Gregory Development Road, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 1121

BIVOUAC JUNCTION HOLIDAY CAMP
Flinders Highway, Macrossan
Phone (07) 4787 3804

AUSSIE OUTBACK OASIS
76 Dr George Ellis Drive, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 8722



DINING - CHARTERS TOWERS

ONE FIFTY ONE
1 Mosman Street, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 1022 / Fax (07) 4787 4268
Offering an elegant fine dining experience in our licensed restaurant and casual dining in our licensed bar and bistro area.

ENTERPRISE HOTEL STEAKHOUSE
Gill Street, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 2404

BP CHARTERS TOWERS
11 Hackett Terrace, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 2100

JEN'S COUNTRY BREAK
81 Gill Street, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 2314

HENRY'S BAR AND RESTAURANT
82-90 Mosman Street, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 4333

PEPPER'S CAFE AND CATERING
23 Gill Street, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 4211

GOLD CITY 24 HOUR ROADHOUSE
Flinders Highway, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 1429

STOCK EXCHANGE CAFÉ
76 Mosman Street, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 7954

GOLD CITY CHINESE RESTAURANT
118 Gill Street, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 2414

GOLD MINE CHINESE RESTAURANT
80 Mosman Street, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 7609

GETTING TO CHARTERS TOWERS

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Cairns Unlimited will find you the best deal on a rental car so you can discover the Northern Outback at your own pace.Charters Towers is just one and a half hours drive from Townsville on the coast. It is the gateway to the northern outback, stretching another 770 kilometres west to Mount Isa. Not everybody will be up for the challenge - and this part of the country does provide its share of challenges - but we believe that the grandeur and vastness of the Northern Outback can be best experienced form behind the wheel of your own vehicle. For the freedom and flexibility to explore at your own pace, please visit our CAR HIRE page. Simply fill out our obligation free enquiry form, and we will get back to you - usually the next working day - with the best deal on a rental car, four wheel drive or campervan to suit your needs.

Access routes to Charters Towers via the Overlander's Way to the east and west, Greenvale to the north and Clermont to the south are sealed bitumen roads, but there are a number of unsealed roads in the region. Before travelling, be sure to check CURRENT ROAD CONDITIONS. Care should be taken when travelling on roads within this remote region of the Northern Outback, as numerous ROAD TRAINS ply the highways.





Charters Towers doesn't have major commercial airline connections. The nearest major airport is at Townsville, 135 kilometres away.

Qantas flies to Townsville from the eastern capital cities, with a number of flights daily from Brisbane, Cairns, Sydney and Melbourne. Please check Qantas website for up to date schedules. Jetstar flies a daily service from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to Townsville. Virgin Blue also fly daily to Townsville from Brisbane and Sydney and viceversa.

Check availability, compare prices and FIND THE BEST DEAL by entering your requested flight details in our simple Flight Finder above.

Skytrans Airlines flies between Cairns and Townsville.Skytrans Airlines flies between Cairns and Townsville several times a day.
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Greyhound Buses connect Charters Towers with Tennant Creek and Townsville.The Northern Outback is connected to the east coast (and to Alice Springs and Darwin) by a daily Greyhound bus service that runs from Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory through to Townsville. The westbound service departs from Townsville at 7:00am and stops at the Woolworths Service Station in Charters Towers at 8:40am. The eastbound leaves Mount Isa at 6:50am, passes through Charters Towers at 5:05pm, and gets you into Townsville at 6:49pm.

The Inlander connects Townsville with Tennant Creek, stopping at Charters Towers on its way.Queensland Rail services Charters Towers. The Sunlander stops at Charters Towers on its route from Brisbane to Cairns every Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The journey from Brisbane to Charters Towers takes around 24 hours and if you are in for a real treat you can always choose the Queenslander Class. The Inlander also connects Townsville with Tennant Creek, stopping at Charters Towers on its way.

Charters Towers has a 24 hour local taxi service, with a fleet of seven vehicles, including a wheelchair-friendly 'maxi taxi'. Phone tollfree 131 008.
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One of most popular attractions in Cairns is the Great Barrier Reef.

Burketown is a tiny gulf outback town that proudly proclaims itself to be 'Australia's Barramundi Capital'. The town is very laid back with a very diverse cultural mix. You're sure to meet some real characters... Click to visit our Burketown page. Karumba is quite literally the end of the road; a small town of about 700 people, where the wide Normanton River meets the Gulf of Carpenteria. It's a friendly place, relaxed but still a little bit wild. Click to visit our Karumba page. Located close to the coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Normanton is the major commercial centre of Carpentaria Shire, and is the northern terminal for Australia's most remote railway, the Gulflander. Click to visit our Normanton page. When gold was discovered in Croydon in 1885, the town went through an overnight boom and became one of the biggest towns in Queensland. What once was a bustling centre is today a quiet town with a very interesting past worth exploring. Click to visit our Croydon page. Nowadays, Georgetown is a sleepy little town but still is well serviced and a major point for visitors taking in the spectacular scenery and history of Australia's northern outback. Click to visit our Georgetown page. Undara Volcanic National parks is one of the highlights of Tropical North Queensland, and is less than 100 kilometres from Mount Garnet. Click to visit our Undara page. Described as the Oasis of the Outback - a luminous vision on the horizon for travellers coming from all directions - Mount Isa lies among the ochre-red Selwyn Ranges, on the borders of the Leichhardt River. Click to visit our Mount Isa page. Cloncurry is known as the friendly heart of the great north west because it is a welcome crossroads with a sparkling community spirit. Click to visit our Cloncurry page. Home to the Julia Creek dunnart, Julia Creek is packed with social and sporting events all year round, including the Dirt and Dust Festival or the Dunnart Bush Festival, both a major feature of the town's lifestyle. Click to visit our Julia Creek page. The town of Richmond has been recognised as one of the most attractive outback towns in Queensland, awarded with the title of Australia's Tidiest Town 2001 in the 'Keep Australia Beautiful' awards. Click to visit our Richmond page. There are many attractions around Hughenden, with gemfields, mountainous volcanic basalt country, sweeping black soil plains rich in fossils. Oh, the town is surrounded by four National Parks. Click to visit our Hughenden page. Charters Towers is a scenic gold mining city with proud heritage and history, a perfect example of the real Australia, surorunded by sprawling cattle stations and intensely coloured sunsets. Click to visit our Charters Towers page. Cairns is a tourist Mecca, and one of the most popular travel destinations in Australia. Click to visit our Cairns page. Townsville is the largest city in Tropical North Queensland, a bustling cosmopolitan city, and the stepping off point to popular Magnetic Island. Click to visit our Townsville page. Map of the Northern Outback region of Tropical North Queensland. Click on a destination to visit that particular page. The historic Charters Towers Post Office building. Sunset over an old fashioned windmill in Queensland's northern outback.
Gold panning by an outback stream.


EMERGENCY SERVICES

In case of emergency only, dial 000. In all other cases, phone the local service :

Ambulance
Health Centre (07) 4787 0333
Police (07) 4787 1333
Fire&Rescue (07) 4787 8213