Adventure in Charters Towers

A good adventure is hard to pass on, and for those of us who grew up hearing stories of cowboys and the thrills of finding gold while prospecting the land, Charters Towers is an adventure you do not want to miss out on.

It was a quiet Christmas Eve in 1871 when Jupiter Mosman and a small team of prospectors discovered gold at Charters Towers, Queensland, Australia. It rose to fame as one of the premier goldfields in Australia, and then just as quickly it has faded back into obscurity when mining operations became uneconomical.

Charters Towers, at one point was casually referred to as ‘The World’ as it had everything that a person might desire. Even today the ‘historic’ town is quite impressive. The buildings are focussed around the town centre and have been well preserved. Surrounding the town centre, the landscaped gardens displayed relics from its gold mining past – truly a glimpse into the glorious history of this once booming town.

Some of the must-see landmarks on a trip to Charters Towers would be:

1. The Stock Exchange Arcade was initially designed to be a shopping precinct, however with the discovery of gold also came the need for financing. The building was transformed to become an exchange, where finances could be organised for the expensive operations that would follow. The public would gather at 8 pm to buy and sell stock in an event remembered as ‘the calling of the card’. A foregone tradition from when digital communication was not as abundant as it is now.

2. For architecture enthusiasts, The World Theatre is a must see. Originally built in 1891, It was restored in 1996 and since has been acting as a functioning 660 seat theatre hosting a range of events from theatre and live concerts, to movie screenings. The building is a charming fusion of classical revivalist architecture with decorative masonry from the Victorian Italianate era.

3. The town is overflowing with street art and murals however the one that grabs the most attention, and holds significant cultural value is the mural by artist Mark Sutherland painted in 2010. The mural stands opposite the world theatre and is a flashback to the town in its prime.

4. What historic town would be complete without a museum? The Zara Clark Museum is as authentic as they come. It was once a functioning general merchants shop that was transformed by the National Trust to act as an archive for historic photographs and various knick knacks that offer us a glimpse into the life of ‘old’ Charters Towers.

5. Arguably one of the country’s most important sites is with relation to the gold rush and industrialisation is Venus Gold Battery. It is often described as the oldest remaining gold battery in Australia. While the word battery might draw up images of Teslas or solar panels these days, this gold battery was an installation that would hammer stone into powder and thereby freeing the gold within to be collected.

Start exploring this fascinating town with a deep history where you quench your thirst for adventure with bush walks to street art – this region is rich with opportunities to create memories that will last a lifetime. Make sure you have everything for when you venture into this territory. Check out the 2024 Townsville Expo at Reid Park on the 17th to 19th of May to find a slew of caravanning, camping and 4WD accessories that you can take on your next adventure. The ticket start from as low as $16 for adults. and kids under 16 enter for free making it a family event you do not want to miss.

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