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Mount Morgan was considered one of the most important gold discoveries in the world. Just an easy 40 minute drive from Rockhampton, this historical gold mining town was established in 1882, and continued to produce gold, silver and copper for 99 years until the mine closed in 1981, and during its operation the mine was also believed to be the largest open cut gold mine in the Southern Hemisphere.
The town was officially proclaimed in 1890 and in 1898 the railway reached the town. Europeans had been in the area since the 1850s and a local stockman, William Mackinlay, discovered that the Ironstone Mountain was gold-bearing around 1870 but kept his discovery secret, hoping to sell his knowledge. The Morgan family formed a six-man partnership with some Rockhampton businessmen to mine the mountain.
The Mount Morgan syndicate lasted until 1886 when the Mount Morgan Gold Mining Company was formed. Primitive quarrying and underground tunnelling was carried out until the 1920s when the gold of Ironstone Mountain was at its richest. Following a short closure after this time, the mine re-opened in 1932 under the new company Mount Morgan Limited. Mount Morgan Limited began open cut mining – creating one of the biggest manmade holes in the Southern Hemisphere for its time.
Go on a journey through the historic town and the closed heritage-listed mine site with Mount Morgan Guided TMC Tours. This fascinating tour is the only way to access the Mount Morgan Mine Site and view the famous Open Cut Pit site, plus get a chance to learn about the towns historic sites, including swinging bridges, pubs, old churches and heritage listed buildings.
Visit the Mount Morgan Railway Station which was established in 1898 and continued operating for 90 years. In 1974, the Mount Morgan Railway Museum and the Railway water tank were classified by the National Trust of Queensland. Today, the station is home to the town's Tourist Information Centre. The Mount Morgan Historical Museum has a collection of memorabilia giving an insight into the town's mining heritage. Work your way through the hundreds of photographs on hand which depict the boom and bust periods of Mount Morgan.
Take some time to view the mine from Tipperary Point and see the “Big Stack”. In 1905 the brick chimney was built to distribute fumes from the mine smelters. It stands on a hillside behind the smelters and contains over 700,000 bricks.
Before departing Mount Morgan be sure to visit “The Big Dam”, the last and largest of seven dams built on the Dee River. The Big Dam, as it is locally known, is restocked annually with native fish fingerlings and has always been a favourite picnic spot with a children's playground and BBQ area.