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Unearth Our Secrets in this 5 Day Itinerary

Unearth Our Secrets in this 5 Day Itinerary

 

Howdy neighbour...

Welcome to the wild west, home of the latest Australian Survivor TV Series, once one of the richest places in Australia and home to The World – Charters Towers.

The authentic, laid-back lifestyle tells the story of the heady gold rush days of the 1870s and the unsettling World War periods, all in a safe, family friendly, country atmosphere full of warm hospitality.  There is so much to see and do and it is only a short drive away!

If you’re looking for some inspiration, we’ve created a 5-day itinerary for you.

Day 1 -  Step Back in History and Explore

Ravenswood ExploringTravel from Townsville to the historic gold town of Ravenswood (129km) and set up camp at Ravenswood Recreational Reserve (Showgrounds).  Don’t forget to book before you arrive as telecommunications can be a little unreliable. 

Take a walk, ride or scooter down the main street, have a refreshment along the way as you check out the townships’ historic buildings which are full of relics from yesteryear.  There are lots of photo opportunities along the way!

Ravenswood shines with its architecture and the enthusiasm of the locals who pay homage to the town's past with a series of steel silhouettes, wooden statues and intricate mosaics and two very quintessential outback pubs full of hard-living local characters.

Day 2 - Exploring Ravenswood and Surrounds

After breakfast, take a short drive to White Blow Environmental Park (3.8km) and marvel at the 300 million plus year old white quartz outcrop.  Take the climb and enjoy the view from the top!

Pack a picnic and enjoy a day trip to Burdekin Falls Dam (57.5km).  If the water is not over the spillway, take a drive across the base to get a closer look at all the birdlife that call the riverbed home.

Once you’re back in Ravenswood, visit the Open Cut Mine Lookout (2.1km outside of Ravenswood Cemetery Road off Burdekin Falls Dam Road). You’ll be gobsmacked by the shear size of the mine.

After all that exploring, you’ll feel like afternoon tea.  Pop into Thorp’s Building Heritage Tea Room and Treasures for a Devonshire tea then head back to camp for a rest or perhaps an afternoon swim at the local pool. (Check seasonal operating days/hours)

Head back to one of the historic pubs for a good old country feed or back to camp for a barbecue.  Settle in for the night to enjoy the cool air and see the night sky like never before with uninterrupted views.

Day 3 - Ravenswood to Charters Towers (83km)

Wake up to the call of birds and enjoy the unique smells of the bush as you pack up camp.  Before you leave, make sure you visit the Court House Museum and check out Butler’s cottage, an original miner’s home, both located in Railway Street.

After your leisurely drive to Charters Towers, set up camp at one of the three caravan parks in Charters Towers.  It’s a caravanner and camper’s haven, with parks boasting award-winning facilities.  Be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Take a drive into town for lunch then visit the Charters Towers Visitor Information Centre (VIC) where you can book a local tour and have your photo taken with Australian Survivor Series 7 Blood V Water memorabilia, that was recently made in Charters Towers.  Towers Hill comes to life in the evening with a film screened in the Amphitheatre.  Book tickets for the family to watch a Ghosts After Dark Film screening, shown nightly at 7pm.

Enjoy an early dinner at one of the many family friendly pubs or restaurants before you head to Towers Hill for a picturesque sunset family shoot at the famous Charters Towers Scenic Tourism Frame before kicking back to enjoy The Ghosts After Dark Film in the amphitheatre. 

Day 4 - Be a Miner for the Morning!

Venus Gold Battery ToursAfter a hearty breakfast head out for a morning tour of Venus Gold Battery, the largest surviving battery relic in Australia that was used for crushing ore in the late 1800’s.  Tours are seasonal and you can book online.

Have some lunch in town before trying your hand at panning for real gold at The Miners CottageBookings are essential.

Take a scenic stroll around town and admire the heritage buildings of the main street, followed by family cycling, scooting or walking.  Playgrounds and shady lawns will have the whole family racing around for hours.  Get on the zip line at Centenary Park or relax on the giant net swing.  If you still have lots of energy, head to the pump track or skate park at Defiance Mill Park and grind rails, bunny hop, and make new friends all day.

Head back to camp for a swim or have a quick rest before packing your deck chairs and heading out to the Tors Drive-In Cinema to catch a movie and grab some yummy fresh cafe food.  Drive-In operates during school holidays and weekends. Check out opening times here

Day 5 - Get your Cowboy and Cowgirl on

Texas Longhorn Safari TourAfter breakfast head out to Award Winning Texas Longhorns (10kms outside Charters Towers on Gregory Developmental Road heading to Greenvale) for a famous Texas Longhorn Safari or Wagon Tour.  Enjoy a well-earned authentic ‘billy tea’.  Open May to October each year

Take a short drive to Goldtower Central to kit yourself out in the latest country attire, from top to toe!

While you’re there take some family pics of the fabulous locally inspired mosaic murals – you’ll be amazed by the sheer size of them.

For some early evening fun; pack your fishing lines and head out for a short drive to the Charters Towers Weir (13km) for a spot of fishing on the banks of the mighty Burdekin River.

If you don’t manage to catch dinner, there are a variety of dining options on offer to choose from in Charters Towers. 

Day 6- Attention Soldiers!

After breakfast, visit Zara Clark Museum and view the impressive collection of artefacts, including photographs and machinery and learn all the stories that will intrigue everyone - young and old. (Open daily).  Find out how Charters Towers helped win the battle of the South Pacific in World War II.

BunkersBefore saying farewell to the Towers and heading home, take another trip to Towers Hill.  Wander through the Heritage listed bunkers nestled in the landscape and experience WWII through the eyes of those involved with interactive audio-visual and augmented reality experiences; the old and the new combine for a great experience.

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Who's a happy camper?

Who's a happy camper?

 

We might be biased, but the Charters Towers Region has some of the best bush camping in Australia.  From reserves that run alongside flowing creeks and rivers, showgrounds located within a heritage-listed township and National Parks with views of ancient lava flows, there is something of interest for everyone.

Two popular camping spots located a short drive from Charters Towers are Fletcher Creek and Macrossan Reserve.  Both provide an amenities block, sheltered picnic tables, wood barbeques and amazing water views!  Both spots are great for a spot of fishing or kayaking.

If you prefer something a little closer to nature, just down the road from Fletcher Creek is Big Bend and Echo Hole.  A very sacred place to the Gudjala People.  As part of their creation story, it symbolises where fiery rock met sea to create the landscape throughout the region.  Traditionally named Yalganbara, meaning ‘Big Waterhole’, this reserve overlooks the iconic Burdekin River and is a popular recreational reserve with locals and visitors. 

We are also lucky to have some amazing National Parks within our region.  Dalrymple National Park, located 45km north of Charters Towers on the mighty Burdekin River, features ancient lava flows and fossilised limestone.  Whilst White Mountains National Park, located 140 south-west of Charters Towers, boasts 112,000ha and 14 different ecosystems, including lancewood forests, open woodlands, laterite pastures, heathlands and spinifex grasslands are spotted around the spectacular white sandstone buffs and gorges, sand dunes and sandy flats.

If you intend on camping at one of these two National Parks, please ensure you book online through Parks and Forests, Department of Environment and Science and please be respectful of the land and take out whatever you take in.

If you can’t go without creature comforts, there are a variety of hotels and award-winning caravan parks to choose from that offer something that will suit your style – from shady camping sites to cabin accommodation.

For more information on recreational camping options, have a look at our Recreational Camping guide, including conditions for your stay.  We welcome you to settle in and stay a while - there is plenty to see and do.

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