The Ghost Town of Ravenswood Q.L.D

holidayroad@y7mail.com Places of interest, Travel Experiences 8 Comments

Locked in the past but only a fraction of the size it once was is Ravenswood,around 130ks south-west of Townsville now a ghost town from a bygone era.

This place thrived back in the old days with quite a large population of people in search of gold.In it’s glory it was the first major mining town in North Queensland after the discovery of gold back in 1868,it was also Queensland’s first large inland settlement,all this changed though when the mine shafts had been sunk into a water table and extracting the gold then became just about impossible.

Then in the 1890’s it once again hit a mining boom when silver was discovered but like the gold rush days it also hit a slump during an industrial strike from 1912 to 13 plus WWI saw most of the men that remained in town leave to join the armed forces.

Ok…..so this town isn’t quite a ghost town anymore,there are people living there and working in the surrounding mines but compared to its former existence,it does wear the name well!

After buying a detailed map/book from the post office in town we went on our own exploration,that’s when we realised just how much has  really gone.Some buildings were taken down and relocated and others have crumbled over the years from bad weather.
Spread throughout town was once over 30 hotels,today only two are left standing and a staircase to another that once stood on a corner block.A few of the other buildings that still exist are, the old weatherboard school residence,courthouse(that’s now the towns museum) an old church that people over the years have mentioned  you can hear the sounds of footsteps in the cathedral of a night.
The Thorps Building is another still standing ,which is now a souvenir shop with a museum section too! plus around the corner is also the old Ambulance Station where the flying doctors still visit once a month for a community clinic.
Throughout the town and surrounds are remnants of cottages and shops plus mullock heaps,chimneys and old shafts…….some not covered to well so be careful.

From our point of view we found Ravenswood an interesting  town, a little like taking a step back in time

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The Imperial Hotel…….. Many ghostly stories have been told about this place,but for a little history,it was owned by James Delaney known as “Jim” .After Jim found gold in the Ravenswood gold rush,he decided to build a hotel,that hotel not long after burnt down but was replaced with this one that’s still standing.Jim lost his life in 1902 at age 37 about a year later his youngest daughter Kathleen  died at this hotel at the age of 5 .Mrs Delaney was left with three young daughters to raise and this hotel to run by herself.For 91 years the Delaney’s held on to their fathers dream hotel.

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Thorps Building…….. The shop in this building originally sold everything from household goods to mining machinery

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Inside the Thorps Building…….. Kiana admiring a collection of old bottles and ornaments

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The steps that once led to the Browns hotel

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The old Ambulance station, still used today by the Flying Doctors for the community clinic

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Around Town

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Old Shop

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School of Arts building

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In the bushes a unused bridge

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The remnants of an old cottage

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What is left of the old hospital

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Old mining equipment from the Mabel Mill site

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Part of the old school residence,the school is still in use

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The schools old swimming pool,each child that attended school all helped with the building of the pool

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The entry gate to the Cemetery

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The old church on the hill,still used by the locals. At one stage though it stood in ruin, even with goats living in it!

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The view from the towns Lookout!

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An open cut mine just on the edge of town

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Inside an old miners cottage

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Our campsite at the showground while based at Ravenswood $15 a night with power and water,no extra charge for kids and dogs fine.

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The kids cubby house they built by the creek

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White Blow Environmental park

Along the road to Ayr and about 5km from town is White Blow Environmental Park ,the unique quartz outcrop is one of the largest masses of quartz in the area,reaching about 15m high, from up the top are views of the Leichhardt Range.

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From the top great views of Leichhardt Range

holidayroad@y7mail.comThe Ghost Town of Ravenswood Q.L.D

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  1. Anne Carter

    I live in Nottingham England and I visited Ravenswood while holidaying in Australia in 2015. I saw everything you saw, and looking at your pictures brings back very happy memories. I also spent quite a while looking around the old cemetery which was so interesting. Thank you so much for the lovely pictures.

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      holidayroad@y7mail.com

      Anne ,Thank you for your lovely comment! Great to hear from someone over in England,that cemetery sure was interesting.

  2. Christine Dillon

    What a wonderful write up of Ravenswood. Thank you for sharing. We happened upon Ravenswood whilst driving to the Burdekin Dam. It was amazing! We didn’t have the time to stop and have a decent look though . After reading your blog, we are definitely going back. My grandmother’s maiden name is Delaney, her Christian name is Kathleen and had a brother named Jim (James) ! How coincidental! My family however lived in Victoria and were dairy farmers. I must check out the family tree a little further back. Once again thanks.

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