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
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.