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Bowen Basin Area - Towns

Please click on the town names for more information:


Towns Information

The Silo

Shopping Centre

Biloela, situated in the Banana Shire, is a modern town with a well-established business centre. It is located 594 km north of Brisbane, 127 km south west of Gladstone and 173 metres above sea-level. The 2001 census estimated Biloela’s population at 5,746. Biloela's economy is driven by pastoral and agricultural enterprises and by the local coalmines. Specifically, local income is generated by livestock slaughtering, cotton production, dairying, wheat, sorghum, lucerne and other grains and cereals. The railway commenced operation in Biloela in 1925, the year after the town was established. Coal was discovered in the area in the 1890s but it was not developed until 1942 when an open-cut mine was established on the site of the old Callide station. This provides the coal supply for the Callide power stations. The town has also benefited from the development of the coal seams at Moura.

Water Tower

Japanese Gardens

The town of Blackwater in the Duaringa Shire got its name from the colouring of the local water supply by ti-trees which are common in the area. Blackwater is situated 190 km west of Rockhampton on the Capricorn Highway and is a modern mining town with a population of 4,842.

The township was gazetted and laid out in 1886 after the railway arrived in the area. The coal reserves in the area are now being exploited by BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance. Other companies involved in local mining include Curragh Queensland Mining Ltd, Cook Resources Mining Pty Ltd, Jellinbah Mine, Kenmare and Yarrabee Coal Company Ltd.

The coal is transported to Gladstone by electric trains; consequently there are no coal trucks choking up the roads in the area and the mines are far removed from the town.


Historic Homestead

Aerial view
Aerial View

Capella, located 50 km north of Emerald is the administrative centre of Peak Downs Shire. At the 2001 census, it had a population of 730. It owes much of its early development to the operation of the Queensland British Food Corporation from 1948 to 1954. It now services three coal mines – Gegory, Crinum and Oaky Creek. It has well-developed community facilities – a world-class cultural centre, aquatic centre, covered arena, Pioneer village, sporting clubs, High School and an industrial estate.


Hoods Lagoon

Clermont is located 106 km north of Emerald on the Gregory Highway and has a population of approximately 2000. It was originally established after the discovery of gold there in 1861, followed by the discovery of copper.

Clermont is the service town for surrounding rural properties and the Blair Athol Coal Mine, which is situated approx 15 kilometres north west of Clermont. The town has many facilities including day care, schools, TAFE annex, hospital, welfare and community services such as police, fire brigade and SES.

Belyando Shire


Coal Stockpile

Collinsville sign
Collinsville sign

Collinsville is located in Bowen Shire, 270 km north-west of Mackay. It has an early history of coal mining since it was discovered in 1866. Mining commenced in 1912, a railway from the coast to the coalfields was constructed between 1917 and 1922 and by 1921 a town was starting to develop.

In 1960 the Queensland government closed down the State-run mine in the area, and the mine was subsequently sold to private enterprise who managed to win a large contract with Japan. Coal from the area around Collinsville is now railed to the new deepwater coal-loading facilities at Abbot Point near Bowen.


Swimming Pool

Civic Centre

Dysart, located in Broadsound Shire, was established in 1973 to provide accommodation for workers at the Saraji and Norwich Park mines. It also now services surrounding cattle and grain properties. It is situated about 135 km west of the coastal town of St Lawrence and almost equidistant from Rockhampton and Mackay. The population peaked at 4,500 but has now declined to about 2,500. It has excellent facilities including an Olympic-sized swimming pool, nine-hole golf course, bowls club, community civic centre and shopping mall.

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Sunflower picture

Historic Railway Station

Emerald, the principal town of Emerald Shire, is a friendly, thriving community situated approximately 280 km west of Rockhampton. The population, as estimated in the 2001 Census, is 9,831, including many miners from nearby coal mines. It has a sound infrastructure base, including campuses for Central Queensland University and Central Queensland TAFE, Emerald Agricultural College and private and government schools. It also features general and mining-related rail networks, a major regional airport and a hospital. The Fairbairn Dam, just south of Emerald, was opened in 1972 and is a holiday destination and a major water resource for irrigated crop production and industrial usage.


Welcome to Glenden

Glenden was opened in 1983 to accommodate the employees from the Newlands mine and is now the largest town in Nebo Shire.


Aerial View

Bundoora Dam

Middlemount is located in Broadsound Shire and was established 20 years ago to service the German Creek and Foxleigh mines. It has excellent modern facilities, including an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

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Diggers Tribute

Big Bucket

Moranbah is a thriving, single-purpose mining town with a population of nearly 8000 people, located 191 km west of Mackay. It was established in 1971 by the Utah Development Company Ltd to service the Goonyella and Peak Downs Mines. Since then, the Riverside coalmine to the north of the town has also been established. The railway to the Hay Point coal loading terminal near Mackay was constructed in 1972.



Lions Park

Moura is a busy mining community situated on the beautiful Dawson River and located 185 km southwest of the port of Gladstone. Moura, situated in the Banana Shire, has a population of 1,941, as estimated in the 2001 Census. Coal has been mined there since 1961 when BHP Mitsui Coal Pty Ltd began operation, making this one of the longest-established coal mining ventures in Central Queensland.

The mine is currently a joint venture of Anglo Coal Australia and Mitsui Coal Holdings. The coal deposit is a rich source of coal seam methane which provides the feedstock for a major ammonium nitrate plant, a source of fertilizer and explosives. Moura is well-known for its annual Coal and Country Festival in August, as well as being an industry centre for coal, cattle, cotton and grain production.


Nebo Boardwalk

Nebo is situated on the Peak Downs Highway south-west of Mackay.


Transaction Centre

Comet River

Rolleston, 70 km south-east of Springsure in the Bauhinia Shire, is the nearest town to the Carnarvon Gorge, one of the most beautiful National Parks in Queensland. The new Albina National Park runs nearly to the town. Nearby Lake Nuga Nuga is a bird watchers’ paradise. Cattle properties surround Rolleston and the rich soil enables cropping to be carried on throughout the region. Natural gas is piped to Gladstone from a plant east of the town.

The proposed Xstrata thermal coal mine, located 17 km west of Rolleston, is likely to bring major changes to the town which currently has a population of 130. A new rail line from Blackwater or South Blackwater will be required if the mine proceeds.

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Virgin Rock

Rich Park Windmill

Springsure, the main town in Bauhinia Shire, is located 66 km south of Emerald and has a population of approximately 950. The town provides services to a region which supports cattle and cropping and contains extensive National Parks. The proposed Xstrata thermal coal mine, located between Springsure and Rolleston, is likely to bring major changes to the town which will provide accommodation for mine workers.


Theodore Weir

Theodore Hotel

Theodore is situated in the Dawson Valley in the Banana Shire, approximately 105 km south west of Biloela. The population of Theodore, as estimated in the 2001 Census, is 646.

The town services extensive grain, cotton and cattle properties. It is anticipated that the town will benefit from the development of nearby coal deposits owned by Anglo Coal Australia.


Lions Park

Tieri, located 38 km east of Capella in Peak Downs Shire, has a population of approximately 1600. It was established in 1983 by MIM and a number of Joint-venture partners. It services the German Creek, Oaky Creek and Gregory Crinum mines.
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