How a monolith that stretches 18 kilometres and boasts a span 10 times the size of Uluru could fly under the radar boggles the mind, but there’s a chapter in North Queensland’s history, at this spiritually significant site, that most people don’t know.
This is Ngarrabullgan – Mount Mulligan. Once home to a thriving coal mining town and neighbour to the most famous gold mine on the Hodgkinson goldfield.
4 Unmissable Historical Experiences in One Outback Location
At the height of operations at Queensland’s first coal mine, Mount Mulligan township was abuzz with some 300 residents, a railway station, picture theatre, two pubs, a post office, bakery, sports oval, Catholic Church and police station.
Tragedy struck in 1921 when Queensland’s worst mining disaster claimed the lives of 75 workers, effectively wiping out the entire male population. The town was abandoned in 1958 and now a visit to the township is a historical experience not to be missed during a stay at Mt Mulligan Lodge.
With historical experiences spanning coal, gold, First Nations, and farming, brush up on the lesser-known stories with these historical tours.
Coal Mining Historical Experience: Mount Mulligan Old Township & Coal Mine Tour
Over two-and-a-half hours, you’ll come face to face with the eerie yet visually arresting remains of Mount Mulligan township and discover how coal mines operated during that era.
Gold Mining Historical Experience: Tyrconnell Gold Mine
Turn back the clock 140 years and this gold mine employed more than 2000 men to extract the precious metal from a quartz reef – paying them about three pounds a week in return. The 10-head gold stamper, the oldest operating in Australia, and some of the industrial machinery remain, giving you an insight into the prospecting life during this three-hour tour.
Indigneous Historical Experience: Mount Mulligan Walks or Branch Lookout ATV Tour
There’s a lot of history on this 28,000ha property, but none more spiritual than its star, Mount Mulligan (Ngarrabullgan). Some 40,000 years before James Mulligan arrived on the scene, the Indigneous Djungan people proclaimed the mountain the sacred home of an evil spirit called Eekoo. Though the tabletop is home to two of Queensland’s oldest Indigenous sites, Ngarrabullgan Cave and Nonda Rock, access is forbidden. Instead, you can soak in the Indigenous culture of the landscape along hiking trails or jump on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) to explore boulder-strewn creeks, and come face to face with curious cattle.
Pastoral Historical Experience: Mount Mulligan Station Tour
With Brahman cattle freely grazing around you, you may be keen to learn the pastoral history of this working cattle station. Regular 2.5 hour tours will introduce you to life on the land while guests also have the opportunity to take part in quarterly musters when the cattle are readied for market.