Blackwater is a model of a clean coal mining town and earns its title as the Coal Mining Capital of Queensland by its central location and substantial export earnings. Although modern technology has improved working conditions and made coal mining safer, unearthing the ‘black gold’ still takes people of determination, dedication and real grit.
The township, named after the local water holes which seemed to have black water in them, was gazetted and laid out in 1886 after the railway arrived in the area. It currently has a population of around 5000 residents, nearly all of whom work for the mines in the area. The result is a town which has shrunk from its original conception.
Bluff, a rural town, located between some of Queensland’s largest coal mines and the port of Gladstone which led to it becoming a major interchange station for large coal trains, some up to two kilometres long. Originally known as Duckworth Creek, the name was changed in about 1877 when the Great Western railway from Rockhampton was opened.
At the 2011 census, Bluff had a population of 370.
This busy small town sits on two major highways that service the beef, timber and coal industries. Up to a thousand vehicles can pass through in one day and it is not unusual to see ten triple road trains outside the roadhouse. The roadhouse is a hive of activity 24 hours a day, and up to 1700 people a day call in for a cuppa, snack, meal or fuel.
The origin of the town’s name is shrouded in mystery. Some say a railway surveyor saw a dingo on the creek bank and gave the town its name whilst others say that Moses Wafer, an early pioneer, heard dingoes howling at night and named the town after his campsite. A bronze statue of a Dingo is in the town commemorating the town’s name. In the 2011 census, Dingo had a population of 342 people.
Duaringa is a tiny settlement of less than 500 people which came into existence as a base camp for railway workers. It is one of the oldest townships in the region, with buildings dating back to the 1860s.
Mackenzie Park, on the eastern side of town, is home to a unique species of tree. The Duaringa stringy bark, known to the Aborigines as ‘budgeroo’, grows up to ten metres tall and has bushy foliage with small white flowers that bloom in spring. These trees were of great cultural significance to the early Aborigines who used its bark to make rope, baskets and building materials.
The estimated urban population of Rockhampton in June 2015 was 80,665, making it the fourth largest city in the state outside of the cities of South East Queensland and the twenty-second largest city in Australia. Founded in 1853 Rockhampton is one of the oldest cities in Queensland, and in Northern Australia.
Today, Rockhampton is an industrial and agricultural centre of the north, and is the regional centre of Central Queensland. Rockhampton is also a large tourist destination known for its history and culture.
Prayer Points coming out of Rockhampton: for revival and transformation, a mighty awakening and for many to encounter Christ; and a release of power encounters to overcome addictions and strengthening of ministries working in this area.
Yeppoon is renowned for its beaches, tropical climate, and the islands out on the bay east of Rockhampton. No one is sure what “Yeppoon” means but it is believed to be a local Darumbal Aboriginal word meaning “the place where the waters meet”. It could be a reference to the point where Yeppoon Inlet meets Ross Creek.
During the 1990s Yeppoon grew dramatically and the population increased by 40% with 18,107 people (2016 census). Pineapples, mangoes, and other tropical fruit became the mainstay of local agriculture in the new century, with cattle grazing and fishing also contributing to the local economy.