Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Savannah pub survivor

A Queenslander-style pub has kept the tiny town of Einasleigh on the map, despite the closure of its copper mine, and - more recently - the destruction of its rail bridge.

Story and photos Dick Eussen

Less then 20 people live in Einasleigh, most in ramshackle galvanized iron cottages built in the early 1900s when the town was the centre for a rich copper mine. Geologist and photographer Richard Daintree - after whom the Daintree rainforest is named - discovered copper in this north Queensland outback savannah region in 1867. He worked the mine briefly, in partnership with pioneer grazier Frank Hann, until the cost of shipping ore to Townsville proved prohibitive. The mine reopened in 1909, when a rail line linked Einasleigh to the Chillagoe smelters, and operated until after World War I.

The ore has long gone and the dilapidated town has few modern buildings. The hotel, a takeaway and a produce agency are the only retail outlets. The days when Einasleigh could count on busy weekends, with ringers from surrounding cattle stations hitting the town, are gone. Today, the lifeblood of the town is tourism. Story end

Full story Issue 34 April/May 2004

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