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A Trip to Mount Morgan

Home > Brisbane > Day Trips | Escape the City | Food and Wine | Places of Interest | Weekend Escapes
by Cris (subscribe)
I am an Organiser of the Group Hiking South East Qld and More on Meetup. Visit the website at https://www.meetup.com/HikingInSEQLDandMore/ is free to join all the activities posted on the hiking group.
Published April 17th 2021
Mount Morgan is a charming historical mining town nestled on the Dee River, a short 38 kilometre drive from Rockhampton. The town is rich in nineteenth century Queensland colonial history and has artefacts and relics from the gold rush days.

Mount Morgan was founded as a gold mining town in 1882 and became a vast contributor of gold, silver and copper from the Capricorn region and the mine successfully ran until 1981.



William Knox D'Arcy made both fame and fortune in Mount Morgan from his share in the lucrative mine. He went to finance oil exploration overseas, which later became BP Company.

Commencing operation in 1882, the mine became one of the richest gold mines in Australia and for a period of time - the world. During its 99 years of mining, the area declared a total of 225 tonnes of gold, 50 tons of silver and 360,000 tons of copper.

It all started when John Gordon sold the whole block of Cattle Run to the Morgan Brothers. Gordon wasn't aware of the gold underneath his property and sold the land for one pound an acre.

A remarkably well preserved historic town full of timber buildings which history goes into the mining past. In particular, there is something wonderfully quirky and original about the Leichhardt Hotel.

Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour.
Leichhardt Hotel in Mount Morgan. Photo from www.aussietowns.com.au/town/mount-morgan-qld


The Leichhardt Hotel is a great place to enjoy delicious meals in a friendly atmosphere. The food is very affordable and the quality is really special, like the good old fashion pubs.

The Leichhardt Hotel, the oldest operating pub in Mount Morgan, was built in 1891 and named after the famous explorer Dr Ludwig Leichhardt. The Leichhardt Hotel is 130 years old!

The hotel has indoor and outdoor dining options, a big beer garden and an awesome verandah. The hotel offers accommodation too with seven double and five single rooms with shared bathroom. All the rooms open out onto the upstairs verandah.

Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour.
The Leichhardt Hotel. Photo by Author.


The menu has a great variety of home-cooked food and special of the day are available. Relax and enjoy a delicious meal on the verandah.

Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour.
Steak with salad, chips and mushroom sauce for $16. Photo by Author.


Garlic bread from $7, chips and gravy $6, steak sandwich with chips $12, burger and chips $12 and Leichhardt burger and chips $12 just to mention a few. Dine in or take away welcome. The hotel is family-friendly with kids meal for $8 and pets are welcome.

You can book your accommodation at Leichhardt Hotel and have a delicious meal to set in the very nice atmosphere of Mount Morgan.

In the evening, stroll in town to watch the Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour and the Running of the Cutter sculpture.

"The five metre arbour sculpture stands pride of place as a tribute to Mount Morgan, its incredible history, and some of its inspirational residents. "- from the sign.

Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour.
Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour in Mount Morgan. Photo by Author.


Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour.
Arbour detail. Photo by Author.


Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour.
Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour in Mount Morgan has different lights change alternating different colours. Photo by Author.

"The creation of the arbour, with its many levels and layers, partly takes its inspiration from the bench levels of the Mount Morgan Mines' Open Cut Pit. Its design also commemorates a former, favourite meeting place for locals, the Mount Morgan Tree of Knowledge. This fig tree, planted in the 1920s, provided a cool shady resting place where many stories were shared until sadly succumbed to disease in 2011.

Adorned with bougainvillea, this sculpture also recognises the youth and a robust and vibrant future while the entwined, abstract trees that interconnect represent community strength and unity. Albert Abbie and Michael Rowe embody those wonderful qualities of the tree of knowledge cherished by the Mount Morgan community.

Albert Abbie Rowe was a well-respected stalwart of the Mount Morgan community serving on the executive for the Mount Morgan Rotary, Providence Lodge, Mount Morgan Historical Museum, Dee and Welfare Bowls Clubs.

Michael Rowe is also a well-respected member of the Mount Morgan community serving the community through Mount Morgan Rotary, Providence Lodge, Dee Lodge, Mount Morgan Lodge, Mount Morgan Pony Club, both Bowls Clubs and the Mount Morgan Show Society.
"- from the sign.


Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour.
Open cut mine at Mount Morgan. Photo from www.queenslandplaces.com.au/mount-morgan


Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour, Running the Cut,
Running the Cutter Sculpture in Mount Morgan. Photo by Author.


"The Running of the Cutter Statue pays tribute to a local tradition that began at the Mount Morgan Mine in 1900. History tells that at the end of a shift, miners would drink beer from their billy can- known at the time as a 'cutter'. When the cutter was empty, it was taken to the nearest hotel to be refilled for a sixpence. The carrier was often a young local boy, who would race back to the miners. the carriers were given a penny for their troubles."- from the sign.

Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour, Running the Cut,
Miners working underground in the Mount Morgan mine, Qld 1903. Photo from www.historicalaustraliantowns.blogspot.com/2018/07/mount-morgan-historic-mining-town-in.html


Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour, Running the Cut,
Horsedrawn and motor vehicles on Morgan Street, Mount Morgan, Qld, 1913, State Library of Qld. Photo from www.historicalaustraliantowns.blogspot.com/2018/07/mount-morgan-historic-mining-town-in.html


Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour, Running the Cut,
Historical Museum in Mount Morgan. Photo by Author.


The Historical Museum has an impressive collection of relics from the town's earliest years to the present.

The large displays of mining equipment, historic household and business objects and an extensive photographic display takes you through the years of Mount Morgan life and presenting the faces and stories of some of the town's most prominent individuals.

The Historical Museum is at 87 Morgan St, Mount Morgan QLD 4714.

Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour, Running the Cut, National Hotel in Mount Morgan, Mount Morgan Railway Station,
Mount Morgan Rack Trail. Photo from www.westonlangford.com/images/photo/114510/


"Between 1898 and 1952, the Queensland Government Railways operated a just under 2.5 kilometre section of Abt-rack railway from Moonmera to Moongan (just outside Mount Morgan). To reach Mount Morgan, the line had to climb the Razorback Range, a height of some 968 feet about sea level , having a vertical rise of 376 feet. The steepest grade was 1 in 16.5; double the steepest grade on a conventional line and three times steeper than the usual maximum grade. Consequently, a special rack locomotive (the first in Australia) was purchased and a toothed rack rail was built between the rails so that the trains could achieve extra traction going up and down the hill.

The rack- rail consisted of two parallel serrated bars; about 2.5 inches apart and so arranged that the indentations on one bar were exactly opposite to the teeth on the other bar. There were two sets of pinions under the rack, arranged in such a manner that two pinions were always engaged with the teeth of the rack - rails at any time. A total of eight rack engines operated in Mount Morgan until 1952 when a less steep ( gradient 1:50) deviation line was built around the mountain.

There were only two rack railway systems in Australia, the other being on the private Mount Lyell in Tasmania which closed in 1963
."- from the sign.

Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour, Running the Cut, National Hotel in Mount Morgan, Mount Morgan Railway Station, Mount Morgan Rack Rail,
Mount Morgan Rack Rail. Goods train travelling on the Rack Railway at Mt Morgan, ca 1913, John Oxley Library, State Library Queensland Neg 17584. Photo from www.twitter.com/ozbob13/status/1256813051883294720



Mount Morgan has its own bakery, Mount Morgan Hot Bread Shop. The bakery has a great variety of fresh hot pies, fresh sweet pastries, bread made on-premises, cold and hot drinks.

Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour, Running the Cut, National Hotel in Mount Morgan, Mount Morgan Railway Station, Mount Morgan Rack Rail, Mount Morgan Hot bread Shop,
Mount Morgan Hot bread Shop. Photo by Author.


Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour, Running the Cut, National Hotel in Mount Morgan, Mount Morgan Railway Station, Mount Morgan Rack Rail, Mount Morgan Hot bread Shop,
Mount Morgan bakery. Photo by Author.


The bakery is at 71 Morgan St, Mount Morgan, QLD. Just nearby the bakery, there is some very attractive street art which adds colour the town. In particular, the decorations are made up of recycled material, such as bottle caps and colourful plastic bottles.

Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour, Running the Cut, National Hotel in Mount Morgan, Mount Morgan Railway Station, Mount Morgan Rack Rail, Mount Morgan Hot bread Shop,
The decorations of this bed garden is made with recycled materials. Photo by Author.


Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour, Running the Cut, National Hotel in Mount Morgan, Mount Morgan Railway Station, Mount Morgan Rack Rail, Mount Morgan Hot bread Shop,
Art with recycled materials. Photo by Author.


Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour, Running the Cut, National Hotel in Mount Morgan, Mount Morgan Railway Station, Mount Morgan Rack Rail, Mount Morgan Hot bread Shop,
Details of the plastic flowers to decorate the garden bed. Photo by Author.


In the past, six Swinging Bridges were constructed over the Dee River to connect the town and the mine site. The first Swinging Bridge was constructed in the 1890s but no original bridges remain today. A replica of the Swinging Bridge can found across the river connecting Byrnes Parade to East Street.

The replica is known as the Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, in memory of the nation's first military casualty. Private Jones was the 1st Australian Soldier to die in Imperial Service on foreign soil (South Africa).

Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour, Running the Cut, National Hotel in Mount Morgan, Mount Morgan Railway Station, Mount Morgan Rack Rail, Mount Morgan Hot bread Shop,
The Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge connecting Byrnes Parade to East Street . Photo by Author.


Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour, Running the Cut, National Hotel in Mount Morgan, Mount Morgan Railway Station, Mount Morgan Rack Rail, Mount Morgan Hot bread Shop,
An old petrol station in Mount Morgan converted in offices. Photo by Author.


Drive the winding Burnett Highway, Bouldercombe Qld, where there is the Stopford Way Lookout. It offers spectacular views of the valleys that lie beneath.

Mount Morgan mining town, Mount Morgan Qld, Leichhardt Hotel, Gold mine, Suspended Bridge, Private Victor Stanley Jones Suspension Bridge, Running the Cutter Statue, Abbie and Michael Rowe Arbour, Running the Cut, National Hotel in Mount Morgan, Mount Morgan Railway Station, Mount Morgan Rack Rail, Mount Morgan Hot bread Shop, Stopford Way Lookout,
Great views from the Stopford Way Lookout. Photo from the Author.



Reference

www.queensland.com/gb/en/places-to-see/destination-information/p-56b25d9c2cbcbe7073ad6fd5-mount-morgan

www.mountmorgan.org.au/Home

www.themorningbulletin.com.au/news/mt-morgans-old-girl-celebrating-120th-year/1163420

www.mountmorgan.org.au/See-Do/Historic-Locations/The-Private-Victor-Stanley-Jones-Suspension-Bridge
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Your Comment
Good intetesting article of historic and current time and great photos, thanks for putting this up.
Cheers.
by telor (score: 1|20) 19 days ago
Thank you Chris interesting and well researched info on Mt Morgan. Heading up that way in June, hopefully have time to wile away some time, in Mt Morgan.
by kingb (score: 1|22) 20 days ago
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