The Wandering Tops

The Wandering Tops

10 August, 2014

Tablelands - Herberton Range

There are several drives from Atherton, one which starts basically from the front of our house which is called Herberton Range Ridge Road.  This travels from Atherton in the State Forest through Baldy Mountain Forest Reserve to Herberton.  The track is a 2 wheel track going through the tropical forest and increasing in altitude with the highest point being approx 1217m above sea level.  This track closes on wet days as there are some steep climbs which could become quite slippery.

Herberton Range Ridge Road
The Herberton Range Ridge Rd comes back onto the main bitumen road about 10km north of Herberton so it's an easy drive into town for a coffee.  Herberton is the oldest town in the Tablelands with the entire precinct listed on the National Heritage Register.  The area is known for the extensive Tin mines which are scattered around the town and out towards Irvinebank.  We were recommended to visit the Spy & Camera Museum in Herberton where some of the rarest spy and antique cameras are housed collected by a former spy.  Really glad we paid for the tour as we were guided through the exhibits by the owner with excellent history and story telling about the exhibits.  So very interesting to see and hear stories of the various Russian & American inventions with tiny cameras inside like buttons, cigarette cases, glasses etc.  If anyone gets the chance this is sure a great place to spend some time.
Five Head Stamp Battery, brought to Herberton in 1880

Herberton looking north, the Spy Camera Museum is on the corner - this building was a Jack & Newell Store in 1882, renown in the Tablelands

Herberton looking south

The information and mining museum, a small display showing mining in the area. 

Inside the Spy Camera Museum, the original owner was a Spy!
Another drive was to Mareeba then west towards Chilliagoe turning south towards Herberton at Petford. This took us through some much dryer country and back into the mining area of Irvinebank and Herberton.  The road which was also a Cobb & Co route passed through Emuford a small community established in the late 1800s as a result of  tin mining in the area.

The remains of Emuford, once a mining community which Cobb & Co passed through.
We also visited Montalbion Pioneer Cemetery - Montalbion being another mining town which we couldn't find the actual town site.  The cementry is the resting place for 68 people of which 32 were children under 10yrs, just another reminder of the hard times some of the early settlers faced. Montalbion was also another stop for Cobb & Co.

One of the elaborate grave sites

Irvinebank established in 1882 has many century old buildings.  The region was prosperous at the turn of the century when the 'Mighty Vulcan' mine was in operation providing the purest available tin in the world.

Irvinebank dam with the Loudoun mill on the bank in the background.

School of the Arts building, opened in 1900 with the Qld nation Bank in the background.

Mango cottage built in 1906

The roundabout on the main road through Watsonville between Herberton and Irvinebank has a windmill in the centre - novel!!

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