The township of Einasleigh, originally named Copperfield, was laid out in 1900 by the mining warden on a new township reserve established near the Einasleigh Company's copper mine. Although the company had been formed only in the previous year, already two hotels, a store, a billiard room, and butcher and baker shops were being built and funds were being collected for a school. The town briefly became the largest population centre in the shire during construction of the Chillagoe Company's Etheridge Railway in the years 1907-10. After the closure of the mine in the 1920s, however, the township almost disappeared and was saved from extinction only by its location on the railway.
Found by Richard Daintree in 1866, the Einasleigh copper deposit was one of the earliest mineral discoveries in north Queensland. It was initially too remote to develop and was abandoned and virtually forgotten after Daintree's death. The Chillagoe Company rediscovered the Einasleigh shaft when exploring the area and began developing it in 1900 through its subsidiary, the Einasleigh Copper Mines Company. A small blast furnace was erected for smelting in 1902, but until the opening of the Etheridge Railway in 1910 operations proved uneconomical because of high transport costs. The mine closed when the Chillagoe Smelters were shut down in 1914.
Acquired by the Queensland Government in 1919 as part of the assets of the Chillagoe Company, it returned to full production the following year, supplying the reopened Chillagoe Smelters. As the Einasleigh State Mine, it finally closed in 1922 as a result of depleted ore reserves and a post-war drop in the world copper price.
Einasleigh sits on the Eastern edge of the Newcastle Range, on the banks of the Copperfield River. Einasleigh is on the old Chillagoe to Forsayth railway. Once a Copper mining town, it is set among some unusual scenery with flat top hills that rise out of the grasslands.
The Einasleigh Hotel situated only walking distance from the brilliant Copperfield George is home to a truly magnificent miniature furniture collection, truly of museum quality, this collection should not be missed.
The well-appointed park with a shaded adventure playground and free electric barbeques is a monument to the men who lost their lives in the Blackhawk Training Disaster, as they helped out in the establishment of the park.
The history of hardship in a small town is often written on the headstones of those who lost their lives in its development. The Einasleigh cemetery is well maintained and provides many gravesites which create a picture of the townships past.
The main event for Einasleigh is the Einasleigh Races and Rodeo, which are generally held around Easter time, these are somewhat of a legend and should not to be missed. The event attracts many visitors coming out for the sunshine and a taste of true country spirit. Also held annually in Einasleigh are the Horse Sports which are held in September.
The Savannahlander Train service runs weekly through the township of Einasleigh, renowned as one of the only Queensland Trains that will actually stop outside the pub on request. The Savannahlander runs from Cairns to Forsayth and is one of the utmost train ride experiences around.
Although Einasleigh is the smallest town in our region, it still has a hotel to accommodate its travellers.
WHILE IN EINASLEIGH...
- Have a BBQ & relax at the park
- Get a photo with the ol' Fire Engine
- Walk out onto the Copperfield Gorge and be prepared to take in the awe of how large and beautiful it is. Please watch where you step and don't walk too close to the edge.
- While at the Gorge, you may as well take a dip in the cool water. There's nothing like looking across the water when you're swimming and seeing how the reflections of the sunlight on the water dance underneath the sheer walls of rock. It's one of nature's most mesmerising day time light shows.
- Take a pic of a friend in the stocks outside the Police Station (please refrain from throwing things at them)
- Check out the Miniature Display at the Einasleigh Hotel. Want a challenge? In the case with the man at the desk, there is something that doesn't fit the era that the rest of the room is designed in. See if you can find it.