Reef Lodge Backpackers Townsville

Sunday 7 February 2016

Last of the "Wild Fronteer" Chillago a real outback Australian experience. Only 215 klms west of Cairns.

Once Chillagoe was a thriving mining town but is now reduced to a zinc mine and  marble a quarry.  Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park is just outside of Chillagoe and it is thought to be between 600 to 1000 limestone caves in the area.
Marble outcrop Chillagoe
One of the residence of the caves

Hello Mr. Frill Neck.
Marble quarry Chillagoe

Up until 1943 the smelter had operated for 40+ years and 1025 million tons or or had passed through the plant. During this time some 5 tons of gold, 181 tons of silver, 181 tons of lead and 60,000 tons of copper had been pulled out of the region.

Chillagoe smelter

During this flourishing period the mines, smelter and railway employed some 1000 people with the   Mining Company and Chillagoe Railway were equipped with the most up-to-date machinery of its time.

A relic from the past an abandoned Ore-cart

In 1950 the state owned smelter was sold off with the the equipment and buildings being auctioned off.

Locomotive no. 3 of the Chillagoe Railway was the first engine on the Etheridge line.

Chillago is also remembered for the royal commission of 1922. When two state politicians who had 25% stakes each in the mine and it was sold to the Queensland state government at grossly inflated prices. This was to be known as "The Mungana Affair.

Town of Chillagoe

Today Cillago is still home to approximately 200+ people and is more well know these days for the lime stone caverns and 600+ caves in the Chillagoe Mungana National park. One interesting fact was it has been stated by Professor Ian Plimer that the region boasts the worlds most geologically diverse region in the world.

Beautiful Limestone creations.

Departs Cairns at 6.30am every Wednesday is a classic 1960’s Rail-motor Savannahlander

Chillagoe Savannahlander
Thank you to "Chillagoe Cabins" for allowing permission to use some of their images in this Blog. For more information on Chillgoe and what to do go to

Might be worth a look. For more about the caves got to:

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