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The main street of Herberton
|Population||855 (2016 census)|
|• Density||34.90/km2 (90.39/sq mi)|
|Elevation||918 m (3,012 ft)|
|Area||24.5 km2 (9.5 sq mi)|
The first European exploration of this area, part of the traditional land of the Dyirbal, was undertaken in 1875 by James Venture Mulligan. Mulligan was prospecting for gold, but instead found tin. The town of Herberton was established on 19 April 1880 by John Newell to exploit the tin find, and mining began on 9 May. By the September of that year, Herberton had a population of 300 men and 27 women. Herberton Post Office opened on 22 November 1880. In December 1881 a State School was established. The Herberton Public Library opened in 1995 with a major refurbishment in 2016.
In the late 19th century the Mulligan Highway was carved through the hills from Herberton and passed through what is now Main Street, Atherton, before continuing down to Port Douglas. This road was used by the coaches of Cobb and Co to access Western Queensland.
At its apogee, Herberton was the richest tin mining field in Australia, and was home to 17 pubs, 2 local newspapers and a brewery.
Tin mining ceased in Herberton in 1985.
Herberton has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- 38 Broadway Street: Holy Trinity Anglican Church
- Grace Street: Jack & Newell General Store
- 61 Grace Street: Herberton School of Arts
- off Jacks Road: Great Northern Mine
- 2-4 Lillian Street: Herberton Uniting Church
- Myers Street: Herberton War Memorial
Geography and climate
Herberton is situated 918 m (3,012 ft) high on the Great Dividing Range south-west of Atherton. Vegetation ranges from tropical rainforest to the east, wet schlerophyl forests to the north and east and open schleorphyl forests and woodlands to the north and west.
Herberton is notably drier than the area around Atherton with average rainfall for Herberton of 1,155 mm (45.5 in). Herberton is the most northerly location in Australia to have recorded a temperature at or below −5 °C (23 °F), and also the only location in Tropical North Queensland to have done so. The average minimum temperature ranges from 10 °C (50 °F) in winter to 18 °C (64 °F) in summer, while maximums range from 21 to 29 °C (70 to 84 °F).
|Climate data for Herberton|
|Record high °C (°F)||35.2
|Average high °C (°F)||28.0
|Average low °C (°F)||18.2
|Record low °C (°F)||9.5
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||241.5
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||16.5||16.5||16.6||13.9||11.9||8.5||7.0||5.4||4.7||5.2||8.4||11.7||126.3|
|Source: Bureau of Meteorology|
Several crops are grown around Herberton, and it is the location of Queensland's only tropical vineyard. Herberton is a mini salad bowl with crops including avocados, lettuce, tomatoes, maize and pumpkins. Poultry and beef industries are also present. Herberton's public hospital and the private school, Mt Saint Bernard residential college, are other major employers in the town.
Tourism and attractions
The Herberton Mining Museum and Visitor Information Centre opened in 2005, houses mining and social history of the Herberton Mining field, archives for the local area and maintains a genealogy project recording the families of the district and their histories.
A Heritage Walk for tourists that takes in some of the old buildings and historical features of the town is a popular attraction. Historic Village Herberton is a 16-acre representation of a mining town filled with streets of buildings of the time, each one a museum in its own right with exhibits such as vintage machinery, cars and Australian antiques. It has more than 50 restored period buildings.
The Herberton Spy & Camera Museum houses antique spy cameras, a photographic gallery and photographic memorabilia with guided tours through the museum and a working photographer and photographic studio.
Most recently, a Railway Museum has been established by volunteers in the former Herberton Railway Station building. This is operated by volunteers and only open part-time.
The Tepon Equestrian Grounds just out of Herberton have recently been upgraded with a large undercover pavilion for equestrian and other sporting events such as cycling and mountain biking. Local markets are held on the 3rd Sunday of every month at the Wondecla Oval.
There are several caravan parks, hotels, motels and B&Bs located in the town.
Notable people associated with Herberton include:
- Bunny Adair, Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Cook who attended Herberton State School.
- Alice Bonar. founder of the Australian Red Cross in Herberton, now the oldest continuously operating branch in Australia. In 1914 reconvened the branch as a member of the Australian Red Cross . Eldest son David Welbourn Bonar a tunneller at Hill 60 and daughter May was a nurse in World War 1.
- Nancy Francis, journalist and poet known as 'Black Bonnet'. Wrote extensively on life in the Daintree area including recording indigenous culture . Wrote poetry published in North queensland papers and The Bulletin.
- James Douglas Henry Mining Engineer, served in 4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen contingent. Member of the Mining Corps then Commanding Officer of 1st Australian Tunnellers involved in Hill 60. Retired to Tepon near Herberton and A.R.P. Warden for Wondecla area in World War 2.
- John Ledlie, one of the founders of North Queensland firm Armstrong, Ledlie and Stillman. Brought the first electric street lights outside his Herberton store. Shire Chairman of Herberton Shire Council, member of Cairns Harbour Board and Cairns Regional Electricity Board. Teamed with Robert Ringrose to establish Herberton State High School in 1912.
- John Newell, Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Woothakata , Chairman of Herberton Shire Council, Mayor of Herberton Municipality. One of the discoverers of payable tin and the establishment of Herberton Gold and Mineral Field. Founding member of the Tinaroo Division Board.
- Robert Ringrose, Barrister, Geologist, naturalist, fellow of Royal Geographical Society of Queensland who established the conservation area now known as Mount Hypipamee National Park. Worked to establish the Charters Towers School of Mines and one of the first 12 State High Schools in Herberton in 1912.
- Tom Risley. Artist and sculptor. Trained as an electrician then worked in rainforest ecology in CSIRO. His work is held in New York Museum of Modern Art, gallery in Japan, pieces in National Gallery of Australia and Queensland Art Gallery , private collections and one of his largest sculptures is situated in the Gordon Gardens in the Herberton Mining Museum & Visitor Information Centre.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Herberton (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- "Herberton - town (entry 15767)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
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- Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
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- "Holy Trinity Anglican Church (entry 600538)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- "Jack & Newell General Store & Petrol Bowser (former) (entry 600539)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- "Herberton School of Arts (entry 600540)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
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- "Herberton Uniting Church (entry 601788)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
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- "Climate statistics for Australian locations". Archived from the original on 6 September 2008.
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- "Tepon Equestrian Park". Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
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- "Opening and closing dates of Queensland Schools". Queensland Government. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
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