|Population||306 (2011 census)|
|Elevation||453 m (1,486 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Etheridge|
The town is located in the Gulf Savannah in Far North Queensland on the Gulf Developmental Road, 1,722 kilometres (1,070 mi) north west of the state capital, Brisbane and 285 kilometres (177 mi) west of the regional centre of Cairns.
The town was founded by Ezra Firth, from the English county of Yorkshire, who along with his family settled in the area in 1864. The property struggled at first; relations with the indigenous inhabitants of the country were hostile and the country was not suited for wool growing. The discovery of gold in the 1880s and the subsequent gold rush allowed Firth to sell his sheep to the miners, convert his holding to cattle and become wealthy selling goods to the miners. In 1908, the railway reached Mount Surprise.
Mount Surprise Post Office opened by July 1908.
Mount Surprise has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- Gulf Developmental Road: Radar Hill
- Via Mount Surprise: Quartz Hill Coach Change Station
- Etheridge railway line: Mount Surprise railway station
The town today is little more than a pub, one cafe and two petrol stations with a small store, a gem-shop, a police station and two trailer parks or caravan parks. One park has a block of modern motel units. At the Mount Surprise Tourist Park, a large bird aviary is open to the public.
Mount Surprise has a passenger rail service, The Savannahlander, with a weekly service (from March to December inclusive) from the city of Cairns to Einasleigh and Forsayth to the west and return to Cairns in the east. The town is near the Undara Volcanic National Park and Forty Mile Scrub National Park. Other activities in the area include gem fossicking.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Mount Surprise (SSC)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
- Bureau of Meteorology
- "Mount Surprise - town (entry 23158)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
- "Mount Surprise - locality (entry 41666)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
- "Mount Surprise". Walkabout - Australian Travel Guide. Fairfax. Retrieved 28 October 2007.
- Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Mount Surprise (Etheridge Shire) (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 October 2007.
- "No.53 RDF Station (entry 602259)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- "Quartz Hill Coach Change Station Site and Cemetery (entry 602232)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- "Etheridge Railway (entry 601637)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
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