Town in Queensland
Blackwater is a rural town and locality in the Central Highlands Region, Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, Blackwater had a population of 4,749 people. It is a town in a significant coal mining area in Central Queensland. The name of the township was inspired by the dark colour of local waterholes.
Area: 656.8 km²
Population: 4,749 (2016 census)
Postal code: 4717
Location: 76 km (47 mi) E of Emerald 196 km (122 mi) W of Rockhampton 799 km (496 mi) NNW of Brisbane
Blackwater is a town surrounded by a natural museum of attractions and embedded with mineral wealth. Blackwater is reknowned as ‘The Coal Capital’, which makes it the perfect home to the iconic Australian Coal Mining Museum located right inside the Blackwater International Coal Centre.
Take some time out to visit the museum, and you can see how coal deposits were formed millions of years ago and learn the method of coal mining. Or why not experience the ultimate awe of a coal mine tour, where you can see amazing open cut pits, mammoth mining equipment and learn about coal mining from an expert!
If it’s natural beauty you seek, then look no further. The spectacular Blackdown Tableland National Park is located 55kms from the township, this is a must-see attraction whilst you’re visiting! The park protects a sandstone plateau rising abruptly above Central Queensland’s flat plains. Bordered by high rugged cliffs, this is the traditional home of the Ghungalu people. Aboriginal rock art across the park reminds us of their connection with this country. Dissected by deep gorges, the park offers spectacular lookouts and scenic waterfalls. The Tablelands is definitely worth a day visit or stay a little longer and set up camp at the peaceful Munall Campgrounds – visit Dept. National Parks for camping information.
Love a great sunset or a spot of fishing? The Bedford Weir (part of the McKenzie River) is located 25 kilometres north of town. Stocked with Barramundi, Saratoga and Red Claw it is a fishing enthusiasts mecca. A free 7 night camping area is available with toilets and hot shower facilities, dumping point, boat ramp, kids playground, park and BBQ facilities. Don’t miss the Saratoga fishing competition held each year in Spring – visit Mackenzie River Fish Stocking Assoc for more information.
Blackwater boasts a picturesque Japanese Garden that marks the relationship between Blackwater and its sister city Fujisawa, Japan. Entrance to the gardens are accessible through the Blackwater International Coal Centre, feel free to bring a rug and picnic basket whilst you enjoy the surrounds.
The Lions Park is well known for one of the largest displays of flags in the world, each flag being a representative of one of the 37 nationalities who laboured together in their efforts to establish the district’s coal industry. Situated on the corner of McKenzie Street and the Capricorn Highway.
Blackwater is only a 50 minute drive from Emerald, home of the Fairbairn Dam and gateway to the Sapphire Gemfields. For more information on traveling through the Central Highlands we highly recommend visiting the Dig the Tropics.
The locals love Blackwater, so we promise you’ll have a great time exploring our attractions…and meet some friendly people whilst you’re here! Check out our Community Events calendar, you may be in town for one of our great cultural events.
Blackdown Tableland National Park is one of Blackwater Attractions which lies in central Queensland. The signed turn-off on the Capricorn Highway is 11 km west of Dingo (35 km east of Blackwater).
To reach the park entrance shelter, follow the sealed road to the top of the tableland. Beware! The 6 km road from the base of the tableland is winding and climbs steeply. It is not suitable for towing heavy trailers or caravans.
Roads past the entrance shelter are unsealed, slippery and winding. Most of the park is accessible to 2WD vehicles driven with care, but you will require a 4WD vehicle for the Loop Road to Mitha Boongulla.
To reach Munall campground, continue 8 km past the park entrance shelter. Access may be restricted in wet weather or during high fire danger.
Rising abruptly above the surrounding dry plains, Blackdown Tableland protects spectacular sandstone scenery with gorges and waterfalls. It lies at the north-east edge of the central Queensland sandstone belt.
The park supports diverse plant communities including heathlands, dry eucalypt forests and moist pockets of ferns, mosses and orchids. Being elevated, the tableland is often cooler and moister than nearby plains. Its isolation means plants and animals that are found nowhere else thrive here. These include the Blackdown stringybark, a macrozamia, red bottlebrush, the Blackdown “monster” (a type of underground cricket) and a Christmas beetle.
This is the traditional home of the Ghungalu people, who have visited this place for thousands of years and left behind rock art, vivid reminders of their special culture.
The Bedford Weir is a man-made impoundment on the Mackenzie River and is one of the most popular Blackwater Attractions , situated 25 kilometres north of Blackwater. The area features water, toilets and showers are available free of charge. Wood fired barbecues and a children’s playground are set in shaded areas by the river, making it an ideal picnic spot.
The area is popular destination for boating, skiing and fishing and has been stocked with sports fish, including Barramundi and Saratoga. Anglers are welcome to drop a line in the weir. Don’t miss the Saratoga fishing competition in September.
Blackwater International Coal Centre
The Blackwater International Coal Centre houses the Australian Coal Mining Museum and is a not-for-profit organisation with charitable status. We rely heavily on donations and in-kind support from local companies. The Centre arose from a vision of Duaringa Shire Council in 2003 which was supported and developed by major coal producers BMA Blackwater Mine and Wesfarmers Curragh Coal.
The goal was to provide a sophisticated and enduring platform for showcasing the mighty Australian Coal Industry and the associated industries that underpin the state and federal economies. The Australian Coal Mining Museum does this by providing museum exhibits and interactive displays, educational material for schools and visitors, and mine tours visiting local mine sites and viewing the everyday workings of a coal mine. The Museum offers the public a unique view into the operations, past and present, of Australia’s coal mining industry.
The BICC has not only become an iconic landmark for visitors to Central Queensland but also serves as an accessible and valuable space that improves quality of life for local residents and is guided by a Board of Directors.
The Centre provides high-quality amenities for the local community and delivers significant employment and economic benefits. The Centre also incorporates the education-based Australian Coal Mining Museum, three conference rooms, an auditorium, landscaped gardens and a coffee bar.
The Australian Coal Mining Museum also operates Mine Tours which run every Wednesday and Friday.
Blackwater Japanese Gardens
The Garden marks the Sister Town relationship with Fujisawa, Japan.
Commenced in December 1997, it was completed eight months later and officially opened on 1st August 1998, in the presence of the Mayors of Fujisawa and Duaringa Shire, and other visiting Japanese and Australian dignitaries.
Approximately 600 tonnes of ornamental stone are used in the Garden, which was constructed by Duaringa Shire council works staff, in association with 14 Japanese gardeners, carpenters and interpreters who visited especially for a period of 8 days.
The Garden is just one feature which has turned a barren area of State Government land into a well-patronised community and visitor recreation facility.
A children’s playground has been constructed adjacent to the Japanese Garden, and the area also features a tourist information centre, restored steam locomotive and, a developing mining equipment display.