Springsure, Central Queensland

Springsure, Central Queensland

The Central Queensland town of Springsure is at the terminus of  two major thoroughfares – the Gregory Highway (running south from the Gulf country) and the Dawson Highway, which runs west from Gladstone on the coast.

Ludwig Leichhardt explored the district between 1843 and 1845. His favourable reports encouraged squatters to move in and settle the land. The town’s  name, used from 1861, comes from a pastoral run which had a permanent spring.

The subsequent influx of squatters caused friction with the original Indigenous inhabitants, and in 1861 squatter Horatio Wills and 18 other settlers including women and children were slaughtered in the Cullin-La-Ringo massacre, the largest mass murder of European settlers in Australian history. It has since been suggested that the murders were reprisal for the shooting of local Gayiri tribespeople by Europeans.

Springsure today is the hub for several Bowen Basin coal mines, and the district produces cattle, sunflowers, sorghum, wheat and chickpeas.

As the pastoral settlement grew in wealth, local stock and station agents imported expensive automobile marques (like these American Studebakers) for potential purchasers.

Springsure is a starting point for visits to Carnarvon Gorge National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty with sandy plains, valleys, and gorges separated by basalt-capped ranges. The gorge walls create an ecosystem for rare flora and fauna. The Gorge also features Indigenous art galleries.

In the 2016 census, Springsure had a population of 1103.