Tourist Info

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Bluff, a rural town of about 400 people, is on the Capricorn Highway, 150 km west of Rockhampton, and 25 km east of Blackwater.

Originally known as Duckworth Creek, the name was changed in about 1877 when the Great Western railway from Rockhampton was opened. A nearby hill was referred to as Arthur’s Bluff. Settlement around Bluff was furthered by coal mining in the early 1900s, and a school was opened in 1907. Until the 1950s Bluff’s population was barely over 100, and Pugh’s Queensland Directory (1924) recorded only two stores, the Bluff Hotel and the Bluff colliery.

After World War II the town’s infrastructure was enlarged: a new hall (1946), connection to the electricity grid (1956) and a local library (1962). In the 1960s numerous open-cut coal mines were started in the Blackwater region, with railway links branching from the Great Western line to service them. A railway employees hostel was built at Bluff, and enlarged during the 1970s-80s. With accommodation for single and married employees, the school population consisted mostly of children of railway employees.

Bluff has a general store, a hotel, a motel, a racecourse and a recreation reserve.

Things to do around Bluff:

See the Blackdown Tablelands 17Km east of Bluff. 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.

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Visit the International Coal Centre at Blackwater 25Km west of Bluff.  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 with a digital cinema, landscaped gardens and a Subway franchise outlet.

The Australian Coal Mining Museum also operates Mine Tours which run every Wednesday and Friday.  Please call 07 4982 7755 for further information.

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Experience the Bedford weir 50Km north west of Bluff. The Bedford Weir is a man-made impoundment on the Mackenzie River, situated 25 kilometres north of Blackwater. The area is suitable for overnight stays and 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.

The Bedford Weir is a man-made impoundment on the Mackenzie River, situated 25 kilometres north of Blackwater. The area is suitable for overnight stays and 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.

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