Many Peaks, a former rural town and copper-mining centre, is 80 km south of Gladstone, at the southern end of the Boyne Valley. It was named after the Many Peaks Range to the town's north-east, named by Ludwig Leichhardt in 1845.

The Many Peaks copper find occurred in 1896, and a Mount Morgan syndicate acquired the mining rights in 1898. In 1906 it was decided that the ore would be most profitably processed if transported to Mount Morgan for use as a flux in the smelters there. A railway line was built in 1910, incidentally opening up much of the Boyne Valley's timber and dairy produce to vastly improved transportation.

Within a few years Many Peaks had a progress association, a hospital (1910), a courthouse, Anglican and Catholic churches, up to five hotels and a silent picture show. Pugh's Directory (1924) also recorded five drapers, an aerated waters manufacturer and a sawmill.

The Many Peaks mine was worked continuously until 1918, and during its life Many Peaks' population peaked at 1300. When mining ended in the mid-1920s, sawmilling, local dairying and grazing continued, but population rapidly declined. By 1924 all that remained of the Many Peaks township was a hotel and a row of houses. The hotel provides a welcome highway stop, while the hospital has been transferred to neighbouring Builyan.

Many Peaks' census populations were:

Census Date Population
1911 1280
1933 115
1961 82

Calliope Shire Council, Calliope Shire Council Centenary 1879-1979, Calliope, The Council, 1979

Lorna McDonald, Gladstone: city that waited, Gladstone, Boolarong Publications, 1988


Copyright © Centre for the Government of Queensland, 2018. All rights reserved.

UQ Logo