Blackwater, known as the coal capital of Queensland, is a town filled with a rich history and a heart-warming community, and is surrounded by natural treasures.
Things to Experience
Blackwater International Coal Centre (BICC) is home to the Australian Coal Mining Museum, mine tours, Japanese Gardens, Eliza’s Cottage store, cafe (which includes Wednesday Meal Deals), cinema and Visitor Information Centre.
The BICC also includes a display of pieces by members of the Blackwater Art Society.
The BICC is now open seven days a week. Opening hours are 5:00am – 5:00pm weekdays and 7:00am – 2:00pm weekends.
Australian Coal Mining Museum offers a collection of exciting and educational exhibits, media displays and simulators that delve into the past, present and future of mining.
Mine Tours Experience an awe moment on a tour of one of Blackwater’s operating coal mines. See the magnificence of massive open cut pits, oversized machinery and equipment, and learn about coal mining from an expert. Tours depart from the BICC and bookings are essential.
Japanese Gardens were built as a symbol of the relationship between Blackwater and sister city Fujisawa, Japan. The gardens provide a great spot to sit, relax, have a picnic and take in the serenity.
Blackwater Lions Park Found on the Capricorn Highway, the Lions Park is well known for one of the largest displays of flags in the world. The 37 flags represent the different nationalities that worked side-by-side to establish the district’s coal industry. The park has other historic features that include a restored engine of a 1953 C Class locomotive train and the old railway station that was built in 1877.
Bedford Weir Escape to Bedford Weir, a popular boating, camping and fishing spot on the beautiful Mackenzie River, 25 kilometres north of Blackwater.
The area is suitable for overnight stays and water (not potable), toilets and showers are available. Free camping up to seven days is permitted.
Wood-fired barbecues and a playground are set in shaded areas by the river, making it an ideal picnic spot.
The weir is stocked with Barramundi, Saratoga and Yellowbelly, or throw in a pot to catch some of our freshwater crayfish, Red Claw.
The peace and tranquillity of Bedford Weir encourages a wide range of wildlife. Keep a look out for wallabies, potoroos, echidnas and bandicoots. Bird lovers are in for a treat, with as many as 30 species of birdlife calling the weir home including a large pride of peacocks.
Signage at the weir tells the story of the first Queensland police officers killed on duty in 1867 and you can still see an old stone pitched road below the weir wall – remnants of old river crossing built by convicts.
Don’t miss the annual Saratoga Spectacular fishing contest held in October.
Coal Face Memorial Located near the ambulance station in Mackenzie Street is a memorial titled At the Coal Face, which commemorates all the miners killed in accidents at Blackwater coal mine pits.
Point of Interest: Two pine trees grown from seeds taken from the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey are the highlight of the town’s war memorial in Arthur Street. The memorial itself consists of three white columns with top plinth. There is a central column that supports an up-turned rifle and helmet, signifying the battlefield grave of a dead serviceman. The memorial displays badges of the Armed Forces and all columns are symbolically linked by chains. A local Vietnam war veteran, the late Neville Tickner, was the driving force behind fundraising efforts for this and the Coal Face Memorial.