Quite a few months ago we spent the day over at Mt Perry, about 100 kms inland from Bundaberg. I've been meaning to post a few photos ever since so this is an attempt to clear the backblog, as it were. Mt Perry is a tidy little place. Its the administrative centre of the Perry Shire, but the town has seen busier days and was originally founded in the late 1860s when copper was discovered on the ridge to the north of the present township. The mine proved to have some substance to it and operations continued through until just before WW I. In conjunction with the mining, a smelter was established in the valley immediately north of the town and the extent of the developments also prompted the construction of a rail branch line from Bundaberg North, the rail line passing through the Boolboonda Tunnel which I blogged about at the time of our visit.
Nowadays though the town is a much quieter place. Just north of the town is the old smelter site which has an impressive working floor made up of huge rectangular slabs of poured and chilled slag. On the site of the smelter is a small shelter and a few historical notes and posters, many showing the workings of the nearby open-cut Mt Rawdon gold mine which is about half an hour's drive south of the town. The town has clearly benefited from the current operation and at least one motel/pub has been seriously done up and an impressive sports/social centre has been built on the edge of town in recent years. Scattered around town on the day we visited were a few of the mine's 4WDs, all sporting the tall orange flag mounted on their bull-bars, typical of vehicles used in such mines and designed to improve their visibility for the mine's haul-truck drivers. A couple of the town's older buildings have been very nicely restored, including the magnificent Catholic Church on a hill above the town and an interesting Masonic Hall with a most impressive facade for what is really little more than a modest, weatherboard hall.
The town's small museum was unfortunately closed on the day of our visit but outside the museum is an old, five-head Californian stamp battery which was salvaged from one of the nearby old mine workings. Whoever took it to pieces and re-erected it clearly had no idea what they were doing since the drive shaft with the lifter cams is now mounted back to front. I suspect that very few of the town's tourists actually worry about that sort of detail but I can't help being a picky old sod. Just out of town is a well kept cemetery with a few interesting headstones from the town's peak years of the 1880s and 1890s.
Just east of town and a few kms off the main road is Wonbah Winery, one of Queensland's larger wineries. We sampled a few of the whites and reds but the quality was a far cry from their South Australian or Victorian competitors. It's been a while since I did any serious wine-tasting and I was a bit taken aback when they charged us $3 each for the experience. The least they could do is then discount the price of the first bottle bought if you've been sufficiently impressed to open the wallet, but they didn't.