Road Train through Mt Surprise

A road train passing the tin man sculpture announcing the settlement of Mt Surprise on the Gregory Highway, Queensland

Mount Surprise is a tiny settlement (169 residents according to the 2016 Census but probably fewer in 2020 when I visited) located on the Gulf Development Road. There is a pub, (built circa 1910 and for sale when I passed through), a couple of cafes, a caravan park, a service station, school and a gem shop.)

The railway station, which sits in a lush green park in great contrast to its red dusty rocky surroundings, there is an interesting historical display. Beyond the town lie the Undara Lava Tubes, Cobbold Gorge and the gem fossicking area at O’Brien’s Creek.

Mount Surprise is located 1,710 km north-west of Brisbane via the Gregory Highway, 319 km south-west of Cairns It is 453 m above sea-level. With nothing but a small hill close by, the town’s name is a misnomer.

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