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Charters Towers POPULATION: 12,000 approximately
GENERAL INFORMATION: Charters Towers is 135 kilometres south-west of Townsville and has an altitude of 336 metres which ensures an excellent climate with comfortably cool nights. Known mostly for its heritage and goldmining history, this city once had a population of 27 000 and had the only Stock Exchange in the world to take 3 calls a day. Today the main industries are mining (mine tours are available) beef (homestay accommodation is available), education (five excellent, world recognised boarding schools) and tourism (a visit will explain why). Charters Towers is a perfect example of the real Australia, with brilliantly coloured sunsets, and cattle stations. The friendly atmosphere and heritage streetscape only add to its unique appeal. Numerous tranquil water spots and secluded lava caves ensures fascinating walks and great camping. DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE (State Capital): 1200 kilometres