Herberton, otherwise known as the Village in the Hills, owes its European settlement to the discovery of tin. It takes its name from the Herbert River as its sits at its headwaters and it was named in 1864 after the first premier of Queensland.
Prospectors came to the region looking for gold but they found tin. Not to worry, it turned out to be the preferable lode tin as distinct from alluvial ore and one of the richest finds in Australia. Eureka! Mining began in 1880. In its boom period Herberton had both a mine and a smelter. It had a lot more as well including a school of arts by 1881, a courthouse by 1882 and a hospital by 1884. Peak population reached 8000 in the early 1900s and citizens had two newspapers and 17 pubs to choose from.
Herberton is also famous for being the crucial vote in Queensland – along with Charters Towers – that tipped the referendum in favour of federation in Australia proclaimed in 1901.
The 6.5 hectare (16-acre) Historic Village Herberton mirrors life in that bustling pioneer town with a miner’s hut the first building on the site.