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Collingwood, Queensland facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Population 0
Established ~1878
Abolished ~1900
Elevation 252 m (827 ft)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10:00)
LGA(s) Shire of Winton

Collingwood is a former town in the Channel Country in Central West Queensland, Australia, in the Shire of Winton. Collingwood was founded in the 1870s, and it was hoped that the town would thrive and grow into a regional centre that would foster the development of pastoral activity in the Diamantina region, an industry of great local importance to this day. However, Collingwood ultimately failed as a town and was given up after only about two decades of existence.



Collingwood lay some 11 km up the Western River from the forks where it empties into the Diamantina River, one of only three major confluences on the Diamantina, roughly 52 km west of Winton. Both rivers are braided at this point, a landform that gives the Channel Country its name. Wokingham Creek, too, meets the Diamantina here, and feeds the Conn Waterhole (22°17′56″S 142°28′44″E / 22.299°S 142.479°E / -22.299; 142.479), a hook-shaped body of water just up from the Diamantina whose size fluctuates with the region’s climatic fortunes; drought is a common phenomenon here. A smaller but likewise braided stream, called Haine Creek (or Maine Creek – sources differ), empties into the Western from the south at the Collingwood site. Other streams nearby are Scarlet Creek, which empties into the Western from the south about 8 km upstream from the townsite, and Gum Creek, which empties into Mulray Creek, which empties into the Diamantina itself some 21 km southwest of the townsite, and roughly 14 km downstream from where the Western empties into the Diamantina. Lydia Creek empties into the Western from the south about two fifths of the way up to Winton. The land in the area is mostly flat grassland (specifically, Mitchell grass downs), although locally, there are a few points where the land rises above the surrounding flatness, among them Mount Booka Booka 10.5 km to the northwest, Mount Munro 12.4 km to the north, Mount Boorooma 15 km to the south, Mount Capo Goleburra 19 km to the southsoutheast and Mount Hardwick right at the Conn Waterhole, 6.5 km northwest of the former town. The townsite, which is still identified on many maps as Collingwood, lies on the Diamantina River Road some four kilometres along from its junction with the Kennedy Developmental Road lying to the north, and there is a short road to the south of the former leading to what once was the Collingwood Cemetery. Upwards of 60 sheep and cattle stations lie within 70 km of the Collingwood site, some of which even date from the time when the town existed (see Collingwood today below), and figured in the town’s short history.

In this satellite view of the Collingwood area, flooding in January 2010 has greened the land, especially near the rivers. This colouring, however, is exaggerated somewhat by NASA’s use of both visible and infrared light in this detail of an Earth Observatory image. Collingwood and several other places and features have been added to the image (an unmarked version is available at the Commons link, along with the full version from which this detail was drawn).
A map showing the rough extent of the crustal anomaly that may be an ancient impact structure.

Geology and palaeontology

Collingwood also lay in the Great Artesian Basin. Nevertheless, there does not seem to be any record of an artesian bore ever being attempted at Collingwood, as was done in many other places in Outback Queensland, even locally (as at Dagworth, 65 km to the northwest, in the 1890s) often with great success. Geologically, the site lies in the Eromanga Basin. More locally, the geology consists of the Cretaceous Winton Formation, and it was at Manfred Station (23°04′00″S 143°58′00″E / 23.066669464°S 143.966674804°E / -23.066669464; 143.966674804), 168 km from Collingwood’s former site, where the formation yielded up at least two palaeobotanical fossils to a J. Williams in 1920. More recently, in 2005, Australovenator and Diamantinasaurus matildae Early Cretaceous dinosaur remains were unearthed by palaeontologists at the "Matilda site" not far north of the former town, on Elderslie Station (site’s position roughly 22°12′S 142°30′E / 22.2°S 142.5°E / -22.2; 142.5). A "major fault" passes just southeast of the Collingwood site, called the Cork Fault. It runs roughly northeast to southwest. Its downthrow is to the northwest, towards Collingwood. Seismic studies along this fault began in 1960 with the Bureau of Mineral Resources (now Geoscience Australia). In the years that followed, a number of other surveys were conducted by private companies, among which was the Western River Seismic Survey in 1967 by the United Geophysical Corporation, which was "aimed at further defining the Permo-Triassic section on the downthrown (west) side of the Cork Fault indicated by the previous Collingwood survey (Phillips, 1966)." This information is all held in a report that also mentions petroleum exploration in the area, with one exploratory well sunk about 20 km north of the former townsite, at Lovelle Downs (22°09′S 142°32′E / 22.15°S 142.53°E / -22.15; 142.53). Drilling was underway late in 1972 by Hematite Petroleum. The Cork Fault might have begun as long ago as the Mesoproterozoic (1.6 to 1.0 billion years ago), when it would have been part of a great network of active normal faults in the land that would eventually come to be known as Australia, although then, the land was part of the supercontinent of Rodinia. The team from Monash University who reached these conclusions and presented them in 2015, namely Giovanni P. T. Spampinato, Laurent Aillères, Peter G. Betts and Robin J. Armit, believed that while the Cork Fault was to be regarded as a fundamental crustal discontinuity, it was not Rodinia’s former eastern margin. This they believe because the Cork Fault is the line in the Earth’s crust where the Proterozoic Mount Isa terrane (the fault’s downthrown side mentioned above) has been thrust under the Phanaerozoic Thomson Orogen (the upthrown side).


In terms of bioregions, the Collingwood site lies within the Galilee subregion, itself part of the Lake Eyre Basin bioregion.

Possible asteroid strike

The Diamantina River’s hook-shaped upper reaches have drawn scientific attention. In March 2015, Geoscience Australia reported that the river’s course at and near its headwaters flows along the edge of a roughly circular crustal anomaly that might well be an impact structure. It is 130 km in diameter, and the Collingwood site lies right at its eastern edge. The asteroid impact, if indeed this is the explanation for the anomaly, would have happened roughly 300 million years ago.

Collingwood today

Today, no buildings are standing, and satellite views reveal only an undifferentiated patch of Channel Country scenery. The town’s former location today lies within the locality of Middleton, whose like-named centre, lying some 101 km to the west, is itself a depopulated (but not altogether deserted) town. The town of Collingwood is memorialized in the Collingwood Cemetery Marker, which is about the only physical trace left of Collingwood. A rough-hewn stone with a plaque fastened onto it lists eight persons known to be buried there.

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