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Mount Surprise, Queensland facts for kids

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Mount Surprise
Population 306 (2011 census)
Postcode(s) 4871
Elevation 453 m (1,486 ft)
LGA(s) Shire of Etheridge
State electorate(s) Mount Isa
Federal Division(s) Kennedy
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
31.1 °C
88 °F
16.1 °C
61 °F
790.3 mm
31.1 in
Localities around Mount Surprise:
Abingdon Downs Fossilbrook
Forty Mile
Talaroo Mount Surprise Minnamoolka
Einasleigh Conjuboy Greenvale

Mount Surprise is a town and locality in the Shire of Etheridge, Queensland, Australia. In the 2011 census, Mount Surprise had a population of 306 people.


The town is located in the Gulf Savannah in Far North Queensland on the Gulf Developmental Road, 1,722 kilometres (1,070 mi) north west of the state capital, Brisbane and 285 kilometres (177 mi) west of the regional centre of Cairns.


The town was founded by Ezra Firth, from the English county of Yorkshire, who along with his family settled in the area in 1864. The property struggled at first; relations with the indigenous inhabitants of the country were hostile and the country was not suited for wool growing. The discovery of gold in the 1880s and the subsequent gold rush allowed Firth to sell his sheep to the miners, convert his holding to cattle and become wealthy selling goods to the miners. In 1908, the railway reached Mount Surprise.

Mount Surprise Post Office opened by July 1908.

At the 2006 census, Mount Surprise and the surrounding area had a population of 162.

Heritage listings

Mount Surprise has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


The town today is little more than a pub, one cafe and two petrol stations with a small store, a gem-shop, a police station and two trailer parks or caravan parks. One park has a block of modern motel units. At the Mount Surprise Tourist Park, a large bird aviary is open to the public.

Mount Surprise has a passenger rail service, The Savannahlander, with a weekly service (from March to December inclusive) from the city of Cairns to Einasleigh and Forsayth to the west and return to Cairns in the east. The town is near the Undara Volcanic National Park and Forty Mile Scrub National Park. Other activities in the area include gem fossicking.

Elizabeth Creek Valley panorama
Panorama of Elizabeth Creek Valley. This picture was taken from the northern side of the O'Brien's Creek Fossicking Area from a hilltop.
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