The township of Herberton invites you to explore its rich mining, social and natural history on a series of easy, self-guided walks. Some short walks will take you through the town’s historic streets and along the banks of the Wild River. They will also take you past some of Herberton’s local cafes and stores, which sell refreshments, snacks, meals and souvenirs and would appreciate and welcome your custom. The town and river walks can be comfortably undertaken by people of all ages. Please remember to be sun smart, wearing a hat and sunscreen to suit the conditions. Scroll down for more information and downloadable maps for these walks.
The township of Herberton invites you to walk the once bustling Grace Street, scene of the Saturday evening strut when anyone and everyone was there to be seen. The coaches and carts vied with the mule and horse teams. ‘Gunnawarra’ Wilson and his rivals raced their horses along it, scattering everyone willy nilly. Rowdy miners poured out of the many hotels to vent their frustrations.
Much quieter now, Grace Street provides an interesting walk involving Photo Posts. These posts record some of the early main street scenes and history of Herberton’s early ‘boom times’ in the mines. There are nine in total and are all located on the main street. You can download a brochure here.
Grace Street is also the start of the Herberton Heritage Walk, a slightly longer self-guided tour of the town’s historic buildings. It starts at the Heritage Cottage and you can download a copy of the Heritage Walk here and the app, or grab a copy at the Museum. All the Town Walks are summarised in the Short Walks brochure which can be downloaded here.
The township of Herberton stands on the headwaters of the Wild River, a tributary of the Herbert which reaches the coast at Ingham. The Wild was named by James Venture Mulligan on the 4 June 1875. It was at this time that Mulligan found evidence of tin ore in the area, but an entry in his journal questions the value of the find ‘in this wild place’ (Pike, in Wild River Times, June 1975). Much has changed in the intervening years. Herberton has become a quiet village in the hills after being a somewhat turbulent mining town in the past.
Today, close to the centre of town is the Wild River Park, which follows the banks of its namesake river, and is a peaceful spot for relaxation, birdwatching, walking and picnicking. There is also a track along the river that links the two larger areas at each end of the Wild River Park and a series of exercise stops. Borrowed from the Irish Heart Foundation, these are to commemorate the founder of Herberton, John Newell. He was born in County Down, Ireland, in 1852 and lived to 82 years of age.
He was never averse to activity, so there could be some truth in the value of exercise. For more information you can download a copy of the Wild River Park map here.
© Herberton Mining Museum History Association 2023